Cover Image: Susie B. Won't Back Down

Susie B. Won't Back Down

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Member Reviews

This book has so much in it! I was highlighting away as I read–both as a recreational reader and as a teacher (see more in Teachers’ Tools!)! I love that it is an epistolary novel, specifically writing to Susan B. Anthony, because it gives us insight into Susie’s school, home, and her inner thinking. The discussions throughout about heroes, fairness, and history is done in a very age-appropriate way but also doesn’t sugar coat anything. I love that Susie has a “butterfly brain” and went to reading lab but is proud of it. The talk about how all brains are different made my heart sing! And on top of all of this, the story itself is so on point for coming of age and how popularity, personalities, and more really start to affect kids starting in about 5th grade.
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Didn't finish this. Susan B Anthony was racist, and having her as a school hero (even making the joke that the kids can't pick living heroes because they can do bad things) was not a great choice. This is an epistolary novel, but the voice feels fake and very wordy for a letter written by an elementary school kid.
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Equal rights for everyone, save the polar bears and free the paragraphs! Susie B. is the 5th grade spitfire we need. As part of a class hero project, Susie starts writing letters to one of her heroes, Susan B. Anthony. The epistolary format gives readers direct access to Susie's thoughts, and also teaches them about Anthony's suffragette work. Over the course of the novel, Susie learns a lot about herself, her friends, and the difference between what is fair and what is just, as well as some hard truths about heroes.
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For a Hero Project, Susie B has chosen Susan B. Anthony, and we learn through letters to Anthony how Susie B decides to run for student council president of her 5th grade class. Susie B and her friend Jocelyn are tired of the Usual Genuises always winning and getting everything which Susie B feels is unfair to everyone else. As the candidates learn how to give speeches, write their essay, and make posters, Susie B finds many challenges facing her. Can she handle them all? Will she learn how to find happiness without comparing herself to others? Does she know she can’t change much without help from others?
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