Fantastically Great Women Who Made History
Bloomsbury Children’s Books
Perhaps 2018 is going to be the year of women. So often children are presented with books about what men have achieved in the past; now it’s time to redress the balance and hear it for the women.
Kate Pankhurst celebrates fourteen, managing to provide a great deal of information about them in this slim volume.
We start with Harriet Tubman whose double spread features a plethora of ‘Wanted’ posters displayed around the ‘Underground Railroad’ tracks. This, like all the other spreads, is illustrated with a wealth of delightfully humorous details.
Next come warrior queen, Boudicca, followed by Flora Drummond the Manchester suffragette who joined and became a leading light in the Women’s Social and Political Union (SPU). Not only did she breach Downing Street security, but also led Scotland’s first march in the name of women’s rights.
There’s Qiu Jin, who during her short life, campaigned against the tradition of foot binding in China and wrote powerful poems and articles that continue to inspire today.
Also fighting injustice was Sayyida al-Hurra who came from a Muslim family living in 15th century Granada. They were forced by Spanish rulers to flee to Morocco where she married a sultan and after his death became allies with the fearsome pirate Barbarossa of Algiers. In her determination to get her own back on Spain, Sayyida’s rule as pirate queen lasted more than three decades.
Others included are Noor Inayat Khan, the first WW2 female radio operator in Nazi-occupied France whose codename. Madeleine, was taken from a character in the book of traditional Indian children’s stories she wrote; Dr Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman ever to gain a degree in medicine; Pocahontas; Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space; Ada Lovelace who made a great contribution to computer science; Josephine Baker, the amazing dancer who fought against segregation,
and writers Mary Wollstonecraft and her daughter, Mary Shelley of Frankenstein fame.
Kate Pankhurst does all these women proud.
The book concludes with a “Bookshelf of Brilliance’ and a ‘Great Words’ glossary.
In a word, it’s inspirational; in another, uplifting; in a few more – every primary classroom should have a copy and every child should read this.
I’ve signed the charter