Book Review: I Am a Wonder Woman
By: Ellen Bailey
Published By: Portable Press
Publication Date: September 18, 2018
Page Count: 128
Page Count: 128
Source: ARC kindly provided by publisher
Children's — History/Biography — Self Discovery
My nine year-old daughter has been a little firecracker since she was old enough to express an opinion. With five brothers (four of them older), she has learned to hold her own; we call her the pink sparkly ninja pirate princess. Despite her penchant for parkour and sword fighting, I have noticed that although she enjoys those things, she doesn't always believe that she can be anything she wants to be as long as she works hard enough at it. So, when the opportunity arose to review I Am a Wonder Woman with my daughter, I was especially eager to get my hands on it.
I Am a Wonder Woman brims with mini-biographies of some of the world's most interesting and accomplished women. Each woman is given a two-page spread; the left page gives a brief introduction to the woman's life and work, while the right page contains activities for the reader to explore her relationship to the themes, challenges, and successes of that woman's life. My daughter and I read the book and worked through a number of the activities together. She loved learning about the incredible things other women (some of them teenagers!) had done, and she enjoyed the related activities even more than I suspected she would. I could easily see Girl Scout troops and women-in-STEM groups, as well as individuals, using this book to inspire girls to dream big and set goals.
I did have a few small frustrations with I Am a Wonder Woman. To begin, the biographies are in alphabetical order by first name, which felt very odd to me. It would have been more useful to me to have them organized by time period, field of accomplishment, or by last name. Second, although many women of color of numerous nationalities are included, the only one whose picture (a drawing) reflects her actual skin tone is Mae Jemison. It was oddly jarring to see other amazing black, Hispanic, and Asian women (like Michele Obama, the Williams sisters and others) drawn with the same skin tone as their white counterparts. If it was an artistic choice, why single out Jemison? Finally, though the book's use of multiple fonts adds to its upbeat feel, one in particular was difficult to read against darker backgrounds.
Regardless of those issues, I absolutely loved this book and will be recommending it to every mom and teacher of upper elementary and middle school girls I know!
Every page of this book is filled with aspirational and astounding stories about the most influential women to have ever lived. What’s more, readers can step into the lives of these inspirational figures with unique activities, creative questions to answer and captivating topics to give thought to.
With quirky artwork to bring each story to life, readers can travel the globe and discover remarkable women from across the world, from every kind of profession, with every kind of talent. From American aviator Amelia Earhart and Danish spy Britta Tott, to the Polish physicist and chemist Marie Curie to Mexican activist Eufrosina Cruz.