Introductions to 14 women activists, with an audio feature that allows readers to literally hear what they had to say.
The roster opens with Mary McLeod Bethune, speaking of bridges and “brotherhood” in 1955. It goes on to pay respects to a mix of eminent role models (all but three still living), from Maya Angelou and Jane Goodall to Nobel Peace Prize winners Leymah Gbowee and Malala Yousafzai, disabled veteran and recently elected senator Tammy Duckworth, and Native rights activist Suzan Shown Harjo, a founding “director” (actually, trustee) of the National Museum of the American Indian. Each single-spread entry includes a career overview, a stylized but recognizable full-page painted portrait, provocative questions addressed to readers (“What skill do you have that you could teach the people around you?” “Do you think you have an obligation to help those who need it?”), and a transcription of the accompanying sound clip. The last is helpful, as the clips, which are taken from speeches or interviews, run from around 15 to 30 seconds each, and are keyed from a side-mounted touch pad, vary in clarity. The words are all inspirational, and so are the stories. Better still, as examples for budding activists, along with the predictable recitations of jobs, honors, and successes, the overviews often acknowledge failures, cannily characterizing them as first steps or as means to some greater end.
A chorus of voices for justice and change, diverse alike of identity and cause. (further reading) (Novelty/biography. 8-12)
The creators offer an appealing package with the book’s puffy cover, interactive features, and Honesta’s vibrant portraiture... The selected women represent only a tiny fraction of outspoken women from history, but the authors’ selections are sound and serve as an invitation to readers to discover more.