Who Says Women Can't Be Doctors?: The Story of Elizabeth Blackwell
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Who Says Women Can't Be Doctors?: The Story of Elizabeth Blackwell

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by Tanya Lee Stone, Marjorie Priceman
     
 

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In the 1830s, when a brave and curious girl named Elizabeth Blackwell was growing up, women were supposed to be wives and mothers. Some women could be teachers or seamstresses, but career options were few. Certainly no women were doctors.
But Elizabeth refused to accept the common beliefs that women weren't smart enough to be doctors, or that they were too weak

Overview

In the 1830s, when a brave and curious girl named Elizabeth Blackwell was growing up, women were supposed to be wives and mothers. Some women could be teachers or seamstresses, but career options were few. Certainly no women were doctors.
But Elizabeth refused to accept the common beliefs that women weren't smart enough to be doctors, or that they were too weak for such hard work. And she would not take no for an answer. Although she faced much opposition, she worked hard and finally—when she graduated from medical school and went on to have a brilliant career—proved her detractors wrong. This inspiring story of the first female doctor shows how one strong-willed woman opened the doors for all the female doctors to come.
Who Says Women Can't Be Doctors? by Tanya Lee Stone is an NPR Best Book of 2013

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times - Pamela Paul
…[a] sharp, witty biography of America's first female physician…Priceman…infuses her bright gouaches with energy and dynamism.
Publishers Weekly
“You might find this hard to believe, but there once was a time when girls weren’t allowed to become doctors,” opens this smart and lively biography of Elizabeth Blackwell, the first female doctor in America. Stone develops Blackwell’s personality through childhood anecdotes—as a child Blackwell once slept on a hard floor just “to toughen herself up”—before detailing her career path. Priceman’s typically graceful lines and bright gouache paintings make no bones about who’s on the wrong side of history: those who object to Blackwell’s achievements are portrayed as hawkish ladies and comically perturbed twerps in tailcoats. Ages 5–up. Author’s agent: Rosemary Stimola, Stimola Literary Studio. (Feb.)
From the Publisher

“Here's a refreshing introduction to a regularly but often dryly cited female 'first'.” —The Horn Book

“Stone presents the highly readable and detailed story of a girl who is sure to inspire aspiring young doctors.” —School Library Journal

Staccato text, short and snappy, easy to read yet full of information about both Blackwell and her times.” —Booklist, starred review

“A bracing, vivacious account of a pioneering woman.” —Kirkus

“[a] smart and lively biography of Elizabeth Blackwell.” —Publishers Weekly

“A short, incisive biography. . . . The cameos of action, matched by full-page pictures, make the history accessible. A must for library shelves.” —Booklist, starred review on Elizabeth Leads the Way

“This biography brims with upbeat energy as the spirited woman sets out to change the system--an energy amplified by Rebecca Gibbon's bright folk art-styled pictures.” —The Washington Post on Elizabeth Leads the Way

“[This book] fires up readers with a portrait of the 19th-century feminist Elizabeth Cady Stanton. . . . The sometimes informational tone is animated and energized by Gibbon's plentiful vignettes and paintings, rendered in a vibrant folk-art style.” —Publishers Weekly on Elizabeth Leads the Way

“Through words and pictures that work together and an emphasis on ideas and personality rather than factoids, this well-conceived introduction is just right for a young audience.” —School Library Journal on Elizabeth Leads the Way

“In lively prose well-matched by Gibbon's irrepressible images, Stone tells the story of suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton. . . . A fine introduction for very young readers to the woman and her key role in American history.” —Kirkus Reviews on Elizabeth Leads the Way

