Sunday, November 29, 2009

Women Warriors by Teena Apeles

Women throughout history have not stood still and been good girls, good wives or good daughters- they stood and fought- for their people, for themselves, for freedom and autonomy.

This book by Teena Apeles gives the stories of women who fought, whether in a physical manner, or in writing, or in sports. Many of the examples are fairly well-known, from the Amazons to Joan of Arc, while others are more obscure, in the west, in any case. Lakshmibai, the Rani of Jhansi, Tomoe Gozen, female samurai of Japan, Lozen, an Apache warrior woman, and the Trung Sisters of Vietnam, as well as Boadicea are all given extensive writeups, and dozens more are given a small writeup in various different sections.

But in addition to the real-life women profiled, Teena Apeles also gives us women who are totally fictional, yet also aspire to the warrior spirit, like Wonder Woman (aka Princess Diana of the Amazons) and Storm of the X-men- even the Powerpuff Girls! Modern day Icons like Buffy Summers also have their place in this book.

This is a rather slim book, but covers quite a few notable women. Some of the "warriors" are more like sports stars, like Venus and Serena Williams- not exactly what I think of when I think of "Women Warriors", exactly, so the concept does get stretched more than a little. But still, girls looking for brave and valorous women to read about will find plenty to enjoy in this book.

This reminds me of the "Uppity Women" books- women who broke the mold, only for teenagers. But this one is more limited- to women who fought. It seems that Ms. Apeles should have looked up those women as well, and filled out this book a little better.

Don't get me wrong, I liked the book, I just thought there should have been a little more substance to it. But YMMV. Recommended.

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