Review (#giftedbook): Why She Wrote

Thanks to NetGalley and Chronicle Books for this free digital copy in exchange for an honest review.

Why She Wrote by Lauren Burke and Hannah K. Chapman offers a snapshot into 18 badass women authors throughout history and, as title states, gives insight into why they wrote. Each author has an introduction which is followed by a very mini graphic novel-esque representation (illustrated by Kaley Bales) of an important period in that author’s life. A brief wrap-up is then provided, along with a bibliography of the author’s works.

I thought this was an interesting and creative way to present information about these women. I was a little jarred at first when the introduction to the first author went straight into the illustrated section–primarily because I wasn’t sure what that section was supposed to be about at first. I had to go back and forth between the author introduction and the illustrated section to understand that the “graphic novel” aspect was elaborating on information given in the introduction. Once I caught on, however, I found it enjoyable. Some of the information was familiar to me–particularly concerning Mary Shelley and Jane Austen, but a lot was new! Why She Wrote is laid out in such a way that you can spent an afternoon consuming these brief histories, or read about a new author each time you pick it up. Many of the authors discussed I have either never read anything by, or read a long time ago, and my interest has definitely been piqued! I’m a fan of biographies and when I was younger, I read and reread a biography of Louisa May Alcott that was adapted for younger readers. I loved it, and when I reached the chapter about her, I found myself thinking back to that biography and wanting to perhaps read a grown-up biography on Alcott. Thankfully, Burke and Chapman have provided a solid sources/further reading list at the end of this book. In true English major fashion, I am excited to extend my knowledge!

Louisa May Alcott (Childhood of Famous Americans)
I have a feeling this may have been the book I read as a child…but also it may not have been. Who knows. Close enough. 🙂

If you are a fan of knowing random facts and/or are interested in learning more about classic women authors but don’t want to jump into exhaustive biographies just yet, this would be a great one to start with! I also think this would be an excellent book to have in a classroom library and I plan on including a copy in mine.

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