Select one of the keywords
Elizabeth Leads the Way: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Right to Vote    by Tanya Lee Stone & Rebecca Gibbon order for
Elizabeth Leads the Way
by Tanya Lee Stone
Order:  USA  Can
Henry Holt, 2008 (2008)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Daninhirsch

Elizabeth Cady Stanton is introduced in this very nicely done picture book about how she was instrumental in helping American women gain the right to vote. The book follows this remarkable women's quest to obtain voting rights for women. The underlying message in the book is that women are strong and should always use their voices to gain power.

I love the book's opening lines, as it poses tough questions intended to spark discussion between children and parents or teachers:

'What would you do
if someone told you
you can't be what you want to be
because you are a girl?

What would you do
if someone told you
your vote doesn't count,
your voice doesn't matter
because you are a girl?

Would you ask why?
Would you talk back?
Would you fight ...
for your rights?

Elizabeth did.

The book then takes the reader on a journey through Elizabeth Cady Stanton's life. Even as a child, she was appalled at the inferior treatment of women and their inability to own property, for example. Like most women of her generation, she married, had children, and kept a home, but unlike most women of that time, she refused to drop her maiden name. Her discontent led her and several other women to start thinking about how women could get more power. She realized that women could not effectuate change in the laws without the right to vote. Even though her ideas seemed outlandish at the time, she forged ahead, and the book does a nice job of showing how one person's voice can alter history.

This is a wonderful book in which to broach the subject of politics with children who are just starting to gain an understanding of government. It is particularly pertinent in light of the current election about to take place in the United States, an election that likely would never have occurred without the involvement of women like Cady Stanton. An actual photo of Cady Stanton and an author's note further describing the suffragist's fight rounds out the nicely done
watercolor illustrations.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Kids books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews