A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Lots of biographical and historical detail in these 100 stories of extraordinary women and girls who achieved great things. Exposes young kids to all sorts of career paths and disciplines, including astronomy, paleontology, primatology, architecture, journalism, science, sports, the arts, and more. One story profiles a transgender elementary school girl. A doctor explains to her parents, "She was born in a boy's body but, deep inside, she feels that she's a girl and she should be allowed to be one."
Follow your dreams. Don't listen to anyone who says you can't do something because you're a girl. Women have achieved great things throughout history, even if they weren't as recognized for their achievements. Be yourself. "Nobody can tell me what I can and cannot do" (Amna Al Haddad, a contemporary weightlifter from the United Arab Emirates). "When the whole word is silent, even one voice becomes powerful" (Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai). "You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it" (former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher). "No one is born smart. You become smart though hard work" (First Lady Michelle Obama).
Positive Role Models
Everyone profiled is a positive role model who shows courage, talent, hard work, perseverance, and determination.
Violence & Scariness
Some references to wars and people dying in battle. The story of Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai describes the incident in which Taliban men came onto her school bus and shot her: " ... the men fired their guns, hitting her in the head. ... Malala was rushed to the hospital, and she did not die." In the story of Brazillian surfer Maya Gabeira, a wave catches her by surprise and she suffers broken bones "and almost drowned before her partner rescued her and gave her CPR."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls is a collection of 100 one-page stories about women throughout history who broke barriers and achieved great things. Some are well known (at least to parents) and well chronicled, including Cleopatra, Frida Kahlo, Harriet Tubman, Jane Goodall, Joan Jett, and Jane Austen. And some are lesser known (at least in America), such as Matilde Montoya, Mexico's first female doctor, and Sonita Alizadeh, a 20-year-old rapper from Afghanistan who refused to be sold into marriage and whose song "Brides for Sale" went viral on YouTube. One story features a transgender American girl who broke barriers at her elementary school. The brief biographical sketches spotlight a telling anecdote about each woman or girl told in simple language, generally in four to six paragraphs in a relatively large font size, making them highly readable. Facing each page is a quote from the featured person and a stylized color portrait by one of 60 contributing female artists from around the world. A spread at the back invites readers to "Write Your Own Story" and "Draw Your Own Portrait."
Is It Any Good?
This lively collection of stories about pioneering women and girls is sure to inspire and entertain both kids and adults. Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls encourages kids to think big, follow their dreams, never give up, and never listen to anyone who says you can't achieve something because you're female. It's great as a read-aloud for boys and girls or independent reading for older kids and offers a wonderful introduction to the many possible career paths open to all.
A sobering message in the preface reminds readers how much these extraordinary women struggled for recognition and respect: "No matter the importance of their discoveries, the audacity of their adventures, the width of their genius -- they were constantly belittled, forgotten, in some cases erased from history. It is important that girls understand the obstacles that lie in front of them. It is just as important that they know these obstacles are not insurmountable."
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.