Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History

Vashti Harrison

Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History
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Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History

Vashti Harrison

Featuring 40 trailblazing black women in the world’s history, this book educates and inspires as it relates true stories of women who broke boundaries and exceeded all expectations. Debut author/illustrator Vashti Harrison pairs captivating text with stunning illustrations as she tells the stories of both iconic and lesser-known female figures of black history - from nurse Mary Seacole, to politician Diane Abbott, mathematician Katherine Johnson and singer Shirley Bassey.

Among these biographies, readers will find heroes, role models and everyday women who did extraordinary things.


When Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls hit the shops early in 2017, girls, parents, and educators were excited that an historical imbalance was being rectified; women had actually been doing notable things all along, those things just hadn’t been noted!

Now this stunning new book turns the spotlight specifically onto about forty revolutionary black women. Spanning nearly 200 years it introduces us to mainly African-American pioneers starting with Mary Prince, who was born into slavery in 1788. Although her story is immensely sad, her resilience and defiance is powerful. We know most of the singers and, of course, Oprah, and even Rosa Parks, but many wouldn’t know Pulitzer Prize-winning author Gwendolyn Brooks, or Katherine Johnson (unless they had watched the wonderful film Hidden Figures) the NASA mathematician.

I was particularly excited to see Bonita Mabo, the Australian Indigenous activist, included. Each woman is featured with a one-page mini biography which faces a full-page illustration depicting their career or area of renown; these pictures are what makes this book so special. A must for libraries big and small. For ages 7 to 12.

Alexa Dretzke is the assistant manager and children’s book buyer at Readings Hawthorn.

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