Rad Women Worldwide tells fresh, engaging, and amazing tales of perseverance and radical success by pairing well-researched and riveting biographies with powerful and expressive cut-paper portraits. The book features an array of diverse figures from 430 BCE to 2016, spanning 31 countries around the world, from Hatshepsut (the great female king who ruled Egypt peacefully for two decades) and Malala Yousafzi (the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize) to Poly Styrene (legendary teenage punk and lead singer of X-Ray Spex) and Liv Arnesen and Ann Bancroft (polar explorers and the first women to cross Antarctica). An additional 250 names of international rad women are also included as a reference for readers to continue their own research.
This progressive and visually arresting book is a compelling addition to women's history and belongs on the shelf of every school, library, and home. Together, these stories show the immense range of what women have done and can do. May we all have the courage to be rad!
For teachers, this book is appropriate for grades 6-8 and could be used in either Social Studies or English classes, or as part of a text for a multidisciplinary unit. It can also be used as a Common Core text for grades 6-8 Social Studies/History - CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.1-10.
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About the Author
MIRIAM KLEIN STAHL is an artist, educator, and activist. They are the author and illustrator, respectively, of Rad American Women A-Z and both live in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Read an Excerpt
July 6, 1907 – July 13, 1954 (Coyoacán, Mexico)
“I am happy to be alive as long as I can paint.”
It seems like everyone today knows who Frida Kahlo is, but that wasn’t always the case. Like so many women artists throughout history, Frida didn’t gain the recognition she deserved until many years after her death. When she died in 1954, the New York Times obituary headline read “Frida Kahlo, Artist, Diego Rivera’s Wife.” This was how she was known for a long time: as the strange wife of famous muralist Diego Rivera. She’s now considered one of the greatest artists of the 20th century.
Magdalena Carmen Frieda Kahlo y Calderón was born just before the outbreak of the Mexican Revolution. She lived in La Casa Azul, a small house that her father painted blue. When she was six she came down with polio, which left her right leg permanently disfigured. To help it heal, her father encouraged her to exercise and play sports, but she always had a prominent limp.
Frida didn’t plan to be an artist—she wanted to be a doctor, and she studied medicine at one of Mexico’s finest schools. Everything changed when she was in a bus accident at age 18. She was severely injured and spent months in a full-body cast. Isolated and in pain, she began to paint. Her mother made her an easel she could use while lying down, and her father shared his oil paints. She experimented with bright colors that reminded her of traditional Mexican folk art. The small self-portraits that she created helped her process her traumatic accident.
Frida eventually showed four of her pieces to the artist Diego Rivera, whom she adored. “You’ve got talent,” he told her, and it was true. Her paintings were deeply personal, yet they combined elements of Mexican art, classical European painting, and newer Surrealist works. She and Diego eventually married and became part of a thriving Mexican art scene. It was a male-dominated scene but Frida also encountered women like singer Chavela Vargas, muralist Fanny Rabel, and photographer Lola Alvarez Bravo (the first and only person to exhibit Frida’s paintings in Mexico during her lifetime).
Frida remained relatively obscure until the 1980s, when a biography about her got people’s attention. Feminist and Latina artists began to celebrate her work, and she became a cultural icon, now more well known than Diego. Frida’s life was painful, and she created over 140 paintings that reflected it. Unlike many other artists at the time, Frida didn’t paint landscapes or abstract shapes: she painted her real, pained self. She celebrated her flaws, her fears, her country, and her desires and she did it beautifully.
Table of ContentsWelcome to RAD women worldwide! 1
Malala YousAfzai 4
Kalpana Chawla 8
Aung San Suu Kyi 10
Qiu Jin 12
Junko Tabei 14
Fe Del Mundo 16
Dame Katerina Te Heikōkō Mataira 18
Faith Bandler 20
Liv Arnesen and Ann Bancroft 22
Norway & U.S.A.
Miriam Makeba 24
Wangari Maathai 26
Kasha Jacqueline Nagabasera 30
Funmilayo Ransome Kuti 32
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie 34
Madres de la Plaza de Mayo 38
Quintreman Sisters 44
Policarpa “La Pola” Salavarrieta 46
Nanny of the Maroons 50
Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz 52
Frida Kahlo 54
Queen Lili’uokalani 56
Venus and Serena Williams 58
Birutė Mary Galdikis 60
Buffy Sainte-Marie 62
ENIAC Programmers 64
Guerrilla Girls 68
Grace “Granuaile” O’Malley 70
Princess Sophia Duleep Singh 72
Poly Styrene 74
Sophie Scholl 76
Marie Curie and Irene Joliot-Curie 80
Josephine Baker 82
Maria Montessori 86
Emma Goldman 90
The Stateless 94