25 Feb / Amelia to Zora: Twenty-Six Women Who Changed the World by Cynthia Chin-Lee, illustrated by Megan Halsey and Sean Addy
The girl power companion to Akira to Zoltán: Twenty-Six Men Who Changed the World celebrates the accomplishments of 26 admirable, brave, cheeky women from all over the world who refused to ever take ‘no’ for an answer and made their own herstory along the way!
Just in time for the latest Olympics, check out “B is for Babe,” as in “Babe” Mildred Didrikson Zaharias, who “won more medals and set more records than any athlete of her time, man or woman,” so much so that she was only allowed to participate in three events during the 1932 Olympics. Not only did the judges fear her prowess, but they denied her her third gold medal – in the high jump because they didn’t like her headfirst hurling technique, which has since become standard practice!
While we all remember the “Yes, we can!” motto of Obama’s winning campaign, we must give credit where credit is due: “D is for Dolores,” as in Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the United Farm Workers (UFW), who had her rallying cry decades ago with “Si, se puede!” … Yes, we can, en Español!
“G is for Grace,” as in Grace Hopper, who was anything but a Luddite, who helped make the UNIVAC computer, co-created the computer language COBOL, and popularized the term “computer bug.” If she were still around, certainly, she’d be doing some major virtual exterminating!
“K is for Kristi,” as in Yamaguchi, whose winning skates and skating dress reside at the Smithsonian. “N is for Nawal,” as in the multi-inspirational Nawal El-Sadaawi who is doctor, writer, and women’s right fighter. “P is for Patricia,” as in Schroeder, who served 12 terms as a Congresswoman. “R is for Rachel” as in Carson who blew the whistle on the dangers of pesticides, a prescient environmentalist before her time. “S is fo Suu Kyi” as in the imprisoned, democracy-seeking Daw Aung San Suu Kyi who won the Nobel Peace Prize for her dedication to her troubled country of Burma.
“V is for Vijaya,” as in Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit, a courageous fire fighter, diplomat, and first woman president of the United Nations, who said, “The more we sweat in peace, the less we bleed in war.” Could we have a more appropriate 21st-century world motto? “Y is for Yoshiko,” as in Uchida, who spent her young girlhood in a U.S. prison camp during World War II just for looking like the enemy and went on write more than 25 books about her Japanese American experience.
At book’s end, Cynthia Chin-Lee provides a detailed bibliography for further reading about any of her 26 subjects, and notes her own love of biographies which she explored on the shelves of Murch Elementary School right here in Washington, DC! [She currently lives in Palo Alto, California.] She also adds an incredibly thoughtful note about names: “I chose given names, rather than family names, for each woman … Family names are usually based on a father’s or husband’s name. Using a woman’s name seemed more personal to me.” She further explains, “I followed this strategy with Asian names, in which the given name comes after the family name. … For Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, ‘S is for Suu Kyi.’ In Burmese, Daw is an honorary title, meaning aunt, Aung San is the family name and Suu Kyi is the given name.”
In every way, every woman is each her own here.
Readers: Children, Middle Grade