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Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Book Review : 'She Persisted Around the World' by Chelsea Clinton and Illustrated by Alexandra Boiger


Chelsea Clinton wrote this book and it was illustrated by Alexandra Boiger. The book spoke of so much but then again, it kind of stopped me, with its cover itself. The book, spoke of Dr Mary Verghese, an Indian doctor, it also spoke of an African professor, Wangari Maathai but then again, it spoke of a girl in a wheelchair, who am guessing is Mexican writer, Sor Juana Ines. 

One can guess that from the girl with a pen and a writing pad, but I still do not get her in a wheelchair…? I did read up about her, but I really cannot find out, why. If anybody can point me in the right direction, then I would be happy to change it. Yet, it was a good book, as it spoke of some of the best women across the world. 

Sor Juana Ines focused on her writing and poetry, despite being born in a place where as a girl she was never allowed at a school, as it was disallowed for women. She ‘persisted’ in finding tutors, who did not mind teaching a girl. Her first published argument, for women’s right to be educated in the Americas, along with her poems and plays was among those, published.

We also have little Caroline Herschel, who although had typhus, which left her at four feet reached for the stars. She left her native Germany for England, where she became the first woman to discover the a comet. Today, there are quite a few comets that have her name.

Marie Curie is a supremely popular scientist, who worked in radioactivity and became the first woman to ever win two Nobel Prizes, in the world. I remember reading about her in school, and what struck me was the fact that she won one in Physics and one in Chemistry.

Dr Mary Verghese, who despite being in a car crash, where she lost both her legs continued to care for women, who have lost the use of their legs. Or have had accidents or illnesses that could affect their working. But she did so, in spite of needing to work from her wheelchair, and founded the first functional rehabilitation centre in India.

Wangari Maathai, was first woman in East and Central Africa, to become a professor at the University of Nairobi. She was the first African woman to win a Nobel Prize, and her legacy includes 50 million trees the Green Belt Movement, had helped plant and also, helped protect and defend rights of fellow Kenyans.

The two people, I was struck with are JK Rowling, with her acclaimed ‘Magical’ series of Harry Potter, with 400 million books in print. And also, Siseide ‘Sissi’ Lia do Amor, who strove to play soccer in her country, Brazil. It was not allowed at that time, and she became known as the Queen of Brazilian Football. Doing something, so different from everyone else.

Malala Yousafzai was only 11, and you have probably already heard of her. She wanted to get an education at her native Pakistan, and some girls there were not allowed this. She was just fifteen, when a man boarded her school bus and shot her,  because she wanted to go to school and she was the only one with the courage to stand up for a ‘girl’ to study. She won the Nobel Prize, while she still is at school and is now in the USA, though.

Chelsea Clinton (Wikipedia)
Alexandra Boiger (Wernick&Pratt Agency)
I have missed out a few but; hey this is a review, right? The most interesting part of this book were the illustrations. The book was of children or better yet, women in activism, arts, education, sports, and even science. It was well put together by Chelsea Clinton and even better drawn out by Alexandra Boiger. It speaks of 13 women, who have changed history and the world itself, all in their tiny ways and their brilliant ideas. 

You can Buy the Book, right here.