Thursday, February 9, 2023

*Review*The Van Buren Sisters vs. the Pants Police by J. F. Fox


Genre: Children's 5-8
Published: May 2, 2023
Pages: 40

A true story about two sisters, four wheels and hordes of angry fashion police!

Addie and Gussie Van Buren were raised by their father to be confident, competitive and not much concerned with stuffy opinions about what women can and can’t do. So, when World War I broke out in Europe, the sisters believed women should be able to join the fight. To prove that women would make excellent battlefield messengers, they decided to drive their motorbikes across the country, dressed sensibly in leather coats and pants. Only, this was 1916, and women didn’t ride motorbikes. And women certainly did not wear pants! Despite being stopped repeatedly for wearing “men’s” clothing, the Van Buren sisters showed that “woman can, if she will”!

Part of the Head-to-Head History series, this irreverently told, inspiring story by J. F. Fox showcases one of the many battles in the history of the women’s movement. This thrilling story continues to delight people today, including the descendants of the Van Buren sisters who commemorate their accomplishments by re-creating the iconic ride with dozens of other women bikers. This highly readable book adds historical context with notes at the back of the book, and a glossary and bibliography expand the content and help promote inquiry-based learning. Historical details are incorporated into Anna Kwan’s illustrations, which use comic-style speech bubbles and plenty of humor to keep the tone fun and lively.

I received a copy of this book through Netgalley. This is my honest review. 

I found this to be a rather educational story about women doing "manly" things like wearing pants and riding motorbikes, which helped pave the way for women's rights. I personally knew nothing of the Van Buren sisters before reading this book so I found it informative on a personal level. The language was simple so younger children should easily be able to understand what's going on. 

The illustrations felt pretty basic, with large, simple shapes. There weren't really any small or intricate details that I noticed, but they definitely still got the point of the story across anyway. 

I would absolutely read this book more than once. I appreciate the early feminist storyline and that it's educational. Overall I give it 4.1 out of 5 stars. - Katie 

J. F. Fox is the author of Napoleon vs. the Bunnies, a Head-to-Head History book. She is a former editor at Lee & Low Books and has ghostwritten over seventy books for children. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and two sons.

Anna Kwan is the illustrator of Napoleon vs. the Bunnies, a Head-to-Head History book. A graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design, she is based in Toronto.

No comments:

Post a Comment