Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Road to Seneca Falls: A Story About Elizabeth Cady Stanton

The Road to Seneca Falls: A Story About Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Gwenyth Swain
Illustrator:  Mary O'Keefe Young 
For ages 8 to 10
Lerner, 1996   ISBN: 978-0876149478

Elizabeth Cady often wished that she had been born a boy. If she had she would be able to do so many of the things that she wasn't allowed to do as a girl, including running about and playing outdoors on snowy days. Elizabeth knew that because she was a girl she could not hope to go to college nor would she be allowed to have a career. It seemed so unfair and to make it worse her father had, on more than one occasion, said "I wish you were a boy."

Elizabeth determined that she would do all she could to better herself. If she couldn't be a boy she would try to be the next best thing - an educated, knowledgeable, free-thinking woman. Of course she ran into opposition but Elizabeth was not one to quit and she persevered, going to a woman's seminary, learning how to ride, and listening in on her father's conversations so she could learn about the law.

As a young woman Elizabeth went to London to attend a conference about the need to abolish slavery once and for all. As she listened to the speakers, Elizabeth and many of her women companions came to see that people of color were not the only people who were oppressed and treated with disregard and disdain. Women too were banned from many of the things that men took for granted. Why women were even discouraged from speaking in public because it was considered "unladylike." Elizabeth got more and more angry about the way in which women were treated and she decided that she, Elizabeth, would have to do something about it.

This well written biography will give young readers an excellent introduction to the battle that the members of the women's rights movement fought to ensure that all women would be allowed to own property, have the vote, and have control over their lives. This book is a fitting tribute to a woman who managed to be a mother, wife, and an advocate for the rights of women all over the world.