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February 2019 Book of the Month | Here’s another inspiring, information-packed picture book in what’s becoming something of a series (see also Great Women Who Made History and Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World). It tells the stories of pioneering women who achieved amazing things, often in the face of prejudice or downright hostility from society. There are familiar names – Rosalind Franklin is included – plus lots that are lesser known, but just as fascinating: balloonist Sophie Blanchard for example, and Sarah Breedlove, beauty entrepreneur. Their stories are told through lively, engaging text and pictures, it’s a treat to read. Kate Pankhurst is something of a fantastically great woman herself, and there’s lots for all readers to marvel at and enjoy in this book.
An absolutely compelling, pyschological insight into the woman who created the much studied Gothic novel Frankenstein which will illuminate that study enormously and ensure a much deeper understanding. Mary Godwin’s own story is, of course, as dramatic and heartrending as her novel and Sharon Dogar brings her vividly to life. The reader is swept up by the romance of the young lovers, Mary and Shelley, but probably astonished at her youth; she was only 16 when they eloped, and genuinely shocked at their courage in defying society and conventional morality. Then outraged by the way she is treated by her father; a radical philosopher in writing only and certainly not in his actions and then very nearly overwhelmed by the tragedy that dogs her. But the strength of this beautifully written and cleverly constructed novel is the insight into the other players in this drama as well as into Mary’s emotional and mental turmoil. The clue is in the clever title – not Monster but Monsters and Mary’s frank understanding of her own monstrous behaviour, especially to stepsister Claire or Shelley’s wife Harriet, perfectly counterpoints the lack of self-awareness in Mr Godwin, Byron, Claire and Shelley himself. This left me desperate to re-read Frankenstein which surely shows this thoughtful novel can be a real gift to English teachers everywhere. - Joy Court
It’s impossible not to be inspired by this picture book and the great women featured in it: their stories are told across bright spreads, which are enticing to look at, and packed with information all presented in a way that will make readers excited about the remarkable achievements described. It’s a varied line up of subjects, including a scientist, a writer, an athlete, an explorer and fashion designer alongside civil rights campaigner and even secret agent! Each page explains what these pioneering women did, and shows that everyone has the potential to change the world – just follow your heart and don’t listen when people say you can’t do something!
This fascinating book tells the true stories of more than 100 inventive, positive young people who dreamed big and somehow changed the world for the better. It’s divided into seven sections: STEM, film and music, the environment, sports, business, art and literature, and politics. Some of those featured will already be well known to readers, for example, Mark Zuckerberg, Taylor Swift, Malala Yousafzai, but most of the others won’t be, yet all the stories are equally inspiring because they prove that with good ideas, determination and dedication, young people really can make a difference. Best of all it includes practical suggestions on how children can be heroes in their everyday lives. Full colour illustrations make it even more appealing and attractive.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month October 2018 | | Catherine Johnson celebrates a hero of Arctic discovery whose story had been forgotten for many years largely because of the colour of his skin in this exciting telling of an important true story. Matthew Henson’s life at home was so hard that at eleven years old he ran away to make a new life for himself in New York. Always attracted by the sea he finds himself drawn into the world of the seafarers who are determined to find a route to the North Pole. Matt joins an expedition and, through a combination of his hard work, his commitment and some lucky breaks he travels across the frozen wastes. His sensitive building of relationships with the Inuit community plays a strong part in his success and in his ultimate and extraordinary achievement: to be the first man to reach the North Pole.
August 2018 Book of the Month | Kate Pankhurst inspires thousands of young readers with her books about the fantastically great women who made history. This book reunites us with those women, including astronaut Valentina Tereshkova, dancer Josephine Baker, and code breaker Noor Inayat Khan – and encourages readers to think more about them while they complete some fun and creative write in activities. There are writing and drawing tasks, a set of postcards to send to the great people in your life, and the book concludes by asking how you will make history, inviting readers to make a list of their own hopes and dreams for the future. Bright stickers featuring Pankhurst’s lively drawings of her subjects make it even more appealing.
A brilliantly accessible, fantastically funny biography in the First Names series all about Emmeline Pankhurst. A strong and inspiring woman who led the suffragette movement which gave British women the vote one hundred years ago! Get to know Emmeline on FIRST NAME terms! First Names is a series of fun, lively and highly illustrated biographies that introduces some truly amazing individuals who lived incredible lives, to an audience of young readers. EMMELINE fought a tough battle to win the vote for British women and inspired others around the world to do the same - find out why she hated school, how she had to take lessons in stone throwing, what she thought when her daughter spat at a policeman and an awful lot more besides. Get to know Emmeline on FIRST NAME terms!
First Names is a series of fun, lively and highly illustrated biographies that introduces some truly amazing individuals who lived incredible lives, to an audience of young readers. And Elon Musk is definitely one to watch - he's a multi-billionaire, mega-brain entrepreneur who's building the world's biggest space rocket and some awesome electric cars too. And those are just a couple of Mr Musk's many projects. Find out what drove him to shovel gloop, how parties helped fund his college years and why he wants to move millions of people to Mars. Get to know Elon on first name terms!
One of our 2018 Books of the Year | Of all the books about the campaign for women’s suffrage in this the centenary year of some women being given the vote, David Roberts’s is the most beautiful to look at. In full page illustrations, vignettes and individual portraits, he brings the movement alive, portraying vividly the women and men involved, as well as the drama, frustration and endurance, violence and cruelty that were all part of the struggle. And though he’s best known for his illustrations, the text is as every bit as powerful as the pictures, meticulously and graphically detailing the words and the deeds that finally brought about change, and the roles of the many different people who played a part. The story he tells is one of the most inspiring of our times, still relevant today, and this book is a brilliant way to discover it.
1913. Mary and Christine have different views about Votes for Women , but that doesn't stop them from becoming penfriends. In their letters, the girls try to make sense of the suffragettes, from smashing windows to blowing up golf courses. Then Christine's cousin sneaks out one night, and the fight for the vote is on the girls' doorsteps.
With stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, this empowering series celebrates the important life stories of wonderful women of the world. From designers and artists to scientists, all of them went on to achieve incredible things, yet all of them began life as a little child with a dream. These books make the lives of these role models accessible for children, providing a powerful message to inspire the next generation of outstanding people who will change the world! Women in the Little People, Big Dreams series include:Ada LovelaceAgatha ChristieAmelia EarhartAudrey HepburnCoco ChanelElla FitzgeraldFrida KahloMarie CurieMaya AngelouRosa Parks We have a special category for the Little People, Big Dreams series. Click here to view them all.
The heady excitement of President Kennedy’s visit to Ireland in 1963 is brought vividly to life in this account by Ryan Tubridy and illustrator P J Lynch. Patrick and his parents are thrilled that ‘Himself’ is coming to their home town Wexford. ‘He’s like something from the movies!’ says Patrick’s mum while Patrick’s classmates can talk of nothing else. The class gets to sing for Kennedy as he lands at the airport, but there’s a further treat for Patrick: chosen to hand round cake at a tea party for the president, Patrick meets the great man and shakes his hand. The book perfectly pinpoints the enduring memories of a particular historical moment; while P J Lynch’s fine, beautifully composed illustrations, full of smiling faces, capture both the hope and emotion of a special day, and illuminate a whole period. ~ Andrea Reece