Elizabeth Leads the Way: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Right to Vote

Overview

Elizabeth Cady Stanton stood up and fought for what she believed in. From an early age, she knew that women were not given rights equal to men. But rather than accept her lesser status, Elizabeth went to college and later gathered other like-minded women to challenge the right to vote.Here is the inspiring story of an extraordinary woman who changed America forever because she wouldn't take "no" for an answer.

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Overview

Elizabeth Cady Stanton stood up and fought for what she believed in. From an early age, she knew that women were not given rights equal to men. But rather than accept her lesser status, Elizabeth went to college and later gathered other like-minded women to challenge the right to vote.Here is the inspiring story of an extraordinary woman who changed America forever because she wouldn't take "no" for an answer.

Elizabeth Leads the Way is a 2009 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

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Editorial Reviews

Mary Quattlebaum
This biography brims with upbeat energy as the spirited woman sets out to change the system—an energy amplified by Rebecca Gibbon's bright folk art-styled pictures.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly

Beginning with a direct address-"What would you do if someone told you.../ your voice doesn't matter/ because you are a girl?"-Stone (Amelia Earhart) fires up readers with a portrait of the 19th-century feminist Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Four-year-old Elizabeth takes umbrage when a visitor sees her baby sister and clucks, "What a pity it is she's a girl!" Later Elizabeth reads Greek and jumps horses, like contemporary boys, and continues to bristle at injustice. Readers will follow this strong-minded heroine into her adult years, her work as an abolitionist, and her historic role as an activist and visionary. While not a detailed biography or an overview of the women's suffrage movement, this inviting story nevertheless offers a good jumping-off point. The sometimes informational tone is animated and energized by Gibbon's (Players in Pigtails) plentiful vignettes and paintings, rendered in a vibrant folk-art style. Ages 6-10. (May)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Children's Literature
AGERANGE: Ages 6 to 12.

"Ah, you should have been a boy!" When Elizabeth Cady Stanton's father made this pronouncement about his "strong-spirited, rule-breaking daughter," he was truly worried about her. He knew that her life would have been easier if she had not been a girl. "But Elizabeth wasn't interested in easy." The issues of women's place in the world appalled Elizabeth Cady from the time she was a young girl and she determined that she could do "anything any boy could do." She went on to prove this conviction admirably: she insisted on an education, worked tirelessly for women's rights, and even ran for Congress in 1866 reasoning that even if she could not vote, men could vote for her. This detailed but accessible look at the courageous life of one of the first active champions of women's right to vote is perfect for introducing the history of the women's rights movement. Elizabeth Cady Stanton really sparked the movement with a daring speech at a gathering in Seneca Falls, NY, where she read aloud a Declaration of Right and Sentiments that challenged the Declaration of Independence's statement that "all men are created equal." The illustrations created by Gibbon are well matched to the character of Stanton and the text in their sparse, primitive look. The generous use of white space emphasizes the message of the text and supports the "no nonsense" attitude of the "Grand Old Woman of America" that Stanton came to be. The author's note fills out the factual history of this amazing woman and a list of sources is included. Stone succeeds in evoking the respect and admiration this remarkable woman truly deserved in her own time and still deserves in ours--without herI would not be able to vote. Reviewer: Sheilah Egan

School Library Journal

Gr 1-4- Stone looks at the life of Stanton from childhood to her emergence as a pioneering leader of women's rights. The "strong-spirited, rule-breaking" girl asserted her independence by embracing physical and academic challenges and by questioning traditional viewpoints. This comes through in energetic, lucid prose that focuses on Elizabeth's ideas and feelings rather than on specific events. By consistently sticking to the subject's own experiences, without detours into historical details or even any dates, the author introduces a historical figure whom readers can relate to as a person. Excellent gouache and colored pencil illustrations, rendered in a lighthearted folk-art style, provide rich background for the brief text. They establish the time period through visual details and capture Stanton's spirit and the attitudes of those she encounters without overstatement. The book culminates with the event that propelled the woman into the national spotlight: her presentation at a convention in Seneca Falls, NY, in 1848, of the Declaration of Right and Sentiments, which included a call for women's voting rights. "Elizabeth had tossed a stone in the water and the ripples grew wider and wider and wider." An author's note briefly covers Stanton's subsequent accomplishments. Through words and pictures that work together and an emphasis on ideas and personality rather than factoids, this well-conceived introduction is just right for a young audience.-Steven Engelfried, Multnomah County Library, OR

