Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 13 to 18
- Grade: 4 to 8
- Reading age: 9 to 13
Ten inspirational biographies of women who risked everything – including their lives – to bring us the world’s stories. Whether reporting from the front lines or the anchor desk, they pushed the boundaries of print, radio, TV, and internet journalism. By reading about their lives we learn the history of modern journalism. From abolitionist Mary Ann Shadd and stunt reporter Nellie Bly to feminist Doris Anderson and pioneering photojournalist Margaret Bourke-White. On to TV legends Barbara Frum and Katie Couric – the first woman to be the solo anchor of a US network news desk – and sports reporter Pam Oliver. Learn about murdered Russian war correspondent Anna Politkovskaya, courageous Afghan journalist Farida Nekzad, and South African Thembi Ngubane, who recorded her own fight against AIDS. Their personal stories will inspire you as much as their intrepid journalism.
About the author
Joy Crysdale is an educator and award-winning journalist who worked at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and CTV Television for more than 20 years as a producer, executive producer and as program director for a specialty channel. The shows she produced garnered many awards, including two Geminis – Canada’s TV broadcast awards. Also the author of Courageous Women Rebels, Joy is now a professor of journalism at Humber College in Toronto.
Fearless Female Journalists (Women’s Hall of Fame)The latest books in The Women’s Hall of Fame Series introduce us to some familiar and not-so-familiar teachers and journalists. Helen Keller, Annie Sullivan, Maria Montessori and Christa McAuliffe are teachers whose work and lives are well known. Their contributions, not only to the teaching profession but also to the idea of life-long learning, are an inspiration to many. Other teachers, whose lives are not so well documented, have also motivated children and adults to grow and flourish, often in discouraging circumstances. Onesime Dorval was a Métis Quebecois who was a pioneering teacher in French and English in Saskatchewan. Raden Kartini was an Indonesian woman living at the end of the nineteenth century. She had a hunger for knowledge and freedom. While her life was short-lived, she paved the way for the education of girls in her country. Friedl Dicker-Brandeis worked with children at the Terezin concentration camp, including Hana Brady (of Hana’s Suitcase). Marva Collins, a black teacher in Chicago, and Erin Gruwell, a teacher in Los Angeles, are two others who continue to educate and inspire children around the world.
Journalism can be an exciting, glamorous, tough and often dangerous profession, especially for women. The journalists profiled here are, indeed, fearless. Mary Ann Shadd Cary was the first black woman journalist in Canada and she spoke out on slavery and other issues. Nellie Bly took bravery to new heights by pretending to be insane and spending two weeks in a mental institution and then writing about the experience, and also by taking a solo journey around the world in 80 days after the Jules Verne book. Canada’s Doris Anderson and Barbara Frum were strong voices in the feminist movement of the late twentieth century. Anna Politkovskaya, a Russian journalist who covered the Russian war in Chechnya, was gunned down in 2006 for trying to tell the truth about Russia’s involvement there.
These are two well-written and compelling books about important historical and contemporary women. This is a great series that should continue to find a place in every school collection.
Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Summer 2011. Volume 34 No. 3.
Fearless Female Journalists (Women’s Hall of Fame)Read about ten female journalists who risked life and limb as they reported on international events. Included are abolitionist Mary Ann Shadd Cary, stunt reporter Nellie Bly, feminist Doris Anderson and TV legends such as Barbara Frum and Pam Oliver. A section including further resources about these tenacious women will enable students to learn more about their inspiring stories.
Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. 2011.