Founding Mothers: Remembering the Ladies

Founding Mothers: Remembering the Ladies

4.5 2
by Cokie Roberts, Diane Goode
     
 

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While much has been written about the men who founded our nation, this history includes only part of the story. Though they may not have signed the Constitution, written the Declaration of Independence, or fought in battles, the wives, mothers, sisters, and daughters behind the scenes of the Revolution contributed to their country's birth as significantly as

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Overview

While much has been written about the men who founded our nation, this history includes only part of the story. Though they may not have signed the Constitution, written the Declaration of Independence, or fought in battles, the wives, mothers, sisters, and daughters behind the scenes of the Revolution contributed to their country's birth as significantly as the men in the spotlight.

New York Times bestselling author Cokie Roberts presents the contributions of these patriots, the women who fought the Revolution as courageously and heroically as the men, often defending the doors of their very homes. The stories of these founding mothers are found in their personal correspondence, private journals, ledgers, and lists. Roberts reveals the surprising tales of fascinating women such as Abigail Adams, Mercy Otis Warren, Deborah Read Franklin, Eliza Lucas Pinckney, Catharine Littlefield Green, Esther DeBerdt Reed, and Martha Washington. The extraordinary triumphs of these women created a shared bond that urged the founding fathers to "Remember the Ladies."

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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times - Sarah Harrison Smith
…Roberts's style and tone is warm and casual, bringing a feeling of immediacy to distant 18th-century lives…Goode's illustrations, in of-the-era pen and ink, help define the spirit of the women whose lives Roberts sketches. With their determined, amused glances and double chins, they look well prepared for the task of nation-building…Roberts certainly succeeds in providing an accessible and very attractive introduction to the entrepreneurial, resolute, daring and brave ladies of the Revolution, whom George Washington attested were "in the number of the best patriots America can boast."
Publishers Weekly
11/18/2013
They wrote letters and literature, kept the home fires burning, ran the family farm, rallied support for the troops, and even fought alongside them. The women of the American Revolution get sprightly, affectionate tributes from Roberts, who covered this material for adults in 2004’s Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation. Goode (the Louise the Big Cheese books) contributes quill-drawn portraits and historical vignettes, beautifully rendered in sepia tones and delicate watercolor washes reminiscent of images from journals and letters of the era. Together they celebrate the already beloved (Dolley Madison, Phillis Wheatley, and Deborah Sampson, who fought disguised as a man) and redeem a few figures from stereotype (who knew Martha Washington was such a dynamo?). Roberts’s disciplined concision—the major profiles run just five or six paragraphs, along with a smattering of single-paragraph nuggets—means that some stories feel rushed or missing a narrative arc. But readers will close the book confident that Abigail Adams herself would feel that these ladies are well remembered. Ages 7–12. Author’s agent: Robert Barnett, Williams & Connolly. Illustrator’s agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Feb.)
School Library Journal
01/01/2014
Gr 3–6—Most children know that the "Founding Fathers" are the men who helped the 13 colonies develop into the United States. What about the women of the time period? While some of them, such as Martha Washington, Dolley Madison, and Deborah Read Franklin, are famous because of their husbands, Roberts goes deeper into the historical record to find individuals who were quite accomplished in their own right. In addition, many less-well-known women aided the war effort, ran businesses, wrote, spoke, and generally contributed a great deal to the development of the nation. The book begins with a time line of women in history from 1765 to 1815, followed by double-page chapers that detail individual women, including First Ladies Washington, Madison, and Abigail Adams, as well as others such as Sarah Livingston Jay and Catharine Littlefield Greene. A formal portrait and lovingly re-created signature are accompanied by a more humorous illustration of each figure. In addition, sections about writers and warriors highlight other significant accomplishments. Grammarians may not appreciate the author's colloquial style, but the conversational tone is appealing. Beautifully intricate illustrations, rendered with antique pens, sepia ink, and watercolors, suit the text well. Thoughtful design, well-chosen facts, and an approachable format combine to make a book readers will enjoy and appreciate.—Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2013-11-13
ABC and NPR correspondent Roberts and Caldecott Honoree Goode forge an attractive and compelling version for young people of Roberts' adult book of the same title. Goode's illustrations are often breathtaking. On the endpapers, she has reproduced in sepia tones with antique pens some of the source documents that allow readers to know these women. Roberts' lively text is illuminated with flourishes and curlicues along with winsome or whimsical portraits in what looks like ink and watercolor. Some women get two-page illustrated spreads, like Esther DeBerdt Reed, who wrote one of the endpaper pieces and who raised thousands of dollars for Washington's troops. They bought linen for 2,000 shirts for the soldiers, and into each was sewn the name of the woman who made it. There are briefer vignettes on women writers and women warriors, as well as an illustrated timeline from 1765 to 1815. Abigail Adams, Dolley Madison and Martha Washington are included of course, and there's also Mercy Otis Warren, who wrote letters and poems championing the cause of freedom, and Eliza Lucas Pinckney, whose "little schemes" included raising silkworms and cultivating indigo as a cash crop. Roberts' "Letter of Introduction" sets the stage, and the acknowledgments from writer and illustrator tell a compelling story of research and support. It is a wonderful package, adding the women who made it work to the men we thought we all knew. (websites) (Nonfiction. 8-12)

ALA Booklist
An engaging and educational historical reference.
Children's Literature - Sharon Salluzzo
Drawing upon the research from her book for adults, Founding Mothers (2004), Roberts presents two-page spreads on ten women who were wives, mothers, sisters, and daughters during the time of the American Revolution. These women were actively engaged in helping win the war against England in a variety of ways. Martha Washington spent her winters in the army camps and she volunteered to be inoculated against smallpox to set an example for the soldiers. Eliza Lucas Pinckney, at age nineteen, successfully planted indigo on her plantation making it “the biggest money-making crop in South Carolina before the American Revolution.” Mercy Otis Warren and Phillis Wheatley wrote plays, letters, and poems that inspired patriotism. Esther DeBerdt Reed raised support and funds for the American soldiers. There are two other two-page spreads that provide background on the importance of women writers and women soldiers. Paragraph profiles are provided for these women. Equally important are Goode’s illustrations. Her use of antique pens and inkwells adds a further dimension to her artwork, and hark back to that time and place. She presents serious portraits and has recreated the signatures of each of these ten women. Alongside these are other drawings, sometimes humorous, that relate to the text and will help the reader remember the work of each woman. The Liberty Tree at the end serves as a reminder of women’s role in American history. The drawing of a pen and inkwell on the left-front endpaper leads the reader to Abigail Adams’ now famous letter to her husband advising him to remember the ladies. Be sure to take note of Abigail’s gown as well. Turn to the back endpapers for a handwritten copy of Esther DeBerdt Reed’s “Sentiments of an American Woman.” This will serve as an introduction to these women, and also inform the reader of the important roles women performed before, during, and after the American Revolution. While only a brief amount of information is given for each “Founding Mother,” if readers look at the book in its entirety, they will gain insight into how these women used their personalities and knowledge to further the cause. A timeline at the beginning and a conclusion at the end round out this picture book presentation. Reviewer: Sharon Salluzzo; Ages 8 to 12.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060780029
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
01/28/2014
Pages:
40
Sales rank:
523,810
Product dimensions:
10.20(w) x 10.10(h) x 0.60(d)
Lexile:
1120L (what's this?)
Age Range:
7 - 12 Years

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