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Votes for Women!: American Suffragists and the Battle for the Ballot
Contributor(s): Conkling, Winifred
ISBN: 1616207345     ISBN-13: 9781616207342
Publisher: Algonquin Books
    OUR PRICE: $17.96  
Product Type: Hardcover
Published: February 2018
Annotation: The story of the 19th Amendment and the nearly 80-year fight for voting rights for women discusses the politics and private challenges that inspired the achievements of such activists as Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Sojourner Truth. By the author of Passenger on the Pearl. Simultaneous eBook.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Women; Suffrage; United States; History; Juvenile literature.
Suffragists; United States; History; Juvenile literature.
Women's rights; United States; History; Juvenile literature.
Dewey: 324.6/230973
LCCN: bl2018003907
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 7-9, Age 12-14
Book type: Juvenile Non-Fiction
Physical Information: 9.00" H x 6.00" W x 1.00" (1.10 lbs) 312 pages
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Reviewed by Horn Book Magazine Reviews (Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2018 #2)
This is a fascinating account of the bumpy road to women's suffrage in the U.S., beginning in earnest with the Women's Rights Convention in 1848 and culminating with the ratifying of the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution in 1920. In addition to covering major events, roadblocks, and advances, Conkling's chronological narrative provides ample context for contemporary readers to fully appreciate the societal pressures nineteenth-century (white) women faced as they worked to organize and speak out for change at a time when "it was considered scandalous for women to speak in public." More than half the book focuses on the lives and work of social reformers and close friends Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. Stanton had to juggle her advocacy work with the demands of motherhood; Anthony, unmarried with fewer family commitments, had to earn a living while fighting for equality. Conkling pays particular attention to how the paths of abolitionists and suffragists crossed and diverged along the way. Before the Civil War, many staunchly anti-slavery women didn't support women's rights; later in the century, white suffragists often disagreed about inclusion of ?African American women. The book's coverage of the movement's "second wave of suffragists," who picked up the baton after Stanton's and Anthony's deaths, is more diffuse but no less compelling, with increasingly radical protests and fierce push-back. Well-chosen black-and-white archival reproductions and photographs ably support the text, which makes excellent use of primary sources, including excerpts from letters and writings to bring key personalities to life. An extensive bibliography, lists of websites and places to visit, and a timeline that spans Mary Wollstonecraft's birth in 1759 to Alice Paul's death in 1977 are appended. Index not seen. kitty flynn Copyright 2018 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2017 December #2)

This comprehensive history chronicles the almost-80-year battle for women's suffrage. Conkling (Radioactive!) effectively sketches the complex personalities of the women who fought for women's right to vote, beginning with Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony and including subsequent leaders Carrie Chapman Catt and the more radical Alice Paul. Throughout, the detailed narrative contextualizes the contributions of the many women (and men) involved, including how women's rights intersected with the abolition movement and the impacts of the Civil War and WWI. Sidebar biographies and historical photographs help bring figures in the movement to life. Throughout, Conkling skillfully presents the women in their own words, such as Sojourner Truth's famous speech advocating for women's rights regardless of race, and Anthony's rallying cry to the next generation, shortly before her death in 1906: "With such women consecrating their lives, failure is impossible!" From the first Women's Rights Convention in Seneca Falls in 1848 to the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920, this is a commanding and relevant account of sweeping, hard-won social reform and action. Ages 13–up. Agent: Sarah Davies, Greenhouse Literary. (Feb.)

Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2018 January)

Gr 6–10—The intense drama of the 72-year battle for women's suffrage springs vividly to life from the pages of this compulsively readable account. Expertly balancing the human interest focus on individual suffragists with critical contextual information, Conkling gives readers an overview of the movement in all its complexity from the origins of the Seneca Falls Convention of 1848 to the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920. Influential leaders such as Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Sojourner Truth, Victoria Claflin Woodhull, and Alice Paul are introduced as well-rounded human beings who each wrestled in their own ways with aligning their desire for women's suffrage with questions of morality and political strategy over abolition, temperance, and pacifism, among other issues. Covering a time period that included the Civil and First World Wars, not to mention a multitude of shifting alliances among suffragists themselves, could easily become dense or confusing; however, Conkling's character sketches and lucid explanations make the narrative easy to follow. She highlights the dual fight of racism and sexism that Black women faced and addresses the racism of white suffragists. Well-chosen black-and-white photographs enhance the text. A time line, annotated list of primary sources, bibliography, and index make this useful for research and reports, but the quality of the writing renders it appealing for leisure reading as well. VERDICT Timely and relevant, this is an essential purchase for all collections serving middle and high school students.—Laura Simeon, Open Window School, Bellevue, WA

Copyright 2017 School Library Journal.