Book Review: Rad American Women A-Z by Kate Schatz

Just like all the A-Z books that have come before this one, this book illustrates the alphabet.  But instead of A standing for something obvious and lame, it stands for Angela Davis, the iconic–and radical–political activist.  Z is for Zora Neale Hurston, famed writer.  You get the idea.  This list of 26 amazing women who have shaped history and defied stereotypes is a thing to behold.  Full of diverse individuals representing all sorts of countries, colors, and professions, this is a primer that should be on every bookshelf.

Believe the hype.  This colorful, riveting look at women throughout history lives up to the good buzz it received prior to publication.  Because of its focus on a diverse array of women, there’s something here for every reader, and it should do exactly what it aims to: empower young people, both boys and girls.

The portraits are colorful and stand out, and the short text accompaniments to each featured woman provide just enough information to whet the reader’s appetite without overwhelming them or getting bogged down in the details.  Accessible, memorable, and full of useful information, the book’s epilogue lists ways that readers can stand up and speak out and get involved in their own communities.

Highly, highly recommended.  This is a pure joy to read from start to finish and is sure to inspire even the most jaded of readers.  I can’t wait to buy this for all the little kids in my life.  It will definitely work for a range of ages, but elementary school students seem to be where this one will fit best.

Rad American Women A-Z by Kate Schatz. City Lights: 2015. Library copy.

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