#WomenReadWomen2019 Books Early Readers Features Genre Lifespan of a Reader Non-fiction Wednesday Nonfiction Picture Books Reading Themes Warrior Women and Social Justice

[Nonfiction Wednesday] The Notoriety Of Kindness In “Dangerous Jane”

A picturebook biography on Jane Addams life.

Myra here.

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.


Dangerous Jane

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)

Free Delivery on all Books at the Book Depository

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

3 comments on “[Nonfiction Wednesday] The Notoriety Of Kindness In “Dangerous Jane”

  1. lindabaie

    All the parts you’ve highlighted serve to parallel what’s happening today, and those who fight for helping those who are in need. I haven’t read this, will get it from my library, Myra. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I enjoyed this book too for many of the same reasons.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: [Nonfiction Wednesday] Jane Addams: A Woman Who Was Sister To All – Gathering Books

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