Saturday, November 5, 2016
Girls Can Do Anything: From Sports to Innovation, Art to Politics, Meet Over 200 Women Who Got There First, written by Caitlin Doyle and illustrated by Chuck Gonzales. Firefly Books, 2016. $29.95 ages 10 and up
My friend Don would call this a book for 'browsing'. And, he would be right. Not everyone who picks it up is going to begin at page 1 and continue through to page 320, reading every entry from top to bottom. They are more likely to page through it, stopping here and there at women whose lives interest them - someone they know, someone they want to know more about, someone who is unfamiliar and intriguing. No matter what, they will find much to hold their attention within its pages.
The tributes honor women from every walk of life - each one is included because of historical significance. They are included in four sections: Arts and Literature, Politics and World-Building, Science and Innovation, and Sports and Endurance. There is an introduction, an epilogue, a section called Sea Change: Waves of Feminism, a conclusion, an extensive bibliography, a glossary and an index. The design is appealing and the text personal and easy to follow.
The entries in each section are chronological, and worldly. Readers will very much enjoy the 'browsing'. These exceptional women inspire with their determination, their skills, their unbending will to make the world a better place. A table of contents is included within each section, allowing readers easy access to 50 single and double page entries. Following each are two lined pages where readers can add 'great women' of their own.
In her conclusion, the author adds:
"As you'll have noticed, time and again, individual entries cross-reference to other women in the book. These include Beyoncé supporting the Girl Scouts campaigns, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg working as a director of the ACLU (co-founded by Helen Keller), paleoanthropologist Mary Leakey hiring Jane Goodall to work on her first chimpanzee field project, and Jackie Joyner-Kersee being inspired to take up sports after Babe Zaharias' story on TV."