The Children’s Book Review | February 13, 2018
The Children’s Book Review: Which five words best describe Votes for Women! American Suffragists and the Battle for the Ballot?
Winifred Conkling: I’m going to cheat and give you five words to describe the women featured in VOTES FOR WOMEN! These women are: feisty, brave, intelligent, passionate, and tough.
Can you share one highlight with our readers?
The ratification of the 19th Amendment came down to a single vote – one! Harry Burn from the Tennessee House of Representatives changed history when he changed his mind and voted “yes” to women’s suffrage. He supported women’s right to vote both because he thought it was right – and because his mother asked him to!
What has been the best reaction from a reader so far?
“I had no idea!” I love finding stories and anecdotes that make history relevant to readers. I learned so much writing VOTES FOR WOMEN, and it’s exciting when readers delight in those discoveries, too.
Why do you think historical stories showcasing incredible women should be included in a children’s home and/or school libraries?
Too often women in history are depicted as flat, uninspiring characters. Most people think of 19th century feminists as buttoned-up, joyless women with sour faces and too-tight buns. Wrong! These women were vibrant and courageous and each has her own reason for standing up and making history. They should be understood and celebrated as complete and complex people.
For your writing energy: sugar or salt, tea or coffee?
Diet Coke all the way. With caffeine in the morning; caffeine-free in the afternoon.
Writing tool: computer, pen and paper, or all of the above?
All of the above. I outline on paper, write on the computer, and edit on paper.
What’s on your nightstand? Any books?
A lamp, an alarm clock, a back scratcher, a glass of water, and whatever book I’m currently reading. On the shelf under the table I have three stacks of books in my to-read piles.
Can you tell us something that even your most loyal fans may not know about you?
I have voted in every election since 1980.
Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
Vote! Every election, every time. As recent elections have shown, every vote matters.
Written by Winifred Conkling
Publisher’s Synopsis: On August 18, 1920, American women finally won the right to vote. Ratification of the 19th Amendment was the culmination of an almost eighty-year fight in which some of the fiercest, most passionate women in history marched, protested, and sometimes broke the law in to achieve this huge leap toward equal rights.
In this expansive yet personal volume, author Winifred Conkling covers not only the suffragists’ achievements and politics but also the private journeys that fueled their passion and led them to become women’s champions. From Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who founded the suffrage movement at the 1848 Seneca Falls convention; to Victoria Woodhull, the first female candidate for president; to Sojourner Truth and her famous speech, “Ain’t I a Woman?”; to Alice Paul, who was arrested and force-fed in prison, Conkling combines thorough research with page-turning storytelling to bring the battle for the right to vote to vivid life. Votes for Women! also explores the movement’s often powerful, sometimes difficult relationship with the temperance and abolition movements, and takes unflinching look at some of the uglier moments in the fight for the women’s vote.
Votes for Women! is a mesmerizing read perfect for fans of propulsive narrative nonfiction stories like Most Dangerous and The Family Romanov.
Ages 12+ | Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers | February 12, 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-1616207342
About The Author
Winifred Conkling is an award-winning author of fiction and nonfiction for young readers, including Passenger on the Pearl and Votes for Women! and the middle-grade novel Sylvia & Aki.
This speed interview with Winifred Conkling, author of Votes for Women! American Suffragists and the Battle for the Ballot, was conducted by Bianca Schulze. For similar books and articles, follow along with our content tagged with American History, Books On Voting Rights, Women’s History, and Speed Interview.