Shaking Things Up: 14 Young Women Who Changed the World

by Susan Hood (Author) Sara Palacios (Illustrator)

Shaking Things Up: 14 Young Women Who Changed the World
Reading Level: 4th – 5th Grade

"Each poem and illustration shines with a personality all its own." --Shelf Awareness (starred review)

"This book has definitely made an impact on my life." --Kitt Shapiro, daughter of Eartha Kitt

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 celebration of persistent women throughout history.

In this book of poems, you will find Mary Anning, who was just thirteen when she unearthed a prehistoric fossil. You'll meet Ruby Bridges, the brave six year old who helped end segregation in the South. And Maya Lin, who at twenty-one won a competition to create a war memorial, and then had to appear before Congress to defend her right to create.

And those are just a few of the young women included in this book. Readers will also hear about Molly Williams, Annette Kellerman, Nellie Bly, Pura Belpré, Frida Kahlo, Jacqueline and Eileen Nearne, Frances Moore Lappé, Mae Jemison, Angela Zhang, and Malala Yousafzai--all whose stories will enthrall and inspire. This poetry collection was written, illustrated, edited, and designed by women and includes an author's note, a timeline, and additional resources.

With artwork by notable artists including 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.

A 2019 Bank Street Best Book of the Year

Named to the 2019 Texas Topaz Nonfiction Reading List

Selected for CCBC Choices Book 2019

Selected as a Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People 2019

Named to the Cuyahoga County Public Library's 2018 list of Great Books for Kids

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Publishers Weekly

Selina Alko, Sophie Blackall, and LeUyen Pham are among 13 woman illustrators whose artwork accompanies Hood's biographical tributes to trailblazing women, several of whom are far from household names. Multistanza poems do a fine job of encapsulating each woman's life, and they're bolstered by quotations, supplementary paragraphs, a timeline, and back matter. "Buried Treasure," about paleontologist Mary Anning, is a concrete poem that takes the shape of her discovery: an ichthyosaur (the phrase "fabulous flippers" forms one flipper). Swimmer Annette Kellerman, who modernized women's swimwear, is joined by a mermaid in Emily Winfield Martin's images ("Who can swim fifty laps/ wearing corsets and caps?" she protests after being arrested for swimming without pantaloons). These encouraging profiles of astronauts, artists, and activists both honor past accomplishments and point toward ways young readers themselves might change the world, too. Ages 4-8. Author's agent: Brenda Bowen, Sanford J. Greenburger Assoc. (Jan.)

Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

School Library Journal

Gr 3-6--Thirteen spreads profile 14 young women in history. The profiles are arranged chronologically and each has a poem and very brief prose biography on the right-hand side, with a full-bleed illustration on the left. Each spread uses a different poetic form and is illustrated by a different woman illustrator, including Isabel Roxas and Selina Alko. The portraits, which also incorporate a quote from the subject or a primary source, vary in their levels of dynamism, abstraction, and suitability to the person portrayed. Though the poems are all by Hood, they also vary in their success; the alphabet acrostic for librarian Pura Belpré is charming and makes sense, but limericks for Annette Kellerman seem to make her into a punch line. Many of the people profiled were among the first women or girls to accomplish something; however, the specific challenges faced by women and girls of color are only minimally discussed. The poems can perhaps be used to whet students' appetites for women's history before they delve more deeply into the lives and challenges of individual movers and shakers. VERDICT An additional purchase for elementary history and poetry collections.--Sarah Stone, San Francisco Public Library

Copyright 2018 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

"Each poem and illustration...shines with a personality all its own"—Shelf Awareness (starred review)
Susan Hood
Susan Hood is the author of more than 200 books for children. A former content director of Nick Jr. Magazine and children's book editor, she has written for parents and early childhood educators in The New York Times, Nick's ParentsConnect, Sesame Street Parent Guide, Working Mother, and more.

Melissa Sweet has illustrated more than eighty children's books, including the Caldecott Honor books The Right Word and A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams both written by Jen Bryant. She also wrote and illustrated Tupelo Rides the Rails; Carmine: A Little More Red, which was a New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book; and Balloons Over Broadway, a picture book biography that was named a 2011 Publishers Weekly Best Nonfiction Picture Book. When she is not in her studio, Melissa can be found taking an art class, hiking with her dogs, or riding her bicycle. She lives with her family in Rockport, Maine.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
January 20, 2018
BISAC categories
JNF007110 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Biography & Autobiography | Social Activists
JNF007120 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Biography & Autobiography | Women
JNF023000 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Girls & Women
Library of Congress categories
Young women
Biographical poetry

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