Tag Archives: unsung heroes

Rad Women Worldwide

Written by: Kate Schatz

Illustrated by: Miriam Klein Stahl

For Ages: 8-16 years

Language: English

Topics Covered: Global Community, Activism, Trailblazers, Women in STEM, Artists.

Summary: This book is much like it’s counterpart but on a global and more in-depth scale.  Women from every continent are featured, spanning thousands of years throughout history.  Ancient Mesopotamia to modern day, some of these rad women featured: Maria Montessori, Frida Kahlo, Grace O’Malley, Nanny of the Maroons, Bastardilla, and the ENIAC Programmers among many others.  The graphic illustrations of Rad American Women remain, but the biographies have much more heft.  Amazing figures like Sophie Scholl, Poly Styrene, Buffy Sainte-Marie, and Wangari Maathai share pages with more well-known historical figures like Josephine Baker and the Williams sisters.  If the pint-sized rebel in your life enjoyed Rad American Women A-Z, they definitely need to get down to business with this one!

Reflection Questions:

  • Who is the rad woman from where your family lives currently or used to live?
  • Which ones of these people is your favorite?  Why?
  • What activist work speaks to you the most, out of all the women?  Why do you think?
  • How do you improve your community already, and how could to improve it more?

Continuing the Conversation:

  • Pick a country featured in the book.  What other activists and artists live there as well?  What kind of work do they do, is it the same as the rad woman we read about?
  • Think about what good you could do for your community now.  Can you do it by yourself, or do you need help?  Many hands make light work, so a long-term community service project as a class or scout troop could be a fun a positive way to start a new school or calendar year!

About the Author & the Illustrator

kate-schatz-webKate Schatz (pronounced ‘Shots’) is the New York Times-bestselling author of Rad American Women A-Z and Rad Women Worldwide, as well as My Rad Life: A Journal and Rid of Me: A Story. She is the co-founder of Solidarity Sundays, a nationwide network of feminist activist groups. She’s a writer, organizer, public speaker, educator, and left-handed vegetarian Bay Area-born-and-bred feminist activist mama.

 

 

 

miriam-klein-stahlMiriam Klein Stahl is a Bay Area artist, educator and activist and the New York Times-bestselling illustrator of Rad American Women A-Z and Rad Women Worldwide . In addition to her work in printmaking, drawing, sculpture, paper-cut and public art, she is also the co-founder of the Arts and Humanities Academy at Berkeley High School where she’s taught since 1995. As an artist, she follows in a tradition of making socially relevant work, creating portraits of political activists, misfits, radicals and radical movements. As an educator, she has dedicated her teaching practice to address equity through the lens of the arts. Her work has been widely exhibited and reproduced internationally. Stahl is also the co-owner of Pave the Way Skateboards, a queer skateboarding company formed with Los Angeles-based comedian, actor, writer and skateboarder Tara Jepson. She lives in Berkeley, California with her wife, artist Lena Wolff, daughter Hazel, and their dog Lenny.

Rad American Women A-Z

Written by: Kate Schatz

Illustrated by: Miriam Klein Stahl

For Ages: 8-16 years

Language: English

Topics Covered: Activism, Strong Women, Trailblazers, Musicians, Artists,

Summary: This book goes through the alphabet, each letter representing a famous woman. Jovita Idar, Odetta Holmes, Carol Burnett, and Wilma Mankiller are some of the famous figures written about. Each page has a brief description of her achievements followed by several biographical paragraphs of more detailed information. Illustrations are black and white graphics against a brightly colored background, with names stamped above. Having this introductory conversation about so many strong and revolutionary women can introduce young readers to a variety of new worlds and new access points to activism. Perfect for a quick story or an introduction to a longer unit on any of the topics covered in the book: activism, neurodiversity, music, or comedy. The book leans heavily on activist leaders and could be considered a primer for the aspiring young trailblazer.

Reflection Questions:

  • Which one of these women is doing something you would like to do?
  • Who would you like to learn more about?
  • Which person that we read about is your favorite?

Continuing the Conversation:

  • Pick one of the rad women featured and learn more about her accomplishments.  How can you follow in her footsteps and help make the world a better place?
  • Find a rad woman in your own community!  What has she done for your area, and could she come visit the class and talk about what she does everyday?

About the Author & the Illustrator

kate-schatz-webKate Schatz (pronounced ‘Shots’) is the New York Times-bestselling author of Rad American Women A-Z and Rad Women Worldwide, as well as My Rad Life: A Journal and Rid of Me: A Story. She is the co-founder of Solidarity Sundays, a nationwide network of feminist activist groups. She’s a writer, organizer, public speaker, educator, and left-handed vegetarian Bay Area-born-and-bred feminist activist mama.

