Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday - Around America 8.31.16

Every Wednesday I join Alyson Beecher from kidlitfrenzy and other
kidlit bloggers to share wonderful nonfiction picture books.
The intention of today's blog is to give educational professionals
new nonfiction reading material and ideas to use 
with students to promote a love of reading nonfiction materials.

It's an election year, in case you hadn't already heard!  Planning on doing some reading and discussion about voting?  Maybe you want to dig a little into the history of voting?  Here's a book you'll want to include!

Around America to Win the Vote: Two Suffragists, a Kitten, and 10,000 Miles
Around America to Win the Vote
written by Mara Rockliff
illustrated by Hadley Hooper
published by Candlewick Press

Goodreads summary:
In April 1916, Nell Richardson and Alice Burke set out from New York City in a little yellow car, embarking on a bumpy, muddy, unmapped journey ten thousand miles long. They took with them a teeny typewriter, a tiny sewing machine, a wee black kitten, and a message for Americans all across the country: Votes for Women! The women’s suffrage movement was in full swing, and Nell and Alice would not let anything keep them from spreading the word about equal voting rights for women. Braving blizzards, deserts, and naysayers—not to mention a whole lot of tires stuck in the mud—the two courageous friends made their way through the cities and towns of America to further their cause. One hundred years after Nell and Alice set off on their trip, Mara Rockliff revives their spirit in a lively and whimsical picture book, with exuberant illustrations by Hadley Hooper bringing their inspiring historical trek to life.

Points for Discussion

  • It talks about how Nell and Alice used a sewing machine, a typewriter and their yellow car to prove their point that women can do anything.  Do you agree with them?  Do you think they proved their point?
  • The book mentions obstacles they had to overcome.  Look at the ways they overcame them - how did they change the way they approached each one?  When facing your own problem, how can you change your thinking to make it work for you?
  • Read the Author's Note.  Rockliff mentions many ways that suffragists tried to convince people to allow women to vote.  Pick one that interests you.  How would it look today?  Could you use that to convince voters on a different matter with that same manner?
  • Rockliff includes a note on her sources.  Have a discussion about how you know if a source, even a primary source, holds value or not.
  • Compare the suffragists to today.  We've had our first African American president and we have our first female presidential nominee.  How do you think Obama and Clinton have had to approach people in order to get votes?
Use these books for further discussions:
Elizabeth Started All the Trouble by Doreen Rappaport to introduce students to the beginning of the women suffragist movement.

Hillary Rodham Clinton: Some Girls Are Born to Lead by Michelle Markel to introduce students to our first women presidential nominee

When Penny Met POTUS by Rachel Ruiz to introduce the students to the acronym - have them guess before you read! (fiction)

Monster Needs Your Vote by Paul Czajak to introduce students to the idea of running on a platform. (fiction)

What books are you planning on using this election season?


  1. It's such a challenging election this time that I'm rather glad I don't have to support students in it. This book sounds like a good story, though. Thanks, Michele.

  2. My goodness, as a non-American, trying to figure out your electoral system makes my head spin... :'( I think stories like this are actually really important for young adults too, reinforcing the importance of voting. Dedicated women before us risked everything - their reputations, their futures, even their lives so that we could have the chance to vote. We owe it to these women to do our part.

  3. I love both Mara Rockliff and Hadley Hooper's work. I'm so excited to see them work together!