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Page history last edited by RichiesPicks 7 years ago

27 February 2013 WHO SAYS WOMEN CAN'T BE DOCTORS? THE STORY OF ELIZABETH BLACKWELL by Tanya Lee Stone and Marjorie Priceman, ill., Henry Holt, February 2013, 40p., ISBN: 978-0-8050-9048-2


"I saw a peanut stand, heard a rubber band,

I saw a needle that winked it's eye"

-- Frank Churchill and Oliver Wallace, "When I See an Elephant Fly"


I just thought of that song, because in the wake of reading WHO SAYS WOMEN CAN'T BE DOCTORS? I was contemplating for a moment the notion of when we might see the first female pope.


But on a more serious note, there are certainly strong betting odds that we will see a woman in the Oval Office in the relatively near future. And South Koreans just elected their first female president.


I keep going back to what it was like for women when I was a kid in the late fifties and early sixties and how the world has so drastically changed for women over the past half-century in ways that makes it so exciting to be alive in 2013, talking to young women about Title IX and why we see so many women doctors and lawyers and judges and astronauts today in contrast to just fifty years ago.


And if you think fifty years ago was bad...


"On January 23, 1849, Elizabeth graduated...with the highest grades in the whole class!

She had become the first woman doctor in America.

Although many people were proud, others were angry. One doctor even wrote, 'I hope for the honor of humanity, that [she] will be the last.'"


What I love most about Tanya Lee Stone's tale of America's first female doctor is that Blackwell pursued this groundbreaking route after a good friend of hers urged Elizabeth to consider doing so. And I think this is such a great lesson for everyone: Urge your friends to be everything they can be. Urge them to think big. Urge them to think outside of the box. Urge them to go places that no one has ever visited. And then treat yourself the same way.


Amidst Priceman's lively illustrations, I particularly like the visual interpretation of Blackwell as "The kind of girl who wouldn't take the bait."


A very informative Author's Note provides many additional details about Elizabeth Blackwell's life. That note concludes by pointing out that "more than half of all U.S. medical school students today are women."


You go girls!


Richie Partington, MLIS
Richie's Picks http://richiespicks.com
Moderator http://groups.yahoo.com/group/middle_school_lit/


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