Review Blog

Jul 06 2018

Herstory: 50 women and girls who shook up the world by Katherine Halligan

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Ill. by Sarah Walsh. Nosy Crow, 2018. ISBN 9781788001380
(Age: 8-13) Highly recommended. Themes: Women - Biography. 50 wonderful women feature in this fascinating and gripping book, women who been leaders, creators, healers, problem solvers and ones who have inspired and given hope to many. Each of the women is featured in an illustrated double page spread, which gives a brief outline of their early life, the challenges that they faced and what they achieved. The illustrations include photos, quotes and documents as well as colourful drawings by Sarah Walsh. The table of contents includes an Introduction, and then lists women under the following headings: Believe and lead, Imagine and Create, Help and Heal, Think and Solve, Hope and Overcome. There is a wide range of women included from ancient times (Hatshepsut, Boudicca) to modern times (Theresa Kachindamoto, Rogoberta Mechcu, Cathy Freeman and Malala Yousafzai), and from many countries and backgrounds.
I was especially interested in reading about women whose names were unfamiliar to me: Theresa Kachindamoto, Malawi chief and children's rights activist, Elizabeth Blackwell, first Anglo-American female doctor, Rosalind Franklin, chemist who discovered the structure of DNA and Katherine Johnson, pioneering NASA mathematician and physicist. Even reading about those who were familiar to me gave extra information, like Ada Lovelace's background and education.
Children will be inspired by these biographies, and reading about the women's challenges and resilience will give them faith that they too can overcome difficulties with hard work and self-belief.
This would make a welcome addition to the library or classroom.
Pat Pledger

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