Cover Image: Troublemakers in Trousers

Troublemakers in Trousers

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Member Reviews

I received an advance reader copy of this book to read in exchange for an honest review via netgalley and the publishers.

Troublemakers in Trousers is an eye opening and thought provoking book about twenty female 'troublemakers' who were high achievers, made a difference to women and those around them and who were often bold and gender fluid too. Each female had a section of their own and I loved how the author included photographs, paintings and more from the resources she used and came across writing this book many of which are rare so this was a real treat! Each section has a full page, beautiful illustration of the lady it is about and each one is beautifully done! Some of the women featured in this book were; Frida Kahlo, Joan of Arc, Lady Mary Montague and so many more. I learned so much about so many different subjects in this book and this book is suitable for children and would make a great book for any school library.
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This book is so very cool! I enjoyed reading about the many women featured throughout this book, including:

those I thought I knew well (and now I know them better)
others I had heard about,
and many more I had not known until I opened this book.
I know I have said it before; but this discovery of amazing people, places, and things in our world is what draws me to nonfiction. And children’s nonfiction seems to have a way of doing it in a tiny powerhouse of a package!

Both artwork and the storytelling in this book are full of details and just awesome.

Disclaimer: I received a digital ARC of all this book from NetGalley, and these are my honest opinions of the book.
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2.5 stars.

Troublemakers in Trousers is a book I wanted to love but ended up having some mixed feelings about. There's a lot to like about it, but some of it was exceptionally frustrating.

Let's start with the bad to just get it all out there. The book actually refers to Mulan as a modern day story with Amazon origins. It refers to it as such alongside Xena and Wonder Woman. No. No thank you. It's a story that can be traced to approximately fifteen hundred years ago in China. While there is certainly a chance that the Chinese folklore was influenced by the real warriors that influenced the Greek Amazon stories, stating such a direct connection without clarification just doesn't seem right. This is the kind of thing that I probably would have walked around repeating as a child, so I definitely feel like it's irresponsible for it to have made it to page here. In a move I found somehow even more infuriating, the book also tells us about the life of Rosa Bonheur, artist and lesbian icon, who apparently lived with a "friend" for forty years. Although she lived openly as a lesbian and had at least two public relationships with women, she is not mentioned as being gay at all. Why? Genuinely, I have no idea. Frida Kahlo is mentioned as having had affairs with women, but Rosa Bonheur is not mentioned as being in an actual relationship, she got the roommate treatment. My issues with descriptions of Mulan (not even a featured biography,  only mentioned in a throwaway comment) and Rosa Bonheur may seem minor, especially since they're confined almost entirely to two sentences within the book, but these details were frustrating and completely pulled me out. They also made me question the accuracy of all the information featured in the book.

As for the things I liked. Although my above rant may make it seem as though I hated the book for small segments, I did genuinely like a lot of what was featured. There was clearly a great deal of effort put into ensuring that a variety of women from around the world were featured, there was a clear effort to avoid gender essentialism and transphobic ideas, and culturally appropriate resources and experts were consulted where appropriate (based upon the acknowledgements and bibliography). Some of the women featured are well known figures looked at from a new light, like Harriet Tubman, Frida Kahlo, Joan of Arc, etc, while other women featured will be less known to most readers, like Ellen Craft (who escaped enslavement in the deep south by posing as a white man while traveling with her husband who posed as her enslaved manservant)  and Vesta Tilley (a late 19th/early 20th century drag king who performed pantomime shows that mocked wealthy white men). The art is vibrant and helps bring the women featured to life for readers.

I'm honestly disappointed that such seemingly small flaws managed to envelope the overall experience of this book for me, because it could have been great. If there were ever an edition of this book that did not have these issues I would be happy to recommend it, but I'm incredibly hesitant to do so as it stands.

Note: I am grateful to have originally received an advanced readers' copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, but when I ran out of time to finish that copy I switched to the published version on Hoopla, and confirmed the issues I have are in the final published form of the book.
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I always enjoy to learn more about different women in history. It reminded me of the Rebel Girls Books (Which I also enjoyed) and I highly recommend this book to everone who likes to learn about interesting women. 

There were a few women I didn't knew before reading, but that made it even more interesting for me. 

I also really enjoyed that each women got so much space for their storys.

Thank you to NetGalley and Charlesbridge for this Arc!
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This is a well-crafted collection of brief biographies of women who changed, shaped, and challenged our history. The chapters are longer than collections like Rebel Girls, however, this allows the author to provide more information on each historical figure and share more about the impact they had on our history. I think this would be very suitable for Junior High School students.
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This is an amazing work of kids nonfiction. Fun, inspiring and informative. 

