Premise/plot: Shaking Things Up is a nonfiction (biographical) poetry book celebrating remarkable women past and present. The fourteen women included are Molly Williams (first known female firefighter in the U.S.), Mary Anning (paleontologist), Nellie Bly (journalist), Annette Kellerman (athlete and designer/inventor of the modern swimsuit), Pura Belpre (Latina author/librarian), Frida Kahlo (artist), Jacqueline and Eileen Nearne (secret agents), Frances Moore Lappe (anti-hunger activist/author), Ruby Bridges (civil rights pioneer), Mae Jemison (first African American astronaut), Maya Lin (architect and sculptor), Angela Zhang (scientist and cancer researcher), Malala Yousafzai (youngest winner of the Nobel Peace Prize).
Each spread includes a biographical poem and is illustrated by a different artist. Just as there is variety in the women highlighted in the book, the poems are written in a variety of styles or forms.
My favorite poem:
TURNING THE TIDEMy thoughts: I really loved this one overall! Some of the women were completely new to me. I was glad that the back matter included a suggested reading list for each woman. I would recommend this one to anyone who enjoys nonfiction OR poetry OR inspirational reads in general.
There once was a mermaid queen,
lovely and lithesome and lean,
who swam afternoons
her swimsuit was deemed obscene!
The lady was quickly arrested.
Unafraid, she calmly protested:
Who can swim fifty laps
wearing corsets and caps?
Her statement could not be contested.
She streamlined the suit of the day
and invented our water ballet.
By changing the fashions
she fueled swimming passions
as women made waves in the spray. (15)
Text: 5 out of 5
Illustrations: 4 out of 5
Total: 9 out of 10
© 2018 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews