#WomenReadWomen2019 Books Early Readers Features Genre Lifespan of a Reader Non-fiction Wednesday Nonfiction Picture Books Reading Themes

[Nonfiction Wednesday] Bold, Determined, and Strong: The Story of Belva Lockwood in “A Lady Has the Floor”

Read the story of Belva Lockwood, a woman who refused to be silenced.

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Fats 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.

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A Lady Has the Floor

Belva Lockwood Speaks Out for Women’s Rights

Words by Kate Hannigan
Pictures by Alison Jay
Published by Calkins Creek (2018)
ISBN-13: 9781629794532
Copy provided by Medina County District Library.
Cover image downloaded online. Page samples taken by me.

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“Are women not worth the same as men?”

Belva Lockwood had big dreams and didn’t let anyone stand in her way… [She] devoted her long life to overcoming obstacles and demanding that women across the land be treated with fairness and equality. She was a woman who was never afraid to take to the floor and speak her mind.

Some of the notable things about Belva Lockwood that were mentioned in the book:

  • Belva enrolled herself in math, science, and politics in a university despite her father’s disapproval. He believed that college was only for men. Belva graduated with honors.
  • Belva taught at schools in New York, where she encouraged her female students to deliver speeches on stage, beside her male students.
  • With the help of Susan B. Anthony, Belva pushed for schools in New York to teach public speaking to boys and girls.
  • Belva also pushed for physical activities like gymnastics, nature hiking, and ice-skating to be available for both boys and girls.
  • Belva was determined to become a lawyer so she applied to every law school until one decided to accept her. Later, Belva wrote to Ulysses S. Grant, demanding that the university give her diploma, which she rightfully earned.
  • Belva worked hard to fight for a woman’s right to practice law in any court after the U.S. Supreme Court told her that no women were allowed in court.
  • Although she lost to Grover Cleveland as President of the United States, Belva was the first woman to appear on the ballots for president.

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“Fight, fight, fight everlastingly—
not with your claws and fists, but with your wits.”
— Belva Ann Bennett Lockwood


Prior to reading A Lady Has the Floor, I had no idea who Belva Lockwood was. This is why I am grateful for writers, publishers, and libraries for allowing people to familiarize themselves with important and inspiring people in history. Hannigan’s narrative is chock full of information about Belva’s remarkable journey as an advocate for women’s rights. Jay’s signature “cracked” paintings were perfect for looking back on the significant events that happened in Belva’s life. If you happen to be in Ithaca, New York, check out the Belva Lockwood Inn. This had undergone a creative restoration, thanks to the efforts of a couple by the name of Ike and Julie Lovelass. It officially opened to the public in January 2019.

2 comments on “[Nonfiction Wednesday] Bold, Determined, and Strong: The Story of Belva Lockwood in “A Lady Has the Floor”

  1. lindabaie

    I have this on my list, but still have not read it, Fats. It’s sad that she fought so valiantly years ago & still we are fighting! This looks like a great book to share with so many classrooms & with my granddaughters!

    Liked by 1 person

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