I can see this working extremely well in classrooms and school librarys. 

The illustrations are beautiful, and interspersed with historical photos and art as well. 

Definitely a bit denser than your average childrens book but its done in an easily accessible way. This book is packed with information. I can also see it having good rereading potential. 

Definitely going to be recommending to teachers, parents and young ones looking for a good historical Nonfiction in this age group. 

Thank you to the publishers and Netgalley for providing me with an electronic ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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This book was so interesting and informative. Sarah Albee did a very good job explaining all the lives of these impressive women succinctly and enticingly. I liked the bonus snippets of information, and all the illustrations preceding each chapter. I love when a book can keep me interested while I continue to learn about history and all these important women that came before me.
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A fun and inspiring history/biography of women who wore trousers, were labelled troublemakers, bucked the role society told them they were suppose to follow, and became famous (and sometimes infamous).  Not all were law-abiding but they decided to make what they could of life and not just live in the confines of what others told them they were suppose to do.

The majority of people are from Western society but it includes people of various ethnic backgrounds, from Europe, North America (which includes Mexico), and Asia, Native Americans, African-Americans and native speakers of languages other than English are represented (I don't know if they ever spoke English or not and that isn't important, their actions are).

This is very readable.  Each biography is only 4-8, 9 pages long but is packed with interesting facts of the person's life as well as society at the time.  This isn't your middle school or high school text book..  Asides with very current perspectives and language liven up the narrative and pictures richen the experience.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an ARC in return for an honest review.
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This was one amazing book to read. Richly illustrated, deeply researched, this is an excellent book on women in the past who chose their own path and raised a ruckus along the way [mostly by wearing =GASP= P A N T S!!!!]. I only knew about 4-5 of the women and the rest were all new to me and what an amazing time I had reading about each one of them and the amazing things they accomplished [some of them were completely mind-blowing]. I am not going to go into anymore detail as this is a book that needs to be experienced with no expectations or previous knowledge - go in cold and prepare to LEARN!! 

Everyone [girls AND boys] should be reading this book; even adults will learn something [as I can attest; in fact, I have already added it to my book wish-list]. What an amazing classroom tool and a amazing way to continue teaching kids at home. I cannot recommend this book highly enough! Well done!!

Thank you to NetGalley, Sarah Albee, Kaja Kajfez - Illustrator, and Charlesbridge for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Love!! I’m always looking for more books like this for my students and this one hits the activist, feminist spot!! Let’s all be troublemakers in trousers!

Thanks so much to NetGalley and the publishers for letting me read this book in exchange for my review.
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'Troublermakers in Trousers' by Sarah Albee is a brilliant and comprehensive book championing the stories of women throughout history who have ignored the expectations of what they should wear and role women should play and caused good trouble. I read some of these stories aloud to my nine-year-old and although some parts needed more explanation to her, she found it really engaging. We loved discovering stories of women we had never heard of and further detail about those we had. We thought the illustrations were beautiful too. 

I think this would be appropriate for 10+, perhaps a little younger if reading with an adult to help understand geographical details and with pronunciation, of names in particular. 

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for gifting me this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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I received an electronic ARC from Charlesbridge through NetGalley.
Albee shares biographies of twenty historical women and a vignette from her own life that explains her passion. Each woman took on stereotypes, biases, -isms to be who they knew they could be. They come from all over the world and various points in history. Albee brings them to life for middle grade readers and pulls them into the worlds they inhabited. I appreciated the informative text boxes included with several of the chapters as well. They offered further understanding of the culture surrounding each woman. The illustrations were vividly colored and captured each woman (or a best guess of the woman). Looking forward to sharing this with my grandchildren.
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I loved learning about so many women in history who didn’t conform to society! It was great to see them present from all parts of the world and ways of life. Some were women I had never heard of before. This book is so informative in an approachable way. This was a joy to read and something I would suggest for teachers and parents!

