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Founding Mothers: Remembering the Ladies Hardcover – January 28, 2014


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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 3–6—Most children know that the "Founding Fathers" are the men who helped the 13 colonies develop into the United States. What about the women of the time period? While some of them, such as Martha Washington, Dolley Madison, and Deborah Read Franklin, are famous because of their husbands, Roberts goes deeper into the historical record to find individuals who were quite accomplished in their own right. In addition, many less-well-known women aided the war effort, ran businesses, wrote, spoke, and generally contributed a great deal to the development of the nation. The book begins with a time line of women in history from 1765 to 1815, followed by double-page chapers that detail individual women, including First Ladies Washington, Madison, and Abigail Adams, as well as others such as Sarah Livingston Jay and Catharine Littlefield Greene. A formal portrait and lovingly re-created signature are accompanied by a more humorous illustration of each figure. In addition, sections about writers and warriors highlight other significant accomplishments. Grammarians may not appreciate the author's colloquial style, but the conversational tone is appealing. Beautifully intricate illustrations, rendered with antique pens, sepia ink, and watercolors, suit the text well. Thoughtful design, well-chosen facts, and an approachable format combine to make a book readers will enjoy and appreciate.—Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA

From Booklist

Adapting her best-selling adult book Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation (2004), celebrated journalist Roberts illuminates the lives of 10 women of Colonial America for a young audience. Drawing from their own writing and correspondence, Roberts explores each woman’s distinguished contribution to the birth of our nation: Catharine Littlefield Greene worked with Eli Whitney on the cotton gin, Eliza Lucas Pinckney established indigo as a viable crop, and Phillis Wheatley wrote poems of freedom. Among the two-page individual biographies, spreads dedicated to women writers and women warriors offer meaningful context about the lives of women at the time and glimpses of other noteworthy achievements. Goode’s curvilinear watercolor gestures capture the style of the period even as they honor their subjects with contemporary respect. A letter of introduction, a conclusion, acknowledgments, and a list of websites round out this engaging and educational historical reference. Grades 3-6. --Thom Barthelmess
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 2 - 7
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (January 28, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060780029
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060780029
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 10.5 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #162,850 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Suz on January 28, 2014
Format: Hardcover
With strong women's roles in new great historical fiction like The Invention of Wings and Now and at the Hour of Our Death, this is a great complement and a must-have for little budding great women.

"Founding Mothers" takes a deep look into the women who made a profound difference in the shaping of America, from Martha Washington who made such a dramatic impact on her husband's soldiers, it's hard to say if they would have won the war without her to Deborah Franklin who ran the first US postal service while her husband was in Europe. Roberts also shines light on some aspects of colonial life which we may not already know, like the fact that slavery was legal throughout the colonies. We learn about Phillis Wheatley, who was taken from her parents in Africa when she was a little girl and sold into slavery in Boston. When her "ownders" realized how smart she was, they freed her and she went on to become an established writer.

This delightfully illustrated children's book will stir the imagination of all the young ladies who will posess it. This is a must have for future Founding Mothers!
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Denis Vukosav TOP 100 REVIEWER on January 28, 2014
Format: Hardcover
“Founding Mothers: Remembering the Ladies” illustrated by Diane Goode is picture book based on the popular and instructive book written by Cokie Roberts which bears the same name.

Roberts wrote a book that tells the story of Martha Washington, Dolley Madison, Abigail Adams, Eliza Pickney, Phillis Wheatley, Mercy Otis Warren, Sarah Livingston Jay, Catherine Macaulay and other women of the American Revolution, which were much more than women of famous husbands that have marked American history.

Cokie Roberts has made extensive research in order to present a less known or unknown stories about their lives and what makes them special; and after her book achieved great success Roberts decided to discuss the same themes in the edition intended for children, of course, in a somewhat simplified form and with less detail, but with the results that are equally good.
Through the art of great illustrator Diane Goode, the author presents compelling stories of women in Revolution; though they did not fight with weapons in their hands while their fathers, brothers, husbands and sons did, they were still doing the important, brave and patriotic duties in a background.

So as much as “Founding Mothers” was a must read for any woman, this remake in the cartoon form will be a great read for school children and preteen generation that besides enabling them to learn something, will certainly interest them that once they grow up read this great book about the brave women and true patriots which changed history along with their men.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By bdemps42 on January 28, 2014
Format: Hardcover
What I like best about this book is that it can appeal to a wide range of people. Roberts does a great job of telling stories about people who we know by name--Martha Washington and Dolley Madison--but perhaps know little else about. I will admit to never having heard of Catharine Littlefield Greene and Sally Livingston Jay before reading this book. And we all need to appreciate and retell the amazing story of Phillis Wheatley.

This book is worth the price for Diane Goode's illustrations alone. The end pages are simply spectacular.

A great gift for anyone wanting to give a young girl or young woman--and boys need not be excluded--inspiration about the impact women had at the time of the American Revolution.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Brian Allyn on January 29, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Beautifully illustrated by Caldecott Honor–winning artist Diane Goode, Founding Mothers: Remembering the Ladies reveals the incredible accomplishments of the women who orchestrated the American Revolution behind the scenes. Roberts traces the stories of heroic, patriotic women such as Abigail Adams, Martha Washington, Phillis Wheatley, Mercy Otis Warren, Sarah Livingston Jay, and others. Details are gleaned from their letters, private journals, lists, and ledgers. The bravery of these women’s courageous acts contributed to the founding of America and spurred the founding fathers to make this a country that “remembered the ladies.”
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dave on March 5, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Bought it for my eight year old daughter. This is a very slim book. While the content is an important contribution to the usual American history kids are exposed to, the writing fails to engage its targeted audience (if I'm correct in assuming this is for children).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By B. Miller on March 15, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have long been an ardent fan of Cokie Roberts and her “Founding Mothers (HarperCollins, 2005). A great companion read to this is Laurel Thatcher Ulrich’s “Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History” (Alfred Knopf, 2007). I often use these two books as references when I teach perspective in American history.

I have also been a long time and ardent fan of Diane Goode’s work. Her exquisite illustrations have graced some of my favorite books, including “When I Was Young in the Mountains,” by Cynthia Rylant (1982) When I heard that Goode was illustrating Roberts’ book, it thought it was a brilliant match. And I was right.

The book presents a collection of fascinating women biographies, showcasing their efforts and triumphs as they helped create a new nation. Goode’s pen and ink illustrations are reminiscent of the style and grace of colonial penmanship. Drawing from personal letters and diaries, every page is a true masterpiece. I love this book.
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