- Age Range: 8 - 12 years
- Grade Level: 3 - 9
- Lexile Measure: 1040L (What's this?)
- Hardcover: 128 pages
- Publisher: Harry N. Abrams; Illustrated edition (March 11, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1419710362
- ISBN-13: 978-1419710360
- Product Dimensions: 9 x 1 x 10.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #913,138 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Woman in the House (and Senate): How Women Came to the United States Congress, Broke Down Barriers, and Changed the Country Hardcover – Illustrated, March 11, 2014
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From School Library Journal
Gr 6–10—This volume begins with a profile of the first woman to serve in Congress, Representative Jeannette Rankin, elected in 1916. Cooper includes some background about the struggle for women's suffrage but focuses on the 20th century and organizes the book by era, comparing women's progress in Congress with their overall status in the country. She describes their gradual advancement from filling seats of dead husbands or fathers to running, winning, and leading on their own. The final chapters on the contemporary period concentrate on women who broke new barriers, such as Shirley Chisholm and Nancy Pelosi, or became nationally prominent, such as Geraldine Ferraro. Cooper celebrates the gains women have made, but explains that parity remains a distant goal. Her informal writing style includes interesting details and anecdotes about the women's struggles and triumphs. However, the book contains several errors, the most important being the author's repeated claims that vacancies in the House can be filled by appointment, when constitutionally, all House seats must be filled by election. (Senate vacancies can be filled by appointment.) The text is supplemented by photos and cartoon-style illustrations, an appendix on how the federal government operates, and a list of women who have served in Congress. Although there are many individual biographies of Congressional women, few describe the progress of women as a group, and most of those, such as Jill S. Pollack's Women on the Hill (Watts, 1996), are dated. The error regarding appointment to House seats is an unfortunate oversight; some libraries may wish to pass on this title or wait for a corrected edition. If librarians and educators can look beyond this flaw, the engaging biographical sketches and lively overview of women in American politics presented in this work may prove worthy of inclusion in some collections.—Mary Mueller, Rolla Public Schools, MO
Editor’s note: It is Booklist policy that a book written or edited by a staff editor receive a brief descriptive announcement rather than a full review. Award-winning children’s book author Cooper surveys more than a century of U.S. history in this wide-ranging volume that spotlights women’s pivotal roles in politics. Along with profiles of female trailblazers from Jeannette Rankin of Montana, who became the first woman elected to Congress, to Hilary Clinton, Cooper folds in essential historical context for her subjects, as well as explanations of basic civics concepts. Among the images included on each heavily illustrated spread are archival photographs as well as original drawings that further highlight groundbreaking moments in American politics. Extensive, classroom-ready notes and resource lists close. Grades 5-8. --Gillian Engberg
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Although women have made great inroads into the world of politics, they have long been under-represented. For the first 128 years in our nation’s history, not one woman had served in Congress. That changed in 1916 when Jeannette Rankin from Montana became the first woman elected to the House of Representatives. Even though a sizeable number of women have served in either the House or the Senate since then, the Senate has never been comprised of more than 25 percent women, and the percentages in the House are lower than that. But, people will feel encouraged that things could change when they read about all of the influential woman who have thus far opened doors into that arena!
The text is chock-full of facts and tidbits about well-known women politicians like Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi, as well as less-known ones like Florence Khan and Ruth Hanna McCormick.
The text is accompanied by photos of every woman mentioned, as well as cartoon-like drawings that highlight certain topics. The author includes an appendix with additional info about the three branches of government, women and suffrage, politics and politicians, democrats and republicans, how a bill is passed, congressional committees, the cabinet, the women’s movement, the Equal Rights Amendment and impeachment. There is also a complete list of women in Congress, with each name listed alphabetically; endnotes; a bibliography; an acknowledgments page; and an index.
Even though this book was written for a middle-school audience, it is a great resource for anyone interested in the topic of women in American politics, particularly in Congress. I also recommend it for anyone simply looking for a good book to read.
Reviewed by Christine Irvin