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How Women Won the Vote: Alice Paul, Lucy Burns, and Their Big Idea

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This is how history should be told to kids! From Newbery Honor medalist Susan Campbell Bartoletti and in time to celebrate the 100th anniversary of woman suffrage in America comes the page-turning, stunningly illustrated, and tirelessly researched story of the little-known DC Women’s March of 1913. Bartoletti spins a story like few others—deftly taking readers by the hand an This is how history should be told to kids! From Newbery Honor medalist Susan Campbell Bartoletti and in time to celebrate the 100th anniversary of woman suffrage in America comes the page-turning, stunningly illustrated, and tirelessly researched story of the little-known DC Women’s March of 1913. Bartoletti spins a story like few others—deftly taking readers by the hand and introducing them to suffragettes Alice Paul and Lucy Burns. Paul and Burns met in a London jail and fought their way through hunger strikes, jail time, and much more to win a long, difficult victory for America and its women. Includes extensive back matter and dozens of archival images to evoke the time period between 1909 and 1920.   


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This is how history should be told to kids! From Newbery Honor medalist Susan Campbell Bartoletti and in time to celebrate the 100th anniversary of woman suffrage in America comes the page-turning, stunningly illustrated, and tirelessly researched story of the little-known DC Women’s March of 1913. Bartoletti spins a story like few others—deftly taking readers by the hand an This is how history should be told to kids! From Newbery Honor medalist Susan Campbell Bartoletti and in time to celebrate the 100th anniversary of woman suffrage in America comes the page-turning, stunningly illustrated, and tirelessly researched story of the little-known DC Women’s March of 1913. Bartoletti spins a story like few others—deftly taking readers by the hand and introducing them to suffragettes Alice Paul and Lucy Burns. Paul and Burns met in a London jail and fought their way through hunger strikes, jail time, and much more to win a long, difficult victory for America and its women. Includes extensive back matter and dozens of archival images to evoke the time period between 1909 and 1920.   

30 review for How Women Won the Vote: Alice Paul, Lucy Burns, and Their Big Idea

  1. 4 out of 5

    Alice (Married To Books)

    Listened to the audiobook via BookBeat UK! This is a short historical listen about how two women went to London and marched with the suffragettes, met in a police station and travelled to their home country the USA to fight for the right of women to vote. Alice and Lucy were both so determined and never gave up their plans, persisting till the day that victory was successful. Interesting book!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Vicki

    This book is the perfect balance of comprehensive/inclusive and accessible. I liked its organization and page layouts: alternating between short diagrams/pictures and paragraph text while also including a lot of primary source material and a BEAUTIFUL two-page spread of the suffragette march in DC. It was easy to digest in one sitting and provided a framework for understanding that would allow readers to pick up longer chapter books right after - especially Lifting As We Climb by Evette Dionne. This book is the perfect balance of comprehensive/inclusive and accessible. I liked its organization and page layouts: alternating between short diagrams/pictures and paragraph text while also including a lot of primary source material and a BEAUTIFUL two-page spread of the suffragette march in DC. It was easy to digest in one sitting and provided a framework for understanding that would allow readers to pick up longer chapter books right after - especially Lifting As We Climb by Evette Dionne. Bartoletti includes mention of Black women in this movement as well as the racism against them by white suffragettes, but she missed the opportunity to clarify that when the amendment passed in 1920, it didn’t grant the right to vote for ALL women.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Susan Lampe

    Dramatically beautiful illustrations accompany a simple well-written text to lead the reader through the story of Alice Paul and Lucy Burns. The two women met in a London police station, became friends, and took what they'd learned there about organizing for women's suffrage to their own country, the United States to push for the right for women to vote. Both end up in jail several times, battered, bruised. They are force-fed but persist in fighting for their idea that women deserve the right to Dramatically beautiful illustrations accompany a simple well-written text to lead the reader through the story of Alice Paul and Lucy Burns. The two women met in a London police station, became friends, and took what they'd learned there about organizing for women's suffrage to their own country, the United States to push for the right for women to vote. Both end up in jail several times, battered, bruised. They are force-fed but persist in fighting for their idea that women deserve the right to vote. A delightful, informative read for women of all ages to share.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Emily Romrell

