Parents' Guide to

She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World

By Jan Carr, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 4+

Short, inspiring profiles of groundbreaking women.

She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 5+

Based on 1 parent review

age 5+


Before my daughter started Kindergarten, she decided that she was going to be a piano player when she grew up. At Kindergarten, however, a boy told her that girls couldn't be piano players. She believed him and became convinced that she would never be a piano player. After I read She Persisted, however, she was quiet for a moment, then said, "I'm going to be a piano player when I grow up!"

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (1 ):

These short profiles of 13 brave, accomplished women capitalize on the current feminist rallying cry "She persisted" and are bite-sized fare for the young. Chelsea Clinton's choices of women for She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World are a fresh mix, some iconic and others not often profiled, such as Native American ballerina Maria Tallchief and doctor Virginia Apgar. It's too bad the women's stories aren't a bit more information-rich, with more telling, personal details to make them come alive. It goes a long way, for instance, when we read that "Oprah Winfrey's grandmother expected Oprah to follow in her footsteps and become a maid." We can almost hear those conversations and feel the weight of that crushing expectation. But other profiles feel more generic -- for instance, some women persisted despite the fact that "not everyone agreed" or "few people thought" they could.

Alexandra Boiger's warm, appealing illustrations are outstanding and provide engaging human detail. She often includes kids in the art, sometimes depicting the women as kids themselves, and finds many ways to humanize the text. When labor leader Clara Lemlich thought "the factory's conditions made women into machines," we see rows of mono-tinted garment workers bent over dreary, crowded worktables. Since some of the figures profiled (Ruby Bridges, Harriet Tubman, Sonia Sotomayor) have other picture books written about them, this book can serve as an excellent introduction, whetting kids' appetites for more.

Book Details

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