Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

No Girls Allowed: Tales of Daring Women Dressed as Men for Love, Freedom and Adv

No Girls Allowed: Tales of Daring Women Dressed as Men for Love, Freedom and Adv

Susan Hughes
Illustrator:  Willow Dawson 
Historical Fiction Graphic Novel
For ages 9 to 12
Kids Can Press, 2008   ISBN: 978-1554531776

For hundreds of years, people have done their best to control the hopes, dreams, and actions of girls and women. Women and girls could not rule a kingdom, they could not be a warrior or a soldier, or a leader, or a doctor. For hundreds of years, girls and women have found ways to get around the strictures imposed on them. They have found ways to do what they wanted to do, in spite of everything.

In this interesting graphic novel, readers will meet seven young women who, for a variety of reasons, did not want to accept the boundaries imposed upon them. In each case, they dressed up as men so that they could do more with the lives, so they could serve their country, so they could seek adventure, so they could escape persecution, and so that they could find true love.

The women in the stories are Hatshepsut, Mu Lan, Alfhild, Esther Brandeau, James Barry, Ellen Craft, and Sarah Rosetta Wakeman. The author begins with the story of Hatchepsut, who was the daughter of Thutmose I, a pharaoh who ruled in Egypt in around 1500 BCE. Hatshepsut ruled jointly with her husband after the death of her father, and when her sickly husband died, her half brother was made the pharaoh. Because he was too young to rule, Hatshepsut ruled as regent, but this was not enough for her. She decided that she would rule as a man, and this is exactly what she did.

Using black and white cartoon style art and an engaging text, the author and illustrator of this book tell the stories of seven determined females who found a way to pursue their dreams.