Bay Area Author Publishes Book on 26 Diverse Women Throughout History
Jan 06, 2016 06:57PM
● By Kevin
Kate Schatz, author.
Like all A-Z books, “Rad American Women A-Z” illustrates the alphabet.
But instead of “apple,” A is for Angela – as in Angela Davis, the iconic political activist. B is for Billie Jean King, who shattered the glass ceiling of sports; C is for Carol Burnett, who defied assumptions about women in comedy; D is for Dolores Huerta, who organized farmworkers; and E is for Ella Baker, who mentored Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and helped shape the Civil Rights movement.
And the list continues, spanning several centuries, multiple professions and 26 diverse women. There are artists and abolitionists, scientists and sports heroes, rock stars and rabble-rousers and agents of change of all kinds.
“Rad American Women A-Z” was written by Kate Schatz and illustrated by Miriam Klein Stahl. This New York Times-bestselling book for kids – and their parents, teachers and cool grown-up friends – documents America’s famous and unsung heroines.
The Huffington Post called it “The empowering book both boys and girls need!” The San Francisco Examiner said, “History books come in all sizes, but few include enough stories of women who have influenced American society.” TeenVogue stated, “The ABCs just got a major girl-power upgrade.”
This is all staggering praise, and the beauty of it is that it’s all well deserved. The writing and illustrations are as compelling as these women’s lives and legacies. As the first children’s book published by the acclaimed City Lights Booksellers and Publishers in San Francisco, “Rad American Women A-Z” is a rousing tribute to the women who changed American history.
Together, Schatz and Stahl have sparked something that endures. They’ve committed to publishing additional A to Z books with an international focus.
The author Schatz (pronounced “Shots”) is a Bay Area writer, editor and educator. She is the chair of the School of Literary Arts at Oakland School for the Arts, where she teaches fiction, poetry and journalism to high school students.
Stahl is a Bay Area artist, educator and activist. In addition to her work in printmaking, drawing, sculpture, paper-cut and public art, she is also the co-founder of the Arts and Humanities Academy at Berkeley High School.
Together, Schatz and Stahl have sparked something that endures. They’ve committed to publishing additional A to Z books with an international focus; and just recently, Fresno State’s Henry Madden Library and its Arne Nixon Center for the Study of Children’s Literature hosted them on campus for a reception and book signing.
Faculty and students from the Fresno State campus Art Department and Women’s Studies Department contributed with a collaborative art display and informational website. Together, they created wheat paste art displays of a curated group of Rad Fresno State Women, which were displayed around campus and included QR codes for more historical information. The displays paid tribute to 12 Fresno State women, which included the likes of Judy Chicago, Lillian Faderman, Francine Oputa and Sherley Anne Williams. Look for these displays at the upcoming Fresno Art Museum 2016 spring exhibition.
The women in “Rad American Women A-Z” shaped America’s history, and their legacy continues to shape our future. Now here’s our chance to meet them in a unique and playful way.
For more information about this inspiring book, visit www.radamericanwomen.com.
Book reviewed by Cindy Wathen.