Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Remember the Ladies: A Story about Abigail Adams

Remember the Ladies: A Story about Abigail Adams

Jeri Ferris
Illustrator:  Ellen Beier 
For ages 8 to 11
Lerner, 2000   ISBN: 978-1575052922

When Abigail married John Adams she could never have guessed how much both she and her husband would have to sacrifice for their country. More than anything Abigail wished that there was a peaceful way to solve the dispute between the American colonists and King George in England. Unfortunately she soon found herself surrounded by what would one day be called the American Revolutionary War. Her husband John became a part of the struggle for Independence and he was away a great deal of the time. As she watched her husband and his colleagues build the framework for a new nation she began to wonder about those members of American society who are were not considered "equal" to everyone else. Certainly the slaves were one such group but weren’t women also considered to be less important than men?

Abigail was living proof that anything a man could do a woman could also do. Because John was away so much Abigail had to take on all the responsibilities of running their family farm, their home, taking care of their many children, and managing their finances. Jobs that were typically undertaken by a man she handled with great skill and sense. Clearly saying that women were unequal to such tasks was wrong. It was also unfair.

Unfortunately Abigail’s ideas of the equality of women were far ahead of their time and it would be many years into the future before women would begin to win the fight and get the equality and fair treatment that was their due. Abigail was a brave, highly intelligent woman whose words still resonate in the hearts of American women.

The author of this excellent biography succeeds in presenting Abigail in a sympathetic way, helping her readers see how much Abigail did in her lifetime and how much her husband John Adams needed her in order to succeed in his own efforts to help his country.