Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls 2

Book review by
Regan McMahon, Common Sense Media
Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls 2 Book Poster Image
Stunning collection spotlights more bold girls and women.

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age 7+
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The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

One hundred stories and portraits of girls and women from around the world and throughout history who have accomplished great things. Includes political leaders, royalty, scientists, doctors, entertainers, athletes, artists, writers, painters, warriors, mathematicians, and more; historical figures, people of color, people from many different countries. Lots of facts about the girls and women, the fields they excelled in, and the time and place in which they lived (or live). Back matter includes a spread that invites the reader to "Write Your Story" and "Draw Your Portrait." Also includes a glossary and a "Rebels' Hall of Fame." 

Positive Messages

Implied positive messages on every page, including follow your dreams, don't take no for an answer, you can be whatever you want to be if you have a special talent or skill and work hard, never give up, and don't listen to anyone who tells you that you can't do something because you're a girl. Each portrait includes a quote by the woman or girl, such as this from New York's first Asian-American female firefighter, Sarinya Srisakul: "The main thing about being 'heroic' is helping others." There are more positive messages and quotes in the text of the profiles, such as this one from ultramarathon runner Lowri Morgan: "Glory is not by never falling, but in the way we rise when we do fall."

Positive Role Models & Representations

All 100 people profiled in the book! Some are recognized for achievements that were firsts for women, such as biochemist Gerty Cori, the first American woman to win a Nobel Prize in a scientific discipline; mail carrier Mary Fields, the first African-American woman to work for the U.S. Postal Service; and actor Ellen DeGeneres, who came out as gay on her TV sitcom -- becoming the first openly gay lead character on TV -- and then in real life. 

Violence & Scariness

Some references to war and revolution, including a battle between American Indians and settlers with "bullets flying." A young woman's political enemies burn down her father's shop. Several references to Jews being persecuted -- and hidden from Nazis -- in WWII. Reference to refugees who've been displaced and "lost their families." Mention of spy Mata Hari being executed by firing squad. Mention of ISIS terrorists killing a teen girl's brothers and kidnapping her and other women in Iraq. "Nadia [Murad] was held onstage by men who hurt her badly," but she escapes and goes on to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Mention of police opening fire on protesters in South Africa during the apartheid era. Reference to Oprah Winfrey's grandmother beating her. A woman stands up to the Mafia in Italy after her husband's fellow criminal gang members have killed him and their son. "You drank my son's blood," she says to them at their court trial.


What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls 2 has the same format as the first Rebel Girls book: a collection of 100 one-page stories about women throughout history and around the world who did (or are doing) extraordinary things. Some are recognized for achievements that were firsts for women. Seventy artists from around the world contributed the portraits that face each biographical sketch. As in the first anthology, some of the people profiled are super-famous (Eleanor Roosevelt, Sojourner Truth, Beyoncé, Audrey Hepburn, Madonna, J.K. Rowling, Ellen DeGeneres). And some are little known, especially to American readers, such as Italian fencing champion Beatrice Vito, who lost her legs and forearms after an attack of meningitis but continued to compete in a wheelchair. "To be special," Bebe says, "you need to turn your weakness into the thing you're most proud of." The book is packed with such positive messages, which kids and adults alike will find inspiring. And the high production values and stunning, varied illustrations make this a total package to treasure. There's a mention of coming out as gay and a reference to the word "lesbian" deriving from the ancient Greek poet Sappho, who lived on the island of Lesbos. 

User Reviews

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Kid, 10 years old July 1, 2018

Amazing Rebel Girls sequel

This is one of those sequels that it's recommended to read the first one first but it doesn't really matter if you don't. This is one step up fro... Continue reading

What's the story?

GOOD NIGHT STORIES OF REBEL GIRLS 2 offers 100 stories and portraits of girls and women from around the world who have accomplished great things. Politicians, royalty, scientists, doctors, entertainers, athletes, writers, painters, warriors -- the range is vast. There are historical figures, such as Queen Nefertiti of Egypt and Sojourner Truth, and contemporary girls and women, including Afghan graffiti artist Shamsia Hassani, Japanese skateboarding champ Sky Brown, and Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, the first person to brew coffee in outer space!

Is it any good?

This lively, kid-friendly collection of stories about bold female innovators and barrier breakers is informative, entertaining, and inspiring. The brief biographical sketches are quick and easy to read (many start with "Once upon a time ...") and full of fun facts to spark the interest of young readers. Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls 2 makes a wonderful read-aloud, perfect for savoring a few stories at a time. But strong independent readers, both girls and boys, may devour the whole book swiftly on their own, since the stories are so fascinating and the accompanying portraits so compelling.  

Positive messages abound in these inspiring profiles, with takeaways like follow your dreams, don't take no for an answer, and you can be whatever you want to be if you work hard, never give up, and don't listen to anyone who tells you that you can't do something because you're a girl.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the extraordinary girls and women in Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls 2. Which are your favorites? Who inspires you the most?

  • How do you think the artists chose a certain detail to emphasize in each portrait? If someone drew a picture of you, what do you think the artist would include to show what's special about you or something you've done?

  • Draw a picture of a girl or woman who's done great things that you know about.

Book details

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For kids who love biographies and strong girls

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