I’ve been reading a book called Women Making America by Heidi Hemming and Julie Hemming Savage and I think many of you would find it both interesting and useful. First, it’s a great resource for finding information and ideas when your daughter is assigned an essay to write about a woman she admires or about an historical figure The book is organized so well you can open to any page and find some historical tidbit that you may want to follow up on.
Second, it’s the perfect guide to have when your daughter starts to realize that not many women are featured in her school history book. This may happen early in her school years, but it will certainly happen by the time she is in middle school or high school. Even better, don’t wait until your daughter questions it on her own; buy a copy and keep it out on your family room coffee table. Pique her interest by opening to any page and reading one of the boxed facts like this one from the New Ways of Living 1865—1890 section: “Employers justified paying women less by hiring them only for unskilled positions. This was impossible in the case of cigar makers from Bohemia. Women were the experts. A war in Europe led thousands to immigrate to America in the 1870s. Arriving with their own tools, these skilled workers quickly earned enough money for their husbands and children to join them.”
Women Making America is organized by era. There are nine chapters, and each covers several decades in American history. Each chapter also highlights different topics, such as health, paid work, at home, education, beauty, amusements and the arts. Sidebars on every page offer little bits of information in pull-out boxes.
There are several historical illustrations and photos on each page, and most of them are fascinating pieces of history that make you want to find out more. Women Making America is a resource you will want to have around for years to come. I highly recommend it for homes with daughters of any age.