She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World

by Chelsea Clinton

Hardcover, 2017




Philomel Books (2017), Edition: First Edition, First Print, 32 pages


"A nonfiction picture book compilation of the stories of 13 American women who persisted in overcoming obstacles and changing the world"--Provided by publisher. "Chelsea Clinton introduces tiny feminists, mini activists and little kids who are ready to take on the world to thirteen inspirational women who never took no for an answer, and who always, inevitably and without fail, persisted. Throughout American history, there have always been women who have spoken out for what's right, even when they have to fight to be heard. In early 2017, Senator Elizabeth Warren's refusal to be silenced in the Senate inspired a spontaneous celebration of women who persevered in the face of adversity. In this book, Chelsea Clinton celebrates thirteen American women who helped shape our country through their tenacity, sometimes through speaking out, sometimes by staying seated, sometimes by captivating an audience. They all certainly persisted. She Persisted is for everyone who has ever wanted to speak up but has been told to quiet down, for everyone who has ever tried to reach for the stars but was told to sit down, and for everyone who has ever been made to feel unworthy or unimportant or small. With vivid, compelling art by Alexandra Boiger, this book shows readers that no matter what obstacles may be in their paths, they shouldn't give up on their dreams. Persistence is power. This book features: Harriet Tubman, Helen Keller, Clara Lemlich, Nellie Bly, Virginia Apgar, Maria Tallchief, Claudette Colvin, Ruby Bridges, Margaret Chase Smith, Sally Ride, Florence Griffith Joyner, Oprah Winfrey, Sonia Sotomayor--and one special cameo"--Provided by publisher.… (more)


(122 ratings; 4.3)

User reviews

LibraryThing member billsearth
This book of role models for young girls is fine, as far as it goes.
This sounds like a high school English assignment to cover a single idea with some examples and turn it in, in about a week. No obvious errors, good subject, just a very simple exercise in a week's library research and writing a
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report. The illustrator did a good job. Target audience would be about three to seven years old girls, raised in American culture only.
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LibraryThing member DavidNaiman
Chelsea Clinton wrote this book to entertain and inspire the next generation of girls to persist and she succeeds, enhanced by the subtle yet engaging water color illustrations by Alexandra Bioger. In paring down the many deserving figures in American history to 13, Clinton clearly invites
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discussion. So let’s discuss:

Her inspired choice of Nellie Bly over her contemporaries in the woman’s suffrage movement and Claudette Colvin over the better known Rosa Parks was refreshing. The curious choice of Oprah Winfrey and the unfortunate choice of ignoring deserving Asian American women was not. Putting Harriet Tubman, who has one of the most remarkable stories in American history, in the same category as Florence Griffith Joyner, who has an Olympic track record, is a bit jarring. On the other hand, Clinton includes great examples of persisting against the odds to follow your dream with Virginia Apgar, Maria Tallchief, and Sallie Ride.

