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The Taxing Case of the Cows: A True Story About Suffrage Hardcover – October 25, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
The book provides a rather detailed account of the legal maneuvering, including the town taking the sisters' cows for collateral on their owed taxes to a neighbors farm, with the cows resisting every step of the way. The sisters sued when the town took away their land for non-payment, and eventually won their case on appeal. They toured the country, giving speeches and writing about women's rights. Sadly, they did not live long enough to see Congress pass the 19th amendment in 1920.
This book is attractively illustrated with Caldecott winning illustrator Emily McCully's signature watercolors, which lend a nostalgic feel to the story. Although this is a picture book, I would recommend this for older elementary school students (3rd through 6th grade), because of the relatively lengthy text and complexity of the story. It would be a terrific read-aloud for women's history month for the classroom or at home, and could provoke a good discussion of the evolution of women's rights.
Read aloud: age 7 - 8 and older.
Read yourself: age 8 - 9 and older.
Sisters Abby and Julia Smith ran their old family farm in Glastonbury, Connecticut in the 1800s. In 1869, when the sisters were in their seventies, the town leaders (all men) decided they needed more tax money, and chose to collect "an unfair share from single female landowners only."
The sisters were angry that they, as women, had never had the right to vote on any decision that affected them, including the unjust new tax law. So, the feisty sisters refused to pay, and their actions began a battle that lasted for years.
Offering a fascinating, little-known slice of history, this book is first-rate.