Dear Book Lovers, Welcome! I am delighted that you have found The Through the Looking Glass blog. For over twenty years I reviewed children's literature titles for my online journal, which came out six times a year. Every book review written for that publication can be found on the Through the Looking Glass website (the link is below). I am now moving in a different direction, though the columns that I write are still book-centric. Instead of writing reviews, I'm offering you columns on topics that have been inspired by wonderful books that I have read. I tell you about the books in question, and describe how they have have impacted me. This may sound peculiar to some of you, but the books that I tend to choose are ones that resonate with me on some level. Therefore, when I read the last page and close the covers, I am not quite the same person that I was when first I started reading the book. The shift in my perspective might be miniscule, but it is still there. The books I am looking are both about adult and children's titles. Some of the children's titles will appeal to adults, while others will not. Some of the adult titles will appeal to younger readers, particularly those who are eager to expand their horizons.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Books of Hope: She persisted: 13 Women who changed the world

Sometimes, when our dreams seem hopelessly out of reach, the best thing to do is to listen to stories about people who have kept on trying, kept on dreaming. Hearing about their triumphs over adversity helps us to keep the faith.

Over the centuries many groups of people have found it particularly hard to pursue their dreams because people have stood in their way and have prevented them from moving forward towards their goals. One of these groups has been women, who have been told that they are lesser people because of their gender. Thankfully, some women refused to give in or give up. They persisted!

Today's Book of Hope offers us inspiring stories about women who would not accept the words of doubters and naysayers.

She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the WorldShe persisted: 13 Women who changed the world
Chelsea Clinton
Illustrated by Alexandra Boiger
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 6 to 8
Penguin, 2017, 978-1-5247-4172-3
For centuries society has told women that they could not get an education, could not work outside the home, could not own property, could not drive a car, could not do the same jobs as men, could not vote. They have faced a wall of could nots and should nots. And yet they have persisted and did those things that mattered to them most, in spite of it all.
   In this book readers will meet thirteen women who refused to toe the line; who refused to accept that they were lesser people because they were born female. The first woman we meet is Harriet Tubman, who escaped from a life of slavery and who then chose to be a conductor on the Underground Railroad. Every time she helped someone escape to freedom Harriet risked her own freedom, and every person she assisted “arrived safely.”
   Nellie Bly was a reporter, and in part she took on the challenge of reporting the news because a male writer said that working women were “a monstrosity.” These words made Nellie want to prove that women could do anything that they wanted to. She set about exposing shocking stories to help others. For one story she pretended to be a patient in a mental hospital so that she could tell the world about the horrific way the patients were treated.
   Oprah Winfrey’s grandmother expected that her granddaughter would follow in her footsteps and become a maid. Being both female and African American meant that very few doors were open for Oprah to step through. Oprah refused to be locked into a life that she did not want, and through hard work and determination she became “a media superstar.”
   For each of the thirteen women featured in this book readers will read a little about their life, and they will find a quote that beautifully captures each woman’s fighting spirit. Throughout the book evocative pieces of artwork accompany the text to give readers an altogether memorable reading experience.

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