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What Would She Do?: 25 True Stories of Trailblazing Rebel Women

Review

What Would She Do?: 25 True Stories of Trailblazing Rebel Women

WHAT WOULD SHE DO? by Kay Woodward is filled with blurbs about 25 different women. They come from all walks of life, all parts of the world and all timeframes. Some women are well known, like Amelia Earhart, Florence Nightingale and Joan of Arc. Others I had never heard of, like Junko Tabei and Frida Kahlo. The women are profiled in chronological order, starting with Cleopatra and ending with Malala Yousafzai.

Each profile covers four pages in the book. Included in each profile are two separate portraits of the woman profiled, a quote by them and a section of personal information that gives their name, date of birth, date of death (if applicable), nationality and profession. Each profile also includes a question and answer. The question is one that represents some type of event every girl can relate to that also relates to the person who is profiled. The answer is written to reflect an answer that might have been written by the profiled woman; hence the title of the book, WHAT WOULD SHE DO?

"The books is written in a very "chatty" style, as if the author is sitting there talking to you about these women....That's a unique touch which helps make the book relevant for today's audience."

For instance, for Cleopatra, the question is: "The girls in school say that your clothes are all wrong. They're either too long, too fancy, too blue, too baggy, too floaty, too flowery, or too plain. Is there anything you can wear without them laughing at you? What would Cleopatra do?"

The answer is: "Easy. Cleopatra would do absolutely nothing. Nada. Zilch. She'd know that other people's opinions don't matter when they're only designed to make someone feel bad. Cleopatra would carry on wearing what she loved (probably a glitzy gold headdress, but you might not want to go quite that far) and know that as long as she felt great, she'd look great too."

The books is written in a very "chatty" style, as if the author is sitting there talking to you about these women, as part biography and part self-help. And, the book is a bit unusual book in the way it has been presented. A total of eight different illustrators did illustrations for the book. Usually only one illustrator does all the illustrations for one book. Also, I've never seen a book that has questions like the "What would she do?" ones that are posed in each profile. That's a unique touch which helps make the book relevant for today's audience.

There are lots of goodies to be found at the end of the book: eight multiple choice questions designed to help readers determine which one of five of the profiled women they are most like, a Timeline with each woman's face, their date of birth and date of death (of applicable) and their name, as well as an Index.

I have only two criticisms and they are relatively minor and perhaps they are not permanent. By that, I mean that I read an uncorrected reader's copy of the book, so what I saw might not be a completely accurate representation of the design and style of the completed book. In the first pages of the book, all the illustrations are in color. Then, the rest of them are done in black and white. I don't know if this is the way the finished book will be presented or if the rest of the illustrations will be colored in before the final copy is printed. I hope they are all colored as the colored illustrations add so much more to the overall look of the book. And, the main text of the book, the text that gives describes each individual's profile, is very small and somewhat light, making it a bit difficult to read. Perhaps the ink on the finished product will be a bit darker and a bit easier to read.

Other than those two things, I think this book is wonderful. It's a must-read for every young girl, especially those who think that they can't do something "just because" they are female. These 25 women proved, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that being female shouldn't stop you from realizing your dreams and perhaps making a mark on history. By the way, it wouldn't hurt for boys to read it, either, so they could gain a greater understanding of how women have improved things in this world!

Reviewed by Christine M. Irvin on February 26, 2018

What Would She Do?: 25 True Stories of Trailblazing Rebel Women
by Kay Woodward