Bound To Stay Bound

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Booklist - 02/01/2018 *Starred Review* There are many books about the women’s suffrage movement and the leaders who pushed, marched, insisted, and persisted until voting rights became a reality. But few offer such a comprehensive overview while still being appealingly accessible to a middle-grade audience. The authors begin at England’s 1840 World Anti-Slavery Convention, where Elizabeth Cady Stanton hoped to participate in the proceedings. Realizing that she was barred because “I was only a woman” was a shock to her system. But she used that shock to make waves in America, writing a Declaration of Sentiments that included the right to vote. Suffrage was a sticking point for even some of her cohorts, yet it soon became a rallying point, and almost 100 years later, a reality. This follows the struggles, intimidation, indignities, and disappointments that occurred on the road to the vote. The authors don’t shy away from showing the women’s imperfections; for instance, Stanton, infuriated that African American men were granted the right to vote before women, sometimes used racist imagery. Extra information comes in sidebars: the cleverly titled “Know Your Radicals” profiles more suffragettes, while “Putting It in Perspective” details other branches of reform movements. Plenty of photographs add interest, but the design is not exactly lively. Fortunately, the writing is, and lots of young people will find this eye-opening. - Copyright 2018 Booklist.

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