Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Review - She Persisted

She Persisted
by Chelsea Clinton
illustrated by Alexandra Boiger
Date: 2017
Publisher: Philomel Books
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book non-fiction
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: library

Chelsea Clinton introduces tiny feminists, mini activists and little kids who are ready to take on the world to thirteen inspirational women who never took no for an answer, and who always, inevitably and without fail, persisted.

Throughout American history, there have always been women who have spoken out for what’s right, even when they have to fight to be heard. In early 2017, Senator Elizabeth Warren’s refusal to be silenced in the Senate inspired a spontaneous celebration of women who persevered in the face of adversity. In this book, Chelsea Clinton celebrates thirteen American women who helped shape our country through their tenacity, sometimes through speaking out, sometimes by staying seated, sometimes by captivating an audience. They all certainly persisted.

She Persisted is for everyone who has ever wanted to speak up but has been told to quiet down, for everyone who has ever tried to reach for the stars but was told to sit down, and for everyone who has ever been made to feel unworthy or unimportant or small.

With vivid, compelling art by Alexandra Boiger, this book shows readers that no matter what obstacles may be in their paths, they shouldn’t give up on their dreams. Persistence is power.

This book features: Harriet Tubman, Helen Keller, Clara Lemlich, Nellie Bly, Maria Tallchief, Claudette Colvin, Ruby Bridges, Margaret Chase Smith, Sally Ride, Florence Griffith Joyner, Oprah Winfrey, Sonia Sotomayor—and one special cameo.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This book was actually a fairly pleasant surprise. I'm always a little wary when it comes to celebrity picture books. I did enjoy Barack Obama's turn as a children's book author, so I thought I'd give this one a try. And though I'm not American, I still found the subject matter interesting.

She Persisted presents 13 women who achieved their goals despite the odds being stacked against them. Some of them--Harriet Tubman, Helen Keller, Oprah Winfrey--I wasn't surprised to see. But there were a few women that I'd never even heard of before, such as Clara Lemlich, Maria Tallchief, and Claudette Colvin. I was also surprised to learn that Apgar scores were named after a woman; I'd always assumed the system was devised by a man, which goes to show why books like this are needed.

Each quick vignette is accompanied by a quote from the person in question, and the book is illustrated beautifully. This would be a great gift for a girl, even if she's not American (although there is a second book called She Persisted Around the World, which looks a little more global).

Highly recommended!

Premise: 5/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 5/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 5/5

Overall: 4.67 out of 5

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