We are delighted to join the Nonfiction Picture Book meme 2019 hosted by Alyson Beecher @ Kid Lit Frenzy. We would also be linking our nonfiction choices with our reading themes throughout the year, when we can.
Every year, I look forward to knowing the recipients of the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award. It is with such pleasure that I read about the life story of the very first woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize.
Written by Suzanne Slade Illustrated by Alice Ratterree
Published by Peachtree Publishers (2017).
ISBN: 1561459135 (ISBN13: 9781561459131)
Borrowed from the NIE Library. Book photos taken by me.
Jane Addams was no stranger to heartache and pain, having lost her mother at age two and suffering from a disease that made her back crooked when she was young. Hence, it was no surprise that she empathized deeply with people who felt unwanted, unloved, and live in the fringes of society.
What struck me the most about the story was how Jane turned to education – books, her travels, knowing more about the world – to enrich and fortify herself to fulfil her vow to help impoverished people in her country, a promise she made to herself when she was young.
Eventually, she actualized her dream of providing shelter to neighbours who are in need of not just their basic necessities, but also a space for them to reclaim their lost dignity. It was important for Jane to empower the hopeless and make them realize they are capable of doing something for a better future.
Things became complicated when war came – as they always do when politics enter the picture. When Jane endeavoured to not only help her countrymen but also other folks in other countries, she was tagged by the FBI as “the most dangerous woman in America.”
It is strange, but unsurprising, how acts of kindness that cross boundaries can be mistaken for notoriety, and even be labeled as dangerous – even more so, now, sadly. This is a glorious book that should be read by young readers far and wide – may even inspire them to do their own notorious acts of kindness.
#WomenReadWomen2019: Country – United States of America(both Slade and Ratterree are from the US)