Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Carrie Chapman Catt: A Voice for Women

Carrie Chapman Catt: A Voice for Women

Kristin Thoennes Keller
Nonfiction  Series
For ages 10 and up
Compass Point Books, 2006   ISBN: 0756509912

Carrie was born into a world where women went from being ruled by male relatives to being the property of their husbands. Anything that they owned at marriage became their husbands,’ and if they got divorced, they had no rights to have access to their children. Women had few jobs open to them, they were not paid well, and they were often discouraged from getting more than what we would consider a basic education.

Carrie was lucky because her father did educate her and he supported her efforts to do more with her life. When she was still young, she began to speak out against the unfair treatment of women. She could not understand how a country founded on democracy could deny its women the right to vote. She, like so many other women before her, felt that one way to improve the lives of women was to give them a voice in government.

The battle for women’s suffrage began in Seneca Falls, New York, in 1848. As the women who began this fight began to age, a new generation of women stepped up to take their places. One of these women was Carrie. She was a powerful public speaker, and she traveled all over the country - and beyond - to talk to groups of men and women about women’s suffrage. Unlike Lucretia Mott, Lucy Stone, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Susan B. Anthony, Carrie was able to see all her hard work come to fruition. In 1920, she was one of hundreds of women who went to the polls to vote.

Though this story is mostly about Carrie Chapman Catt’s life, it is also a comprehensive history of the women’s suffrage movement in the United States. Readers will get a picture of what it was like to be a woman in America in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, and they will come to appreciate how much the suffragists sacrificed for the cause. This well written and interesting title is one of the books in the Signature Lives series.