Founding Mothers: Remembering the Ladies

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Founding Mothers: Remembering the Ladies [Hardcover]

Cokie Roberts , Diane Goode
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)

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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


Goode’s illustrations are often breathtaking. Roberts’ lively text is illuminated with flourishes and curlicues along with winsome or whimsical portraits in what looks like ink and watercolor. It is a wonderful package, adding the women who made it work to the men we thought we all knew. (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))

An engaging and educational historical reference. (ALA Booklist)

From the Back Cover

While much has been written about the men who founded our nation, this history includes only part of the story. Though they may not have signed the Constitution, written the Declaration of Independence, or fought in battles, the wives, mothers, sisters, and daughters behind the scenes of the Revolution contributed to their country's birth as significantly as the men in the spotlight.

New York Times bestselling author Cokie Roberts presents the contributions of these patriots, the women who fought the Revolution as courageously and heroically as the men, often defending the doors of their very homes. The stories of these founding mothers are found in their personal correspondence, private journals, ledgers, and lists. Roberts reveals the surprising tales of fascinating women such as Abigail Adams, Mercy Otis Warren, Deborah Read Franklin, Eliza Lucas Pinckney, Catharine Littlefield Green, Esther DeBerdt Reed, and Martha Washington. The extraordinary triumphs of these women created a shared bond that urged the founding fathers to "Remember the Ladies."

About the Author

Cokie Roberts is a political commentator for ABC News and NPR. She has won countless awards, and in 2008 she was named a "Living Legend" by the Library of Congress. She is the author of the number one New York Times bestseller We Are Our Mothers' Daughters. Her other books, Founding Mothers, Ladies of Liberty, and From This Day Forward (written with her husband, journalist Steven V. Roberts), also spent weeks on the bestseller list. She and her husband have also collaborated on Our Haggadah. Roberts is the mother of two and grandmother of six.

Diane Goode is the illustrator of more than fifty beloved and critically acclaimed picture books, including the Caldecott Honor Book When I Was Young in the Mountains by Cynthia Rylant. Inspired by the handwritten letters of the Founding Mothers, she begins with their quill and sepia handwriting and spins out the line to re-create their images and the remarkable events of their lives for a new generation of young readers.

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