Sunday, November 19, 2017

Fall Reading 2017 A Lady Has the Floor: Belva Lockwood Speaks out for Women's Rights


If you are looking for nonfiction read-alouds to introduce events and historical figures to young readers, add this book to your collection. Belva Lockwood was a determined woman and fought for parity and justice all her life. Whether is was the unfairness of female teachers receiving half the pay of male teachers, girls and women being denied entry to law school, or female lawyers being unable to argue cases in court, Belva was convinced that things needed to change. 

Kate Hannigan has written an account of Belva's life that highlights the battles she fought for equality. Sprinkled throughout the book are quotes from Belva's letters and speeches so that her authentic voice comes through. Alison Jay's crackle finish artwork fits so well with the text that is is hard to imagine anyone else doing the illustrations. The folk art style captures the setting of Belva's struggles in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. 

There are pages devoted to her days as a teacher in a one-room schoolhouse, her work with Susan B. Anthony, and her appeal to President Grant to receive her law school diploma. Illustrations show the fashions of the times, early bicycles with their enormous front wheels, the backless benches used in school rooms, and other period details.

Back matter includes an archival photo of Belva, an author's note, a timeline, bibliography, and source notes. This is a wonderful book to use when studying the suffrage movement, Women's History Month, or American historical figures in general.

I received an advance copy from the publisher for review purposes.

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