Book Review: Herstory by Katherine Halligan

History is often told through the exploits of men, because for the most part they held the most powerful positions and made the decisions that changed the world. But that’s not always the case. Elizabeth I is an exception, a queen who helped solidify England’s place as a nation with world-wide impact. Mother Teresa made a difference in a different area, helping to found an organization that has grown to more than 500 centers in more than 100 countries to better the lives of the poor.

These are just two of the influential women profiled in Herstory: 50 Women and Girls Who Shook Up the World. Written by Katherine Halligan and illustrated by Sarah Walsh, Herstory focuses on 10 women in each of five categories—Believe & Lead, Imagine & Create, Help & Heal, Think & Solve, and Hope & Overcome.

The profiles include women from ancient history like Hypatia, who was an Egyptian mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher, born around 360 AD, as well as women making modern history, like Malala Yousafzai, born in northern Pakistan in 1997. Malala won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 and champions the cause of education for women and girls.

Each woman is featured on two pages in an over-sized format, which allows for illustrations and photos to go along with information about when and where they were born and what they accomplished. The bios discuss how cultures differed during historical time frames to explain how sometimes actions that would not be acceptable today were common for the time period.

Herstory provides inspiration as well as information about influential women and girls throughout history. I recommend it for readers aged 9 and up.

The publisher provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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