Rad American Women A-Z: Rebels, Trailblazers, and Visionaries Who Shaped Our History… and Our Future! illustrates the alphabet with 26 rad—as in radical—American women who changed the world.
Instead of “A is for Apple” and “B is for Ball,” author Kate Schatz and illustrator Miriam Klein Stahl give us the activist Angela Davis and tennis pro Billie Jean King. From Dolores Huerta, who co-founded the United Farm Workers Association, to the transgender writer and youth advocate Kate Bornstein, each short biography celebrates a woman who made a difference. The book highlights diverse individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds and shares the stories how they became fighters and dreamers, the leaders and innovators of American history.
My favorite part of the book is the entry for the letter X. “X is for the women whose names we don’t know. It’s for the women we haven’t learned about yet, and the women whose stories we will never read. X is for the women whose voices weren’t heard.” It goes on, acknowledging the imperfection and incompleteness of our history books and also marking a place for the accomplishments of women today and in the future.
Readers of various ages, from elementary school through adulthood, will find this book accessible and empowering. Miriam Klein Stahl’s illustrations—bold, black paper cutouts that accompany each biography—make the book even more appealing to kids and teens.
The book ends with a resource guide of other books, organizations, and websites, as well as a list of 26 things you can do to be rad. It entreats the reader to act as an ally, ask questions and make mistakes, voice her opinion, and practice zero tolerance for discrimination.
Lemony Snicket describes this book as, “a guest list for a party of my heroes.” I couldn’t agree more. Celebrate the brave, inspiring women of American history, and read Rad American Women A-Z today!