Amelia to Zora: Twenty-six Women Who Changed the World
Amelia to Zora: Twenty-six Women Who Changed the World
Product Code: 15222
Binding Information: Hardback
Grade Highest: and up
Grade Lowest: 2nd
Availability: In stock
Twenty-six amazing women; twenty-six amazing stories. From Amelia Earhart, pilot and adventurer, to Zora Neal Hurston, writer and anthropologist, learn about the hardships and triumphs that inspired each woman to change the world around her. Detailed collages and illustrations draw from various events in the women's lives.
As a child I loved reading biographies. When my teachers assigned a book report, I'd head straight for the biography shelves at Murch Elementary School library in Washington, D.C. Reading people's life stories inspired me. I could empathize with their struggles, glory in their achievements, and use their examples to overcome the obstacles in my life.
Writing Amelia to Zora allowed me to do one of my favorite things—curl up with biographies of women I admire. Through each woman's experiences I lived vicariously and was transformed by her strength, courage, and determination. As you learn about these women I hope you will also see the possibilites in your own life.
I wanted the women I chose to be easy to identify with, so I looked for contemporary figures who were diverse in nationality, profession, race, and religion. Although each profile is short, my intent is to spark an interest and encourage further study of each woman. With so many women to choose from, it was hard to know where to start. I picked some famous women, but I wanted to highlight others who might be new to you.
I chose given names, rather than family names, for each woman, so that "A is for Amelia" instead of "E is for Earhart." Family names are usually based on a father's or husband's name. Using a woman's given name felt more personal to me. I followed this strategy with Asian names, in which the given name comes after the family name. Thus for Chen Xiefen, "X is for Xiefen." For Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, "S is fro Suu Kyi." In Burmese, Daw is an honorary title, meaning aunt, Aung San is the family name and Suu Kyi is the given name.
As you get to know these women, I hope you will think of them as I do—kindred spirits whose words and actions will inspire and guide you.
— Cynthia Chin-Lee
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Akira to Zoltán: Twenty-Six Men Who Changed the World
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Binding Information: Paperback
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Book Links Best New Books for the Classroom
Book Sense Children's Picks List - Summer 2005
49th Annual New England Book Show Juvenile Book Award
ABC Best Books for Children
Amelia Bloomer Project
Bank Street College of Education's Best Books of the Year
Bookbuilders of Boston New England Book Show Winner
CCBC Choices 2006
Disney Adventures Book Award - nominee
IRA/CBC Children's Choices for 2006
Legacy Book Award
National Parenting Publications Award (NAPPA) Gold Award 9+
NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People
RIF 2012-2013 STEAM Multicultural Booklist
With spirited language and marvelous collages, an abecedarium of contemporary women takes flight. Chin-Lee doesn’t attempt, in her single page of text, to do anything but evoke the lives of her subjects, but she does that powerfully. For each woman, she tells an anecdote or illuminates a single action rather than summarize an entire life. Each page also includes a quotation from her subject. By using their given names instead of their family names, she not only personalizes her approach, but also creates an intimacy between these women and their readers. D is for Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the United Farm Workers; G is for Grace Hopper, who helped create COBOL and popularized the term "bug" for computer errors; O is for Oprah; U is for Ursula Le Guin, writer and activist. The collages use everything from cloth, photographs, pen-and-ink drawings, found objects and dried flowers to make images that invite repeated examination. Many of these women are still alive and working; the earliest birth date is Helen Keller’s in 1880. An inspiration and a delight.
An introduction to 26 diverse, 20th-century women who have made a difference in such varied fields as the arts, sports, journalism, science, and entertainment. The entries include Dolores Huerta, Frida Kahlo, Lena Horne, Maya Lin, and Patricia Schroeder. Determination, imagination, perseverance, and strength are what bind them together. Entries are arranged alphabetically by first name; each woman is featured on a full page that includes a two-paragraph introduction, a quote, and striking mixed-media art that illustrates the essence of the person. There is sophistication in both the quotes and in the art, encouraging repeated readings. The nuggets of information should inspire readers and leave them with a thirst to know more about these women. Kathleen Krull's Lives of Extraordinary Women
(Harcourt, 2000) takes a more detailed, humorous look at 20 women (both books include Wilma Mankiller); Lynne Cheney's A Is for Abigail: An Almanac of Amazing American Women
(S & S, 2003) is more limited in scope.
, starred review - April 30, 2005
There are many books on women and the strides that they've made, but this one is very smart--in design, art, and choice of subject. Some choices are expected, but others, such as Pueblo painter Quah Ah and Egyptian doctor and activist Nawal El Sadaawi, are unusual. Chin-Lee uses her subjects' given names, as family names mostly relate to fathers or husbands. The illustrations are done in a remarkable mix of media. Against textured backgrounds, an image of each woman in signature moment takes center stage: Babe Didrikson Zaharias, looking like a paper doll in a cutout photo, takes a swing. Inventor Grace Hopper is shown with calculations and sun-shaped pieces of metal bursting out of the top of her head. The text portions are short--only several paragraphs about each women--but they are enticing. By choosing her subjects from every culture, the author introduces children to the scope of the struggles and achievements of women from many times and many places.
