Bad Girls

Bad Girls

Sirens, Jezebels, Murderesses, Thieves, and Other Female Villains

Book - 2013
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From Jezebel to Catherine the Great, from Cleopatra to Mae West, from Mata Hari to Bonnie Parker, strong women have been a problem for historians, storytellers, and readers. Strong females smack of the unfeminine. They have been called wicked, wanton, and willful. Sometimes that is a just designation, but just as often it is not. "Well-behaved women seldom make history," is the frequently quoted statement by historian and feminist Laurel Thatcher Ulrich. But what makes these misbehaving women "bad"? Are we idolizing the wicked or salvaging the strong?

In BAD GIRLS, readers meet twenty-six of history's most notorious women, each with a rotten reputation. But authors Jane Yolen and Heidi Stemple remind us that there are two sides to every story. Was Delilah a harlot or hero? Was Catherine the Great a great ruler, or just plain ruthless? At the end of each chapter, Yolen and Stemple appear as themselves in comic panels as they debate each girl's badness--Heidi as the prosecution, Jane for context.

This unique and sassy examination of famed, female historical figures will engage readers with its unusual presentation of the subject matter. Heidi and Jane's strong arguments for the innocence and guilt of each bad girl promotes the practice of critical thinking as well as the idea that history is subjective. Rebecca Guay's detailed illustrations provide a rich, stylized portrait of each woman, while the inclusion of comic panels will resonate with fans of graphic novels.
Publisher: Watertown, MA : Charlesbridge, c2013
ISBN: 9781580891851
Branch Call Number: J 364.3740922 YOL
Additional Contributors: Stemple, Heidi E. Y.
Guay, Rebecca


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Sep 29, 2016

Quick read, as most vignettes, if not all, are under 3 pages long. Unfortunately, I already knew most of the women featured. Moreover, I was expecting at least slightly more critical examination. Given the above, this text definitely skews younger, say for a readership in their early teens.

Dec 16, 2014

Wonderful author Jane Yolen and her daughter Hiedi E. Y. Stemple tell about history's bad girls and debate in comic book format on whether these women were merely misjudged or truly Bad to the Bone. Short & cleverly presented.

PrincetonPLteen Sep 25, 2014

A juicy, hilarious primer on female villains in history. Recommended for grades 6+.

BCD2013 Jun 06, 2014

NYPL Staff Picks
Learn the true stories of female villains through history!
- Andrea Lipinski

Jul 08, 2013

Fun style of writing. It's like the beach read of historical villanesses... good reference material at the end too, there are some of these histories that I'd like to read more about, and will do so now that I've gotten the snapshot version from Jane Yolen and her daughter. The interplay between the two authors was also comical (and not just because it was presented as a graphic novel).

nutty7688 Mar 28, 2013

I can see if the authors got their research from anywhere else instead the researched on Wikipedia of all places.

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