Review Detail

Young Adult Nonfiction 1215
Dedicated Women's Rights Figure
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0
In this very timely book, the story of Alice Paul's life is interwoven with the women's movement in the same way that Paul's life was interwoven with her work. Giving just the right amount of information about Paul's early life, Kops paints a colorful picture of a driven and pioneering woman who saw an injustice and dedicated herself to righting it. The most amazing thing to me was that Paul was just slightly older than my grandmother, but managed to graduate from college and eventually earned a Masters degree as well as a PhD in sociology AND a law degree. She spent time in England working with Emmeline Pankhurst, and spent a lot of time in jail for her outspoken and often violent protests. Returning to the US, she threw herself tirelessly into working for women's suffrage in the US. Paul devoted her entire life to women's issues, starting work on the Equal Rights Amendment in 1925! She passed away on July 9, 1977-- my 12th birthday.
Good Points
I learned a tremendous amount about women's history from this book. I had no idea that the ERA had been in the works for so long, or the reasons behind some women's opposition to the amendment. Another very important piece of information of which I was unaware was the addition of the "sex amendment" to Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. While this was helpful in putting into legislation some protection for women, it also did not help the cause of the ERA.

While this book might be a bit long for the average middle school reader to pick up for pleasure reading, it is an essential purchase for History Day projects as well as for readers who are dedicated to learning more about women's rights. It is both entertaining and informative, and a great companion to Blumenthal's Let Me Play, Macy's Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (With a Few Flat Tires Along the Way) and other works that help budding feminists understand that while we have come a long way (baby), there is still a long way to go.
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