I hardly ever read or write about non-fiction. I should, I really should, but I don't. However, today I'm writing about Vinnie and Abraham by Dawn FitzGerald.
Vinnie and Abraham is a biography about the American sculptor, Vinnie Ream. When she was just 16 years old President Lincoln agreed to sit for her so that she could sculpt him. He did this because she was prodigious and also because of their common backgrounds. After his death, she fought to be given the commission for the statue of Lincoln that would be displayed in the Capitol rotunda. Despite the controversy of hiring a women for such an important job, she was given the commission. She was chosen for her ability to sculpt Lincoln as he really was; kind, gentle, and with a distinct air of sadness.
While reading this to my students I had to stop several times to explain the deep inequity that women endured in this country during Vinnie Ream's lifetime.
As a first grade teacher I never taught the history of women. I taught about George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Martin Luther King, but no women. And now as a librarian I have still failed to educate my students about the history of the suffrage movement and the more recent women's movement. This year I'm going to be on the lookout for well written biographies about women, books about the suffrage movement, and books that my young future feminists would enjoy.