I received an arc via Netgalley in exchange for a honest review.
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This book was fantastic, and I can't thank Sarah Albee and Kaja Kajfez enough for creating it. There was so much information in this book, but it didn't feel textbook-like or long winded at all! It was well crafted, illustrated beautifully, and an important book for middle grade readers.
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Illustrations, women-centered history, photographs of artifacts, this book has it all. Each historical figure's section includes a brief explanatory timeline of the woman's past, giving readers a window into their lives.
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Wow, Troublemakers in Trousers is such an incredible piece of nonfiction. This will be a must purchase for my classroom because of the thoroughly researched and expertly written biographies of so many wonderfully diverse women of history. Each biography quickly hooks the reader and offers context and well as important details to help the reader understand the historical significance of each women included in this book. There are also blurbs with additional information included in each chapter as well as beautiful illustrations throughout. My history teacher heart grew a size each and every time Sarah Albee included primary sources and cited where the information she was using to tell each story was from. This book was a delight and I highly recommend it for classrooms and young history enthusiasts. I'm so grateful to have received this ARC from NetGalley so I could read this title prior to publication.
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5-star read - cw: discussions of war, violence, racism, death, child abuse, prostitution, gender stereotypes and other sensitive issues
“Buckle up.”
What a perfect way to start this intense ride through history using the fashion choices of brave women as our guide! Sarah Albee’s text provides an unflinching, yet middle-grade-friendly view of history and Kaja Kajfez’s illustrations transport you to the past. Truly, turning the page on the full-page flower patterns made me feel like I was walking into a drawing room of yore. The stories span history, the globe, and topics ranging on everything from wrestling to religion to infectious disease to pirates. I learned so much as an adult reader about women I’d never encountered before! In addition to the individual stories, Albee draws an incredibly helpful line from fashion in ancient times to the present to show the fallacy of boys-versus-girls clothes, an important lesson as many children (and their grownups readers!) forge their own path of self-expression through what they wear. The introduction also directly addresses historical notions of gender and the decision to use she/her pronouns in the book, and there is a text box in Chapter 9 discussing gender-fluidity and the concept of two-spirits in some cultures. I think this book will appeal most to early middle school readers—for upper elementary students it really depends on their comfort level with the more sensitive content issues. Already pre-ordered a copy for our family it was so good! Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the chance to read.
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NOTE: I read this book courtesy of NetGalley (and a recommendation from my friend Jan), but all opinions and comments are mine and mine alone.

I inhaled this book. Every chapter was chock full of information I didn’t know, told in a charming mix of formal English and current slang. This is listed as being Children’s non-fiction, but I think it should be included in any adult collection as well. Seriously, information is presented in a most engaging manner, and the sidebars are relevant. Also, the artwork is wonderful, with jewel-like colors that draw attention.

Several times, I paused reading to share a fact or other information with my wife - the retired reference librarian - and was surprised at how much of the info I shared was news to her.

One small caveat: The bibliography the book presents has made my poor TBR list explode with fascinating new things to explore.

Caveat aside, I highly recommend this book, especially if you can get a hard copy. And I hope Ms. Albee and Ms. Kajfez are planning a few more books of this sort and caliber.
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Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to read this middle grade nonfiction.  Here is my honest review.

"Troublemakers in Trousers: Women and What They Wore to Get Things Done" is an excellent book, and I highly recommend it for middle grade and young adult readers.  Adults will learn from the book as well.  The premise is to highlight forgotten women in history who were high achievers, perhaps gender fluid, and who made a difference in the lives of their people.  Oh, by the way, these women also wore trousers, bloomers, or other garb that was considered only appropriate for males.
Twenty women were featured.  Here are a few of them:
*Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) - We all know who Frida was
*Ellen Craft (1826-1891) - Successfully escaped slavery by posing as a wealthy white man
*Khutulun (1260 - ?) - Mongolian warrior, undefeated in wrestling, great granddaughter of Genghis Khan
*Lilian Bland (1878-1971) - First woman to "design, build, and fly her own motor-powered aircraft"
*Marcenia "Toni" Stone (1921-1996) - "the first woman to play professional major league baseball"
*Lady Mary Montagu (1689-1762) - Promoted variolation (similar to vaccinations) in Great Britain, even convincing the Princess of Wales to have her children variolated.  This was 17th and 18th century!

I am very impressed how thoroughly Sarah Albee researched these woman troublemakers.  There are chapter notes, an index, a bibliography, as well as image credits.  She uses copies of primary resources, including photographs, playbills, and paintings.

The illustrations by Kaja Kajfez are absolutely gorgeous.  Each woman's chapter begins with a full-page illustration by Kajfez which jumps off the page and challenges the reader.  We know these are bold woman through Albee's writing and definitely through Kajfez's pictures.  She truly captures the spirit of these troublemakers in trousers.

I love this book and plan to send a copy to all of my grandnieces and nephews!
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This collection of tales about women defies the norm when it comes to her-story books. Featuring an introduction about the reality of clothing for each gender. And then it goes into the women with far more detail than most nonfiction books do when they feature multiple individuals. It was comprehensive and diverse, and the illustrated images that accompanied the summaries were breathtaking. There were additional pictures of the real person, as well as pictures of artifacts and other relevant items. One phenomenal and informative book.
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