On the 6th February 1918, the “Representation of the People Act” received royal assent and passed into law, giving some women in the UK the vote. There have been some fantastic children’s books published recently to mark the centenary of this event. Here are some that could be used in the classroom:
Reaching the Stars: Poems about Extraordinary Women & Girls
Jan Dean, Liz Brownlee & Michaela Morgan
This collection of poems was published in March last year and celebrates the achievements of women and girls throughout history. “Marching Song”, “Suffragette”, “Hunger Strike” and “Fashion Parade” focus on the suffragette movement and would be ideal to use in class. The book has already proved very popular with teachers – it was the poetry winner of the North Somerset Teachers’ Book Award last year. Definitely, one to have in a class library.
Until We Win
The year is 1914 and everything starts for Lizzy when she buys a bicycle from her hard earned cash as an office junior. We follow her journey as she becomes a suffragette and campaigns for votes for women. The suffragettes used embroidery to create banners highlighting their campaign and the cover of this book is also created using embroidery. The colours used represents the Suffragettes’ colours of purple for dignity, white for purity and green for hope. The book is dyslexia friendly and is suitable for reluctant or struggling teenagers
Things a Bright Girl Can Do
Evelyn, May and Nell are three young women from very different backgrounds, who have all joined the suffragette movement. This captivating story covers issues of class, xenophobia, aswell as feminism, war and the fight for equality. Some interesting discussion points relating to this story are listed in a secondary teaching resource file available through the World Book Day website.
The Making of Mollie
The Making of Mollie is set in Dublin in 1912. It is an epistolary novel – we find out about Mollie’s life through the letters that she writes to her friend Frances. Mollie suspects her older sister is hiding something and decides to follow her. She is led to a suffragette meeting and soon becomes a passionate supporter of the cause. O’Brien Press have produced a teaching guide for this book, which includes activities such as writing character profiles and creating a campaign song.
Other fiction books that could also be used to cover this topic include The Princess and the Suffragette by Holly Webb and Opal Plumstead by Jacqueline Wilson. For information books take a look at Suffragettes and the Fight for the Vote by Sarah Ridley, Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World by Kate Pankhurst and Three Cheers for Women by Marcia Williams.