Children's Literature - Emily Griffin
A young girl, brave, curious, and fiercely independent, grew up to become the first female doctor. Elizabeth Blackwell was born in Bristol, England in 1821, and moved to the United States when she was eleven. During a time when women were not allowed to do much besides being wives and mothers, Elizabeth was just as tough and smart as any boy—and was still a "proper" lady who could sew and serve tea. Stone shares Elizabeth's story from her childhood to graduation from medical school. Surprisingly, Elizabeth did not grow up being interested in medicine—in fact, blood made her queasy—but when she was twenty-four a friend got sick and wished aloud that she could have had a female doctor and encouraged her intelligent friend Elizabeth to pursue that goal. Her road was not easy; she received twenty-eight rejection letters from medical schools. The college that accepted her, Geneva Medical School, only did so as a joke—never imagining she would actually accept. But Elizabeth had the last laugh, and her quiet determination and intense work ethic eventually gained the respect of her classmates and teachers. An author's note at the back gives further information, such as that Elizabeth started the first hospital for women (and run by women), and that she opened the first medical school for women. Her influence also stretched to her home country of England, where she was highly influential in opening the London School of Medicine for Women and starting the National Health Society (NHS). Today, more than half of all U.S. medical students are female—possible because one woman strived for more. This beautifully told story is further enhanced by its gorgeous and colorful illustrations. They both work flawlessly together to make Elizabeth's life approachable to its modern readers. A powerful story sure to inspire! Reviewer: Emily Griffin
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—This picture-book biography of America's first woman doctor takes readers back to the 1840s when "girls were only supposed to become wives and mothers. Or maybe teachers, or seamstresses." Stone presents the highly readable and detailed story of a girl who is sure to inspire aspiring young doctors. The anecdotes are well chosen to demonstrate Blackwell's unflagging determination, and the conversational text and dynamic illustrations present a glimpse of her strong, caring personality. Priceman's vivid gouache and India ink illustrations capture the emotion of each scene, as on the page where an exhausted Blackwell lies on a sofa under a cloud of "no's," overwhelmed by rejections (28 in all). Once admitted to medical school, she was not taken seriously by her peers, but studied hard and graduated first in her class, opening the door for women to follow. An author's note continues her life story as well as the discussion of her impact on modern-day medicine, and a list of sources is included for curious readers. A worthwhile addition to any biography collection.—Marian McLeod, Darien Library, CT
Kirkus Reviews
"Women cannot be doctors. They should not be doctors." Elizabeth Blackwell received 28 rejections from medical schools before one accepted her. Stone takes a lively and conversational approach to the life of the first female doctor in the United States. A tiny but adventurous girl, Elizabeth Blackwell once carried her brother over her head until he stopped fighting with her, and she got the idea to go to medical school from a sick friend who confided that she would much rather be examined by a woman. When Geneva Medical School in New York state accepted her, she didn't know that the (male) student body had voted on her acceptance as a joke, but she graduated with the top grades in her class. Priceman's swirly and vivid gouache-and–India ink artwork is an excellent foil for the text, which directly addresses young readers' own experience while reminding them that in the 1840s, things were different, and that one very determined girl had changed that. The author's note describes the difficulties Dr. Blackwell experienced setting up her practice and her career treating the poor women and children of New York City. It also notes that today, more than half of all students in U.S. medical schools are women. A bracing, vivacious account of a pioneering woman. (Picture book/biography. 5-9)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781466831803
Publisher:
Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Publication date:
02/19/2013
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
40
Sales rank:
560,809
File size:
28 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Tanya Lee Stone loves to write about women pushing boundaries where no woman has before, in books like Elizabeth Leads the Way, Almost Astronauts, and now Who Says Women Can't Be Doctors? Her work has received such accolades as the ALA Robert F. Sibert Award, SCBWI Golden Kite Award, Bank Street's Flora Steiglitz Straus Award, and the Jane Addams Children's Book, Boston Globe-Horn Book, and NCTE Orbis Pictus honors.

Marjorie Priceman has twice received Caldecott Honors, one for her illustrations in Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin! and one for Hot Air: The (Mostly) True Story of the First Hot-Air Balloon Ride, which she both wrote and illustrated. She lives in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.


Tanya Lee Stone has written several books for young readers, including the young adult novel A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl. She lives with her family in Vermont.

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Who Says Women Can't Be Doctors?: The Story of Elizabeth Blackwell 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Proud-Mama More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful story about equality and fighting for your dreams. I almost cried when my 8 year old son immediately pointed out the absurdity of a woman being told she couldn't be a doctor based on her gender. We stumbled upon this in the new arrivals section of our library and I am planning on purchasing one as a gift. As a girl, I never knew a female physician, but went on to attend a medical school that used to be a "female medical college." Thank you Elizabeth Blackwell for overcoming barriers 150 years before my time and Tanya Lee Stone for helping that amazing story live on.