Women and Voting -- Books to Celebrate Election Year and 100th Anniversary of Women's Right to Vote


Disclosure: I was sent copies of these books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Did you know yesterday was the 100th anniversary of the passing of the 19th Amendment? The 19th Amendment is the one that gives and guarantees women the right to vote. There was a long fight for that vote. Yesterday President Trump pardoned one of the first women who tried to vote and was arrested, Susan B. Anthony. She was released from jail and fined but never paid the fine. Probably not what Ms. Anthony really wanted but it was a nice gesture. Ever since Hazel did a report and had to dress up as Susan B. Anthony in second grade she has had a big interest in the woman's right to vote and the fight that it took to get us there. Today I am going to share a historical fiction novel for middle readers (ages 8-12) that goes back to the Conference at Seneca Falls. I also have an alphabet picture book about voting and rights of United States citizens. Perfect for talking about women's suffrage as well as the big election coming this year. It is suggested for ages 3 to 6. We will start with the picture book.

The book is V Is for Voting by Kate Farrell and illustrated by Caitlin Kuhwald. This fun, multicultural book goes from A to Z with different rights, characteristics and more that lead to being a good citizen. Throughout the book there are historical figures in the book with a guide on the last pages of who they are. It includes people like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Cesar Chavez, Sitting Bull and more. There is also a timeline of voting rights in our country as well as ideas kids can do to participate and be heard. 

I love how the people throughout this book is so diverse and the ideas are so simple. "T is for talented teachers in schools. Well-informed citizens don't suffer fools." It includes statements like this. It tells kids that learning is important so they can make the grown-up decisions as adults. How awesome is that? It circles back through history and reminds the reader not to forget the past. It also reminds us that the government works for us. There are so many great messages for kids and so many ways to keep the discussion going with each page and and each idea. This is an amazing addition to younger aged classrooms this year.

For more books about voting and elections be sure to check out these reviews: When You Grow Up to Vote (ages 6-12), Granddaddy's Turn (ages 6-9 Black Voting Rights), Weird But True: U.S. Presidents (ages 8-12) and What's the Big Deal about First Ladies? (ages 4-8). For books about the U.S. Government check out our review of Know Your Rights (ages 8-12) and 50 Things You Should Know about the American Presidents (ages 10-13). For this particular election you can check out my Black Lives Matter post about Kamala Harris

Our next book is Starting at Seneca Falls by Karen Schwabach. In this story we meet Bridie. She is in the poor house. Her mother and she came from Ireland during the potato famine and her mother has died. Now she is being forced to work for a family where the father is abusive. Bridie fears for her life and runs away. On her way she meets Rose who is waiting to see if any passengers arrive on the Underground Railroad. Rose helps Bridie and introduces her to Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Elizabeth hires Bridie who is now going by the name, Phoebe. Bridie and Rose see firsthand the planning and running of the first convention for women's suffrage in Seneca Falls. Bridie even speaks out at the convention about her mother's and her own experiences in America. 

I love how this book gives an interesting story filled with historical people and data. At the end of the book Schwabach explains which characters are real historical figures and which she made up. She also talks about the real events that are told about in the story. It is such a great way to get middle grade readers interested in learning about the history while reading a story they can enjoy and that will hold their interest. Schwabach adds excitement with the running away from the family and the mother and daughter also run away and reach out to Bridie for help. 

And of course it is appropriately timed with the 100th anniversary happening this year! It is time for our girls to know how hard the women in our past fought for our rights to be treated equal to the men. For more books on the women's suffrage movement be sure to check out our reviews of Around America to Win the Vote (ages 5-8), Little People, Big Dreams: Emmeline Pankhurst (British suffragist ages 5-8), and We Are Power (ages 10-14).

I hope you will check out both of these great books. They are great for a presidential election year!