Independent Dames: What You Never Knew About the Women and Girls of the American Revolution
  • Independent Dames: What You Never Knew About the Women and Girls of the American Revolution
  • Independent Dames: What You Never Knew About the Women and Girls of the American Revolution

Independent Dames: What You Never Knew About the Women and Girls of the American Revolution

by Laurie Halse Anderson, Matt Faulkner
     
 

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Listen up! You've all heard about the great men who led and fought during the American Revolution; but did you know that the guys only make up part of the story? What about the women? The girls? The dames? Didn't they play a part?

Of course they did, and with page after page of superbly researched information and thoughtfully detailed illustrations, acclaimed

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Overview

Listen up! You've all heard about the great men who led and fought during the American Revolution; but did you know that the guys only make up part of the story? What about the women? The girls? The dames? Didn't they play a part?

Of course they did, and with page after page of superbly researched information and thoughtfully detailed illustrations, acclaimed novelist and picture-book author Laurie Halse Anderson and charismatic illustrator Matt Faulkner prove the case in this entertaining, informative, and long overdue homage to those independent dames!

Editorial Reviews

Anita Silvey's Children's Book-A-Day Almanac - Anita Silvey
"A stirring portrait of the women who made America possible.

Beginning with the scene of a school play about the Founding Fathers, Anderson declares that if we look only at them we are missing half of the story. Then she begins with small vignettes of some of our heroines. Sybil Ludington rode longer than Paul Revere and didn’t get caught! The Daughters of Liberty make an appearance, along with nine-year-old Susan Boudinot who protested at a tea party of the Royal Governor. Writers (Phyllis Wheatley), soldiers (Deborah Sampson), spies, scouts, nurses, and the wives of the patriots all get their due via a small fact and portrait....

[Anderson] keeps the text lively and encourages young readers to find out more. At the bottom of each picture Anderson includes a timeline of events and defines some of the terms, making the book even more information rich. At the end of the forty-page book, she adds material on other women and a great bibliography. This short text lends itself to all kinds of activities or acts simply as a supplement for more traditional texts. Anderson’s research is thorough and her understanding of young readers, as always, is profound. When I conducted an informal poll of school librarians and teachers, Independent Dames emerged as their favorite book for Women’s History Month. Writing with passion and humor, Laurie Halse Anderson is on a mission to set the record straight. And she does!"

From the Publisher
"A stirring portrait of the women who made America possible.

Beginning with the scene of a school play about the Founding Fathers, Anderson declares that if we look only at them we are missing half of the story. Then she begins with small vignettes of some of our heroines. Sybil Ludington rode longer than Paul Revere and didn’t get caught! The Daughters of Liberty make an appearance, along with nine-year-old Susan Boudinot who protested at a tea party of the Royal Governor. Writers (Phyllis Wheatley), soldiers (Deborah Sampson), spies, scouts, nurses, and the wives of the patriots all get their due via a small fact and portrait....

[Anderson] keeps the text lively and encourages young readers to find out more. At the bottom of each picture Anderson includes a timeline of events and defines some of the terms, making the book even more information rich. At the end of the forty-page book, she adds material on other women and a great bibliography. This short text lends itself to all kinds of activities or acts simply as a supplement for more traditional texts. Anderson’s research is thorough and her understanding of young readers, as always, is profound. When I conducted an informal poll of school librarians and teachers, Independent Dames emerged as their favorite book for Women’s History Month. Writing with passion and humor, Laurie Halse Anderson is on a mission to set the record straight. And she does!"

