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Troublemakers in Trousers: Women and What They Wore to Get Things Done (Hardcover)
Meet twenty-one women throughout history who broke fashion and norms to do something groundbreaking in this unique middle-grade collection that celebrates trailblazers and troublemakers.
Girls and women have historically been denied access to work, been blocked from the arts, refused the opportunity to lead and fight, and much more, simply because of their gender. From Hatshepsut to Joan of Arc to Frida Kahlo, Troublemakers in Trousers highlights twenty-one women who, for different reasons, wore men’s clothing, pretended to be men, and broke the rules in order to do something they wanted—or needed—to do.
The perfect modern-day introduction to women throughout history who broke boundaries and pushed the limits set by society.
About the Author
Sarah Albee is the New York Times bestselling author of more than 100 books for kids, including Accidental Archaeologists: True Stories of Unexpected Discoveries. Prior to being a full-time writer, Sarah worked at Children’s Television Workshop (producers of Sesame Street) for nine years. She played basketball in college, and then a year of semi-professional women’s basketball in Cairo, Egypt. She lives in Connecticut.
Kaja Kajfež developed her love of drawing as a child, and she earned a degree in multimedia, design, and application at University North in Croatia. She focuses on illustration, lettering, and surface pattern design. She loves exploring different historical periods, looking through old picture books, and spending time with her dog. www.izptica.com
It wasn’t until 2013 that France finally repealed a law against women wearing pants. The prolific Albee explores the impact of social mores in which women had to break the law, confounding social order to achieve their goals—in pants. With such an engaging premise, the stories of 20 women are detailed, from Queen Hatshepsut to Marcenia “Toni” Stone, the first woman to play major-league baseball. Women disguised themselves as men for many reasons: fighting for freedom, supporting their families, and creating art. Well-chosen insets broaden the historical context that triggered their choices. Fascinating facts like “silk wouldn’t tear if an arrow pierced the body, making it easier to yank the arrow out” informed Mongol soldier Khutulun’s fashion choices. Readers learn of the hostility toward women and discover the lengths they went to—such as walking 150 miles to enlist in the Union army, as Deborah Sampson did. Kajfez’s colorful, full-page portraits open chapters in a carefully detailed, cartoon style that counters the primary source images. Illustrations, photos, maps, and carefully selected visuals authenticate the subjects, although captions are occasionally too brief. The strength of these short biographies is the subjects themselves; a diverse, international, and exceptional group.
VERDICT Albee delivers in-depth portraits enticing enough to inspire further study; for all middle grade nonfiction collections.