Susan B. Anthony
Written and Illustrated by Alexandra Wallner
We may all have heard of the women’s suffrage movement, but how many of us really know about its leader Susan B. Anthony? Alexandra Wallner does an excellent job of presenting the details of Anthony’s life to young readers.
Anthony’s parents were strict. Early in life she learned to find entertainment by herself, because the children were not allowed to play games, sing songs or paint pictures. But they were fair. Third grade readers may find it hard to believe that there was a time when girls were not required to go to school. Anthony’s parents believed in educating both girls and boys.
So many experiences along the way shaped Anthony’s philosophy. Girls were not taught maths because it was a subject too difficult for a girl’s brain. Women earned less than men for the same job. All this information is presented at a third grade level, sure to fascinate young readers. “Really,” they might wonder, “Math too difficult for girls? Women were not allowed to own property? Or to vote? Why do we have elections in school.”
Teachers can use this as a lead to discussions on the suffrage movement and the process of lawmaking and the changing laws of the land. They can talk about the time period: it is not even a hundred years yet that women were allowed to vote, Susan did not live to see the result of her hard work. She died in 1906, the amendment to the law, also known as the Susan B. Anthony amendment, was passed in 1920.
The illustrations are almost like folk art — bright colors, simple drawings, well suited to a book for young children. The back matter presents a timeline, and a bibliography for further reading.
Biography of Susan B. Anthony: http://susanbanthonyhouse.org/her-story/biography.php
The Susan B. Anthony Trial: http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/anthony/sbahome.html
Alexandra Wallner Biography: http://alexandrawallner.com/bio.php