Kelly Peroni, Book Sense Picks - April 30, 2005
This has got to be the best biography/history book for young readers that I have read in some time. I loved both the concise bios and the wealth of information.
Library Media Connection - November 30, 2005
This book provides brief biographical sketches about contemporary and historical women from various cultures and nations. Cynthia Chin-Lee includes both well-known figures, such as Oprah Winfrey and Eleanor Roosevelt, and figures who are more obscure, such as Nawal El Sadaawi and Quah Ah. Quotes from or about each woman extend the reader's understanding of the biographees, and compelling multimedia illustrations provide fitting accompaniment to each biographical sketch. Vocabulary and sentence structure are appropriate for intermediate and middle school readers who may be put off by the picture book format. Librarians may have problems placing this otherwise quality publication. This book remains a good jumping-off point for further reading.
The girl power companion to Akira to Zoltán: Twenty-Six Men Who Changed the World
celebrates the accomplishments of 26 admirable, brave, cheeky women from all over the world who refused to ever take ‘no’ for an answer and made their own herstory along the way!
Just in time for the latest Olympics, check out “B is for Babe,” as in “Babe” Mildred Didrikson Zaharias, who “won more medals and set more records than any athlete of her time, man or woman,” so much so that she was only allowed to participate in three events during the 1932 Olympics. Not only did the judges fear her prowess, but they denied her her third gold medal – in the high jump because they didn’t like her headfirst hurling technique, which has since become standard practice!
While we all remember the “Yes, we can!” motto of Obama’s winning campaign, we must give credit where credit is due: “D is for Dolores,” as in Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the United Farm Workers (UFW), who had her rallying cry decades ago with “Si, se puede!” … Yes, we can, en Español!
“G is for Grace,” as in Grace Hopper, who was anything but a Luddite, who helped make the UNIVAC computer, co-created the computer language COBOL, and popularized the term “computer bug.” If she were still around, certainly, she’d be doing some major virtual exterminating!
“K is for Kristi,” as in Yamaguchi, whose winning skates and skating dress reside at the Smithsonian. “N is for Nawal,” as in the multi-inspirational Nawal El Sadaawi who is doctor, writer, and women’s right fighter. “P is for Patricia,” as in Schroeder, who served 12 terms as a Congresswoman. “R is for Rachel” as in Carson who blew the whistle on the dangers of pesticides, a prescient environmentalist before her time. “S is fo Suu Kyi” as in the imprisoned, democracy-seeking Daw Aung San Suu Kyi who won the Nobel Peace Prize for her dedication to her troubled country of Burma.
“V is for Vijaya,” as in Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit, a courageous fire fighter, diplomat, and first woman president of the United Nations, who said, “The more we sweat in peace, the less we bleed in war.” Could we have a more appropriate 21st-century world motto? “Y is for Yoshiko,” as in Uchida, who spent her young girlhood in a U.S. prison camp during World War II just for looking like the enemy and went on write more than 25 books about her Japanese American experience.
At book’s end, Chin-Lee provides a detailed bibliography for further reading about any of her 26 subjects, and notes her own love of biographies which she explored on the shelves of Murch Elementary School right here in Washington, DC! [She currently lives in Palo Alto, California.] She also adds an incredibly thoughtful note about names: “I chose given names, rather than family names, for each woman … Family names are usually based on a father’s or husband’s name. Using a woman’s name seemed more personal to me.” She further explains, “I followed this strategy with Asian names, in which the given name comes after the family name. … For Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, ‘S is for Suu Kyi.’ In Burmese, Daw is an honorary title, meaning aunt, Aung San is the family name and Suu Kyi is the given name.”
In every way, every woman is each her own here.
In 26 brief biographical portraits, author Cynthia Chin-Lee offers children the opportunity to learn about accomplished women from many nations in many fields, and to also consider the ways childhood experiences and interests can influence what children grow up to do. Each woman is initially identified by her first name (to correspond to a letter of the alphabet) and a few words summarizing her life’s work. (“N is for Nawal, medical doctor, writer, and fighter for women’s rights” begins the profile of Nawal Ed Sadaawi.) Each profile starts by touching on one or more aspects of the individual’s childhood that can be seen as connecting in one way or another to the work she became know for as an adult. The text then summarize each woman’s accomplishments. In this diverse and dynamic mix, a few of the women chosen have been the subject of works for children (e.g., Amelia Earhart, Helen Keller), but the majority are fresh names and faces. All of them are presented with a lively, engaging blend of Chin-Lee’s narrative and Megan Halsey and Sean Addy’s fascinating visual interpretation of the women’s lives, such as the portrait of architect Maya Lin that includes a rubbing of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial she designed.