Search form

New Book Provides Answers to Kids' Questions about Women's History

Author Sue Heinemann presents succinct, informative and interesting answers to more than 400 questions about women in American history in a new book (Wiley & Sons) for readers ages 9-14!

Editor's note: Did you see the Women's History Month question-a-day activity posted to Education World's LESSON PLANNING page last week? We posted that story last week so it would be available for use in the classroom on the first school day in March. The question-a-day activity is available in two forms -- as an activity students can do directly online or as an activity that teachers can print out for students to use at any time. Don't miss Women of Accomplishment: An Internet Scavenger Hunt.

Amazing Women in American History Book Cover

From the first women in America to the most recent achievements of women in sports, film, and literature, The New York Public Library Amazing Women in American History (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.,) capsulizes the roles of important women -- women famous and unfamiliar. The book provides countless interesting -- but never trivial -- snippets. Readers learn about women in prehistoric times; women involved in the crusade for independence; women who spoke out against slavery and for women's rights; women who pushed for the vote and for peace; and women who led the movement for equal rights.

Amazing Women's Q&A format holds young readers' attention while they learn some most surprising facts. For instance, did you know that

  • many Native American societies were matrilineal (traced through the mother, not the father)?
  • in New Jersey, women with property of a certain amount were allowed to vote as early as 1776?
  • among the women of the mid 1800's who rebelled against long skirts with layers of petticoats was a magazine editor, Amelia Bloomer? She introduced loose, puffed-out pants (often referred to as bloomers), which were worn beneath "short" dresses.
  • a world's fair in Chicago in 1892 marked the first time women's achievements were displayed in a special fair building -- a building designed by architect Sophia Hayden?
  • by 1880, almost a third of college students were women?
  • one of the most well-known explorers of the early part of this century was Harriet Chalmers Adams, who covered more than 100,000 miles in places such as North Africa, South America, and the South Sea islands?
Drawing on the bottomless resources of the New York Public Library, author Sue Heinemann provides succinct and informative answers to hundreds of questions that will appeal to readers ages 9-15. Sidebar tidbits and biographical sketches add color and richness. And many illustrations are included, among them a 19th-century British engraving depicting a showdown between Nancy Hart and British loyalists during the American Revolution; Hart shot two of the loyalists and held the others hostage until neighbors came to assist. In addition, quitting time in a 19th-century mill town is depicted in a painting by Winslow Homer, and a photo shows graduation day for one of the first female cadets at West Point. A detailed bibliography, glossary, and index are included as well as the library's "recommended reading list" for young readers.


Among the 400-plus questions that are answered in The New York Public Library Amazing Women in American History are these:

  • Were there any female chiefs among the Native Americans encountered by the first European explorers?
  • What is the real story of Pocahontas?
  • Did any women fight in the Revolutionary War?
  • When did women first ask the government to increase their rights?
  • How many slaves did Harriet Tubman rescue?
  • Who was the first African American woman to graduate from college?
  • How much were women mill workers paid for their work?
  • Did women join the California gold rush?
  • Who was the first woman to run for president? (Hint: She ran in 1872!)
  • Were there many inventions by women in the late 1800s?
  • Who were the prominent women entertainers and sports "stars" of the late 1800s?
  • Who was Mother Jones?
  • What were flappers?
  • When did colleges offer the first "women's studies" classes?
  • Why was Geraldine Ferraro important?
  • How many women have won election as governor since 1980?
  • When was the first Take Our Daughters to Work Day?
  • When did the first woman astronaut go into space?
The New York Public Library Amazing Women in American History joins four other entries in the New York Public Library Answer Books for Kids series. Other titles offer the "amazing" view of Hispanic American history, African-American history, and the histories of space and Earth.

The New York Public Library Amazing Women in American History, written by Sue Heinemann and published under the Stonesong Press imprint of John Wiley & Sons, Inc., is available in bookstores. If you are unable to locate a copy, ask your bookseller to order one for you or write to the publisher at 605 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10158-0012; call (800) 225-5945; or view the company's Web site at

Article by Gary Hopkins
Education World® Editor-in-Chief
Copyright © 1999 Education World

Related Articles from Education World