In a world that appears to be full of the Kardashians and celebrity fame, it is good to finally find topics of substance that I can share with my 9-year-old.
Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls
Publisher: Penguin Books
I heard about this book towards the middle of last year and was keen on getting a copy, but due to publication rights (they had sold the rights to Penguin) I had to wait until it was available in SA last month. I didn’t tell Hannah (my 9 yo, going on 39) that I intended buying this for her but I knew she would love it as she did a school project last year on Olive Schreiner and she showed an interest in learning about the hardships of women. (It was news to her to learn that men and women are treated differently – as it would be to any child who by default wears rose-tinted glasses and thinks everyone is the same). I still remember her saying to me when she did that project:
“But that is just not fair, why are men and women not treated the same, I just don’t understand it”.
Going back to Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls, Hannah is now learning about the struggles, but most importantly the determination of all the amazing 100 women that are featured. The accomplishments of these women span all disciplines, from the Arts and Sciences to Sport, Social Activism and more. The stories are written for both adults and children to read (I was pleasantly surprised to see that Hannah could read a story from start to finish with ease, but did ask me the meanings of the odd word she did not quite understand) and I am sure mid-way through the book she will continue reading on her own without me. However, I have to admit that as a previous STEM student myself, my areas of interest are limited to that area so it is educational for me to learn about the women in other fields. We have only had the book for a few days and it has become a bedtime favourite, with us reading 7 stories on one night that included Amelia Earhart and inventor Ann Makosinski amongst others. She decided she would do some Instagram posts after each night of reading.
My only negative review of this book is that is that the stories are too short. When I first came across this book I expected the stories to be written in a modern day “fairy tale” version so I expected the length of the stories to be that of your “Snow White” and “Cinderella” type tales. Unfortunately, it isn’t, all you get is a page and a high-level overview – which I suppose is fine for the target audience and getting the volume of women’s stories out there. A part of me can’t help but think if the story was maybe just a page or two longer then it may gather more interest and not feel as if there are too many blanks, because I see it in Hannah’s eyes where she wants to know more.
Overall this is a fantastic book that I would recommend to all parents of school going kids (not just daughters). In a world that appears to be full of the Kardashians, Victoria secret models and media celebrity fame, it is good to finally find role models of actual substance that I can share with my 9yo.
Age range I would say is 8+
About the reviewer:
Lynette is a tech mom working in the apps and digital space and an avid supporter of women in tech initiatives. She has two school going children. Follow her @lynetteanthony @uandbmobile or follow Hannah’s story reviews on instagram @hannahhundermark