Shaking Things Up, 14 Young Women Who Changed the World
by Susan Hood
HarperCollins Children’s Books, 2018
More and more books about women in history who made a difference are appearing on the market in time for National Women’s History month. This book selects women from the 1700’s through 2014, and women from the US and around the world.
Beginning with Molly Williams, who was named an official fire fighter near the time of the American Revolution, to 13 year old Mary Anning who unearthed the first ichthyosaur skeleton, to 21 year old Maya Lin who designed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. In each story snippet, we learn the background, what the women went through to achieve their success and how their success made a difference in their world at their time. To add to the beauty and uniqueness of the book, each story is written in a poetic form: rhyme, open verse, acrostic, and many more. Readers learn history and poetry simultaneously, while being inspired by (often) little known stories.
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by B. B. Mandell, illustrated by Suzanne Kaufman
Balzer & Bray, 2016
A family of T-Rex’s, what could be better for a five year old? Samanthasaurus is a gentle soul who likes to paint, design and talk and her family doesn’t really understand her. They tell her she needs to be strong, a leader and make noise, but Samanthasaurus is comfortable in her own skin. Her family go on a hike and Samanthasaurus weaves vines into rope, discovers a shiny diamond and explores how to ‘harness’ energy. As her family climbs the mountain, she figures out the mountain is a volcano and her family is in danger. She uses the items she found to save her family and her family sees her in a new way. This story blends the ancient with new, modern concepts (harnessing energy!) while encouraging young readers to be who they are, for that is where they will find their true strength.
While the story is filled with dangers, illustrator Suzanne Kaufman expertly paints the dinosaurs in pastels and keeps smiles on everyone’s faces to keep the story light-hearted.
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by Deborah Underwood, illustrated by Meg Hunt
Chronicle Books, 2015
Versions of the Cinderella story come from many countries around the world, and now one version comes from space! In this version, Cinderella brings her confident, independent self with her! It’s fun to compare our traditional American version with this modern Interstellar version.
Written in rhyme, it’s fun to turn each page to see what Interstellar space looks like and what Cinderella does next. Instead of meeting her prince charming at a ball, Cinderella fixes the Prince’s spaceship! Instead of seeking his love using a glass slipper, the prince uses a sonic socket wrench. When he asks, “Be my bride,” Cinderella makes a counter-offer!
Children who especially love tools, will love this story. The end papers feature old and space-age tools to examine. This updated version truly fits the attitudes most girls have today: independence and a huge amount of confidence. A joy to read!
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