Colman, Penny Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony: A Friendship That Changed the World
Middle school, high school 256 pp. Holt/Ottaviano
“Yes, our work is one, we are one in aim and sympathy,” Elizabeth Cady Stanton wrote in an 1865 letter to Susan B. Anthony. Colman’s biography, rich in quotes from the women, details their respective upbringings and family lives while also showing the strides they made after joining forces to fight for equality. A sixteen-page photographic insert is included. Timeline, websites. Bib., ind.
Subjects: Individual biographies; Women—Biographies; Stanton, Elizabeth Cady; Anthony, Susan B.; Suffrage; Women—Suffragists; Women’s rights; Women—Social reformers; Social reformers; Feminism; Women—Feminists
Pinkney, Andrea Davis Hand in Hand: Ten Black Men Who Changed America
Gr. 4–6 243 pp. Disney/Jump
Illustrated by Brian Pinkney. In this 2013 Boston Globe–Horn Book Nonfiction Honor Book, the Pinkneys create a testament to ten African American men, from Benjamin Banneker to Barack Obama. Taken together, the men’s stories tell one larger story of triumph that spans American history. Each profile is compact but comprehensive and includes an introductory poem and a watercolor portrait. The illustrations are a perfect marriage of line, color, and medium and complement the colloquial and ebullient text. Reading list, timeline. Ind.
Subjects: Collective biographies; African Americans; Social reformers
Scandiffio, Laura People Who Said No: Courage Against Oppression
Middle school, high school 168 pp. Annick
Seven chapters profile people who fought against injustice throughout history. Individuals include Sophie and Hans Scholl (German teens who distributed pamphlets opposing the Third Reich), Óscar Romero (advocate for the poor in El Salvador), and Helen Suzman (who fought apartheid in South Africa). The final chapter focuses on the “Arab spring” protests in Egypt. Some of the accounts seem overly fictionalized, but this is an adequate introduction to some less-well-known activists. Bib., ind.
Subjects: Collective biographies; Political activists; Reformers; Social reformers; Activism
Silverman, Erica Liberty’s Voice: The Story of Emma Lazarus
Gr. K–3 32 pp. Dutton
Illustrated by Stacey Schuett. Silverman adroitly tells the story of the nineteenth-century New Yorker who defied the thinking that “girls who used their brains too much would become ill” and shone as a social activist and poet; her “The New Colossus” graces the base of the Statue of Liberty. Schuett’s multicolored swirls add verve to the staid historical backdrops. Reading list, websites. Bib.
Subjects: Individual biographies; Women—Biographies; Lazarus, Emma; Statue of Liberty (New York, NY); Statues; Poets; Women—Poets; Women—Jews; Jews; Social reformers; Women—Social reformers
Sawyer, Kem Knapp Nelson Mandela
Middle school, high school 176 pp. Morgan
O’Keefe, Sherry Aung San Suu Kyi
Middle school, high school 160 pp. Morgan
Martin, Michael J. Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Middle school, high school 144 pp. Morgan
Champion of Freedom series. Color and black-and-white archival photographs (some poorly reproduced), maps, and sidebars combine with a comprehensive text to present an accessible chronological biography of each notable activist. Firsthand accounts, drawn from a variety of sources, lend an authentic voice, while the discussion of historical events and figures provides the political and historical contexts that motivated such determination and sacrifice. Timeline, websites. Bib., ind.
Subjects: Individual biographies; Nobel Prize; Mandela, Nelson; Blacks; Prisons and prisoners; Politics; Apartheid; South Africa; Presidents—South Africa; Political activists; Burma; Women—Political activists; Women—Biographies; Aung San Suu Kyi; History, Modern—World War II; Germany; Bonhoeffer, Dietrich; Nazism; Clergy; Religion—Christianity
From the September 2013 issue of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book.