K-Gr 3-A fictional account of the early-20th-century American Suffragist movement. Susan watches her mother parade and picket in front of the White House, absorbing the message that voting is preferred over violence as a means to change. When Mama is hauled away in handcuffs, Susan takes up the call, her sign demanding her mother's release from jail. President Wilson's attention achieves the young protagonist's goal, but it is still some time before Mama achieves hers. A historical note provides the language of the 19th Amendment and places some of the players and their actions in context. Alice Paul appears to be the inspiration for this story, which infuses an important chapter in history with humor, spunk, and drama. The color illustrations are adequate, but Laugesen's caricatures are not as strong as the landscapes and architectural details. Shana Corey's You Forgot Your Skirt, Amelia Bloomer! (Scholastic, 2000) and Catherine Thimmesh's Madam President (Houghton, 2004) provide additional insight into the cause and the characters.-Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Young Susan Elizabeth chronicles the final years of the women's suffrage movement with all the earnestness of the indoctrinated. She watches her mother march in parades and then joins her on the picket line in front of the White House, watching with equal parts dismay and pride as a policeman leads her mother off to jail. The narrative is very much a teaching tool, compressing the events into one child's experience and using dialogue to convey all too much of the argument. Karr's writing seems to have lost its customary spark with the transition from novel to picture-book length, and newcomer Laugesen's illustrations are strangely heavy, doing little to bring the text to life. One particularly troublesome error in fact is the use of purple, white and green as the colors of the suffrage movement; although they were imported from England that way, by the time this story takes place, green had been replaced by gold in the American movement. It's an effort full of good intentions-but good intentions without spark remain simply intentions, not achievement. (Picture book. 5-8)