I’ve just added She Persisted Around the World to our church library. The book written by Chelsea Clinton and illustrated by Alexandra Boiger tells the stories of thirteen women from around the world who persisted despite all kinds of barriers placed in their way. Some of the women are familiar like Marie Curie twice awarded the Noble Prize for her discovery of two new scientific elements. She persisted despite the fact she had to leave her home country to study. Another familiar woman is English author J.K. Rowling who persisted in writing her award winning series of Harry Potter books despite being rejected by dozens of publishers. Other women featured in the book are not so familiar like Caroline Hershel an astronomer who discovered two planets. She persisted in studying astronomy even though her parents thought she should try to get a job as a servant. Another woman I hadn’t heard about before was Sissi Luna do Amor one of the first women to play soccer professionally in Brazil. She persisted even though she got in trouble for wanting to play because she was a girl. There is even a section in the book about Canada’s own Viola Desmond who persisted in retaining her seat in the “white” section of a movie theater even though she was black.
“She Persisted” is the famous phrase directed at American Senator Elizabeth Warren when she insisted on reading a letter from Coretta Scott King to the Senate as a way to defend her objection to the appointment of Jeff Sessions as Attorney General. Sessions had an abysmal record on civil rights which had previously prevented him from being appointed as a federal court judge. The Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell called for a vote to silence Senator Warren. He said he had no choice because she wouldn’t listen to him. “She persisted” he said and kept reading the letter. The phrase “she persisted” has quickly come to refer to women’s persistence in breaking barriers despite being silenced or ignored.
There are so many interesting women profiled in She Persisted Around the World and they come from every continent and every area of endeavor. I think the book will be an inspiration for everyone who reads it and not just children, but adult as well.