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Anthology of Amazing Women

Anthology of Amazing Women

Published: 20 Feb 2020

Paperback / softback, 128 pages

Recommended for age 7+ and 9+

By Sandra (Author) Lawrence

Illustrated by Nathan Collins

Published by Templar Publishing

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This beautifully illustrated collection tells the awe-inspiring stories of 50 women who have pushed the boundaries of human excellence and endeavour. Standing out for their achievements in sport, science, the arts, politics, and history, these women have made huge contributions to today's society.

Featuring incredible women from the past and present such as Beyonce, Sheryl Sandberg, Mary Anning, Emmeline Pankhurst and Malala Yousafzai.

Tagged women's achievements

Reviewed by Anne Thompson

Anthology of Amazing Women: Trailblazers who dare to be different is a wonderful celebration of human endeavour. As Sandra Lawrence says in her introduction to this beautifully presented book, the women selected are ‘’only the tip of an incredible iceberg’’ and there is not enough room to include all the brilliant women she would have liked to celebrate. Nonetheless, this anthology contains a diverse and fascinating range of figures from the past and present who have achieved in a variety of fields.

There are eight sections in the book: Art and Design, History, Politics, Science, Sports, Music, Film and TV, Literature and Business so there are subject areas here to appeal to all tastes and interests. The women featured range from those more regularly included in biographies for children such as Emmeline Pankhurst, Oprah Winfrey, Malala Yousafzai and J K Rowling and less well-known figures, for example, Jeanne Baret and Rita Levi-Montalcini. This is a book for a wide audience as I learned about explorers and scientists whose names were new to me.

Each category begins with two pages providing a number of thumbnail biographies, accompanied by a small portrait, which offers a taster for each section. The women on the following pages have a whole page devoted to each of their biographies with a full-colour portrait on the opposite page. This form of presentation encourages both browsing and a more structured investigation by category. The writing style is engaging for children and there is a useful glossary at the end of the book listing words and terms that may be unfamiliar to young readers, such as homophobia, philanthropy, sickle-cell anaemia and transgender.   The contents page is structured to enable searching for entries by subject area but there is no alphabetical index. The illustrations by Nathan Collins are appealing and colourful and the overall design of the book is tempting for children.

Sandra Lawrence’s epilogue urges her readers to ‘’take the opportunities we are given and to create opportunities that don’t yet exist.’’ Anthology of Amazing Women: Trailblazers who dare to be different is an inspiring collection of women that  serves as a reminder of what can be achieved and the book would be a valuable addition to primary school libraries and classrooms alongside other titles celebrating achievement such as Brilliant Ideas from Wonderful Women and Kate Pankhurst’s Fantastically Great Women series.

I am a retired school librarian with twenty years’ experience in school and public libraries. I now maintain links with school libraries as Chair of the Surrey Branch of the School Library Association and reviews for their quarterly journal. A past reviewer for The Bookbag website I maintain a blog offering regular news updates from the world of children’s books. A contributor to newsletters and journals, children’s books remain just as important to me in retirement as they did when working.