Sunday, March 10, 2013

NF Monday - Women in History: Phillis Wheatley

Welcome to Nonfiction Monday, a round-up of cool books readers are reading and bloggers are reviewing. Check below for links to reviews.

As for me, I'm continuing my celebration of Women's History month and women writers. Today, a look at a young poet who, despite all odds, discovered her strong voice.

A Voice of Her Own: The Story of Phillis Wheatley, Slave Poet
By Kathryn Lasky; illus by Paul Lee
40 pages, ages 8 – 12
Candlewick Press 2003

“At first there was blackness. Complete blackness. Then the blackness dissolved into darkness, and the world in the creaking hold of the slave ship slid with shadows…” So Kathryn Lasky introduces us to a seven-year old slave without a name until she is sold to the Wheatley family in Boston in 1761.

“We’ll call her Phillis,” says Susannah Wheatley, naming the slip of a girl after the ship in whose hold she’d traveled. It turned out that Phillis has a passion for learning, and her owners encouraged her to read, write, learn Latin, Greek, geography, math. But what Phillis loved best was poetry; so she wrote.

She documented the Stamp Act, the Boston Massacre … the tumultuous beginnings of a country seeking independence. She read her poetry in fancy parlors for teas, traveled abroad, gained freedom and, in 1774, saw her book of poetry published. But most importantly, she reclaimed something that had been taken away from her and slaves everywhere: a voice of her own.

This book is sure to inspire young writers looking for a voice of their own. It's also perfect for Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday - where you'll find other books for the mid-grade age, both fiction and non. Review copy provided by publisher.
Nonfiction Monday Roundup

Leave a comment; I'll check throughout the day & post links:

 Over at True Tales & Cherry on Top, Jeanne reviews Emily & Carlo.

At NC Teacher Stuff, Jeff reviews Ocean Counting.

Tara at a Teaching Life reviews Master George's People.

 Laura Purdie Salas posted a review of Too Hot? Too Cold?

Mary Ann celebrates Women's History with Annie and Helen at Great Kids Books.

Loree Burns reviews Ocean Sunlight.

Over at Kidlit Celebrates, Alexandra celebrates women in history with a collection of nonfiction addressing the question of what made them who they became?

Ms Yingling is reading ICE.

Check out Mrs Harkness and the Panda over at Perogies & Gyoza.

 Ami's posted three great picture books on black history over at A Mom's Spare Time.

Jennifer is ready for spring with a review of It's Our Garden at Jean Little Library.

Tammy posted three books about forensic science at Apples with Many Seeds.

Over at All About the Books, Janet's reviewed Cars on Mars.

Got kids interested in their rights? Guide them to A Kid's Guide to America's Bill of Rights at Liz's kid lit about politics site

Lynn and Cindy review The Price of Freedom over at their blog, Bookends.

Check out nature's Zombie Makers over at Proseandkahn .

Stacking Books reviews Even an Ostrich Needs a Nest.
Last-minute addition:  Bomb: The Race to Build and Steal the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon, reviewed at Challenging the Bookworm


  1. Thanks for hosting Nonfiction Monday, Sue! And I enjoyed your review -- it looks terrific. I'm following in your lead, and at True Tales & A Cherry On Top, I'm also featuring a picture book about a female poet, Emily Dickenson, in celebration of Womens History Month. The book is called EMILY AND CARLO (Charlesbridge 2012) by Marty Rhodes Figley, and illustrated by Catherine Stock:

  2. Thanks for hosting, Sue! I'm always touched when I see the painting of Sally Heavenrich. A Voice of Her Own looks like a good find. I need to find some biographies for this month. At NC Teacher Stuff, I'm featuring Ocean Counting, a new book about ocean animals:

  3. I love this book - she was an amazing woman. At A Teaching Life, I have a similar book: Master George's People, about Washington and his slaves.

  4. Thanks for hosting! I've written about Phillis Wheatley, and this wonderful book was one of my sources! Happy to see it recommended here.

    I'm in with TOO HOT? TOO COLD? KEEPING BODY TEMPERATURE JUST RIGHT, by Caroline Arnold, at

  5. Thanks for hosting today! I'm also celebrating Women's History Month as well, looking at two wonderful books about Helen Keller:

  6. Hi, Sue,

    Thanks for hosting this week's roundup. I'm in with the last of my SB&F Prize winner giveaways: OCEAN SUNLIGHT, by Molly Bang and Penny Chisholm. Here's the link:

    Loree Burns

  7. I have a review of Lawrence Pringle's Ice: The Amazing History of the Ice Business at my blog today. Thanks for hosting.

  8. Thanks for hosting! Today, KidLit Celebrates Women’s History Month is featuring a post by Alexandra Wallner, author of many biographies for young readers.

  9. I have never heard of Phillis Wheatley before, but sounds fascinating!

    I too have biography of a woman for Women's History Month, called Mrs. Harkness and the Panda.

    Thanks for hosting!

  10. I'm resolutely ignoring the weather and posting the first in a two-part garden book review. This one is about a school garden. It's our garden by George Ancona

  11. Three black history picture books at

    Thanks for hosting!

  12. A Voice of her Own is definitely a book I am going to look for, especially since I like Kathryn Lasky's work so much.

  13. I reviewed "A Kids' Guide to America's Bill of Rights at Kid Lit About Politics. Thanks so much for hosting!

  14. I reviewed "A Kids' Guide to America's Bill of Rights at Kid Lit About Politics. Thanks so much for hosting!

  15. Thanks for hosting.
    My selection is "Cars on Mars: roving the red planet" by Alexandra Siy.

  16. Thanks for looking after this week's event, Sue. I really enjoy Kathryn Lasky's writing. Thanks for the recommendation.
    I've posted about three fairly current books about forensics Faces From the Past, Forensic Identification, and Every Bone Tells A Story.
    Thanks again.
    Apples with Many Seeds

  17. Hi and thanks for hosting. At Bookends, Cindy and I are reviewing The Price of Freedom: How One Town Stood Up to Slavery by Judith Bloom Fradin and Dennis Brindell Fradin. Be sure to check out our suggestions for teaching activities linked to CCSS.

  18. Thanks for hosting! At Stackingbooks, we recently read "Even an Ostrich needs a nest" The title says it all. Every bird has a nest, this we know. But what is more intriguing is the many many fascinating types of nests that the birds build. Find a review here:

  19. I'm one late to the party as usual. Here's my link:

    brenda (proseandkahn)

  20. Wow! I have heard this name, but did not know anything about her. She sounds fascinating and inspiring. I'll have to check this book out.

  21. This book sounds wonderful! I have never heard of it! So glad I saw this post. I can't wait to read it. :)

  22. I've got one to add to the stack too. Finally put together my thoughts for Bomb by Steve Sheinkin