    I read this with my 4.5 year old daughter. As we read I would skip some sentences that were too mature/scary for her so I basically read her a paired down version of this book. However, we both loved it! I learned a ton and so did she! We both loved the combination of illustrations and real photos. I used this book to start conversations about some important topics - suffrage, protests, government, race, discrimination, etc. The morning after I read it to her, she asked me to read it again and s I read this with my 4.5 year old daughter. As we read I would skip some sentences that were too mature/scary for her so I basically read her a paired down version of this book. However, we both loved it! I learned a ton and so did she! We both loved the combination of illustrations and real photos. I used this book to start conversations about some important topics - suffrage, protests, government, race, discrimination, etc. The morning after I read it to her, she asked me to read it again and she had a lot of good questions! I can’t wait to read this to her again and in more detail as she gets older!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    I'll be honest. I am floored by the inhumane treatment that these women received in their quest for voting rights equality. The behavior of people opposed to women's suffrage described within is appalling, sickening, and disgraceful. This is one of those books that will stick with me for a long time. Even further, the underlying racial discrimination encountered from within the suffragist movement at major protest events means that there isn't really any entirely good side. Certainly, I am on th I'll be honest. I am floored by the inhumane treatment that these women received in their quest for voting rights equality. The behavior of people opposed to women's suffrage described within is appalling, sickening, and disgraceful. This is one of those books that will stick with me for a long time. Even further, the underlying racial discrimination encountered from within the suffragist movement at major protest events means that there isn't really any entirely good side. Certainly, I am on the side of the suffragists, but why can't one oppressed population recognize when they are perpetuating oppressive treatment toward some of their own? I mean, someone wants equality for themselves, but doesn't think they need to give what they want to get? Now that I've ranted a bit, this book was phenomenal. I would advise that anyone that wants to better understand the women's suffrage movement give this one a read, regardless of their age. If you're literate enough to understand it, you'd be better for having read it. Great. Simply great.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Abby Johnson

    This book is cram packed with archival photos, facts, timelines, and much more that shows the incredible struggle women faced to pass an amendment to guarantee women the vote. It was sometimes violent and this book doesn't shy away from that (not does it glorify it). This is a wonderful nonfiction book to have for older elementary or middle school students learning about Suffrage. This book is cram packed with archival photos, facts, timelines, and much more that shows the incredible struggle women faced to pass an amendment to guarantee women the vote. It was sometimes violent and this book doesn't shy away from that (not does it glorify it). This is a wonderful nonfiction book to have for older elementary or middle school students learning about Suffrage.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Meredith

    It's hard to believe that women have only had the right to vote for 100 years. But at the same time, it's not hard to believe at all. We still have such a long way to go for true equality and equal rights. This is a good overview of women's suffrage in the United States, specifically the last 10 or so years before 19th amendment was passed. Truthfully, it didn't get deep enough into the subject for me, but it's a good start for kids who aren't already familiar with the history. And I learned som It's hard to believe that women have only had the right to vote for 100 years. But at the same time, it's not hard to believe at all. We still have such a long way to go for true equality and equal rights. This is a good overview of women's suffrage in the United States, specifically the last 10 or so years before 19th amendment was passed. Truthfully, it didn't get deep enough into the subject for me, but it's a good start for kids who aren't already familiar with the history. And I learned some new things, too. I really appreciated the back matter, which gave me some good ideas of books I could read to learn more.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jane

    An excellent, thorough overview of the women's suffrage movement in the United States An excellent, thorough overview of the women's suffrage movement in the United States

