Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The 19th Amendment

The 19th Amendment

Michael Burgan
For ages 9 to 11
Compass Point Books, 2006   ISBN: 978-0756512606

It is hard to imagine today that there was a time, not that long ago, when women were to all intents and purposes considered to be the "property" of their fathers and husbands. They could not own property and they could not keep any wages that they earned, though they did have to pay taxes. They did not however have a voice in government and could not vote. Many women in America found this latter state of affairs especially unacceptable. After all, hadn't the country revolted against Britain because the colonists were no longer willing to accept "taxation without representation?" And yet until 1920 this was just what women were expected to accept.

Many did not. Beginning in the mid 1800's women began to mobilize, to discuss, and to lobby for the rights that they felt should be theirs. They refused to accept that they could not have the same rights that men took for granted and they began the long and uphill struggle to get women the vote.

This is an excellent account of the history of the women's rights movement which finally culminated with the 19th Amendment to the Constitution being signed into law. Readers will come to appreciate how much of a struggle it was for the leaders and participants in the movement and how much they had to sacrifice to see that women were finally given the vote.

At the back of the book readers will find a glossary, a "Did you know?" section, lists of important dates and people, and lists of resources.