Rad American Women A-Z, written by Kate Schatz and illustrated by Miriam Klein Stahl, is a revolutionary new book that introduces young readers to 26 unique women who played important roles in modern American history. It shows these women as diverse threads who, woven together, helped to create the fabric of American life.
The women chronicled in this work come from a wide array of cultural, social, and economic backgrounds. It’s an empowering work for young girls because it gives them a glimpse of what’s possible when they have a goal and apply themselves towards achieving it. But of course the book can be a great inspiration to young boys as well.
Rad American Women A-Z: Rebels, Trailblazers, and Visionaries who Shaped Our History can help kids get a more complete understanding of how anyone can overcome staggering odds to attain success. It can show them that it took the work of everyone – men and women – to make America the country it is today. This book may be listed in the children’s section at the local book store, but adults can learn a great deal from it as well. While the names of the women profiled in the book may be unfamiliar to some, their impact on America is undeniable.
The book begins by introducing Angela Davis, an African-American political activist, scholar, fighter for Civil Rights, and feminist from the 1960s. It goes on to shine a light on Mexican-American journalist Jovita Idar born in Texas in 1885 who fought inequality and racism and advocated for social justice for Mexican-Americans. Another women highlighted in the book is Chinese-America Maya Ying Lin who turned her love for art into a successful career as an artist and architect and helped to create the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Civil Rights Memorial. Written in simple, easy-to-understand language and highlighted with beautiful artwork, Rad American Women makes the stories of these largely unknown and unsung American heroes accessible to anyone.
Author Schatz initially wrote the book to help empower and inspire her daughter because she could not find a book that talked about the role of women in building America. When she thought about how many other children could benefit from the book, she decided to publish it. Her decision to present a wide range of women was motivated by her understanding of the need for children to see themselves reflected in these brave female American trailblazers.
The result is a valuable book that offers stories about women like Dr. Virginia Apgar, the first female full professor at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and inventor of the Apgar Score, used worldwide to assess the immediate needs of newborns. It also introduces Wilma Mankiller, the first female chief of the Cherokee Nation and a woman who improved the lives of Native Americans by helping provide them with better education and healthcare. Kate Schatz also profiles Billie Jean King, the tennis great who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for helping win equality for women in sports.
The goal of Rad American Women is to educate, enlighten, and inspire. It accomplishes that by telling of the barriers they had to overcome to succeed, and most importantly, by highlighting the great accomplishments of these American women who succeeded against all odds. These women are rebels and visionaries, but they’re also simply American women dedicated to expanding the horizons and improving the lives of others.
The book can have a significant impact on Americans of all sexes, ages, and cultural backgrounds, because it allows them to see their struggles reflected in the lives of these brave women. It should be in the library of every American family.