Review of Finish the Fight!: The Brave and Revolutionary Women Who Fought for the Right to Vote

Finish the Fight!: The Brave and Revolutionary Women Who Fought for the Right to Vote
by Veronica Chambers and members of the staff of the New York Times; illus. by various artists
Intermediate, Middle School    Versify/Houghton    144 pp.    g
8/20    978-0-358-40830-7    $18.99   
e-book ed.    978-0-358-40782-9    $9.99

Among the social justice movements at the core of American history is women’s suffrage. In this commemoration of the one-hundredth anniversary of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment, the authors have brought previously unsung heroines to the forefront. Women of various races, nationalities, and sexual orientations are celebrated for their contributions to the suffrage movement, even as many fought to be recognized as U.S. citizens. Their stories are woven into the key moments of the suffrage movement, beginning with the Seneca Falls Convention of 1848, held in upstate New York close to the Haudenosaunee/Iroquois community (who had long embraced women in voting and leadership positions). Care is taken to detail the work of all the women profiled, including when, exactly, they themselves secured the right to vote (for example, due to the Chinese Exclusion Act, Chinese American women were not allowed to vote until 1943). Careful to avoid a “happily ever after” message, the book reminds readers that “the battle over who is fully included in American democracy continues.” Eye-catching illustrations by various artists bolster these stories of activism and perseverance, including a double-page spread presenting the timeline of women’s suffrage as a board game, complete with twists and turns. The back matter comprises an authors’ note; suffragist “playing cards”; a comparison chart of women in government leadership positions, from 1920 to 2020; and an (unseen) bibliography and index. There are no source notes indicated in the galley. See also How Women Won the Vote and Lifting as We Climb, reviewed in this issue.

From the September/October 2020 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Eboni Njoku
Eboni Njoku is a children’s librarian at the Anacostia Neighborhood Library Branch of the DC Public Library.

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