Publishers Weekly

Anderson and Faulkner try to do for the women of Colonial America what they did so successfully for the lady behind Thanksgiving in Thank You, Sarah. Opening with a provocative question about why a school play on the Revolution lacks roles for women and girls, Anderson then unlooses a host of possible starring candidates: women who acted as spies, organized boycotts, even disguised themselves as men to enlist. But their attempt to include females in the pantheon of white men in powdered wigs results in a mile-wide, inch-deep roll call. Readers must juggle four different narrative elements-Anderson's text, a time line, oval insets with biographical detail about individual heroines, and Faulkner's mostly irreverent speech bubbles, which provide laughs but can be at odds with the subject matter. Ambitious but flawed, this may go over best with those needing an antidote to fancy-princess trends. Ages 6-10. (June)

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Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Subtitled "What You Never Knew About the Women and Girls of the American Revolution," this look at history has more of a focus than other more recent books such as Uncle Sam's America and You're a Grand Old Flag. The biggest problem with this picture book is the amount of information crammed into small type running along the time line, and the detail within the colored pen-and-ink illustrations. I found that I was straining to read the text at the bottom and just gave up on the initial read and read the larger text. The second pass included reading the text in the time line and looking more closely at the information conveyed in the art. The script will also be a challenge for younger readers. The information is interesting—women did fight in the Revolutionary War, Sybil Ludington rode farther than Paul Revere, and women were active in boycotting British goods. Elizabeth Burgin was new to me—she helped two hundred prisoners of war escape from a British ship. Women played a role in every capacity—cooking for the soldiers, washing clothes, making clothes, caring for the wounded, raising money, and trying to keep the men as comfortable as possible in some very difficult circumstances. Some women had to defend their homes and families from enemy soldiers while some served as scouts spies and took over jobs that were previously the sole profession of men. The closing pages provide even more information and also a section that separates fact and fiction. There is an extensive bibliography and index. Kids who persevere will learn quite a bit from the book, but it is much too difficult for the lower end of the suggested reading range. Reviewer: Marilyn Courtot
School Library Journal

Gr 3-5

The stories of 22 "Revolutionary Grandmothers" take center stage in this well-illustrated volume. A few of the names are familiar-Phillis Wheatley, Martha Washington, Abigail Adams, Deborah Sampson-but as the author establishes, there are many women and girls whose large and small contributions to the cause of independence have been largely ignored. Prudence Wright and Sarah Shattuck guarded their village when the men were fighting at Concord and Lexington, and they captured a British spy. After her husband was killed in battle, Margaret Corbin fired his cannon until she was shot, making her the first American woman to receive a military pension. Whether the women were disguising themselves as men in order to be soldiers, raising money for suffering soldiers, sewing and knitting for the troops, or participating in protests or a boycott of British goods, their actions were significant. Faulkner's ink-and-watercolor illustrations are exuberant, often amusing, and filled with crosshatching and dialogue balloons. The spreads are busy and information-packed, and readers will be both engaged by and educated about this critical period.-Lee Bock, Glenbrook Elementary School, Pulaski, WI

Kirkus Reviews
A jam-packed, busy presentation overwhelms this otherwise fresh exploration of women's contributions to the War of Independence. Anderson sure has done her homework, digging out names and particulars of a dizzying number of strong women from the expected-Phillis Wheatley, Abigail Adams-to the lesser known-Sally St. Clair, Tyonajanegen-working to ensure occupational and ethnic diversity throughout. Each double-page spread features a text box that carries the main thematic narrative forward, thumbnails of relevant women in oval insets, a timeline in an impossibly teeny-tiny font and Faulkner's loose, energetic cartoons, which are punctuated by often jarringly modern speech-bubbles. Such statements as "I'll have to see some I.D., mon general," and "Hey Paul, her horse looks faster than yours" clearly aim for collegiality but will likely strike young readers as patronizing. Lengthy backmatter presents still more worthwhile and enthusiastic information, but in so dense and small a font that it forbids rather than invites examination. Trimmed down, this would have been a marvelous alternative to the Dead White Men version of history-but not as is. (Informational picture book. 6-10)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780689858086
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Publication date:
06/03/2008
Pages:
40
Sales rank:
536,144
Product dimensions:
11.10(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
6 - 10 Years

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