I could do that! Esther Morris gets Women the Vote
Linda Arms White
Pictures by Susan Carpenter
Non-Fiction Picture Book
Ages 5 to 12
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005, 0-374-33527-3
Esther is the kind of girl who is not easily intimidated. When she is six she decides that she could make tea if she tried – and so she does. When she is eight she decides that she is perfectly capable of sewing a fine seam just as her mother does – as so she is. When Esther is eleven her mother dies and the girl decides that she can take over the role of taking care of her ten siblings – which she does.
Later on, as an adult, Esther continues to face the challenges of life in a similar manner refusing to accept that there is anything that she cannot do. Despite what everyone else says, Esther opens her own business and when anti-abolitionist rowdies try to break up a meeting, Esther faces them down. No matter what happens and no matter who says she cannot do something Esther always answers “Yes I can” and she goes right ahead doing what she wants and what she believes in.
When she is her fifties Esther faces one of her biggest challenges of all. She refuses to accept that she does not have the right to vote so she sets about changing the law and thanks to her the state of Wyoming became the first state to allow women to vote in state elections.
Young readers will find this amusingly illustrated picture book entertaining and interesting while older readers will find themselves being drawn into this story of a woman who would not quit and who insisted on persevering no matter people said. This story of an often forgotten hero of the women’s suffrage movement is inspirational and it will help young women of today see that they have a lot to be thankful for.
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