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Ages: 9-13

Reading Levels

Grade: 6+

Guided Reading Level: Z+

Courageous Women Rebels

Women's Hall of Fame Series

by: Joy Crysdale

Women who rocked the world for freedom, justice, and equality

Ten biographies of women reformers from around the world who have made a difference in the realms of politics, social equality, disability, and women’s rights. The biographies move us from the work of abolitionist Sojourner Truth and women such as South Africa’s anti-apartheid activist Ruth First to America’s feminist leader Gloria Steinem. Also included are Michelle Douglas, a campaigner for lesbian and gay rights, and Temple Grandin, advocate for the rights of animals and a woman who has revolutionized the way the world looks at people with autism.

Canadians included are Leilani Muir, whose groundbreaking case against the Alberta Government led to redress for hundreds of Canadians who had been sterilized while in institutions, and Shannen Koostachin, a young woman from the Cree community of Attawapiskat who fought for the right of all children to have equal access to adequate schools. The collection of biographies is rounded out with the stories of France’s Olympe de Gouges, India’s Sarojini Naidu, and American anti-war activist Joan Baez.

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Joy Crysdale reads from Courageous Women Rebels for the Red Cedar Awards gala (May 9, 2015)


Finalist for the 2014/15 Red Cedar Award, British Columbia

Nominated for the Amelia Bloomer List of Best Feminist Books, The American Library Association (2014)

Bank Street College Children's Book Committee's "Best Children's Books of the Year, 2014 Edition" for ages 9-12


Just as she did in Fearless Female Journalists, Crysdale approaches difficult topics candidly yet considerately. ... in deference to the target audience, in whose eyes Sojourner Truth and Gloria Steinem, too, probably, represent ancient history, Crysdale cites the recognition given them, respectively, by contemporary celebrities Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey, to emphasize their relevance even today. In each instance, whether a woman is rich or poor, straight or gay, or 13 or 50 when she embarks on a path of activism, the book presents her life story in a way such that readers can relate to it." - CM Magazine

"Ten women history to current times are profiled with engaging text and facts that are ideal for accomplished readers and students looking for a challenge and to expand their thinking.  Part of the amazing Women’s Hall of Fame Series, this book provides an excellent chance for readers in Grade 6 and up to see that courage to stand up to bullies takes many forms." - Feeding Change

"(A)n inspiring look at the lives of a handful of historical, as well as a few modern, women who possessed the strength of character to stand up against social norms and practices that they firmly believed were unjust, harmful, or immoral." - Resource Links

"This well-written book highlights the lives of 10 women activists… The message throughout the book is the same: All these women fought bravely for change, and some of them put their lives in jeopardy to pursue their goals." - ETFO Voice


Reading Levels

Grade: 6+

Guided Reading Level: Z+

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