Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Rebels In Dresses

Rebels In Dresses

Juvenile nonfiction
"Every girl is born with true grit."
You find these words on the back of the two Rebel in a Dress
books I snagged from the children's wing of the Orono Public Library:
Cowgirls and Adventurers, both written by Sylvia Branzei and
illustrated by Melisaa Sweet. Both volumes are eye catching,
deceptively slender, and packed with fascinating fact and legend.
Each tells the story of twelve amazing, unconventional women who made
their marks on history.
In Cowgirls, horses and frontier are a common denominator.
You've probably heard of Annie Oakley and Calamity Jane. Now you can
learn about women like:
*Mary Fields who, at 63, became the first African American woman
employed by the United States Postal Service. In eight years driving
a mail stagecoach she missed only one delivery. She packed a shotgun,
scaring off any would be bandits;
*Georgie Connell Sicking, accomplished "lady cowboy" who, in later
years, turned to--ready for this?--poetry. You should read her piece,
Be Yourself, on her childhood refusal to become a proper lady;
*Charley Parkhurst, stagecoach driver, who was only discovered to be a
woman after her death...
Adventurers brings to life women of daring who blazed trails on
Earth and in water and the heavens. You probably have heard of Amelia
Earhart and Nellie Bly. Now get ready to meet
*Bessie Coleman, sharecroppers' daughter, who knew she had potential
to be more than a maid. When she couldn't attend aviation school in
the United States she went all the way to France to make her dream
come true;
*Dr. Diana Hoff who rowed, that's right, rowed, across the Atlantic
Ocean solo. Can you imagine being alone in a tiny boat on a huge
ocean for 113 days?
*Margaret Bourke-White who dropped commercial photography to take on,
"...only those photographic assignments which I felt could be done in
a creative and constructive way." As America's first woman war
photographer, she ended up taking pictures of post war Nazi
concentration camps that confirmed the world's worst fears...
These volumes would make an excellent contribution to public,
school, and classroom libraries...and just in time for the holiday
season. :)
On a personal note, I love reading about the women who inspire me. If
I wasn't blind in one eye Adam wouldn't be the only aviator in the
family. And as a journalist I try hard to follow Nellie Bly's example.
Oh, yeah, it's the day before Thanksgiving with a big storm ready to
slam into Maine any time now. I wish all my readers a safe and happy
Thanksgiving with plenty to be thankful for.
A great big shout out goes out to today's rebels in dresses.
Julia Emily Hathaway

Sent from my iPod

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