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Elizabeth Leads the Way
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About the Author

TANYA LEE STONE has written several books for young readers, including the young adult novel A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl. She lives in Vermont.

REBECCA GIBBON is the illustrator of several picture books, including Players in Pigtails. She studied illustration at the Royal College of Art, and lives in England.

Reviews

Beginning with a direct address--"What would you do if someone told you.../ your voice doesn't matter/ because you are a girl?"--Stone (Amelia Earhart) fires up readers with a portrait of the 19th-century feminist Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Four-year-old Elizabeth takes umbrage when a visitor sees her baby sister and clucks, "What a pity it is she's a girl!" Later Elizabeth reads Greek and jumps horses, like contemporary boys, and continues to bristle at injustice. Readers will follow this strong-minded heroine into her adult years, her work as an abolitionist, and her historic role as an activist and visionary. While not a detailed biography or an overview of the women's suffrage movement, this inviting story nevertheless offers a good jumping-off point. The sometimes informational tone is animated and energized by Gibbon's (Players in Pigtails) plentiful vignettes and paintings, rendered in a vibrant folk-art style. Ages 6-10. (May) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

Gr 1-4-Stone looks at the life of Stanton from childhood to her emergence as a pioneering leader of women's rights. The "strong-spirited, rule-breaking" girl asserted her independence by embracing physical and academic challenges and by questioning traditional viewpoints. This comes through in energetic, lucid prose that focuses on Elizabeth's ideas and feelings rather than on specific events. By consistently sticking to the subject's own experiences, without detours into historical details or even any dates, the author introduces a historical figure whom readers can relate to as a person. Excellent gouache and colored pencil illustrations, rendered in a lighthearted folk-art style, provide rich background for the brief text. They establish the time period through visual details and capture Stanton's spirit and the attitudes of those she encounters without overstatement. The book culminates with the event that propelled the woman into the national spotlight: her presentation at a convention in Seneca Falls, NY, in 1848, of the Declaration of Right and Sentiments, which included a call for women's voting rights. "Elizabeth had tossed a stone in the water and the ripples grew wider and wider and wider." An author's note briefly covers Stanton's subsequent accomplishments. Through words and pictures that work together and an emphasis on ideas and personality rather than factoids, this well-conceived introduction is just right for a young audience.-Steven Engelfried, Multnomah County Library, OR Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

"This biography brims with upbeat energy as the spirited woman sets out to change the system--an energy amplified by Rebecca Gibbon's bright folk art-styled pictures." --The Washington Post"A short, incisive biography . . . the cameos of action, matched by full-page pictures, make the history accessible. A must for library shelves." --Booklist, Starred Review"[This book] fires up readers with a portrait of the 19th-century feminist Elizabeth Cady Stanton. . . . The sometimes informational tone is animated and energized by Gibbon's plentiful vignettes and paintings, rendered in a vibrant folk-art style." --Publishers Weekly"Through words and pictures that work together and an emphasis on ideas and personality rather than factoids, this well-conceived introduction is just right for a young audience." --School Library Journal"In lively prose well-matched by Gibbon's irrepressible images, Stone tells the story of suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton. . . . A fine introduction for very young readers to the woman and her key role in American history." --Kirkus Reviews

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