Thursday, April 3, 2014

Non Fiction Book for Girls

How can you resist a book call Bad Girls?  Well fear not, I am not leading your kids down the path of tawdry behavior, at least not this week.  This is more of an abridged history lesson so kids can realize the predicaments and resolutions that women have used throughout time ... if that makes them bad, then so be it!

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Title:       Bad Girls

Author:   Jane Yolen and Heidi Stemple

Target:    Grades 5 and up

What this book is about: 
Are the women that history regards as “bad girls” really all that morally corrupt or are they simply misunderstood?  Our authors look at about 25 women throughout history, including Jezebel, Bloody Mary, Lizzy Borden and Mata Hari to see what history has to say about them and then debate whether they were really evil at heart or simply a victim of their time.  Hey, Beyonce is on a campaign to ban the word “bossy” to describe girls, so imagine what these women were up against.

Why I love this book:  
I call this a “wet your appetite book.”  The description of each female villain is about five pages of larger type and gives readers a quick summary of their upbringing and exploits.  An extensive bibliography in the back gives readers an easy way to find more material on these women.

The intriguing part of this book was the mother/daughter debate at the end of each chapter as to whether or not each woman was a victim of circumstance or truly bad.  The dialogue is done in a  comic panel format.  It was a bit confusing the first few chapters, but once I figured out the format, I enjoyed the approach which felt far more like listening in on a conversation than being forced to follow an academic debate.   I think if kids get this part of the book, they will enjoy seeing things in a new light.

Who this book is for: 
The writing is straightforward and concise so most kids will easily be able to take it in.  It is a fun book for girls who can explore female strength vs. a lapse in moral judgement.

Final thoughts: 
Not what I would have expected from the author of How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight.   She has a little more spunk that I expected … I like it.

To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: Bad Girls: Sirens, Jezebels, Murderesses, and Other Female Villains  A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.

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