Monday, November 3, 2008

Book Review: Ballots for Belva

Ballots for Belva: The True Story of a Woman's Race for the Presidency by Sudipta Bardham-Quallen, illustrated by Courtney A. Martin. (Grades 2-5.)

Even as a young girl, Belva knew that she would move mountains. When she decided to go to law school, she wouldn't give up until she found a school that would admit women. When she completed the law school coursework and the university wouldn't give her a diploma, she wrote to President Ulysses S. Grant and demanded her diploma.

She got the diploma.

Belva went on to become the first female lawyer to practice law in the federal courts and the first woman to argue a case before the Surpreme Court.

In 1884, Belva Lockwood became the first woman to officially run for president. (In 1872, Victoria Woodhull ran for president, but she ended her campaign before Election Day and no official votes were recorded for her.)

This non-fiction picture book shares an inspiring story that's certainly timely. Belva ran for president in an election in which she could not vote. Women couldn't vote until 1920. Still, Belva garnered thousands of votes from men. She fully believed in equal rights for everyone - men, women, people of all colors...

Now we've got those rights and it would be a shame not to exercise them. I don't intend to discuss politics on this blog, but I will encourage you to go and vote tomorrow. A vote is a powerful thing. Women have had the vote for less than a century. I certainly feel like I owe it to those suffragettes to cast my own ballot.

I don't care who you vote for, but please vote!

And since you can't vote until tomorrow, you might as well check out Nonfiction Monday in the meantime. :) Anastasia's got the round-up.