Heart on Fire: Susan B. Anthony Votes for President

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A nonfiction story about suffragist Susan B. Anthony's first trip to the ballot box.
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A nonfiction story about suffragist Susan B. Anthony's first trip to the ballot box.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Steve James' illustrations are brilliantly detailed and expressive. This book will be a great supplement to the elementary social studies curriculum." Recommended, Library Media Connection, January/February 2013
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Before starting the story of Susan B. Anthony's brave attempt to vote, Malaspina presents two constitutional Amendments: the Fourteenth shows what Anthony was fighting for, and the Nineteenth shows what was finally achieved in 1919-20, unfortunately long after Anthony's death. In poetic prose the author takes us with Anthony and her friends to the voter registration office; she believes they have the right to vote according to the Fourteenth Amendment. She and her friends are allowed to register and cast their votes. But then they are arrested for voting unlawfully and must pay a fine or go to jail until trial. Anthony campaigns throughout the country, but is declared guilty at the trial. She never pays the fine. This inspiring piece of history is visualized primarily on double pages in almost photographic portraits of Anthony and the characters who oppose her. Others are kept in the background but depicted in considerable detail. The costumes and settings are of the period. Extensive notes add information plus a bibliography. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
Gr 2–4—Concentrating on one incident from her subject's life, Malaspina describes how Anthony voted in the 1872 presidential election, then was arrested, tried, found guilty, and fined. She and her lawyer took the position that the 14th amendment, ratified in 1868, extended voting rights to women. The judge did not agree. The case, however, helped bring attention to the suffragist movement. Although women did not gain the right to vote until 1920, this book demonstrates how Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and other early activists were tireless in their efforts. Period photographs of Anthony often present a stern demeanor, but James takes a somewhat different approach. His digital-media paintings depict an energetic, intense figure with pleasant features. Bold splashes of color add vividness to the pages. At one point, the author compares Anthony to Rosa Parks, another woman who challenged a law she viewed as unjust. Although not directly sourced, quotations appear to come from Anthony's writings and historical accounts of her trial. As another presidential election approaches, this title would be a good addition to voting or women's-history units.—Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA
Kirkus Reviews
In spare and elegant free verse, Malaspina shares a vivid act of civil disobedience. Susan B. Anthony registered to vote in Rochester, N.Y., on November 1, 1872. She and 15 other women cast their ballots four days later, hoping that the new 14th Amendment, which stated that "All persons born or naturalized in the United States…are citizens of the United States," would permit all women the right to vote. Instead, she was arrested and brought to trial, found guilty because women were not permitted the vote, and fined $100, which she never paid. James fills the pages with strongly modeled images and many close-ups of Susan's face and the faces of judge, jury, police officers and followers. He makes their faces mobile and intense, so children can feel the force of these ideas as well as hear the words. The refrain, set in larger and alternate type, is "Outrageous. / Unbelievable. / True," carrying the emotion and idea forward in an accessible and powerful way. The book opens with the text of the 14th and 19th Amendments and closes with facsimiles of a newspaper cartoon, a photograph and Susan B. Anthony's letter to her close friend Elizabeth Cady Stanton: "Well I have been & gone & done it!!--positively voted.…" Inspiring fodder for an electoral--or any other--year. (afterword, bibliography) (Picture book/nonfiction. 5-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807531884
  • Publisher: Whitman, Albert & Company
  • Publication date: 7/1/2012
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 621,107
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • Lexile: 690L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.80 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Ann Malaspina has written many books for children, including Touch the Sky: Alice Coachman, Olympic High Jumper and Finding Lincoln. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and two sons.

Steve James has always enjoyed making pictures. Steve received his BFA in illustration from Brigham Young University, where he studied traditional painting techniques. He now lives in Lehi, Utah, with his wife.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 30, 2013

    more from this reviewer


    HEART ON FIRE: SUSAN B. ANTHONY VOTES FOR PRESIDENT is an exciting Children's book/history. The story of Susan B. Anthony,her trials,election laws,her triumphs,and Women's suffrage amendment begins in the 1800's. In 1869 Susan B. Anthony founded the National Woman Suffrage Association. Born a Quaker,arrested for voting for the President,trialed,found guilty,ordered to pay a fine which she never paid,carried an alligator purse, and never gave up her quest to vote. What an amazing lady! A great read! Educational and parents,history bluffs alike will enjoy this title. Easy for young readers to read. Has beautiful illustrations. I enjoyed learning more on this interesting lady. Received for an honest review from the publisher.
    RATING: 4.5
    REVIEWED BY: AprilR, My Book Addiction Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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