  9. 5 out of 5

    Tyler Staggs

    I read this book for my Children's Materials class in library school. I'm just now learning how to read children's lit critically, and I think this book is a great example of quality children's nonfiction. The tone is never condescending, the text doesn't shy away from or omit the potentially controversial material, like Alice, Lucy, and their allies' force-feedings in British and American jails, or the racial prejudice within the women's suffrage movement that alienated so many black women who I read this book for my Children's Materials class in library school. I'm just now learning how to read children's lit critically, and I think this book is a great example of quality children's nonfiction. The tone is never condescending, the text doesn't shy away from or omit the potentially controversial material, like Alice, Lucy, and their allies' force-feedings in British and American jails, or the racial prejudice within the women's suffrage movement that alienated so many black women who fought for suffrage, like Ida B. Wells. The archival photos are really cool, especially the big two-page spread of the 1913 suffrage march. There are extensive citations in the back of the book that show exactly where Bartoletti is getting the dialogue she uses in the text, which is apparently a really big deal in this genre since we don't want authors fictionalizing the words or thoughts of historical figures in a nonfiction book. This book was obviously thoroughly researched. As I saw another user point out, the book does contain one pretty crucial omission. Bartoletti writes that after the ratification of the 19th Amendment, "Women had won the right to vote." Of course, this isn't entirely true. White women had won the right to vote. Many black women still lived in Jim Crow America. It would've been nice to read something about the voting rights of black men and women. There is a call-to-arms section at the end of the book that provides some information about the Equal Rights Amendment and the 2017 Women's March, but the book never mentions the gutting of the Voting Rights Act by the Supreme Court in Shelby County vs. Holder, or the rampant voter suppression that continues to characterize American politics. Another minor distortion of history takes place when Bartoletti writes that the sinking of American merchant ships got the US into World War One. That isn't really true. Wilson had wanted to enter the war for a long time, the sinking of boats like the Lusitania just gave him a useful propaganda tool and casus belli. And it's not totally accurate to claim that the US was "neutral" before 1917. We'd been supplying the allies with tons of guns and money. Another thing I'm curious about is the anthropomorphic depiction of the horses in the book's illustrations. I wonder if that wouldn't be considered condescending to a young reader. Overall though, an engaging and informative children's book.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ben Truong

    How Women Won the Vote: Alice Paul, Lucy Burns, and Their Big Idea is a children's picture book written by Susan Campbell Bartoletti and illustrated by Ziyue Chen. It highlights of the continuing women's suffrage movement in the United States in the second decade of the 20th century. Alice Stokes Paul was an American suffragist, feminist, and women's rights activist, and one of the main leaders and strategists of the campaign for the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits How Women Won the Vote: Alice Paul, Lucy Burns, and Their Big Idea is a children's picture book written by Susan Campbell Bartoletti and illustrated by Ziyue Chen. It highlights of the continuing women's suffrage movement in the United States in the second decade of the 20th century. Alice Stokes Paul was an American suffragist, feminist, and women's rights activist, and one of the main leaders and strategists of the campaign for the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits sex discrimination in the right to vote. Lucy Burns was an American suffragist and women's rights advocate. She was a passionate activist in the United States and in the United Kingdom. Together they ultimately formed the National Woman's Party. Bartoletti's text is rather simplistic, straightforward, and informative. Bartoletti traces the history of American suffrage rather well with sidebars, captions, and the inclusion of photos and newspaper clippings. Backmatter includes source notes, further reading, and index. Chen’s clear and unaffected illustrations convey the conflict and struggle without sensationalism. The premise of the book is rather straightforward. When young Americans Alice Paul and Lucy Burns met in London in June 1909, they formed a connection that would energize the next 11 years of activism for women's suffrage in the United States. It recounts the women's experiences in England during 1909, ending with the hunger strike and forced feeding at Holloway prison. It details the organization of the 1913 parade in Washington for women's suffrage on the eve of President Woodrow Wilson’s inauguration, taking care to bring attention to the struggle of black women such as Ida B. Wells to be recognized and included. It also describes Paul's continued protests and founding of the National Women’s Party as suffragists’ efforts met with ongoing resistance. All in all, How Women Won the Vote: Alice Paul, Lucy Burns, and Their Big Idea is a well-documented, highly condensed introduction with substantial visual appeal.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    3.5 stars I grabbed this from the library because of the US's centennial of women's suffrage. And one of my groups on Ravelry is doing a Red Shawl Knit-A-Long for the centennial (because of Susan B Anthony's signature red shawl). I wanted to know more about the events leading up to the ratification of the 19th amendment. This is a lovely little children's book telling the tale of Alice Paul and Lucy Burns - taking them from their college days in the UK (learning to protest) through their work in 3.5 stars I grabbed this from the library because of the US's centennial of women's suffrage. And one of my groups on Ravelry is doing a Red Shawl Knit-A-Long for the centennial (because of Susan B Anthony's signature red shawl). I wanted to know more about the events leading up to the ratification of the 19th amendment. This is a lovely little children's book telling the tale of Alice Paul and Lucy Burns - taking them from their college days in the UK (learning to protest) through their work in the US and finally success in 1920. I suspect it is better in print than in audio - having lots of headings and subheadings made it a bit disjointed. But it's nicely done and would be great for kids. And the narrator was terrific!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Alicia

