Monday, March 25, 2013

Who Says Women Can't Be Doctors? a review

Stone, Tanya Lee. 2013. Who Says Women Can't Be Doctors? The Story of Elizabeth Blackwell. New York: Henry Holt.  Illustrated by Marjorie Priceman.

In language accessible to young readers, and engaging enough to capture the interest of older ones, Tanya Lee Stone has told an inspiring story of young Elizabeth Blackwell's quest to become the first female doctor in the United States in 1849.
So why did she become the first woman doctor?  Because one person believed she could and told Elizabeth she was just the kind of smart, determined girl who would change the world.
There is a lesson here for adults as well.  Never underestimate the power of a well-placed, well-deserved compliment. Taken to heart by a determined child, there is no limit to what she might accomplish!

Caldecott Honor winner, Marjorie Priceman ( Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin ) uses gouache and india ink to create lively and expressive illustrations of an animated young woman who will not be held down. Many illustrations are double-spreads.  Some are punctuated by painted jeers that Elizabeth endured as she sought the previously impossible, "Women are too weak for such hard work... Women aren't smart enough... HA HA HA... Ha Ha"   See a gallery of illustrations from Who Says Women Can't Be Doctors? on the publisher's Flickr link.

An Author's Note fills in the details on the latter half of Elizabeth Blackwell's life and outstanding career; a list of Sources Used rounds out this stellar book for young people.

 Be sure to read author Tanya Lee Stone's post on "The Trickle-Up Effect," and how nonfiction picture books like Who Says Women Can't Be Doctors? can have a far-reaching effect on knowledge.

Today is Nonfiction Monday.
Join the roundup at Anastasia Suen's Booktalking blog.


  1. Thanks for sharing a Nonfiction Monday post this week, Lisa!

  2. Thanks for your comment. In answer to your question --
    "A boy named Beckoning: the true story of Dr. Carlos Montezuma, Native American hero" is well illustrated with paintings and period photographs. It is 32 pages in length and written at a fifth grade level.


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