Lives of Extraordinary Women: Rulers, Rebels (and What the Neighbors Thought)

by Kathleen Krull

Other authorsKathryn Hewitt (Illustrator)
Paperback, 2013



Local notes

920 Kru



HMH Books for Young Readers (2013), Edition: Reprint, 96 pages


Turns the spotlight on the women who have wielded power, revealing their feats and flaws for all the world to see.


Original language


Physical description

96 p.; 7 inches


0152008071 / 9780152008079



User reviews

LibraryThing member viviandoughty
This book carefully interweaves important facts, along with trivia and gossip, allowing to fully engage the reader in this series. Krull studies the lives of extremely influential women, from Cleopatra all the way to Rigoberta Menchu. I would give it my highest rating, but I feel there could be a little more information in the way of historical fact. Very well suited for middle-schoolers.… (more)
LibraryThing member mrsarey
A quick survey of great women throughout history, from Cleopatra to Eleanor Roosevelt. Very interesting book.
LibraryThing member debnance
Krull turns her talents yet once again to lives ofextraordinary people, this time the lives of extraordinary women.She examines such well known women as Eleanor Roosevelt and QueenElizabeth I along with less well known women such as Rigoberta Menchuand Nzingha. Each chapter is filled with fascinating details aboutthe women.… (more)
LibraryThing member jkh322
Marie Antoinette: "Whenever peasants were accidentally trampled or shot during Louis' hunting trips, Marie always stopped to nurse the injured." (p. 41)
Cleopatra: "She did know how to make an entrance. When Julius Caesar, Rome's brilliant military leader, visited Alexandria, he received one of history's most famous gifts: an Oriental carpet- with the queen wrapped inside. (Had she been caught, guards would have killed her on the spot.) (p.12)… (more)
LibraryThing member hgold
I thought this book was very well written and researched. It would be a great one to have around the classroom, for research into a time period or individual or for free reading. I think the artwork highly enhanced the passages by being comical, and having a lot of detail of what that person was about.
LibraryThing member CTieyah
This is a biography about some of the most powerful women in history – or at least women in the most powerful positions. Things that they are known for are mentioned, but most of the information is personal facts about their lifestyles. From their influence and actions to their interests and attitudes, these women lived very extraordinary lives. At the end of each biography, more information is given about what happened after their death, or if they are still alive, how they are currently living.

I really liked this book. All the personal information kept me interested. And, sad to say but many of these women I had never even heard of and/or did not know anything about them. I now have enough facts to allow future knowledge of these women to build on. The illustrations were very beautifully done – after reading a few sentences, I would go back and look at the picture and could see almost clearly each woman in action. This is a great biography collection.

I would have the students write a biography about any woman they choose (if the lesson is about biographies, then man or woman would do, but if it is about women in power, well obviously only a woman would be allowed). They can present their research in any fashion they choose as long as a written paper is turned in also. Power points, music and/or song, illustrations, and props are welcomed. They can share their presentations with the class. A more fun extension would be to have the students get into small groups and act out the life of one of the women discussed in the book (each group chooses a different lady). They can do some research, use references from the book, bring props, dress for the part, and act out a skit that would appropriately portray that woman’s lifestyle and actions. Wouldn’t that be fun to watch the students get involved and “become” the women of the past?
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LibraryThing member adharrington
Lives of Extraordinary women is a biography that information about 20 women from Cleopatra to Eleanor Roosevelt. Each passage is illustrated with a caricature of the person being told about. This book gives interesting and helpful information in 3-4 page summaries.

I have four daughters so I delighted in the chance to share with them information about historical women who have had an impact on society.

This book could be used in the classroom for a historical lesson, a biography literature lesson, or even an art lesson on caricatures.
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LibraryThing member Ms.Penniman
Retelling: This book gives a personality sketch of each of the following extraordinary women: Cleopatra, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Joan of Arc, Isabella I, Elizabeth I, Nzingha, Catharine the Great, Marie Antoinette, Victoria, Harriet Tubman, Tz'U,HSI, Gertrude Bell, Jeannette Rankin, Eleanor Roosevelt, Golda Meir, Indira Gandhi, Eva Peron, Wilma Mankiller, Aung San Suu Kyi, and Rigoberta Menchu. Following each description of the historical figures personal quirks is a description of what historical contributions they are remembered for.

Thoughts and Feelings: This book did not sugar coat the more horrifying details of ages where death was much more common than it is today. People plotted and killed. Leaders, never-mind women leaders, were not safe.

The most interesting characters I thought were Tz'U-Hsi and Gertrude Bell because neither of them believed that women should be in leadership roles and both of them were. Bell thought herself an exception to the general rule about weak women. Tz'U-Hsi said "Never again allow women to hold the supreme power in the state."
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LibraryThing member amygatt
This collection of short biographies on memorable women throughout history packs a lot of interesting information into each short story. Among the women include in this book are Cleopatra, Joan of Arc, Elizabeth I, Nzingha (a West African queen), Catherine the Great, Harriet Tubman, Tz'u-hsi (a Chinese empress), Eleanor Roosevelt, Golda Meir (prime minister of Israel), Indira Ghandi (prime minister of India), Wilma Mankiller (chief of the Cherokee Nation), Aung San Suu Kyi (revolutionary leader inBurma), and Rigoberta Menchu (a Guatemalan leader who focuses on Native Indian rights).

Each short biography includes quirky, interesting details about the woman in question and keeps the reader interest and engaged. I appreciated the broad range of women described in this book, although it was still dominated by white wome of European ancestry. I think this book would appeal especially to female readers, because it really stresses empowerment and is obviously all about famous women throughout history. I think that male readers could also enjoy this book, but that it would be preferred by female readers.
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LibraryThing member angelabotha
Well-written book about the lives of quite a good number of famous women in history to exerted some degree of political influence. Includes a lot of interesting and unusual details that are momorable and make these biographies unique.
LibraryThing member amandawaltz
This short, non-fiction chapter book is a historically accurate account of impressive and influential women leaders of the past. I was blown away by some of the accounts of their deeds. I am sad to say that I had not heard of every woman included in this book, but after reading it I think it is an excellent addition to any humanities classroom or young woman's bookshelf! I think what I enjoyed most was how the author mixed events in each leader's life with tales of their own personality and personal history. For example, I had no idea Queen Isabella I was so powerful and acted as the real decision-maker when it came to ruling Spain. Her cruelty and influence in the Spanish Inquisition rocked me for a moment, because she is so often taught in school as just the ruler who funded Columbus' journey to the New World.

I think this would be a great mentor text in a history project that asks students to research an influential historical figure. Students could read through the book, or even just selected excerpts, and then pick a leader to research more in-depth for their own projects. Reading Level: Grade 3 and up.
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LibraryThing member matthewbloome
Simple, fun, and interesting. This book provided a nice light read that I managed to learn a little from. I liked it quite a bit.
LibraryThing member CelenaM511
Great text to use during Women's History month. I think the cheeky title may appeal to students or at least get them to pick up the book.
LibraryThing member abbylibrarian
This book gives short introductions to 20 extraordinary women throughout time. From Cleopatra to Harriet Tubman to Eleanor Roosevelt, the collection is surprisingly diverse, including women from Africa, Asia, India, Latin America, and Native America (although it must be said that a full half of the women are European and/or white American). This is a great choice for women's history units and will likely inspire children to find out more about some of these powerful ladies.… (more)




(46 ratings; 4.1)
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