GRAPHIC NOVELS

Amazons, Abolitionists, and Activists: A Graphic History of Women’s Fight for Their Rights

Ten Speed: Crown. Nov. 2019. 208p. ISBN 9780399581793. pap. $19.99. Rated: Teen+. hist
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Kendall (editor, Hidden Youth: Speculative Fiction from the Margins) and D’Amico (Flowers in the Wind) present this primer on the major figures and key events in the ongoing struggle for women’s rights. A group of students in a futuristic classroom are swept back to antiquity by their instructor, and an Artificial Intelligence, who then proceeds to guide them and readers on a fast-paced journey that leads to the present. Well-known leaders such as Pharaoh Hatshepsut and Queen Mary I appear alongside those perhaps lesser known to Western readers, such as Lady Xian of China and Queen Anna Nzinga of Hdongo and Matamba. This spirit of inclusivity continues throughout the book, which goes on to explore the roles women around the world play in resisting slavery and colonialism, and their contributions to the suffrage movement, civil rights, sexual revolution, and more, before concluding with a look at the current state of feminism and an urgent call to action, reminding that “equality isn’t just an issue for the oppressed, it’s an issue for us all.”
VERDICT An incredibly comprehensive resource for readers seeking a look at women’s history that diverges from what is typically taught in school.

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