Title: Girl Squads
Author: Sam Maggs
Illustrator: Jenn Woodall
Genre: Feminism, History
Publisher: Quirk Books (Penguin Random House)
Date published: October 2, 2018
A physical copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.
A modern girl is nothing without her squad of besties. But don’t let all the hashtags fool you: the #girlsquad goes back a long, long time. In this hilarious and heartfelt book, geek girl Sam Maggs takes you on a tour of some of history’s most famous female BFFs, including:
• Anne Bonny and Mary Read, the infamous lady pirates who sailed the seven seas and plundered with the best of the men
• Jeanne Manon Roland and Sophie Grandchamp, Parisian socialites who landed front-row seats (from prison) to the French Revolution
• Sharon and Shirley Firth, the First Nations twin sisters who would go on to become Olympic skiers and break barriers in the sport
• The Edinburgh Seven, the band of pals who fought to become the first women admitted to medical school in the United Kingdom
• The Zohra Orchestra, the ensemble from Afghanistan who defied laws, danger, and threats to become the nation’s first all-female musical group
And many more! Spanning art, science, politics, activism, and even sports, these girl squads show just how essential female friendship has been throughout history and throughout the world. Sam Maggs brings her signature wit and warmth as she pays tribute to the enduring power of the girl squad. Fun, feisty, and delightful to read—with empowering illustrations by artist Jenn Woodall—it’s the perfect gift for your BFF.
We all know that over the ages, a lot of focus has been placed on men when it comes to history. I mean, the word itself “history” is a combination of the words “his” and “story.” So, it’s very refreshing to me when I come across books that focus on women as well, or even solely on women. I think that women of all ages (whether they be five or fifty-five) can benefit from reading about strong females! Powerful female historical figures have been suppressed for far too long, and it’s great that we can now see them emerge.
Sam Maggs and Jenn Woodall’s Girl Squads takes us all around the world (as the book’s cover so nicely depicts) and tells us the stories of not only strong women, but also strong female friendships and loyalty. This book tells us about athletic women (such as the Haenyeo of Korea), political and activist squads (such as The Patreotic Women’s League of Iran), warrior women, scientist women, and artistic women! I love that this book, while being quite compact, contains a lot of information which is presented concisely. I also love that this book comes in hardcover, so that it can last longer than a paperback would. There is also a surprise beneath the dust cover that I quite enjoyed! Overall, this is a must-have for those interested in history, feminism, and female friendship.
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