 

 

 

miriam-klein-stahlMiriam Klein Stahl is a Bay Area artist, educator and activist and the New York Times-bestselling illustrator of Rad American Women A-Z and Rad Women Worldwide . In addition to her work in printmaking, drawing, sculpture, paper-cut and public art, she is also the co-founder of the Arts and Humanities Academy at Berkeley High School where she’s taught since 1995. As an artist, she follows in a tradition of making socially relevant work, creating portraits of political activists, misfits, radicals and radical movements. As an educator, she has dedicated her teaching practice to address equity through the lens of the arts. Her work has been widely exhibited and reproduced internationally. Stahl is also the co-owner of Pave the Way Skateboards, a queer skateboarding company formed with Los Angeles-based comedian, actor, writer and skateboarder Tara Jepson. She lives in Berkeley, California with her wife, artist Lena Wolff, daughter Hazel, and their dog Lenny.

Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World

Written and Illustrated by:: Pénélope Bagieu

For Ages: teens

Language: English

Topics Covered: Historical Figures, Trailblazers, Women in STEM, Activism.

Summary: This book is a graphic novel compilation of stories about strong women and historical figures. It is definitely written for teens and above. Some stories include plot lines with DV, death, civil war, and various sensitive topics. Nzinga, Las Mariposas, Lozen, Agnodice, Christine Jorgensen, and Naziq al-Abid are a few of the incredible stories told by Bagieu.  The illustrations are fantastic and the dialogue sassy.  A book that readers will want to return to again and again, as well as a fabulous jumping off point to research more in-depth about historical feminist figures.  The book fully embodies the rebel path, and it’s perfect to show young people that women don’t have to settle for anything less than what they want.

Reflection Questions:

  • Which one of these women inspired you the most?
  • What person in this book do you want to learn more about?
  • How can you be brave and follow your dreams like these women in the book?

Continuing the Conversation:

  • Learn more about your favorite story.  What else in their life have you learned about that wasn’t written about by Bagieu?
  • What strong person in your life could you write a comic strip about?  Draw a comic strip about the life of one of your heroes.

About the Author & Illustrator:

Penelope BagieuPenelope Bagieu graduated with a baccalauréat in Economic and Social, she spent a year at ESAT Paris. She studied animation at the National School of Decorative Arts in Paris. She then studied at Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, where she graduated in December 2006. Bagieu is in a rock band where she plays drums, and is a fan of nature shows.  Bagieu created a short animated film entitled No More Laughter. She has created illustrations for advertising campaigns, including for Marie frozen food, on television and on the internet.

 

A Lady Has the Floor

Written by: Kate Hannigan

Illustrated by: Allison Jay

For ages: 7-10 years

Language: English

Topics Covered: Historical Figures, Women’s Rights, Activism, Trailblazers, Women in Politics.

Summary: Belva was smart and wild, unafraid of everything.  When she was 14, she became the head teacher in the one-room schoolhouse in her hometown in New York.  On her first payday, Belva was appalled to find out she only made half the salary of the male teachers!  Against her father’s wishes, Belva enrolled in college and took classes that typically only men were allowed to take.  Science, math, politics, Belva took them all and excelled!  In 1857, she graduated with honors.  Belva began teaching again, all around New York.  Everywhere she went, girls were not allowed to do all sorts of things like speak in front of the school or play sports.  Belva started all-girls physical activity classes where she taught, demanding equality for her students.  Wanting more, Belva moved to Washington DC and applied to law school.  After finally finding one that would accept women, she found that they still wouldn’t let female students attend lectures or study with the men.  Even during graduation, the men refused to sit next to them! When the school refused to give her a diploma, she wrote to Ulysses S Grant and demanded she receive one.  Belva became an attorney and began to help freed slaves, veterans, and widows.  Unfortunately, some courts would not allow women lawyers so Belva protested at the Supreme Court for equal rights.  It took her five years, but Belva won!  She also became the first woman to ride a bicycle in Washington DC, and fought for women’s suffrage.  Belva and her friend Marietta even decided to run in a presidential election!  She could not vote, but she could be voted for.  In the end, she received over 4,000 votes, but it was not enough to beat Grover Cleveland.  Belva worked tirelessly to help those marginalized communities in our nation and should be remembered as the strong activist she was.

In the back of the book, there is an Author’s Note, timeline of events in Belva’s life, and bibliography.  Especially in a time when women of color and freed slaves were not viewed as human, Belva’s determination to help these populations is refreshing.  This is a great book for a young elementary student learning about government as well as women’s suffrage.  Belva Lockwood is a great role model for young women, aspiring lawyers, or activists!

Reflection Questions:

  • What do you think would be the hardest achievement that Belva managed?
  • How would you like to help people like Belva did?
  • Do you think you would like to run for president some day?
  • How do you think Belva felt when she lost the presidential race?

