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Children's Nonfiction Women

Her Epic Adventure

25 Daring Women Who Inspire a Life Less Ordinary

by (author) Julia De Laurentiis Johnston

illustrated by Salini Perera

Kids Can Press
Initial publish date
May 2021
Women, Girls & Women, General
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    May 2021
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 8 to 12
  • Grade: 3 to 7
  • Reading age: 8 to 12


Thrilling true stories of female adventurers who never stopped believing in themselves --- and achieved the unimaginable!

Throughout history, women eager for adventure have long faced obstacles and opposition. But here are the stories of 25 remarkable women --- from pilots to mountain climbers, deep-sea divers to Antarctic explorers --- who defied expectations and made their mark on history. Included are Bessie Coleman, famously known as the first Black woman to earn a pilot's license (two years before Amelia Earhart!). But readers also learn about lesser-known women, such as Diana Nyad, who, at age 64, became the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage, and Arunima Sinha, the first woman amputee to climb Mount Everest. The women's experiences are all different, but they have one thing in common: they didn't let anything get in the way of their dreams!

This highly readable and inspiring book --- organized by sky, peaks, ice, land and water adventures --- describes the achievements of a diverse group of female adventurers from around the world, including women of color, Indigenous women, LGBTQ+ women and women with disabilities. Author Julia De Laurentiis Johnston's text pays particular attention to the barriers and biases these adventurers faced because of their gender and the character and uncompromising ambition they displayed to overcome them. Sidebars provide how-to tips for adventurers, engaging STEM content, fun facts and inspirational quotes. Illustrations throughout the pages by Salini Perera enhance the compelling stories and bring a contemporary feel to the book that makes it accessible and appealing to kids today. Also included are an interview with the modern-day adventurer Lois Pryce, a world map that locates the stories throughout the book, author's sources, resources for kids and an index. This book links to both biography and history curriculums.

About the authors

Julia De Laurentiis Johnston is a writer and podcast host who has worked with Maclean's, The Walrus and Shameless magazines. She holds a MA in journalism from City University and has sat on the Equal Voice Youth Board, an organization dedicated to getting more women elected to government. Julia lives with her family in Toronto, Ontario.

Julia De Laurentiis Johnston's profile page

Salini Perera is a freelance illustrator from Toronto. She was born in Sri Lanka, raised in Scarborough, and has been making art for as long as she can remember. Now, she gets to make art for picture books, a lifelong dream come true. She lives in the city's east end with her husband, Michael, and their two cats, Victoria and Albert.

Salini Perera's profile page

Editorial Reviews

From pilots to mountain climbers to deep-sea divers and Antarctic explorers, these brave women have made their mark on history!

OWL Magazine

Empowering and encouraging ...

Quill & Quire, starred review

The unusual and diverse subjects covered here, as well as the sprinkling of geographical, historical, and other kinds of facts into the biographies, highly recommends this for public and school library shelves.


An unusually diverse gallery also valuable for calling attention to some less-renowned deeds and doers.

Kirkus Reviews

... tales of adventure, travel and record-breaking feats will inspire and interest readers of all genders and ages.

Cm Magazine

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