Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyThese two books mark the debut of the Once Upon America series, presenting segments of American history to middle readers through the eyes of a young person of the time. A Long Way to Go takes place during the tumultuous days of women's suffrage: Lila, eight, sees the conflict in her own family as her grandmother, a fervent supporter of the vote for women, clashes with Lila's traditionalist father. Gradually drawn into the debate, Lila manages to convince her father of the injustice of inequality and is allowed to march in a suffragist parade. In Hero Over Here the scene shifts to the deadly flu epidemic of 1918. Feeling left out because his father and older brother are off fighting the war, Theodore is soon faced with a battle of his own when his mother and sister come down with the illness and he must nurse them by himself. In a propitious beginning to the series, both stories breathe color and life into subjects all too often relegated to an uninteresting unit in a social studies curriculum. Pictures not seen by PW. Ages 7-11. (May)
School Library JournalA wealthy New York City household is disrupted when 10-year-old Lila's very proper grandmother is arrested for picketing the White House for women's suffrage. The year is 1917, the U. S. is at war, and the general feeling is that President Wilson has enough on his mind without the rantings of these outspoken society women. Lila empathizes with their plight not only because of her grandmother's involvement but because she is constantly frustrated by all the things she's forbidden to do. A series of events causes her to challenge her father's conservative views and he re-evaluates his stance, allowing Lila to join her grandmother in a pro-suffrage parade. Amplified by Dooling's fine, full-page pencil drawings, Lila is portrayed as a likable, spirited heroine. However, she is a child of privilege who has nothing to lose by her actions. She romanticizes the freedoms of the poorer children she meets when in effect they are helping to support their family. For all her liberal ideals, there is little real sense of a struggle, which detracts from an otherwise well-told slice of American history. Oneal adds a brief overview of the 70-year campaign to win women the right to vote at the story's end. --Luann Toth , School Library Journal
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A Long Way to Go based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
This was a great book to read. It was fun also. It really shows how girls are no different than boys.