In honour of International Women’s Day, here is one of my new ultimate all-time favourite books highlighting the bravery of some amazing young women.

Title: Shaking Things Up: 14 Young Women Who Changed the World
Author: Susan Hood
Illustrators: Selina Alko, Sophie Blackall, Lisa Brown, Hadley Hooper, Emily Winfield Martin, Oge Mora, Julie Morstad, Sara Palacios, LeUyen Pham, Erin Robinson, Isabel Roxas, Shadra Strickland, and Melissa Sweet
Rating: 10
Source: Harper Collins for review

Description from Goodreads:

“Well-behaved women seldom make history.” Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian

Fresh, accessible, and inspiring, Shaking Things Up introduces fourteen revolutionary young women—each paired with a noteworthy female artist—to the next generation of activists, trail-blazers, and rabble-rousers. From the award-winning author of Ada’s Violin, Susan Hood, this is a poetic and visual picture book that celebrates persistent women throughout history.

Among the powerful pairings: Caldecott Medalist Sophie Blackall takes on heroic World War II spies Eileen and Jacqueline Nearne; Selina Alko is matched with the brave Malala Yousafzai; New York Times bestselling illustrator Emily Winfield Martin is paired with the inventor of the controversial one-piece bathing suit, Annette Kellerman; and Shadra Strickland introduces America’s first known female firefighter, Molly Williams.

While women make up over half of the U.S. population, they face discrimination, have less representation in government and other fields, and struggle every day for their human rights. It is more important now than ever to raise a generation of girls who, in the face of adversity, persevere. This book was written, illustrated, edited, and designed by women.

Includes a foreword by a prominent female activist, an author’s note, a timeline, and additional resources.

This book features: Selina Alko, Sophie Blackall, Lisa Brown, Hadley Hooper, Emily Winfield Martin, Oge Mora, Julie Morstad, Sara Palacios, LeUyen Pham, Erin Robinson, Isabel Roxas, Shadra Strickland, and Melissa Sweet.

What I Thought:

This book brought tears to my eyes!

Each page has an inspiring picture of an incredible young woman, and is accompanied by a poem describing her achievements, and a short biography detailing her life. (I especially enjoyed the ichthyosaur-shaped poem.)

While this book covers some more well-known women, like Rosa Parks and Malala Yousafzai, it also introduces some women you may not have heard of, such as Molly Williams and the Nearne sisters. Everyone will find someone they want to run and learn more about! (I know I did.)

My five-year-old adored the stories, and it prompted so many discussions between us after reading about each woman. It was simple enough for her to understand the stories, but interesting enough to keep her attention. I know this will be a book we come back to time and time again.

Even my two-year-old enjoyed this book, though a lot of it went over her head. She loved listening to the words, and her favourite activity was looking underneath the dust jacket and trying to find the pictures shown on the cover in the book. She’s doing it right now! (Her favourite is the mermaid page.)

I know educators would love to use this book in the classroom – it’s easy to read, easy to understand, easy to be inspired by, and easy to love.

This should be on every young mover and shaker’s bookshelf.

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