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Inspired by the #1 New York Times bestseller She Persisted by Chelsea Clinton and Alexandra Boiger, a chapter book series about women who stood up, spoke up and rose up against the odds—including Clara Lemlich!

In this chapter book biography by award-winning author Deborah Heiligman, readers learn about the amazing life of Clara Lemlich—and how she persisted
Clara Lemlich immigrated to New York to escape danger in Ukraine, where she was born. She started working in clothing factories on the Lower East Side, only to realize that workers were being treated unfairly. So she stood up for the rights of workers, especially girls and women—and she won, changing the way factory workers were treated in America forever!

Complete with an introduction from Chelsea Clinton, black-and-white illustrations throughout, and a list of ways that readers can follow in Clara Lemlich's footsteps and make a difference! A perfect choice for kids who love learning and teachers who want to bring inspiring women into their curriculum.

And don’t miss out on the rest of the books in the She Persisted series, featuring so many more women who persisted, including Nellie Bly, Sonia Sotomayor, and more!

Praise for She Persisted: Clara Lemlich:

"Intentionally and successfully inspiring." —Kirkus Reviews

"An important addition to the biography section of any library." —School Library Journal

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780593115725
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 09/28/2021
Series: She Persisted Series
Pages: 80
Sales rank: 685,073
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.40(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile: 780L (what's this?)
Age Range: 6 - 9 Years

About the Author

Deborah Heiligman ( is the author of over thirty books, most of them nonfiction, including Torpedoed: The True Story of the World War II Sinking of "The Children's Ship"; Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers; Charles and Emma: The Darwins' Leap of Faith; and The Boy Who Loved Math: The Improbable Life of Paul Erdos. Her books have won the SCBWI Golden Kite Award, the YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for nonfiction, and an ALA Printz Honor, and they've been longlisted for the National Book Awards and been featured on the New York Times notable books list. She lives in New York City with her husband and their dog, Zuzu. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @DHeiligman.

Chelsea Clinton is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World; She Persisted Around the World: 13 Women Who Changed History; She Persisted in Sports: American Olympians Who Changed the Game; Don't Let Them Disappear: 12 Endangered Species Across the Globe; It's Your World: Get Informed, Get Inspired & Get Going!; Start Now!: You Can Make a Difference; with Hillary Clinton, Grandma's Gardens and Gutsy Women; and, with Devi Sridhar, Governing Global Health: Who Runs the World and Why? She is also the Vice Chair of the Clinton Foundation, where she works on many initiatives, including those that help empower the next generation of leaders. She lives in New York City with her husband, Marc, their children and their dog, Soren. You can follow Chelsea Clinton on Twitter @ChelseaClinton or on Facebook at

Gillian Flint ( is an illustrator who has a passion for painting in watercolors. She has been drawing and creating characters for as long as she can remember. Her work has been published in the USA, the UK and Australia. In her spare time she enjoys reading and gardening at her home in the UK. You can follow her on Instagram @gillianflint_illustration.

Alexandra Boiger ( has illustrated nearly twenty picture books, including the She Persisted series by by Chelsea Clinton; the popular Tallulah series by Marilyn Singer; and the Max and Marla books, which she also wrote. Originally from Munich, Germany, she now lives outside of San Francisco, California, with her husband, Andrea; daughter, Vanessa; and two cats, Luiso and Winter. You can follow Alexandra on Instagram @alexandra_boiger.

Read an Excerpt

Dear Reader,

As Sally Ride and Marian Wright Edelman both powerfully said, “You can’t be what you can’t see.” When Sally Ride said that, she meant that it was hard to dream of being an astronaut, like she was, or a doctor or an athlete or anything at all if you didn’t see someone like you who already had lived that dream. She especially was talking about seeing women in jobs that historically were held by men. 

I wrote the first She Persisted and the books that came after it because I wanted young girls—and children of all genders—to see women who worked hard to live their dreams. And I wanted all of us to see examples of persistence in the face of different challenges to help inspire us in our own lives. 

I’m so thrilled now to partner with a sisterhood of writers to bring longer, more in-depth versions of these stories of women’s persistence and achievement to readers. I hope you enjoy these chapter books as much as I do and find them inspiring and empowering. 

And remember: If anyone ever tells you no, if anyone ever says your voice isn’t important or your dreams are too big, remember these women. They persisted and so should you.

Chelsea Clinton

Chapter 1: Burning to Read
Chapter 2: New Worlds
Chapter 3: All Fired Up
Chapter 4: A Fire in Her Mouth
Chapter 5: She Persisted!
Chapter 6: What Would Clara Do?
How You Can Persist

Chapter 1
Burning to Read

Clara Lemlich had a fire inside her—a fire for justice, for fairness, for equality. When she saw something wrong, she spoke up. Clara’s voice was beautiful and strong, smart and loud. Clara’s voice and actions changed the world.

Because of where and when she was born, this was not easy. She needed that fire!

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Burning to Read 1

Chapter 2 New Worlds 8

Chapter 3 All Fired Up 15

Chapter 4 A Fire in Her Mouth 22

Chapter 5 She Persisted! 29

Chapter 6 What Would Clara Do? 36

How You Can Persist 44

References 48

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