Review: A Time For Courage

A Time For Courage: The Suffragette Diary of Kathleen Bowen, Washington D.C., 1917 (Dear America)A Time For Courage
by Kathryn Lasky

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A Time for Courage (Suffragette Diary) / 0-590-51141-6

In 1917, young Kat feels ambivalent about her mother's fight for suffrage. She is proud of her mother for fighting this important fight, proud that her mother wants her daughters to be full citizens of the United States, with the right to vote, the right to elected representation. At the same time, however, she fears that her mother may be injured or killed during her peaceful demonstrations, and she gently resents that her own life must take a backseat to the wars at home (suffrage) and abroad (World War I).

This is important and vital history for everyone to know and understand, regardless of gender. It is important to understand that our nation denied the vote for so long to so many of its citizens. It is important to realize that, within the last hundred years, our government locked up its own citizens under false pretenses and forcibly pried their jaws open to stuff liquefied eggs down their throats and nostrils so that their hunger strike for justice could not leak out to the media. It is crucial to realize that equality in this country was never a gift, but rather it was pried from the hands of the privileged, inch by inch.

This diary handles these frightening scenes with a serious but gentle touch. Kat is frightened for the safety of her mother, and for the safety of her loved ones across the ocean, but she manages to balance her school work, her place on the hockey team, and her friends at the soda fountain. She longs for a "typical" life and is quietly angry that life's unfairness steals her loved one's time away from her, but she reacts with verve and determination, helping her mother at the picket lines and growing a victory garden in the soil beside their home.

"A Time for Courage" can be enjoyed by all ages and genders, and - as mentioned before - makes an excellent supplement to the excellent movie "Iron Jawed Angels".

~ Ana Mardoll

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