Troublemakers in Trousers: Women and What They Wore to Get Things Done

Troublemakers in Trousers: Women and What They Wore to Get Things Done
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Age Range
Release Date
October 25, 2022
Buy This Book
Meet twenty-one women throughout history who broke fashion and norms to do something groundbreaking in this unique middle-grade collection that celebrates trailblazers and troublemakers.

Girls and women have historically been denied access to work, been blocked from the arts, refused the opportunity to lead and fight, and much more, simply because of their gender. From Hatshepsut to Joan of Arc to Frida Kahlo, Troublemakers in Trousers highlights twenty-one women who, for different reasons, wore men’s clothing, pretended to be men, and broke the rules in order to do something they wanted—or needed—to do.
The perfect modern-day introduction to women throughout history who broke boundaries and pushed the limits set by society.

Editor review

1 review
Living life walking backweards in high heels
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
Learning Value
This fantastic collective biography discusses a wide range of women who lived lives that were just outside of the gender norms of the time. I think it's hard for people under the age of fifty to realize how prevalent skirts for women were until quite recently; certainly, when I started teaching in the late 1980s, most professional women wore skirts. My grandmothers, born in the 1890s, never wore slacks. Starting with an overview of traditional gender norms and a discussion of how these have changed in just the last few years, Albee (who previously discussed fashion in her 2015 Why'd They Wear That?: Fashion as the Mirror of History) introduces us to women who needed to cast aside skirts in order to get things DONE.
Good Points
I appreciated that this presented the women in chronological order, and there was just enough information on each one to whet the appetite for further research (8-10 pages). While there were some people with whom readers might be familiar (Harriet Tubman, Frida Kahlo, Amelia Bloomer), there were others like Lakshmibai, Rosa Bonheur, Vesta Tilley, and Lillian Bland that might not be. Since many of the women lived before photography, the illustrations are a nice touch to make the entries more uniform. The most interesting one was Maya Angelou and her time as a streetcar conductor in San Francisco. This book embraces the current thoughts about gender, colonialism, and marginalized people and makes a great effort to be inclusive.
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