Heroines: Great Women Through the Ages

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9780789202109: Heroines: Great Women Through the Ages
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The lives of twelve women--including Joan of Arc, Sacagawea, Marie Curie, Madame Sun Yat-Sen, and Frida Kahlo--are portrayed in a collection of biographical portraits that draws on many cultures and time periods.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

This volume, subtitled ``Great Women Through the Ages,'' offers brief biographies of 12 women who made their marks: Agnodice, Lady Murasaki Shikibu, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Joan of Arc, Elizabeth I, Sacagawea, Harriet Tubman, Marie Curie, Anna Akhmatova, Madame Sun Yat-Sen, Amelia Earhart, and Frida Kahlo. Every heroine is covered in a few brief, occasionally superficial paragraphs: a page or two about her life, another spread covering her era and milieu, and a third covering, in one case, ``Sacagawea's World,'' and in Harriet Tubman's case, ``Ole Chariot,'' with a few more details about escapes from slavery. The chapter on Lady Murasaki Shikibu, described as the author of ``the world's first novel'' (The Tale of Genji), consists of a few sentences on her life story, some commentary on Japanese court life and courting rituals, and general notes on medieval Japanese culture in general. The accompanying map shows sites in Japan that relate to Lady Murasaki's life and Genji, but, like the other maps in the book, is superficial and so primitively rendered as to be useless. The illustrations are another weak point, derivative and sometimes poorly drafted (Sir Francis Drake suffers from this, as does Earhart). The subjects are inherently fascinating, but the presentation is too simplistic to satisfy; the book feels packaged and won't whet readers' appetites for more information. (maps, further reading) (Biographies. 10+) -- Copyright ©1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 5-8-A wonderful introduction to a diverse group of 12 women, from ancient Greece to modern times. Each heroine receives a three-to-four page discussion, along with Hazell's period-style illustrations and a loosely drawn map. Facts, including cultural and historical background, are mixed with the author's informed suppositions. This is especially apparent in the entries describing subjects about whom little is known, such as Lady Murasaki Shikibu (author of The Tale of Genji) and Sacagawea. The chapter about Agnodice, an ancient Greek healer, is based on stories and legends and rounded out with a discussion of early medicine and a description of ancient Athens. Three modern women are also depicted: Anna Akhmatova, Madame Sun Yat-Sen (Soong Ching-ling), and Frida Kahlo. The other six heroines are well-known figures who have received a good amount of biographical attention: Eleanor of Aquitaine, Joan of Arc, Queen Elizabeth I, Harriet Tubman, Marie Curie, and Amelia Earhart. A helpful list for further reading, with adult and juvenile sources, is appended. Though limited as a research tool, this book uses well-chosen details and anecdotes to bring each subject to life.
Marilyn Taniguchi, Santa Monica Public Library, CA
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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