Born in England and raised by a progressive father, an abolitionist who also believed women were equal to men, Elizabeth Blackwell is famous for becoming America’s first woman doctor. But her story is far more complex. Students will be interested to learn that Blackwell was denied the ability to practice medicine, simply because she was a woman. Her insistence on breaking barriers, as well as opening doors for other women, will teach students the importance of perseverance, and excerpts from primary sources, images, and sidebars will enrich the reader’s experience.
In 2015, Misty Copeland was named principal ballerina of the American Ballet Theatre, the first African American to earn the title in the ballet company’s history. She has danced all over the country, on Broadway, and on television, but she had to break many barriers to do it, including racism and poverty. Through simple text and vivid photos, readers will appreciate Copeland’s struggles and will learn about her dedication to promoting diversity in ballet. A Words to Know section helps readers with new vocabulary, and quotations by Copeland shed light on this talented woman.
Now in Spanish, read how Ellen Ochoa followed her dreams and became an engineer with important research and inventions to her credit-and the first Hispanic woman in space. Breaking barriers is never easy, but Ochoa has succeeded in transcending race, gender, scientific inquiry, even the earth’s atmosphere. She continues to work hard and aim high and is an important role model for today’s youth.