    Using two women who were suffragists, Bartoletti frames how women won the vote including some warts that now are coming to the forefront like outright racism. With all of that in the mix, this longer biographical / historical picture book has love illustrations that every so often include an actual historical photograph which I LOVED as an addition to the story itself. Women were force fed during their imprisonment. They picketed out front of the White House, they were told to give up by other w Using two women who were suffragists, Bartoletti frames how women won the vote including some warts that now are coming to the forefront like outright racism. With all of that in the mix, this longer biographical / historical picture book has love illustrations that every so often include an actual historical photograph which I LOVED as an addition to the story itself. Women were force fed during their imprisonment. They picketed out front of the White House, they were told to give up by other women. But they persevered and won the right to vote by pushing for the passage of the 19th amendment. It's a smattering of elements using the framework of two "lesser known" but important historical figures who met at the rally in England before taking it back to the United States.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    A great longer (80 pages) picture book to help older elementary students learn about the events leading up to the ratification of the 19th Amendment. It begins with the suffrage movement in Great Britain and goes through the first time that women can vote after the ratification of the 19th Amendment. It does not hide some of the racial discrimination that occurred within the movement. Along with eye-catching illustrations are photographs from the time period and other original sources. There is A great longer (80 pages) picture book to help older elementary students learn about the events leading up to the ratification of the 19th Amendment. It begins with the suffrage movement in Great Britain and goes through the first time that women can vote after the ratification of the 19th Amendment. It does not hide some of the racial discrimination that occurred within the movement. Along with eye-catching illustrations are photographs from the time period and other original sources. There is a timeline of significant suffrage events at the end that includes the information of Utah women’s disenfranchisement at the hands of the US Congress. A list of sources is included and a list of further reading. This is an excellent resource for the upper elementary school classroom.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Dana

    Happy Women's History Month! This was a pretty short and sweet historical account aimed at younger readers. For me, it served as a good overview and timeline for the UK and US suffrage movements. The force-feeding of the women while imprisoned was included in this account, introducing some of the hardships and cruelty that can be faced when trying to create social change. I really appreciated the inclusion of women of colour and how they were received by some of the White Suffragists and especial Happy Women's History Month! This was a pretty short and sweet historical account aimed at younger readers. For me, it served as a good overview and timeline for the UK and US suffrage movements. The force-feeding of the women while imprisoned was included in this account, introducing some of the hardships and cruelty that can be faced when trying to create social change. I really appreciated the inclusion of women of colour and how they were received by some of the White Suffragists and especially the final thoughts that the book leaves the reader with, this was just the beginning. There is an emphasis on pursuing equality for all which is a great message and will hopefully inspire a new generation of activists.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    This is an absolutely stunning book about 2 prominent women in the suffragist movement and their history and contributions in fighting for women's rights. Not only did I love the storytelling in the book but I loved the combination of drawn illustrations and real photographs. I learned so much about Alice Paul and Lucy Burns that I never knew. While I don't necessarily agree with all of their methods, I was outraged at the injustices they were forced to endure. It is such a complete, well-writte This is an absolutely stunning book about 2 prominent women in the suffragist movement and their history and contributions in fighting for women's rights. Not only did I love the storytelling in the book but I loved the combination of drawn illustrations and real photographs. I learned so much about Alice Paul and Lucy Burns that I never knew. While I don't necessarily agree with all of their methods, I was outraged at the injustices they were forced to endure. It is such a complete, well-written, well-executed story that I can't wait to add the book to my personal collection.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Donna Schwartz

