Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 05/15/2020 Bridie, a young Irish immigrant, is taken from a New York poorhouse and indentured to the Kigleys, a cruel family who abuse her severely for the slightest of mistakes. Fearing for her life, she escapes one night and encounters Rose, an African American girl, who dreams of being a scientist. With Rose’s help and friendship, Bridie finds herself working in the home of famed suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton just before the Seneca Falls Convention. Inspired by the convention, Bridie and Rose begin to believe that women and girls should have a voice. When a blast from Bridie’s past shows up needing help, she struggles to put her new beliefs into action, but she’s up to the task. Schwabach’s historical novel, based on actual events and famous figures, is a friendly introduction to the women’s rights and abolitionist movements of the nineteenth century. Though highly fictionalized, historical notes are included to provide readers with more information and context for the narrative. Fans of the American Girl or Dear America series are certain to enjoy this title.Women in Focus: The 19th in 2020 - Copyright 2020 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 06/01/2020 Gr 4–8—The setting is Seneca Falls, NY, 1848. Famine and war ravage Europe, cholera and malaria kill indiscriminately all over the world, and gold is found in California. There are many rules. One rule states children are never to speak unless spoken to. Another rule prohibits girls from learning math. There are many rules for white women, formal (women cannot vote or hold office) and informal (they should not defy their husbands or speak unless spoken to). Meanwhile, enslaved Black people are routinely and violently dehumanized. The novel opens with Bridie locked in a cell, again. Bridie is trouble; she asks too many questions and has opinions but she doesn't have the privilege of speaking her truth. Rose is stubborn. She is a young Black girl who wants to be a scientist and helps free people from slavery. These are things girls just don't do in America in 1848. When Bridie is sent to live on a farm as an indentured servant, she learns some rules are beyond unfair—they are inhumane. When she flees, she meets Rose, and together they encounter a cast of historical figures including Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Frederick Douglass, and Lucretia Mott, who navigate the organization of the human rights movement and, ultimately, the right to vote. With so many historical references, this novel is a strong example of historical fiction that could be utilized in U.S. history lessons on this important time period. VERDICT A smart, relevant purchase for upper elementary and middle school library shelves.—Christina Paolozzi, Bonaire Elem. Sch., GA - Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.