Book Review: The Bravest Woman in America by Marissa Moss

bravest woman in america

The Bravest Woman in America by Marissa Moss, illustrated by Andrea U’Ren

Ida Lewis loved the sea, from the crash of the waves to the bite of the ocean air.  When her father got a job as a lighthouse keeper, she was thrilled.  He had to cross back and forth twice a day to check the light, and he took Ida with him, teaching her how to row.  He also taught her to care for the lamp and how to rescue people without capsizing herself.  When Ida turned 15, her family moved out to live next to the lighthouse.  Ida dreamed of becoming the keeper herself one day.  That day came early when her father got ill and could no longer care for the lighthouse.  So Ida helped more and more.  Though she had never rescued anyone, she rowed out to save some boys in a sailboat that capsized.  It took all of her determination and strength to save them, but she did.

This book works on so many levels.  It is a true story about a real hero who defied what society expected of her and became what she dreamed of.  Additionally, it is the story of a girl who was strong, brave and amazing.  A girl who relied on her own strength and wits to save others rather than to be rescued herself.  Beautiful. 

Moss writes the story with drama and action, yet is never heavy handed.  She builds up to the accident nicely, showing it happen and then building to the climax of the rescue.  This is an rescue story that will have readers cheering.

U’Ren’s art is done in watercolor, ink and acrylic.  The colors are deep and lovely, from the changing colors of the sky to the blues and greens of the water that change with the storm.  Ida Lewis is always shown as a young lady, never masculinized at all.  It adds to the charm and drama of the story.

Highly recommended, this is a great book choice for women’s history units or for any child to learn that girls are heroes too.  Appropriate for ages 5-8.

Reviewed from copy received from Tricycle Press.

Book Review: Monday Is One Day by Arthur A. Levine

monday is one day

Monday Is One Day by Arthur A. Levine, illustrated by Julian Hector

As families wake up to the new week, the hardest part is being away from each other.  Follow the days of the week here for a celebration of how working families can connect and spend time together throughout the week.  The days continue to move forward from Monday to Tuesday, filled cuddles and puddles.  Then come Wednesday and Thursday with raspberry kisses and dinosaur growls.  Friday’s the last day of the workweek, so help pick out a tie.  Then comes the fun of Saturday and Sunday for families to spend together. 

Levine has written such a simple book that even the youngest of children will be able to relate to it.  The rhymes are easy and feel natural when read aloud.  This book is just what working families need to celebrate their own connections and family relationships. 

The illustrations add diversity and a modern feel to the book.   It is packed full of different types of families, all enjoying connections with their children.  There are families of different colors, gay parents, and grandparents caring for grandchildren.  Happily, nothing is pointed out about the families that are different than the stereotypical norm.  Instead this book just celebrates everyone with ease and style.

The illustrations are done in bright, merry colors with plenty of white space.  They have a gentle, vintage tone to them that works well for this subject matter.  It makes it even more special to have such diverse families depicted in a timeless way.

A positive and welcoming book that will have families rejoicing.  Appropriate for ages 3-5. 

Reviewed from copy received from Scholastic Press.

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