Sunday, December 03, 2006

I Could Do That: Esther Morris Gets Women the Vote, by Linda Arms White

This picture book biography is the true story of Esther Morris, America's first elected woman official and the driving force behind the first successful suffrage campaign in United States history. The story starts when Esther is a young child who sees to the necessary arrangements when her mother dies, as the rest of her family mourns. Esther goes on to start a small business, move out west, and to strategically negotiate between political parties to win women the vote in Wyoming. The lively illustrations capture the independent, fierce, feminine spirit of this remarkable woman. Linda Arms White represents the known facts about Esther Morris' life, without filling in details that have been lost through time, yet she also pulled the story and Esther's life together into a single powerful theme as Esther's buck-up-and-get-the-job-done refrain is repeated throughout the book: I could do that!

When I shared this book with my class I was delightfully surprised to see that my fifth grade boys were just as into this lively story as were my girls. They were all cheering for Esther and were quick to connect her struggle for equality to other familiar movements, such as the one championed by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Posted by Picasa

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