Continuing the Conversation:

  • Learn about how to run for office.  What do you have to be good at, and work for?  What are some of the responsibilities once elected?  How is holding a government office helpful for the communities you wish to help?
  • Find a lawyer to visit your classroom.  What are some things they do everyday?  Have they heard of Belva Lockwood? Why did they decide to become a lawyer, and what do they do to help people?

About the Author & the Illustrator:

img_0668Kate Hannigan is the author of the Cupcake Cousins series. She is a former journalist and lives in Chicago with her family!

 

 

 

 

 

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Alison Jay is well known for her children’s books, including ABC: A Child’s First Alphabet, Picture This . . . , and Welcome to the Zoo. Her book William and the Night Train was nominated for the Kate Greenaway Medal and won the Transworld Children’s Book Award.

I Am Not A Number

Written by: Jenny Kay Depuis and Kathy Kacer

Illustrated by: Gillian Newland

For Ages: 7-11 years

Language: English, some Ojibway.

Topics Covered: Indigenous People, First Nations, Historical Figures, Residential Schools, Culture, Community.

Summary: This book is an emotional look into the story of Irene Couchie Dupuis and her forced residential schooling during her childhood.  Irene’s father was the chief of their First Nation community, yet Irene and several of her siblings are forced to attend a year of school away from home.  Irene’s mother tells her to never forget who she is, or anything about the life she had known before the residential school.  At the school, Irene and the other children are subjected to harsh rules and unkind nuns hellbent on erasing their culture. Their hair is cut, and their names are replaced with numbers.  Irene is burned after using her native Ojibway language, and after nearly a year with no familial contact the students are released for a summer at home.  Back at home, Irene tells her family what living in the residential school is like and her parents are outraged.  The Couchie family comes up with a plan to hide the children after the summer is over, horrified at the prospect of another year enduring more abuse at the hands of the nuns.  Irene is outside their home hanging laundry one day when the government agent that took them away the first time is seen walking up the road towards their home.  Irene and her two brothers run to their planned hiding place, shaking and afraid.  Their father tells the agent he sent his children to stay with family, and the agent can do whatever he wants to him but he will NEVER let the agent take away his children.  After what seems like an eternity to Irene, the agent leaves.  The children are safe.

Reflection Questions:

  • How do you think Irene feels when she is not allowed to use her own name?
  • How would you feel if you were Irene, and your father stood up to someone like that?
  • Have you heard any stories from your older family members about things that happened in their childhood that doesn’t really happen now?

Continuing the Conversation:

  • Learn more about historical figures in your area.  What local impact have they made in your community, and why are they a role model for younger generations?
  • Speak with older family members about their lives when they were younger.  Write an autobiography for them, and look at old photos!  What is the same as your life now, and what is different?  Would your family members change anything?

About the Author & the Illustrator:

jenny-kay-dupuis-profile-picDr. Jenny Kay Dupuis was born in Northern Ontario and is a proud member of Nipissing First Nation. She is an educator, author, artist, and keynote speaker with over 15 years’ success advancing innovative programs, strategies and research initiatives across Canada focusing on topics pertaining to Indigenous issues, leadership and diversity, inclusion, and the importance of relationship building today. Jenny’s interest in her family’s past and her commitment to teaching about truth and Indigenous realties through literature and the arts drew her to to co-write I Am Not a Number, her first children’s picture book about her granny’s experience at a residential school. Since its release in September 2016, the book has been on CBC Books bestsellers list for 35 weeks. The book was also one of the finalists for the 2017 Canadian Children’s Book Centre Awards, which celebrates the best writing for young readers. I Am Not a Number is up for a several other awards this coming year.

kathy kacerKathy Kacer was born in Toronto and has lived there her whole life. She has a Masters degree in psychology and worked with troubled teenagers and their families for many years. But she always dreamed of becoming a children’s author. She stopped working full time in 1998 to pursue this dream. Her first book, The Secret of Gabi’s Dresser, is based on a true story about her mother whose name was Gabi. She has gone on to write many more books about real people living through the Holocaust. A winner of the Silver Birch, Red Maple, Hackmatack and Jewish Book Awards, and a finalist for the Geoffrey Bilson and Norma Fleck Awards, she has written many unforgettable stories inspired by real events. Her books have also been published in many countries including Germany, China, Slovenia, Thailand, England, Japan, and Belgium. Her novels are stories of hope, courage, and humanity in the face of overwhelming adversity.

Gillian-Newland-137x300

 

Gillian Newland is an artist. She works mostly in watercolour, ink and pencils.

