Marching with Aunt Susan: Susan B. Anthony and the Fight for Women's Suffrage

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This earnest story springs from the life of Bessie Keith Pond, who was 10 years old in 1896 when Susan B. Anthony visited Berkeley, Calif., to rouse women to work for the passage of a state referendum that would give them voting rights. When Bessie complains that girls aren’t allowed to do everything that boys are, Anthony invites her to a rally, asserting, “Women’s votes can help change the world.” While Murphy’s (The Children of Alcatraz) prose creates a strong sense of the injustices of the period, it can occasionally feel melodramatic. When Bessie tours a factory and one young female worker wonders aloud if she can go to school if women win the vote, Bessie says, “I couldn’t imagine not learning how to read and write. I leaned against the wall and tried to catch my breath.” The referendum doesn’t pass, underscoring the idea that freedoms aren’t won overnight; back matter (which includes biographical sketches of Anthony and Pond) provides a concise history of the suffragist movement. Rendered in thick, forceful strokes, Schuett’s (Liberty’s Voice) gouache paintings easily convey Bessie’s energy and Anthony’s conviction. Ages 6–10. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Nancy Garhan Attebury
In 1896, Bessie hustled home from school to check the newspaper for the election results. Bessie and many girls and women in California had followed the lead of Susan B. Anthony in the fight for women's rights. Bessie had even marched in a parade and waved her banner high to help get the measure passed. But when Bessie looked at the newspaper headlines she was greatly disappointment. Women had not gained the right to vote. However, in the end, Bessie learned that what had seemed to be a failure actually was a step forward. In this well-written book, the author weaves a fascinating tale based on the life Bessie Keith Pond, a ten-year old California girl in the 1890s. In one situation, Bessie banters with her brothers in regard to equal rights for girls and boys. This offers girls of today the ability to follow and relate to what is happening. Bessie is painted as courageous, forward-thinking, and willing to work for what is right. The book's setting is fresh and the pace, which moves along gently, holds enough of an edge to make the story intriguing. Soft-colored illustrations enhance the story. This highly inspiring book receives a thumbs-up when it comes to making nonfiction material interesting for young students. It offers a strong message that should be brought front and center for boys and girls during history lessons about equal rights. Additional material consists of biographical information about Susan B. Anthony, a timeline, a section about suffrage history, quotes, photos from the past, and resources for more information. End pages show newspaper articles about the life of Bessie Pond and add to the total picture. The author's extensive research and attention to detail is obvious. Reviewer: Nancy Garhan Attebury
School Library Journal
Gr 1–5—This story takes place in San Francisco in 1896 and is told from the point of view of a young girl named Bessie as her mother hosts a tea with the famous suffragist as the guest of honor. Already influenced and irritated by the many things her brothers get to do that she cannot, Bessie is inspired by Anthony's words and joins the movement by marching, making signs, and talking to her best friend whose domineering father makes all decisions about family life. Bessie's supportive father and activist mother help her deal with her disappointments by balancing them with opportunities for making a difference. Schuett's somewhat impressionistic gouache paintings effectively capture the time and place and convey the emotionally charged tenor of the campaign. The endnotes, accompanied by photographs, provide factual material about the real Bessie Keith Pond, Anthony, and the suffrage movement, especially in California.—Maggie Chase, Boise State University, ID
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781561455935
  • Publisher: Peachtree Publishers, Ltd.
  • Publication date: 10/28/2011
  • Pages: 1
  • Sales rank: 290,362
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • Lexile: AD650L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.60 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

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  • Posted September 18, 2014

    An Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE) Childr

    An Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE) Children's Book Award winner in 2014. Miss Anthony is seen as a person who dedicated her life to what she believed in and as a capable and active older person.

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