Synopses & Reviews
Like all A-Z books, this one illustrates the alphabet — but instead of "A is for Apple", A is for Angela — as in Angela Davis, the iconic political activist. B is for Billie Jean King, who shattered the glass ceiling of sports; C is for Carol Burnett, who defied assumptions about women in comedy; D is for Dolores Huerta, who organized farmworkers; and E is for Ella Baker, who mentored Dr. Martin Luther King and helped shape the Civil Rights Movement.
And the list of great women continues, spanning several centuries, multiple professions, and 26 diverse individuals. There are artists and abolitionists, scientists and suffragettes, rock stars and rabble-rousers, and agents of change of all kinds.
The book includes an introduction that discusses what it means to be "rad" and "radical," an afterword with 26 suggestions for how you can be "rad," and a Resource Guide with ideas for further learning and reading.
American history was made by countless rad — and often radical — women. By offering a fresh and diverse array of female role models, we can remind readers that there are many places to find inspiration, and that being smart and strong and brave is rad.
"Rousing tributes to 26 women who didn't keep their heads or voices down. Reserving 'X' for 'the women whose names we don't know,' Schatz presents an unusually diverse gallery of activists. Along with the predictable likes of the Grimke sisters, Billie Jean King and Zora Neale Hurston, it includes Patti Smith, blacklisted musical prodigy Hazel Scott, Mexican-American journalist Jovita Idar and transgender performance artist Kate Bornstein. Furthermore, the author extends her definition of 'radical' beyond the arenas of politics and social causes to include Florence Griffith-Joyner ('Who showed us how to run like a girl'), Rachel Carson, Temple Grandin and Dr. Virginia Apgar (developer of the Apgar Score for newborns)....A 'rad' alternative to less-inclusive albums, such as Cynthia Chin-Lee, Megan Halsey and Sean Addy's Amelia to Zora (2005)." Kirkus Reviews
"This inspiring and diverse tribute to artists, journalists, sports phenoms, judges, and more culminates with an energizing AZ list of '26 Things That You Can Do to Be Rad!' and a reading list to encourage further exploration." Publishers Weekly
"Colorful and hip portraitures create a visual sensation that immediately draws in readers. Profiled are 26 American women from the 18th through 21st centuries, who have made — or are still making — history as artists, writers, teachers, lawyers, or athletes....The book's conclusion challenges readers to be strong and to make a difference in their own communities and suggests 26 things that students can do to be rad." School Library Journal
"Ever wanted a women-centric history book to hand to a kid? This March, publisher City Lights/Sister Spit is releasing an exciting new book that tells the stories of 26 important American women, one for each letter of the alphabet. Rad American Women features biographies of women from Angela Davis to Zora Neale Huston. Author Kate Schatz and illustrator Miriam Klein Stahl highlight a great selection of women — the group is diverse in terms of race, era, and in their field of work, ranging from scientists to writers and activists." Bitch Magazine
"Angela Davis. Billie Jean King. Carol Burnett. The first three women in this fantastic ABC book set the tone for what's to come: visionary, bold, diverse role models for an array of children today. Each page, with a modern illustration, a brief biography, and an uplifting overview of her accomplishments, will inspire young world-changers both in social studies classrooms and at home. Ages eight and up." Foreword Reviews
About the Author
Kate Schatz is a writer, editor, and educator. Her book of fiction, Rid of Me: A Story
, was published in 2006 on Continuum Press as part of the acclaimed 33 1/3 series. Her writing has been published in Oxford American, Denver Quarterly, Joyland, and West Branch, among others, and her short story "Folsom, Survivor" was included as a 2010 Notable Short Story in Best American Short Stories 2011. She is a co-founder and editor of The Encyclopedia Project. She is the Chair of the School of Literary Arts at Oakland School for the Arts, where she teaches fiction, poetry, and journalism to 9th-12th graders. She received her MFA in Fiction from Brown University, and a double BA in Women's Studies/Creative Writing from UC Santa Cruz. She lives with her family on the island of Alameda.
Miriam Klein Stahl is a visual artist whose work incorporates drawing and traditional printmaking as well as public and social practice installations. Her work has been exhibited in galleries and spaces around the country and is published in numerous books. Her most recent public installation projects include the 2011 Freedom Bus Project, where she worked as a Lead Artist on design for buses in the AC transit fleet to commemorate the Montgomery Bus Boycott. She is a co-founder/lead teacher of the Arts and Humanities Academy at Berkeley High School, and holds a position as an Arts Commissioner in the City of Berkeley. She lives in Berkeley, CA, with her partner Lena, their 7 yr-old daughter Hazel, and Lenny the dog.