VOYA - Beth E. AndersenForty-eight women of great accomplishment are highlighted in this eight-volume series, Female Firsts in Their Fields, highly recommended for school and public libraries. From the superstars in their fields--Oprah Winfrey (Business and Industry), Diane Sawyer (Broadcast and Journalism)--to the less well-known but equally influential Elizabeth Blackwell (Science and Medicine), and Phillis Wheatley (Literature)--the women featured are all considered ahead of their time. Each entry includes background details that often portray a childhood of great difficulty balanced by at least one parent fiercely determined that his or her daughter would rise above the dire circumstances and make something of herself. The achievements of these pioneering women came after years of struggle and a single-minded focus to attain their lifelong goals. In Business and Industry, Madam C. J. Walker, born of former slaves, became the first female (black or white) millionaire. Elizabeth Blackwell (Science and Medicine) encountered relentless resistance to her wish to attend medical school. Antonia Novello, haunted by memories of her own frightening childhood illness, eventually became the first female surgeon general of the United States. In Government and Politics, readers learn about Barbara Jordan's thunderous oratory powers, and about today's newsmaker, Madeleine Albright, who has early roots in the very country with whom NATO is now unofficially at war. This attractive series, replete with appealing photographs, is the perfect tool for introducing students to a broad field of noteworthy champions. Other titles include Sports and Athletics, Air and Space, Government and Politics, and Entertainment and Performing Arts. Note: This review was written and published to address Government and Politics, Science and Medicine, and Business and Industry. Index. Photos. Further Reading. Chronology. VOYA Codes: 4Q 4P M J (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9).
School Library JournalGr 5-8-These books introduce readers to six influential women in their fields. De Angelis profiles Elizabeth Blackwell, Clara Barton, Marie Curie, Margaret Mead, Rachel Carson, and Antonia Novello. Lutz discusses the early lives and careers of Madam C. J. Walker, Katharine Graham, Mary Kay Ash, Martha Stewart, Oprah Winfrey, and Sherry Lansing. Plentiful black-and-white photographs enhance the presentations. However, while competently written, the books fail to capture a sense of excitement or triumph in these women's achievements. There is just enough information here to start a report or to spark students' interest in seeking out longer treatments.-Rebecca O'Connell, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, PA Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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