cover image Ladies of Liberty: The Women Who Shaped Our Nation

Ladies of Liberty: The Women Who Shaped Our Nation

Cokie Roberts, illus. by Diane Goode. HarperCollins, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-06-078005-0

Roberts and Goode (Founding Mothers) again adapt one of Roberts’s adult bestsellers into a picture book. Thorough research into letters, diaries, and other writings underpins brief biographies of 10 women who made positive impacts in the United States in the 18th and 19th centuries. Roberts mostly features lesser-known, reform-minded activists—such as Rebecca Gratz, who founded the first U.S. orphanage for Jewish children—but other spotlighted women include Lucy Terry Prince, who composed the first-known poem by an African-American; Native American guide Sacagawea; and First Ladies Louisa Catherine Adams and Elizabeth Kortright Monroe. Short write-ups about other notable women are found in interspersed spreads. While the anecdotes don’t always segue seamlessly, Roberts’s storytelling style is both relaxed and direct. Goode’s softly-hued portraits and vignettes employ curvy, calligraphic lines in sepia that echo handwriting. This collection succeeds in emphasizing that many unsung women, “toiling to make America a more perfect place for all of its people,” left their mark well before the suffrage movement. Ages 6–10. Author’s agent: Robert Barnett, Williams & Connolly. Illustrator’s agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Dec.)