    This is a book for tweens, but I loved reading it myself. It gives a condensed version of how women in England and the US fought for the right to vote. I was familiar with some of the story having seen several movies on the topic, but once again racism reared its ugly head, as the black women were rejected when they asked to be a part of the demonstrations. I think it's very important for young people to be aware of how hard people fought for the rights they may be taking for granted. This is a book for tweens, but I loved reading it myself. It gives a condensed version of how women in England and the US fought for the right to vote. I was familiar with some of the story having seen several movies on the topic, but once again racism reared its ugly head, as the black women were rejected when they asked to be a part of the demonstrations. I think it's very important for young people to be aware of how hard people fought for the rights they may be taking for granted.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    Lots of detail about Alice Paul, very little about Susan B Anthony. Leaves the impression that the latter had achieved virtually nothing and only the more militant tactics Paul imported from the Pankhursts in England won us the right to vote. But that is not argued, just implied. Now I’d like to read a book aimed at adults that would make such an argument. Don’t know how well kids would enjoy this book which is pretty rich in tactical detail

  18. 5 out of 5

    Cristine Williams

    A well done history for young people of the women’s suffrage movement in America. The graphics were excellent. Also, glad that racial discrimination was discussed as black women who wished to join the Washington parade were being discriminated against. The Timeline of the Suffrage events in the the United States was very helpful.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jan Lynch

    This book is a delightful way to learn about Alice Paul, Lucy Stone, and the events leading up to the passage of the 19th Amendment, as well as an encouragement to take action about what is important. Concisely and engagingly narrated, colorfully illustrated, and quick to read. Silently appreciated over coffee, or cheerfully read aloud to children, highly recommended.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Pam

    Bartoletti takes readers through the experiences of Alice Paul and Lucy Burns as they first joined the women's voting rights movement in Great Britain and then came back to the United States to fight for these rights here. The illustrations and photos show the energy and danger involved in fighting for what is right and just. Bartoletti takes readers through the experiences of Alice Paul and Lucy Burns as they first joined the women's voting rights movement in Great Britain and then came back to the United States to fight for these rights here. The illustrations and photos show the energy and danger involved in fighting for what is right and just.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Annie

    I loved everything about this book until I got to the very last page. I wish they had not included a picture and description of the women’s march in Washington from 2017. In my opinion, that took away from the purpose of the rest of the book. They should’ve just left it out. Other than that, this is a fantastic book, written in an interesting way, and with great artwork.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Tam Wallace

    A wonderful book to tell the story of the fight for women's Democratic rights This was a short children's book. But the pictures were wonderful and worked with the narrative. Not too difficult for young children to understand. A pleasant read. A wonderful book to tell the story of the fight for women's Democratic rights This was a short children's book. But the pictures were wonderful and worked with the narrative. Not too difficult for young children to understand. A pleasant read.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Alice

    4.25 stars I love this book. I was interested in the subject matter but I also learned something new! I love that is has illustrations and actual photographs. This is just a well written interesting book!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lena

    This was a great overview of the last wing of the women’s suffrage movement. Loved the combination of illustrations and historical photos! Learned a lot I didn’t know, and appreciated that this book was both detailed and easy to follow.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lindsey

    I loved the incorporation or photographs with the illustrations.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Leonard Kim

    The 4* rating is a “good book for kids” statement rather than a statement about literary merit.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kirsten

    A well-written introduction to the suffragist’s fight for women to vote in the United States.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Janice

    Should be required reading for all women and girls. Once Jenny is old enough, she will be sure to vote after reading what all these women did for us.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    A mix of illustrations, photos, and news articles, sometimes all on the same page supplement the text. Back mater makes this a stand-out nonfiction title.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    Great use of primary source documents. Very interesting.

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