Around America to Win the Vote: Two Suffragists, a Kitten, and 10,000 Miles by Mara Rockliff, illustrated by Hadley Hooper

Published by Candlewick Press 

Summary:  On April 6, 1916, Nell Richardson and Alice Burke drove off from New York City in a little yellow car packed with, among other things, a tiny black kitten.  On September 30, 1930, they pulled back into New York City, smiling, sunburned, and with a full-grown cat.  They had circled the United States, driving south out to California and north back to New York, to promote the cause of women’s suffrage.  They got stuck in the mud, drove through a blizzard, and dodged bullets by the Rio Grande.  They attended parties and teas, drove in a circus parade, and won a medal at a fair in California.  It was a remarkable trip, given that the first cross-country car trip had only happened thirteen years before, and these two women doubled that. Each step of the way, they worked tirelessly for their cause, “Votes for women!”  At the end of the journey, Nell stayed home to rest, but Alice boarded a train and began the journey all over again.  The author’s notes give more information about both the drive and women’s struggle to get the vote in the United States; there’s also a list of books for further reading. 40 pages; grades K-3.

Pros:  A great addition to any unit on women’s studies or the right to vote.  The lively text is complemented by the cheerful, predominantly yellow (the color that represented women’s suffrage) illustrations.

Cons:  It seemed kind of icky that the women brought a sewing machine so that if anyone told them women should stay home to cook and sew, Nell would sew while making a speech to prove women could do both.

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