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She Peristed Book Review

June 15, 2017

When Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell invoked a little-known rule to silence Senator Elizabeth Warren during a speech criticizing Jeff Sessions he said, "She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted."

"She persisted" became the battle cry, and the title of Chelsea Clinton's new children's book. 

What I loved most about She Persisted is that it speaks directly to the reader like a confident mother, or powerful mentor.

Sometimes being a girl isn't easy. At some point, someone probably will tell you no, will tell you to be quiet and may even tell you your dreams are impossible. Don't listen to them.

I also like that Chelsea chose some women who aren't the typical examples you would have expected such as Virginia Apgar, the anesthesiologist who created the Apgar score to test a newborn's health; Claudette Colvin, an African American teenager who didn't give up her bus seat to a white woman (before Rosa Parks); and Margaret Chase Smith, the first woman to serve as both a U.S. Representative and U.S. Senator who then went on to support space exploration. (It would have been a great mother-daughter moment for Chelsea to have had included her mother. But history - and perhaps the Russians - didn't allow.)

With each of the 13 examples of women who persisted, Chelsea includes a quote. The quotes help add a personal layer to her one-page description of each subject. 

Alexandra Boiger illustrated this book in watercolor and ink (I'm guessing under a tight deadline since Sen. Warren's speech was on February 7th - my birthday! - and the book came out May 30th). I'm proud to say that Boiger also illustrated my new book about Jackie Kennedy Onassis, When Jackie Saved Grand Central, so she's 2 for 2 in doing an excellent job illustrating books on strong women!

Alexandra Boiger's illustration of Margaret Chase Smith

She Persisted is an excellent read for Women's History Month, studies about American heroes, and shy girls who need a confidence boost. It's a great springboard for kids who are looking for ideas of whom to do book reports on for classroom assignments.

And it would be a fitting book to give to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Here's his Washington Office address:

317 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-0001

 


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