The book looks great and could easily inspire ten sequels with equally compelling stories. I would read all of them.
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LibraryThing member kerribrary
Loved this book! I think it's a great introduction to some awesome American women who made history -- some were well-known women, and others I hadn't heard of before or didn't know as much about.
LibraryThing member DonnaMarieMerritt
I loved the book's premise, but not the book itself. I'm not sure for what audience it was written. It looks like a picture book, but little ones are not going to understand the vocabulary (e.g., fled poverty, garment factory, monstrosity, sweatshop, anesthesiologist, Apgar score, heritage,
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integrate, legacy, NASA, U.S. representative, engineering, media superstar, diabetes). I do not believe in oversimplifying text—kids are smart! However, if you have to stop and explain almost every sentence, it's not going to be an enjoyable read-aloud for the child or adult. The chosen quotes were equally difficult. Chelsea Clinton also got a bit carried away with hyphens, commas, and semicolons. The story didn't flow and was a disappointing read. (It might make a good starting point for third, fourth, or fifth graders looking to do research on one of the women included in the book.) I think if it had been by an unknown author, it may never have been published, and if it had, it wouldn't be on the best sellers' list.
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LibraryThing member wichitafriendsschool
"Sometimes being a girl isn't easy. At some point, someone probably will tell you no or suggest that you be quiet." This book features 13 American women who refused to take no for an answer. They persisted: Harriet Tubman, Helen Keller, Clara Lemlich, Nellie Bly, Virginia Apgar, Maria Tallchief,
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Claudette Colvin, Ruby Bridges, Margaret Chase Smith, Sally Ride, Florence Griffith Joyner, Oprah Winfrey, Sonia Sotomayor. In addition to being a self-esteem-builder for young girls, the short paragraphs about each woman highlight significant moments of our American history.
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LibraryThing member MeaghanRyan
This book tells the story of thirteen women in American history, and how they were told to stop, to give up, and always, “She persisted.” It includes “classic” heroes like Harriet Tubman and Oprah, but also lesser known, like the a woman who refused to get off a bus before Rosa Parks. I
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think the small vignettes on each woman are the perfect amount of information and inspiration! The illustrations show the women in their historical time of note, and also contemporary little girls at a history museum learning about them. There is a fair amount of representation, though I think there would be more diversity in the women chosen. Overall, I would love to have this book in my class for Kindergarten and First Graders to read.
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LibraryThing member Lake_Oswego_UCC
Large format picture book with very brief biographical information about some women who have made a difference in our world.
LibraryThing member eo206
This is a nice book documenting the achievements of women in America. However Asian American women are missing from the diversity of the book. Not including Asian Americans makes their accomplishments invisible. While I want to like the book more it is disappointing to see this oversight and one I
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cannot overlook.
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LibraryThing member kerribrary
Loved this book! I think it's a great introduction to some awesome American women who made history -- some were well-known women, and others I hadn't heard of before or didn't know as much about.
LibraryThing member hjaksha
This book addresses several historically important women who overcame diversity to help change the country.
Ages: 5-7
Source: Pierce County Library
LibraryThing member sedelia
This is a great picture book to teach young children the power of persistence and following your dreams and what you know to be right. While also giving history lessons about various important women, this serves to inspire and show that women have made a difference to our country. This book has
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beautiful illustrations–I love the colors that are used, and it is easy to read.

This could be a great book to spark conversation about what kids want to accomplish in their own lives, and it could be a great jumping-off point for studying important people in history.

Also posted on Purple People Readers.
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LibraryThing member OptimisticCautiously
We need this book, we truly do. This is why so many people are raving at the mere premise of this book. However, it does not live up to the hype.

There are great things about this book: the leaders in this book are well curated and it is smart to repeat "she persisted" in every story. I must admit
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that the stories need to be short for children, but they are TOO short and lacking in detail. The adult reader should be advised that she should read the book first and research these leaders, because this book only invites questions that you will need to answer - and how many of these people can you pull true answers for off the top of your head? (And you can't suggest that you research this together when trying to get a young one into bed).

This book can be a great jumping-off point, but leaves more questions than answers. Be prepared.
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LibraryThing member Linyarai
Motivational, inspiring, and educational, but I felt it could have gone a little bit more in-depth.
LibraryThing member Whisper1
This tells the story of 13 women who faced adversity . They are motivated by the fact that in 2017, Senator Elizabeth Warren's refused to be silenced in the Senate.

The women's stories are written by Chelsea Clinton, and illustrated by Alexandra Boiger. They are as follows;

Harriet Tubman, the leader
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of the underground railroad, who continued throughout her life to help many to move to the north and feel poverty of the south.

Clara Lemlich, fled from the Ukraine and search for a better life. She worked in the New York garment industry. She noted the terrible working conditions, and she organized picket lines and helped others to a better, pay, safer working conditions. Her efforts benefited men and women.

Helen Keller, born blind and deaf, learned to read, write and speak, and she attended and graduated
college. Her efforts to overcome her disability became a positive influence for men and woman.

Nellie Bly was a person who became a reporter. Male reporters pushed her down. Her career was dedicated to others who were told they could not fulfill their dreams to stand up to injustice.

Virginia Apgar was determined to become a doctor. She became an anesthesiologist and was responsible for creating the Apgar score applied to newborn babies.

Maria Tallchief was the first Native American to obtain the first great American prima ballerina.