Young, Gifted and Black

Written by: Jamia Wilson

Illustrated by: Andrea Pippins

For Ages: 8-12 years

Language: English

Topics Covered: POC-Centric Narratives, Historical Figures, Courage, Community, Representation.

Summary: This bright, colorful, and celebratory book enthusiastically describes the achievements of 52 black heroes.  The biographies of these figures like Kofi Annan, Simone Biles, and Jean-Michel Basquiat are concisely written one per page and have a colorful illustration of the individual.  Background space is filled with abstract illustrations, implying movement that the figures could almost run off of the page.  There is also a quote on each page by the person, along with birth information such as dates and location.  These short stories about heroes Malorie Blackman, Pelé, Steve McQueen, and Zadie Smith introduce young readers to a variety of historical figures, trailblazers, and activists to spark interest and ignite passion.  Perfect for bedtime stories or transition activities, this is an incredibly worthwhile book for any individual.

Reflection Questions:

  • Have you heard of any of these people before?  Who, and why do you remember them?
  • Which one of these people do something you would like to do?
  • Which one of these people would you like to be a role model for you?

Continuing the Conversation:

  • Choose one of these people whose stories speak to you, and research them further.  What challenges did they overcome, and how did they become someone that is heroic?  How can you be a hero to the people around you?
  • Listen to the song that inspired this title: “To Be Young, Gifted and Black” is a song by Nina Simone.  Why do you think the author chose this title for the book?  Think of a song that speaks to you the way this song spoke to Jamia Wilson, and create a class playlist of inspiring music.

About the Author & the Illustrator:

jamiawilson
Photo by Aubrie Pick


Jamia Wilson
 is many things: An activist. A feminist. A storyteller. A mediamaker. But more than anything, she is a natural-born thought leader. As Executive Director and Publisher of Feminist Press at City University of New York, the former Women, Action, and the Media Executive Director, TED Prize Storyteller, and former Vice President of Programs at The Women’s Media Center, Jamia has been a powerful force in the social justice movement for nearly a decade. As a leading voice on feminist and women’s rights issues, her work and words have appeared in and on several outlets such as New York MagazineThe Today Show, and The Washington Post. She’s also a staff writer for Rookie and has contributed to several books such as Madonna and Me: Women Writers on the Queen of Pop, and I Still Believe Anita Hill. But what we’re most excited about is her own book that she’s currently writing about Beyonce and feminism. (Yes, really.) It’s no surprise she was named in Refinery29’s “17 Faces of the Future of Feminism.

andrea pippinsAndrea Pippins is an illustrator, designer, and author who has been featured in O: The Oprah Magazine, Family Circle, The Huffington Post, Bustle, and more. She has done work with brands such as Free People, Lincoln Center, and the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Andrea is the author of I Love My Hair, a coloring book featuring her illustrations celebrating various hairstyles and textures, and Becoming Me, for young women to color, doodle, and brainstorm their way to a creative life. Check out Andrea’s new book, Young, Gifted & Black, set to be released Spring 2018. Andrea produces artwork with a mission to create what she wants to see and a vision to empower women and girls of color and people in underserved communities with visual tools to own and tell their own stories.

 

Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World

Written and Illustrated by: Rachel Ignotofsky

For Ages: 4 and up

Language: English

Topics Covered: Science, Scientific discoveries, Unsung heroes

Summary: This book highlights little-known women in science throughout history. Each page features one of Ignotofsky’s fun illustrations with a single page summary of that scientist’s achievements. Written in an approachable way for young children, this book will both inspire and teach a future generation of scientists! Some strong women featured are: Annie Easley, Mae Jemison, Mamie Phipps Clark, and Grace Hopper.

Reflection Questions:

  • Do you like science? What sorts of topics would you like to know more about?
  • Which one of these scientists would you like to know more about?
  • Do you know anyone that’s a scientist? What have they told you about their job?

Continuing the Conversation:

  • Are any of these scientists from nearby your community? How can you learn more about their lives?
  • Do some science experiments of your own!
  • Have a scientist visit your classroom and talk about what it’s like to do research and experiment for their job.

About the Author & the Illustrator:

rachel ignotofskyRachel Ignotofsky is a New York Times Best Selling author and  illustrator, based in beautiful Los Angeles. She grew up in New Jersey on a healthy diet of cartoons and pudding. She graduated from Tyler School of Art’s Graphic Design in 2011. Now Rachel works for herself and spends all day and night drawing, writing and learning as much as she can. Rachel is a published author with 10 Speed Press and is always thinking up new ideas. Check out her books The Wondrous Workings of Planet Earth Women In Science and Women In Sports. Her work is inspired by history and science. She believes that illustration is a powerful tool that can make learning exciting.  She has a passion for taking dense information and making it fun and accessible. Rachel hopes to use her work to spread her message about scientific literacy and feminism.