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National Women’s History Month

I wrote and posted this review last year, but wanted to repost it in honor of a most inspiring woman I had the pleasure to know – Sandra McLeod Humphrey. She died along with her husband in a fire this past November and I could not think of a more fitting tribute to her kindness, talent and gift for connecting with children than to share her last book with you all once again. I hope you, too, will take a moment to honor the remarkable women you have known in your life.

– Ronna Mandel

They Stood ALONE!: 25 Men and Women Who Made a Difference
(Prometheus Books, $14.00, ages 9-12) by Sandra McLeod Humphrey is reviewed today by Ronna Mandel.


Meet 13 men and 12 women who all marched to the beat of a different drummer, often disregarding outside opinion, and by doing so made enormous contributions to our world. Parents can spark the flame of discovery by reading this book to children younger than the recommended age range because the writing is uncomplicated and straightforward and each chapter brief enough to hold their interest yet packed with substantial information. Written in second person, there’s an instant feeling of you are there connecting children to the important personages described.

Since March is National Women’s History Month, here’s a chance to introduce boys and girls to some outstanding women whose names they’ve heard of, but about whom they know very little. Take Marie Curie for example, the first person to receive the Nobel Prize not once, but twice or Mother Teresa who at the age of 12 received a calling from God to become a nun and help the poor.

Whether you seek to learn about artist and inventor Leonardo da Vinci who barely had a formal education or the founder of modern astronomy, Nicolaus Copernicus, the inspiring people McLeod Humphrey has selected will leave the reader in awe and eager to know more.

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Suffrage: How Women Won the Vote

On this presidential election day, Debbie Glade reviews a book about the history of women voting in the USA.

Now is the perfect time to read Rightfully Ours: How Women Won the Vote; 21 Activities ($16.95, Chicago Review Press, Ages 9 and up) by Kerrie Logan Hollihan. Young readers will learn about the important struggles women of America faced for rights from the cradle of American history through the early 1920s when they were first allowed to vote. They will be introduced to the term, “suffrage,” the act of voting, and will become familiar with the most important figures in women’s voting history.

What I realized when I began reading this book is that there is a lot I didn’t know about the history of women’s rights in America. Sure, I was aware that women struggled for rights, but the details were always lacking in my education. I’m sure many other Americans can say the same.

This book proved to be so very inspiring for me. Women have been fighting for their rights in America since the very beginning of its history. It took great courage and resilience for them to stand up for what they believed in, in a time where their opinions were not respected. Had it not been for the efforts of: Lucy Stone, the first woman to earn a college degree in the state of Massachusetts; Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, organizers of the first women’s rights convention; Harriet Tubman, an organizer of the Underground Railroad; Harriet Beecher Stowe, who wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin and many other prominent female figures in the women’s rights movement, we as women would not have the rights we do today. Readers will understand more about the sacrifices our ancestors made that shaped American history and perhaps they will be grateful for their own civil rights.

As with all Chicago Review Press for Kids Series, there are 21 wonderful activities that accompany this book’s theme. Among my favorites are: crafting your own soap, which reminds us of the way women used to make their own from grease; making an oil lamp with a glass jar; staging a reader’s theater for suffrage; finding out how “comfortable” a corset may be; and making a coat hanger banner similar to those that suffragists marched with to promote their cause. In the back of the book are excellent resources for further learning – books, places to visit and websites of interest.

In October, 2011, I interviewed the author  of this book, Kerrie Logan Hollihan for her impressive Elizabeth I, the People’s Queen: Her Life and Times, 21 Activities book. She has also written, Isaac Newton and Physics for Kids: His Life and Ideas with 21 Activities and Theodore Roosevelt for Kids: His Life and Times, 21 Activities. I so admire Hollihan’s dedication to writing these factual historical books on such important subjects for children which take a great deal of time and passion and I look forward to her next book.

Check out all the Chicago Review Press Kids Series books here.

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