Teen Trailblazers: 30 Fearless Girls Who Changed the World Before They Were 20

Ages: 5 and upPublisher: Castle Point Books Author: Jennifer CalvertIllustrator: Vesna Asanovic


Teen Trailblazers is a compilation of 30 mini biographies that span millennia of history—from the ancient Egyptian teen ruler Cleopatra and sainted 15th-century French war heroine Joan of Arc to contemporary hunger activist Katie Stagliano and transgender advocate Jazz Jennings.

The mix of stories are a guided history of young women taking action, standing up for what’s right, embracing a cause, making a difference—and, many of them in times when the role of women didn’t accommodate that. Featuring well-known historic figures, such as English novelist Jane Austen (Pride & Prejudice) and famous Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, as well as largely unknown young achievers, such as 18th-century South Carolinian cultivator of indigo Eliza Luca and Claudette Colvin, who at 15 was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on an Alabama segregated bus—nine months before Rosa Park gained fame for doing that.

Each brief biography is four pages, including one full-page illustrated profile of the girl, plus large font text, sidebar stories that provide context and insight, enlarged pull-quotes and scattered illustrations, all of which make the book’s layout about right for ‘tweens and younger and not for high school students.

Don Oldenburg ©2019 Parents’ Choice

A former feature writer and consumer columnist at The Washington Post for 22 years, Don Oldenburg is the Director of Publications and Editor of the National Italian American Foundation, in Washington, D.C. He regularly reviews books for USA Today and is the coauthor of “The Washington DC-Baltimore Dog Lovers Companion” (Avalon Travel). The proud father of three sons, he lives with his journalist-author wife, Ann Oldenburg, in McLean, VA.

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