From School Library Journal
Grade 3–5—The stories of 22 "Revolutionary Grandmothers" take center stage in this well-illustrated volume. A few of the names are familiar—Phillis Wheatley, Martha Washington, Abigail Adams, Deborah Sampson—but as the author establishes, there are many women and girls whose large and small contributions to the cause of independence have been largely ignored. Prudence Wright and Sarah Shattuck guarded their village when the men were fighting at Concord and Lexington, and they captured a British spy. After her husband was killed in battle, Margaret Corbin fired his cannon until she was shot, making her the first American woman to receive a military pension. Whether the women were disguising themselves as men in order to be soldiers, raising money for suffering soldiers, sewing and knitting for the troops, or participating in protests or a boycott of British goods, their actions were significant. Faulkner's ink-and-watercolor illustrations are exuberant, often amusing, and filled with crosshatching and dialogue balloons. The spreads are busy and information-packed, and readers will be both engaged by and educated about this critical period.—Lee Bock, Glenbrook Elementary School, Pulaski, WI
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"A stirring portrait of the women who made America possible.
Beginning with the scene of a school play about the Founding Fathers, Anderson declares that if we look only at them we are missing half of the story. Then she begins with small vignettes of some of our heroines. Sybil Ludington rode longer than Paul Revere and didn’t get caught! The Daughters of Liberty make an appearance, along with nine-year-old Susan Boudinot who protested at a tea party of the Royal Governor. Writers (Phyllis Wheatley), soldiers (Deborah Sampson), spies, scouts, nurses, and the wives of the patriots all get their due via a small fact and portrait....
[Anderson] keeps the text lively and encourages young readers to find out more. At the bottom of each picture Anderson includes a timeline of events and defines some of the terms, making the book even more information rich. At the end of the forty-page book, she adds material on other women and a great bibliography. This short text lends itself to all kinds of activities or acts simply as a supplement for more traditional texts. Anderson’s research is thorough and her understanding of young readers, as always, is profound. When I conducted an informal poll of school librarians and teachers, Independent Dames
emerged as their favorite book for Women’s History Month. Writing with passion and humor, Laurie Halse Anderson is on a mission to set the record straight. And she does!" (Anita Silvey Anita Silvey's Children's Book-A-Day Almanac