Suffrage Centennial 1920-2020

Tuesday, August 18, marks the one-hundredth anniversary of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment: "The right of the citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex..."

Three new nonfiction books on women's suffrage are reviewed in the upcoming September/October issue of The Horn Book Magazine: the picture book How Women Won the Vote: Alice Paul, Lucy Burns, and Their Big Idea by Susan Campbell Bartoletti, illustrated by Ziyue Chen; for middle graders and middle schoolers 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, illustrated by various artists; and for middle school and up Lifting as We Climb: Black Women’s Battle for the Ballot Box by Evette Dionne.

In addition, read Votes for Women!: American Suffragists and the Battle for the Ballot by Winifred Conkling and our Five Questions interview with the author. And check out 2019's "Collective Biographies for Women's History Month" post, with recommendations for all ages; plus lists for primary and older readers compiled by Cindy from the Guide/Reviews Database; free login info here. (Art from button in photo above from Around America to Win the Vote: Two Suffragists, a Kitten, and 10,000 Miles by Mara Rockliff, illus. by Hadley Hooper; Candlewick.)   

This year is historic for women in politics, as Senator Kamala Harris was just named the vice presidential candidate and Joe Biden's running mate. As the first African American and Asian American woman running as Veep for a majory political party, Harris's accomplishments are groundbreaking and many — including, we believe, this picture-book-related first.

There's still a long way to go, with barriers and roadblocks historically, perpetually, and continually placed between some voters and the ballot box. In Lifting As We ClimbEvette Dionne reminds us: “preserving the right to vote still matters — forever and always.” Study, fight, and VOTE!

Elissa Gershowitz

Elissa Gershowitz is executive editor of The Horn Book, Inc. She holds an MA from the Center for the Study of Children's Literature at Simmons University and a BA from Oberlin College.

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