Kirkus Reviews
In lively prose well-matched by Gibbon's irrepressible images, Stone tells the story of suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton. The breezy narrative visits Elizabeth at key moments in her youth: when she wondered why a visitor expressed regret that her baby sister was a girl; when she learned a widow would lose the farm she had worked on her whole life because her husband died and women couldn't own property; when she begged to continue her education. She married the abolitionist Henry Stanton, but kept her name along with his. A meeting with Lucretia Mott and other strong, like-minded women led to a much larger gathering at Seneca Falls, N.Y. There began the long battle-the end of which Elizabeth did not live to see-to win the right to vote. Gibbon uses pattern and line on white backgrounds to set off her figures and exaggerated gestures and expressions to give them energy. A fine introduction for very young readers to the woman and her key role in American history. (author's note, sources) (Picture book/biography. 5-9)
From the Publisher
“This biography brims with upbeat energy as the spirited woman sets out to change the system—an energy amplified by Rebecca Gibbon's bright folk art-styled pictures.”—The Washington Post

“A short, incisive biography . . . the cameos of action, matched by full-page pictures, make the history accessible. A must for library shelves.”—Booklist, Starred Review

 

“[This book] fires up readers with a portrait of the 19th-century feminist Elizabeth Cady Stanton. . . . The sometimes informational tone is animated and energized by Gibbon’s plentiful vignettes and paintings, rendered in a vibrant folk-art style.”—Publishers Weekly

“Through words and pictures that work together and an emphasis on ideas and personality rather than factoids, this well-conceived introduction is just right for a young audience.”—School Library Journal

“In lively prose well-matched by Gibbon’s irrepressible images, Stone tells the story of suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton. . . . A fine introduction for very young readers to the woman and her key role in American history.”—Kirkus Reviews

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805079036
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
  • Publication date: 4/29/2008
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,520,159
  • Age range: 6 - 10 Years
  • Lexile: AD700L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.84 (w) x 11.23 (h) x 0.45 (d)

Meet the Author

TANYA LEE STONE has written several books for young readers, including the young adult novel A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl. She lives in Vermont.

REBECCA GIBBON is the illustrator of several picture books, including Players in Pigtails. She studied illustration at the Royal College of Art, and lives in England.

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Table of Contents

"Animated and energized." — Publishers Weekly

"This well-conceived introduction is just right for a young audience." — School Library Journal

"A fine introduction for very young readers to the woman and her key role in American History." — Kirkus

* "A must for library shelves." — Booklist, starred review

"Graceful tribute." — Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

1. Has anyone ever told you that you couldn't do something? How did you react?

2. How was life better for boys when Elizabeth was young? Do you think that is still true to today? Why or why not?

3. If a woman's husband died during this time period, what might be that woman's fate?

4. How did Elizabeth prove that she could do anything boys could do?

5. What does the author mean when she says, "Elizabeth wasn't interested in easy?" Are you interested in easy? Why or why not?

6. Compare Elizabeth's life to most other young women. Why did she decide to do things differently?

7. Why do you think Elizabeth liked Henry Stanton? What do you think is most important about becoming friends with someone else?

8. What did Elizabeth like about being married? What was not much fun?

9. What was the "one thing that could change everything?" How does Elizabeth work to make it come true?
10. Why do you think "word of the meeting spread like wildfire" across the country? Why was this so important to so many people? Why do you think so many were against the idea?

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 24, 2009

    Elizabeth DOES lead the way!

    A charming book on the life and times of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and her views on Women needing to count. Elizabeth paves the way for Woman's right to vote. It is a beginners read, very informative and well written. I highly recommend this book.

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