A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
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."
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
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.
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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.
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.
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.