BORN READING: 20 STORIES OF WOMEN READING THEIR WAY INTO HISTORY, by Kathleen Krull , Virginia Loh-Hagan, Aura Lewis (Illustrator), Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books, Aug. 1, 2023, Hardcover, $19.99 (ages 8-12)
Learn about some of the world’s most influential women and the books that shaped them in Born Reading: 20 Stories of Women Reading Their Way into History.
What do Cleopatra, Audre Lorde, and Taylor Swift have in common? They’re all influential women who grew up doing one very important thing: reading.
This collection of short-form biographies tells the story of twenty groundbreaking women and how their childhood reading habits empowered them to change the world. From Cleopatra to Sally Ride to Amanda Gorman, the women featured in this collection are from all throughout history and all kinds of backgrounds. They are women who have and who continue to change the game in STEM, literature, politics, sports, and more. Most importantly, they are women who were born to read.
For some, reading was forbidden, but they taught themselves to read anyway. For some, reading was a struggle, but they practiced and grew to love it. For some, reading was an escape from difficult realities. For all, reading was empowering. —Synopsis provided by Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
From the moment my 9-year-old saw Born Reading she wanted to read it. In fact, she sat on the floor of my office reading it for more than an hour. She was immediately drawn to cover, and, upon learning it was about real women, wouldn’t put it down.
I’ve seen with my own eyes how important it is for girls to see, read and learn about what women can accomplish. Born Reading allows them to see these accomplishments through a different lens.
Reading is universal. It’s attainable. It makes doing hard things seem just a little bit easier.
Born Reading is divided into an introduction; 20 chapters; an epilogue; feminist fun facts; shorter writing on more girls with books; activities to keep reading; resources; references; and an index. It sounds like a lot, but the book is only 134 pages, and with fairly short chapters and illustrations, it moves very quickly. It can be read from beginning to end or a chapter at a time. The writing is smooth and conversational. And the illustrations/portraits are bright and inviting.
Born Reading is one of those books I know my daughter will read over and over again. It offers a lot of inspiration and serves as a jumping off point for further research into these women’s lives.
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