This energetic and inspiring picture book biography of activist Jane Addams focuses on the peace work that won her the Nobel Peace Prize. From the time she was a child, Jane's heart ached for others. At first the focus of her efforts was on poverty, and lead to the creation of Hull House, the settlement house she built in Chicago. For twenty-five years, she'd helped people from different countries live in peace at Hull House. But when war broke out, Jane decided to take on the world and become a dangerous woman for the sake of peace.
Suzanne Slade's powerful text written in free verse illuminates the life of this inspiring figure while Alice Ratterree's stunning illustrations bring Jane Addams and her world to life.
Lauded by many, including Theodore Roosevelt, Addams could have just continued with her work with the poor, but the beginning of World War I gave her a new purpose. Staunchly opposed to the war, she formed the Women's Peace Party and came up with a twenty resolution plan to end the war. Derided as a silly woman who didn't understand such things, Addams was undaunted. She spoke out against the war, wrote letters, and even traveled to war-torn countries to help the children there. All of these activities damaged her reputation, but she didn't let it stop her from continuing to help people in need.
The afterword gives a more in depth explanation of Addam's activities, and mentions that despite the public censure, she was the first woman to win a Nobel Peace Prize. There is also a timeline that includes not only Addams' activities, but a timeline of world events as well.
Dangerous Jane is a timely tale of a woman who saw a social need and filled it, even to the detriment of her own social standing. Addams is a great example to use to show young readers that everyone is able to make a difference and can make the world a better place. Add this to a collection of women's stories including the fictional Cooney's Miss Rumphius, as well as
Krull's Louisa May's Battle and biographies of more recent groundbreakers such as Krull's
No Truth Without Ruth: The Life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Levy's I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark.