Review: What Every Girl Should Know (J. Albert Mann)

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Genre: Young Adult Historical Fiction
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date: February 12th 2019
Format: ARC Paperback
Source: Pansing Books
Page Count: 228

Blurb from Goodreads:

This compelling historical novel spans the early and very formative years of feminist and women’s health activist Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, as she struggles to find her way amidst the harsh realities of poverty.

Margaret was determined to get out. She didn’t want to clean the dirty dishes and soiled diapers that piled up day in and day out in her large family’s small home. She didn’t want to disappoint her ailing mother, who cared tirelessly for an ever-growing number of children despite her incessant cough. And Margaret certainly didn’t want to be labelled a girl of “promise,” destined to become either a teacher or a mother—which seemed to be a woman’s only options.

As a feisty and opinionated young woman, Margaret Higgins Sanger witnessed and experienced incredible hardships, which led to her groundbreaking work as an advocate for women’s rights and the founder of Planned Parenthood. This fiery novel of Margaret’s early life paints the portrait of a young woman with the passion and courage to change the world.


RATING

4.5 STARS

HERE’S MY REVIEW!

WOW.

Now this is truly an incredible read.

This is my first time reading historical fiction and I am happy to say that this book is quite good and makes me even want to read more historical fiction out there! One of the aspects that I love about this book as it was set in the late 1890s and I have always wanted to read and experience it myself on how it was during that time, more specifically on how women were treated and respected by the society as a whole.

This book is a work of fiction, some might be true and some might be made up. However, the story felt real to me. The story truly described and showed the condition of how women are treated in the late 1890s in detail.

Margaret Louise Higgins Sanger‘s (Maggie, for short) story was about her hardship and poverty that she faced with both of her parents and an ever-growing number of siblings in a small house at Corning, New York. The daughters of the Higgins family worked day and night to scrub, wash, prepare and tidy the house and all of the humans inside it. The boys were not such a help either and that made the daughters worn out after calling it a day. Their father was a free-thinker, and this made him to be blacklisted and excluded from the society because of his such contradicting believes on God and religion. His father was not able to provide for the family well.

Education was Maggie’s only hope to get out of the house and to help her family escaping from the hardship that they had faced. She wanted to become a doctor, so she could learn how to treat patients. Her experience in facing extreme poverty has made her to become an advocate for women’s rights and the founder of Planned Parenthood.

At such a young age, she has learned and realised that women are not meant to stay at home doing chores only. Women are also equally equipped to work, vote and make a change in the society. Women deserve to be heard. She realised this because of his father, he was totally “free” and able to express his feelings strongly and Maggie envied him for that. She was very brave in giving speeches in school to express herself on why women should take part in the society.

I was not so sure of the ending, it was a bit too fast and blurry because the final part did not tell the readers on the Higgins’ wellbeing.

I have never read any of her biographies before and I am very much interested in reading them soon, to learn about her self-discovery and journey in advocating women’s right.

If you have the chance to read this, please do because this read will change your life.

Thank you Pansing for providing me this powerful read!

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Sabrina

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