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School Library Journal
Gr 4-6- In America in 1920, "proper young ladies" are expected to behave in a certain way. But when 11-year-old Violet Mayhew discovers that her parents have been keeping her disowned older sister Chloe's letters from her, she abandons propriety and runs away to find her in New York City. There she meets Myrtle, a "colored" girl who is happy to leave her own training as a maid and join Violet in finding her sibling, who has left the city. Their travels take them first to Washington, DC, and then to Tennessee, where Chloe works on the Susan B. Anthony Amendment. Here Violet and Myrtle join the fight for women's suffrage. The girls confront heavy issues such as racism and sexism, but the narrative is leavened with humor. The story is packed with period details-Jim Crow laws, Bolsheviks, Palmer agents, Prohibition, shell shock, autocamping, just to name a few-but Schwabach's attention to character and plotting ensures that it never bogs down. Readers will cheer along with the "Suffs" as the victory in Tennessee grants women the vote. The book concludes with historical notes and a voting time line that includes black-and-white photos. Illuminating a time period rarely featured in children's literature, this is a fresh choice for historical fiction fans.-Laurie Slagenwhite, Baldwin Public Library, Birmingham, MICopyright 2008 Reed Business Information.