Girls: History of Growing up Female in America

Girls: History of Growing up Female in America

2.0 1
by Penny Colman
For ages 8 and up, this is a unique and dramatic look at growing up female in America from precolonial days to the present. It is the history of our nation told through eyewitness accounts. Girls! chronicles the stories of American girls - often in their own words - and highlights their spirit, their will, their courage, and their contributions.

Penny Colman is a


For ages 8 and up, this is a unique and dramatic look at growing up female in America from precolonial days to the present. It is the history of our nation told through eyewitness accounts. Girls! chronicles the stories of American girls - often in their own words - and highlights their spirit, their will, their courage, and their contributions.

Penny Colman is a widely published, award-winning author of books, essays, stories, and articles. She writes for all ages and covers a range of subjects. Colman's books have been named in the Best Books for Young Adults, Notable Books for Children, and Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers (American Library Association); Teacher's Choice and Young Adult Choice (International Reading Association); Best Children's Book of the Year (Bank Street College of Education); Notable Trade Book (Council for the Social Studies/Children's Book Council); and Orbis Pictus Honor Award for Outstanding Nonfiction ( National Council of Teachers of English.) In 1994, she won the Miller Lite Women's Sports Journalism Award for her cover story "Girls and Sports" for Sports Illustrated for Kids. In 1996, Colman was honored by the New Jersey State Legislature for her books and public appearances that have "contributed to the advancement of women." Most recently, her book Corpses, Coffins, and Crypts: A History of Burial (Holt 1997), was one of only three books, and the only nonfiction book, to receive a unanimous vote from the ALA Best Books for Young Adults Committee (1999). In 1997 it was named a Publishers Weekly Best Book, Booklist Editor's Choice, and a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year. According to a starred review in PW, "Few readers will be able to put down Colman's impeccably researched history...By no means constructed of melancholy alone, the volume includes moments of humor and inpiration. This is a book readers will pore over, not only for the wealth of absorbing information, but because Colman, in considering death on a global scale, allows readers to view it as a universal experience that connects them to others." Her book, Rosie the Riveter: Working on the Home Front in World War II (Crown, 1995), was reviewed by the New York Times Book Review: "Penny Colman's engaging book...enlivened and authenticated by quotations from women who talk about their wartime experiences." Kirkus Review gave an equally positive accolade, "...well-researched, perfectly pitched, and completely involving." The book won many awards, including, Best Books for Young Adults and Notable Children's Book (ALA), Teachers' Choice and Young Adult Choice (International Reading Association), Best Book for Teen Age (New York Public Library), Best Books of the Year (School Library Journal), and Orbis Pictus Honor Award (National Council of Teachers of English). Her other critically acclaimed books include, Strike! The Bitter Struggle of American Workers from Colonial Times to the Present (Millbrook Press, 1995) Toilets, Bathtubs, Sinks, and Sewers: A History of the Bathroom (Atheneum, 1994); Madam C.J. Walker: Building a Business Empire (Millborook Press, 1994); Mother Jones and the March of the Mill Children (Millbrook Press, 1994); Fanny Lou Hamer and the Fight for the Vote (Millbrook Press, 1993) A Woman Unafraid: The Achievements of Frances Perkins (Atheneum, 1993); Breaking the Chains: The Crusade of Dorthea Lynde Dix (Shoe Tree Press, 1992); and Spies! Women in the Civil War (F & W Publications, 1992).

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Children's Literature
The first girls walked to America during the Ice Ages with small groups of people called Paleo-Indians and they kept coming, with their families to the Colonies in the 1500s, as indentured servants in the 1600s, and as "Casket Girls" in the 1700s. In the "New World," girls met, traded with, and learned from the millions of Native American women and girls that already lived on the land. What follows is a history of America told through stories, diary entries, poems and songs from young women who wrote about their daily lives. Woven into the historical context created by such personal accounts is the story of our nation's history, complete with dates and female heroines. Published by Scholastic and written to supplement the current history books used in middle school classrooms, this is a refreshingly interesting reference book that reads like a novel. Colman has written a long overdue and completely delightful book that will engage the hearts of young readers and open the eyes of older readers as they read about young women who have grown up in and shaped American history. 2000, Scholastic Reference, Ages 12 up, $18.95. Reviewer: Jessica Becker—Children's Literature
The experiences of American girls are described in this volume via excerpts from their diaries, publications from their day, and other historical memoirs. Carolyn Cowles Richards, who grew up in the mid $ND 1800s, describes seeing Susan B. Anthony quilting with other girls and watching men enlist for the American Civil War. Red Bird, a Native American girl who grew up to be an author and reformer, writes about when she "lost [her] spirit" at a Quaker mission school because they "shingled" (cut off) her long hair. Martha "Minnie" Carey Thomas chronicles in her diary the injustice of girls being unable to go to college when they wanted to, whereas boys who did not want to go to college were forced to attend. She later became a college president and suffrage advocate. Colman takes readers on a grand tour of a girl's life in America from precolonial times to the present. Unfortunately the glimpses are short and somewhat disconnected. The text jumps from story to story. Sometimes the information is just names, while at other times a paragraph or two is devoted to a particular girl's experience. The pictures, although fascinating, often seem out of place because the girls in the story are not always those pictured. Understandably, to cover several centuries of experiences, information must be limited. This book is an interesting overview but lacks depth. Nevertheless the inspiring pictures and intimate diary references make the book enjoyable. Index. Illus. Photos. Maps. Further Reading. VOYA CODES: 3Q 2P M J (Readable without serious defects; For the YA with a special interest in the subject; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2000,Scholastic, 192p, $18.95. Ages 12 to 15. Reviewer: Joyce Yen

SOURCE: VOYA, October 2000 (Vol. 23, No. 4)

School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-A fascinating look at a seldom-studied topic. The bulk of the book explores the roles of girls (and women) in Native American society, Colonial communities, and up through modern times. The author includes some general discussion of societal structures, social movements, and historical events but much of the information is conveyed through descriptions of the lives and deeds of individuals. Among the girls included are pioneers, former slaves, mill workers, children of farmers, and immigrants. They often speak for themselves through excerpts from letters, diary entries, and published memoirs. Black-and-white period photographs and reproductions are included along with occasional portraits. The layout is particularly pleasing, with plenty of white space and frequent illustrations. An index lists names, places, works cited, and general topics; the list for further reading is extensive. The author's thorough research, inclusiveness, and accessible style make this book an essential resource for libraries serving young people.-Lisa Dennis, The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, PA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Margot Mifflin
...with its snappy writing, archival photographs, and personal narratives (from the records of 19th-century slaves to the 1926 diary of an anorexic), Girls may well hood young readers on history.
Entertainment Weekly

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
8.38(w) x 10.30(h) x 0.66(d)
1020L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 17 Years

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Girls 2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I sort of thought that this book was a little bit slow. I did not like the fact that it went from one character to another with each chapter. The one interesting thing was knowing how it was for the girls growing up back then.