A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Kids lean about what career opportunities existed for women in the 1830s and '40s: "Girls were only supposed to be wives and mothers. Or maybe teachers, or seamstresses. Being a doctor was definitely not an option." They also seee that it takes lots of hard work and study to become a doctor. An informative author's note gives more biographical detail and includes the fact that today half of all U.S. medical students ae women, thanks to the courage and dedication of Elizabeth Blackwell.
Believe in yourself. Girls can be as smart as boys. Never walk away from a challenge. One person can change the world. You can change people's prejudiced ideas about what "your kind" is capable of by being excellent at what you do.
Positive Role Models
Elizabeth Blackwell is a great role model, especially for girls, since she courageously broke a gender barrier to became the first female doctor in the United States, even though the medical establishment and many townspeople shunned her. An author's note explains that after she graduated from medical school no one would hire her as a doctor, so she got more training in England (wher she was born and lived till age 11) and France, and when she returned to New York she opened a free clinic serving poor women and children. She and her sister, who also became a doctor, eventually started their own hospital in 1857 -- the first hospital run by women for women. In 1868 she opened a medical school for women in the United States and helped organize the London School of Medicine for Women, and in 1971 started England's National Health Society.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Who Says Women Be Doctors?: The Story of Elizabeth Blackwell is a lively telling of how a girl "who never walked away from a challenge" grew up to be the first female doctor in the United States, against all odds and despite many people and institutions believing girls weren't smart enough to become doctors. Tanya Lee Stone's biographical picture book is brimming with Marjorie Priceman's fun, exuberant illustrations -- and even a cute dog -- that speed the tale along and make this slice of history engaging and entertaining. An inspirational choice for Women's History Month or anytime. And a great way to encourage girls to pursue science.
Is It Any Good?
This is an entertaining biographical snapshot that shows that discriminatory barriers are made to be broken. This lively, entertaining, inspirational picture book sweeps the reader up and swiftly moves along, showing a tough little girl who grows up to be a lovely young lady who will not be cowed by anyone and proves she's as smart, capable, and dedicated as any man. Marjorie Priceman's colorful illustrations have humor and momentum, contrasting the many No, No, No's on one spread with the thrilling YES on the following one, where Elizabeth packs her bags for Geneva Medical School in upstate New York. Even kindergartners will easily understand her great, historic achievement as they enjoy the cartoon-like images of girls and young women in 19th century long dresses and bonnets. A perfect choice for Women's History Month or for encouraging girls to study science.
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.