Ladies First: 40 Daring American Women Who Were Second to None


Ladies First introduces young readers to 40 American women of achievement who were first in their field. A full-page portrait begins each informative three-page profile. The life stories of these women are as inspiring as they are diverse.

The book provides a vital starting point for report writers and researchers, and a rich source of information for fact lovers of all ages.

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Ladies First introduces young readers to 40 American women of achievement who were first in their field. A full-page portrait begins each informative three-page profile. The life stories of these women are as inspiring as they are diverse.

The book provides a vital starting point for report writers and researchers, and a rich source of information for fact lovers of all ages.

Who was the first woman to row across the Atlantic? Or to swim the English Channel? Or to graduate from medical school?

A rich source of educational and historic material for students, the book also highlights inspirational role models for girls.

Who was the first American woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize? And the first to win a Nobel Prize for Literature? Who was the first female African-American self-made millionaire? And the first African-American Poet Laureate?

Author Elizabeth Cody Kimmel presents a rich cross-section of profiles from a broad range of endeavors.

Which American woman became the first to win three gold medals at a single Olympics? Who was the first woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest? Who was New York's first female firefighter? And who was the first woman to command a U.S. Navy warship?

The answers to all these questions are in this engaging National Geographic title that belongs in every home, school, and library where young women are encouraged to strive toward greatness.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
The subtitle, "Forty Daring American Women Who Were Second to None," explains it all. The author has chosen the forty, each of whom achieved a significant American "first," purely for their inspiration and special meaning to her. They come from many fields—art, literature, business, social work, science, sport, music—and from the eighteenth century to the twenty-first. Each woman is allotted a full-page photograph (the earliest, like Phyllis Wheatley and Sacagawea, are represented by paintings) and a three-page biography highlighting her achievements. Some, like Georgia O'Keefe, Martha Graham, and Marian Anderson, are well known, but young readers will probably find the careers of others a revelation. What about beautiful Harriet Quimby, the first woman to earn a pilot's license, who fell to her death from her plane in 1912? Or socialite Fanny Bullock Workman, who in 1899 climbed, in full skirts, to the summit of Kashmir's Pinnacle Peak? The photographs are especially striking and will bear much poring over; for example, one of rebellious poet Edna St. Vincent Millay in her demure dress, surrounded by magnolia blossoms, or of businesswoman Madam C. J. Walker with her luminous eyes and delicate jewelry, or tiny Lynn Hill, clinging to a rock as she free climbs the Nose at Yosemite. Unfortunately the pedestrian, often awkward, text does not live up to the quality of the photos or of National Geographic's usual standards. Still, these women's stories are fascinating; their courage and fortitude should prove inspiring for young adults of both sexes. 2006, National Geographic, Ages 10 up.
—Barbara L. Talcroft
Although the essays in this book are too brief to be used for intensive research, they are nonetheless engaging introductions to forty of America's most brilliant and courageous women. Each essay is three pages in length and includes a fourth full-page portrait of the woman being introduced. Kimmel has done extensive research for her book, and it is clear that she truly has found a connection with these women and admires them greatly. Her earliest entrant is Phyllis Wheatley, an eighteenth-century poet, and her most contemporary is Shirley Muldowney, who was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2004. The women chosen achieved greatness in a wide range of endeavors, from athletics to the arts to politics. Most of these women faced enormous obstacles in achieving their dreams, mainly because of the cultural conventions imposed by a male-dominated society. Their perseverance is a testament to the tenacity of the human spirit. Students will find these excellent essays useful as an introduction to the women portrayed and as a good jumping off point for further research. They may also enjoy the book simply as a fascinating glimpse into the lives of these remarkable women. VOYA CODES: 5Q 3P M J (Hard to imagine it being any better written; Will appeal with pushing; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2006, National Geographic, 192p.; Index. Photos. Biblio. Source Notes. Chronology., and PLB Ages 11 to 15.
—Leslie Carter
School Library Journal
Gr 4-7-This attractive compilation highlights a diverse group of American women who were pioneers in their respective fields. Covering three centuries of history, it offers information on such popular report subjects as Elizabeth Blackwell, Nellie Bly, Helen Keller, and Sacagawea, and lesser-known individuals such as Harriet Quimby, the first American woman to obtain a license to fly; Shirley Muldowney, the first woman inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame; and Sally Priesand, the first ordained female rabbi. A full-page black-and-white portrait or rendering of the subject, important dates, and a quote are included in each entry. The profiles, which contain three pages of concise historical and biographical information, are as inspiring as they are informative. Back matter consists of notes on the quote sources, selected bibliographies for all the subjects, and a brief chronology. This excellent resource is also likely to attract browsers.-Rebecca Stine, The Ferguson Library, Stamford, CT Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780792253938
  • Publisher: National Geographic Society
  • Publication date: 3/14/2006
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 948,193
  • Product dimensions: 7.37 (w) x 9.64 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Cody Kimmel lives in Cold Spring, NY. She is a veteran author of books for young readers. Her book Ice Story: Shackleton's Lost Expedition was a Golden Kite Honor Book for 1999.

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