Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls Review

Genre: non-fiction, inspiring, history, children

Author = Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo

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Where to Buy =

My Thoughts:

Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls is a history of some of the inspiring women throughout history some still alive and some not. Each page has a short text about the woman’s life turning it into a mini story in very simple language with a beautiful portrait of the woman on the other page. There are 100 women’s stories in the book. It is really hard for me to critique this book as I am not used to critiquing non-fiction children’s books but I really wanted to write about this book as it is the start of a movement of bring the stories of important people and especially women to the forefront of children’s education of history. Many of these people I have encountered in this book I never knew of and have since then looked into their lives and its been fascinating. What I am going to do is talk a little about what I though of the book overall then talk about the specific women who have inspired me because of reading about their story.


So in terms of the book it is a fantastic layout and is simple enough that you can recommend it to younger children as there is not so much on the page to overwhelm them. I think in relation to the writing style I found it too simple to the point somtimes it felt patronising to me for a child to read. I think that’s more because they made each page too much into a narrative rather than give more facts about their lives which I think was required. The portraits of each of the women were stunning and so original for each of them. It also felt like the illustrator captured a tiny bit of the woman’s personality in each portrait.


The first woman whose story inspired me was Alicia Alonso who was a ballerina and I think that is the main reason this story inspired me as I did ballet from the age three to 20 so it has the enormous special place in my heart. She also sounds like one of those people you would love to interview as she would have so many stories to tell. Ameenah Gurib-Fakim she is one of those women I aspire to be as she has so many talents and is innovative in her ideas as well which I struggle with. Plus know that she is a president which is immensely cool. Amna Al Haddad is for me someone who defied all odds and didn’t listen to anyone but did what she wanted to do which is incredible and so inspiring to me and I know have watched her compete which is fascinating. Anna Politkovskaya this woman I think is what I dreamed of being when I was younger that journalist that changed the worlds perception of a place or situation. For me I just love to write I find it hard but it inspires my brain after reading her story I went back to my writing.


Astrid Lindgren I remember reading Pippi Longstocking for the first time as a kid and I just laughed and loved her stories from then on they were a big part of my reading. I think the reason Astrid inspires me so much is I wish I could write such fantastic character like Pippi Longstocking that would have such a big effect on kids. Bakissa Chaibou fought for her education and I can relate to that so much having to fight dyslexia and overcoming it but I know its not the same. For me Cleopatra is one of the reasons I have such a fascination with Ancient Egypt as she just has the most incredible and inspiring story. Eufrosina Cruz I had never heard of before and now that I know of her I would really like to follow her career and find more about her as she sounds like she will do amazing things now and in the future.


Grace Hooper was a computer scientist and it always fascinates me to read about people who were working on parts of computers when they were just starting to be invented that to my mind is incredible. Grace O’Malley I love reading about pirates especially female ones they have this mystery to them that I want to uncover so I am now researching her life when I have time to see if I can find out more about her. Hatshepsut was a pharaoh I didn’t know much about I had heard her name but never looked into her but I was inspired by her story to look further and her life is so intriguing. Hypatia to me she is badass because her story involves learning and a library those two things are my favourite mainly because they are connected to books. Plus she is a fascinating woman. Isabel Allende so I see her books everyday at work and I ashamed to say that I haven’t read any of them simply because they get further down my TBR each year. So after reading her story I am going to read at least one of her books this year.


Jacquotte Delahaye I loved reading her story because it felt like it could have been the plot to a really great YA pirate adventure and so I would really like to read more about her life. Jane Austen for me in my top ten influential women in my life mainly for me because she wrote Northanger Abbey and that was my gate way into gothic literature. Plus she is a writer that never gave up and I love that quality as I give up on things way too much. Jane Goodall there is something about her story that fascinates me and I think its mainly she did so much for animals because even though I am allergic to cats and dogs I do love them they just melt me especially monkeys.


Jill Tarter I had never heard of before but I have to say things to do with space fascinate me even though I don’t understand them very well. Her story has this dreamy effect on you that I loved. Maria Reiche was an archaeologist which for me is so cool because to uncover things must have the most incredible feeling after. It is lovely to hear how she moved to archaeology. Maya Gabeira is a surfer and I love watching surfing on TV and in real life its so beautiful and almost balletic which is why her story appealed to me. Melba Liston is so inspiring because I love listening to Jazz and that is thanks to my mother and her love of Jazz so it was so nice to find someone I didn’t know about to listen to. Michelle Obama just wow she will always be just wow to me. This cool and kind lady who will always inspire me.


Misty Copeland I had heard a bit about but not much. She is a ballerina who overcome an injury and to me that is incredibly inspiring to me to overcome anything. Nina Simone she is one of those singers that I adore and will always. Her song Feeling Good is my favourite and so beautiful. Simone Biles is a gymnast and I have always loved watching gymnastics its so fascinating. Every time I watch Simone I feel inspired. Zaha Hadid is inspiring to me because she inspired my uncle who is an architect and he took me to her building in Paris.


So these are all the women’s stories that inspired me in Goodnight Stories For Rebel Girls. Let me know in the comments below which women are most inspiring to you!

4 stars


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© 2020 Emily Claire Cannings

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