Heart on Fire

Susan B. Anthony Votes
for President

This post is part of Nonfiction Monday hosted today
and joins It's Monday!
What are you reading?

(pub.6.1.2012) 32 pages 

A True Tale with A Cherry On Top

A uthor: Ann Malaspina
     and Illustrator: Steve James

haracter: Susan B. Anthony

O verview from the jacket flap: 

      "It was election time in Rochester, New York, and the newspapers and street posters encouraged everyone to vote. All men, that is, because it was against the law for a woman to vote in New York or any other state.
        On November 5, 1872, Susan B. Anthony went to the polls in Rochester to cast her ballot for president. By voting, she broke the law - but Anthony thought the law was unjust. She believed that the new Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution gave all citizens the right to vote.
       Ann Malaspina's stirring free verse portrays Anthony's daring act and her subsequent arrest and trial. Steve James's vivid paintings convey the courage of a woman who helped to change the world."

T antalizing taste: 

       "The next day, the judge asked,
        'Do you have anything to say?'
         Miss Anthony rose to her feet.
        'Yes, Your Honor, I have many things to say ...
         You have trampled under foot
         every principle of our government.
         My natural rights,
         my civil rights,
         my political rights,
         my judicial rights,
         are all alike ignored.'

         The crowd inhaled.
         The prosecutor tightened his lips.
         The judge banged his gavel.
         'The court cannot allow the prisoner to go on!'

          Her heart was on fire.
          No one could stop her.
and something more: I thought Heart on Fire is a perfect one to kick off Women's History Month. The note at the end of the book made an interesting comparison between Susan B. Anthony and Rosa Parks: "Anthony knew that her vote might be challenged... Like Rosa Parks in 1955, a black woman who refused to sit in the back of the bus as the segregationist laws of Alabama required, Anthony was practicing civil disobedience. She broke an unjust law in order to try to change it."
             She was arrested for voting and after losing the trial, the text of Heart on Fire explains that "the judge ordered her to pay one hundred dollars plus court costs. Outrageous. Unbelievable. True.  She had one more thing to say, as a person and a citizen. 'May it please Your Honor,' Miss Anthony said, 'I shall never pay a dollar of your unjust penalty.' And Susan B. Anthony never did."


Alice@Supratentorial said...

Thanks for participating in Non-Fiction Monday. This one looks really good.

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Thanks, Alice, for hosting Nonfiction Monday! AND for stopping by!

jama said...

I love PB biographies and am anxious to see this one. Thanks for the review!

laurasalas said...

This sounds terrific. Another one for my tbr list! Thanks!

Perogyo said...

I am always amazed when an author can use verse to illustrate facts. To me verse is one of those things that comes from within. I cannot imagine the amazing grasp of language and rhythm needed to write nonfiction verse - but it makes that much more impact.

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Hi Jama, Thanks for stopping by! I bet you particularly like PB biographies which incorporate food (to go with your Jama's Alphabet Soup blog) -- such as the two about Julia Child

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Hi Laura! Yep! This is a good one to add to the list. Thanks for stopping by

Resh said...

Looks like a very inspiring read. Thanks for sharing!

Ms. Yingling said...

My daughter manages to do every history project she is assigned on some topic concerning women's rights! I'll have to take a look at this and then have her read it.

Tara @ A Teaching Life said...

"I have many things to say"...and aren't we ever glad she did! Thanks for sharing this wonderful book with us.

Jeff Barger said...

My second graders really liked this book. They were outraged about the possibility of going to jail for voting.

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Hi Miss Yingling -- Gotta love that your daughter is focused on women's rights! I think she'll find this book an interesting one.

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Jeff, I think that's great that your 2nd graders didn't think that was fair -- I bet they liked the refrain in the book of "Outrageous. Unbelievable. True."

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

I agree -- it's an inspiring AND poetic text which makes for a great combination for a nonfiction picture book.

Cathy Ballou Mealey said...

I love this: 'May it please Your Honor,' Miss Anthony said, 'I shall never pay a dollar of your unjust penalty.' And Susan B. Anthony never did."

And then her image is preserved forever on US currency - the $1 coin!


Myra Garces-Bacsal from GatheringBooks said...

Hi Jeanne, oh how I love books like this. And you're right, it's perfect for Women's History Month! Will definitely look for this book! :)

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

How funny! Cathy, I love the connection you made with the Susan B. Anthony coin! Thanks!

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Hi Myra! Thanks for stopping by. Yes, I think you'll enjoy the focus of this book.