Ruby Bridges was a black American. She was responsible for breaking the barriers of black people who were told they could not attend white schools. She faced incredible nastiness of those who did not want her there.

Margaret Chase Smith was a U.S. representative and a U.S. senator she continued to fight for woman's rights.

Sally Ride was the first American woman in space.

Florence Griffith Joyner persisted in her drive to train and become fast. She obtained her wish, and was successful in obtaining world records in the 1988 Summer Olympics.

Oprah Winfrey became the well-known woman on TV, her show won many awards. And, her show is the highest talk show.

Claudette Colvin was only fifteen when she denied her right to sit on a bus labeled for whites. She help to inspire Rosa Parks who became the second person to do what she did.

Maria Tallchief had to overcome the belief that a Native American could become the American prima ballerina.

Sonia Sotomayer, learned how to speak English as well as her native language. She became a Supreme Court justice.
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LibraryThing member smorton11
The bookstore that I work at is in a republican stronghold. Despite Philadelphia’s perpetual blue status, the suburbs are usually blood red. While I try to keep politics out of my reviews, I did decide that the first review on here, ever, would be Pantsuit Nation, so my inclusion of a book by
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Chelsea Clinton should not come as any surprise.

This year, a young female family member is turning five years old – the perfect age for picture books and she devours them. As I thought about which book to pick out for her for her birthday, only one came to mind – She Persisted. She has terrific parents who have read probably every book under the sun to her already, and I know they want her to know that regardless of any adversity she might face, she will always find the strength within herself to persist until she achieves every goal she sets for herself.

She Persisted includes both well- and little-known women in America’s history. Clinton forgoes including Rosa Parks and instead includes her predecessor, Claudette Colvin. She chooses Clara Lemlich over Susan B. Anthony and Margaret Chase Smith over any other female politician. Her choices are diverse and inclusive, not just in terms of heritage and skin color, but also in occupation and the obstacles the women had to overcome. I adore each and every women included, particularly the inclusion of Sonia Sotomayor over Ruth Bader Ginsberg or Sandra Day O’Connor.
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LibraryThing member nbmars
The title of this book for children by Chelsea Clinton comes from the statement made by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in February 2017 about Senator Elizabeth Warren that soon went viral. In trying to silence Warren, McConnell said: “She was warned. She was given an explanation.
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Nevertheless, she persisted.”

Women responded in outrage all over the social media, using the hashtags #LetLizSpeak and #ShePersisted.

Clinton decided to adopt that phrase for the title for her collection of short vignettes about 13 women throughout American history who changed the country through their persistence. Obviously there are a plethora of women who could have been featured in this book. In an interview, Clinton explained she chose women who have inspired her over time, the challenge being to narrow down that list. She decided to include a mix of people who were well known and those not so well known, in the hope those in the latter category would become as familiar as those in the former.

The thirteen, most of whom engaged in social activism to bring about a more just world, include Harriet Tubman, Helen Keller, Clara Lemlich, Nellie Bly, Virginia Apgar, Maria Tallchief, Claudette Colvin, Ruby Bridges, Margaret Chase Smith, Sally Ride, Florence Griffith Joyner, Oprah Winfrey, and Sonia Sotomayor.

Clinton writes:

“Sometimes being a girl isn’t easy. At some point, someone probably will tell you no, will tell you to be quiet and may even tell you your dreams are impossible. Don’t listen to them. These thirteen American women certainly did not take no for answer. They persisted.”

Illustrator Alexandra Boiger uses watercolors that will appeal to the young audience for whom this book is intended.

Evaluation: In my own childhood, I heard all those same discouraging statements said to me as Clinton wrote in the quote cited above. I hope this book and others like it help teach young girls that obstacles can be surmounted and aspirations realized, if only one persists.
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LibraryThing member jennybeast
I love these short, accessible biographies -- I love that they center diverse voices, I love that they feature diverse authors, and I love that they celebrate excellence. This particular book is well written -- I'm impressed at how Magoon was able to explain complex parts of Simone Biles' journey.
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She's great at clarity, and also at unapologetically celebrating Biles' firm defense of her own physical and mental health.
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Original language


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Physical description

11.31 inches


Page: 2.327 seconds