Bold & Brave: Ten Heroes Who Won Women The Right To Vote (Kirsten Gillibrand)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Bold & Brave: Ten Heroes Who Won Women The Right To Vote, written by Kirsten Gillibrand and illustrated by Maira Kalman, a celebration of ten notable figures in the women’s suffrage movement.

Beginning with an introduction to strong female influences in Senator Gillibrand’s (D-NY) family, the focus shifts to women of the American suffrage movement who inspired them to pursue gender equality. Each woman is given a stunningly-illustrated portrait on one page with a brief yet detailed biography of their life, influences, and accomplishments on the opposite, focusing primarily on the work they did for women’s suffrage but sure to include other aspects of their legacy (imperative for figures like Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth). Familiar faces like Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Staton are present, as well as perhaps lesser-known icons like Inez Millholland and Jovita Idár. At last, the book celebrates the passing of the 19th amendment in 1920 then jumps forward to the landmark Women’s March of 2017, showing that while the fight continues, its fighters are legion, and indefatigable.

Awesome. Giving a fantastic overview of ten women who should be household names for everyone, each woman is brought to life in brief yet impactful style. Gillibrand does a fair job of balancing her subjects’ backgrounds and unique challenges, and even honestly points out that there were plenty of women then (and unfortunately, today as well), who attempted to exclude racial minorities from the movement. Yet as good as the text and structure are, it’s Kalman’s art that shines brightest, with bold colors, striking portraits, and a general sense of feminine, feminist pride on every page. The length may be better for slightly older bookworms, but JJ was so enthralled by the art that she happily sat through to the end. A gorgeous and stirring reminder of those who fought for women’s voices, and what we owe their sacrifice. Baby Bookworm approved!

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