Lives of Extraordinary Women: Rulers, Rebels (and What the Neighbors Thought)
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Lives of Extraordinary Women: Rulers, Rebels (and What the Neighbors Thought)

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  189 ratings  ·  37 reviews
Kathleen Krull turns her spotlight on twenty powerful women from Cleopatra to RIgoberta Menchú Tum, revealing their feats and flaws for all the world to see. They were queens, warriors, prime ministers, first ladies, revolutionary leaders. But they were all real people with private interests and personalities. What were they really like? Wild or mild, hated or beloved, eac...more
Paperback, 96 pages
Published February 12th 2013 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2000)
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The lives of the 20 women discussed in this book were indeed extraordinary. Each entry is kept brief enough that it can be read in a single sitting, but not so brief as to leave the reader wondering, “Wait. Who was that lady again?” The book is formatted chronologically, which makes the progression logical and easy to follow.
The illustrations also help readers absorb additional information about the text. Illustrations by Kathryn Hewitt include many beautiful full-page drawings that have the s...more
In the introduction to her book, Krull states that her subjects' personalities could sometimes seem “larger than life.” This is then reflected by Hewitt's illustrations of dis-proportioned women whose heads and bodies dwarf their surroundings, giving the images a rather cartoonish, unrealistic perspective which fails to reflect the serious nature of the work. While the ambition of the book – to present stories of women triumphing over adverse conditions, attitudes, beliefs, and customs in a ligh...more
Christina Dubisar
Lives of Extraordinary Women: Rulers, Rebels,(and What the Neighbors Thought) by Kathleen Krull was such an amazing book. I loved it and it is a book that I would read again. I was able to read this book in one day because it was very interesting and a book that I couldn't put it down. It's amazing to learn about women of the past and what they have done within this world during their time. Many of the women I read about were rulers of their country and made decisions that were based on how it w...more
The book consisted of 2-4 page vignettes on women from ancient times to modern. The author tells it like it is; she's irreverent and funny.

For example, Cleopatra married her much younger brother, because it was expected of her. Yet she was probably responsible for at least 2 of her brothers' deaths. Eva Peron, knowing that Mr. Peron (forgot his name) had a girlfriend, made the bold move of having the girlfriend moved out and all of Eva's things moved in one day while Mr. Peron was at work. It we...more
We learn from history, but how hard it is to interest today's youth in long-dead people when the biographies often included in textbooks are ones laden with dates and boring facts that seem to have little relationship to today's world. Even the lives of queens and powerful female rulers hold little interest when portrayed in that gray light. How refreshing it is, then, to read this book by Kathleen Krull and learn about the much spicier aspects of the lives of various women, ranging from a few o...more
Sara Thompson
I am not really one who reads non-fiction cover to cover. I really prefer getting all my non-fiction via Discovery Channel. This book, however, is a great exception.
Lives of Extraordinary Women covers the lives of 20 women who influenced history. Some are quite familiar such as Cleopatra and Joan of Arc but others are lesser known such as Wilma Mankiller and Jeannette Rankin. I was impressed by the cultural variety of the book as well as the realistic picture painted of these women. Some were n...more
Audio CD's: 2 hours, read by Melissa Hughes.

I liked the audio version of this book about influential women in history including queens, warriors, prime ministers, first ladies, and revolutionary leaders. The author includes women who "were good, bad, and some who were both," such as Cleopatra, Nzingha, Marie Antoinette, Eleanor Roosevelt, Eva Peron, with a total of 21 profiles. Information on each famous woman is a brief 10 minutes of fun and fascinating facts, followed by an "Ever After" sectio...more
A nice multi-cultural variety of famous female leaders with playful illustrations by Kathryn Hewitt. Krull really tries to paint a whole and very human picture of her subjects. Rather than vilifying or lionizing these women, each is given a short (2-3 p) objective bio. It's just enough to pique one's interest without overwhelming the reader.

This book is at about a seventh grade reading level and is age appropriate in its approach of historically controversial issues (for example, it gives menti...more
Teddy Gonzalez
I loved this book. I believe it is one of the best children's history books I have ever read. It does lighten the scandal of most of the women- especially the affairs- it does have many interesting facts that I did not know. For example, Jeannette Rankin was not only the first woman to be elected to congress, but she was elected to congress before women could even vote!
Author Kathleen Krull has written several picture book biographies, some more successful than others. Lives of Extraordinary Women: Rulers, Rebels (And What The Neighbors Thought) just missed the chance to be successful. Though the content is age appropriate and oftentimes interesting, the format is a little difficult to follow. Some of the women included may fall far short of extraordinary in the eyes of some readers. While there are other women mentioned whose bios and accomplishments should h...more
Jan 20, 2014 Joan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: biography readers
Kathleen Krull has done a few wonderful series, but this is one of her best series. This is well done even among her many excellent books. I think I learned something new about each woman mentioned here, even the ones where I have read longer biographies. She is excellent at finding the one fact that might make a child think, gosh, I want to read more about so and so! She even managed to find important positive things to say about Marie Antoinette which is a real challenge! She pointed out that...more
Kevin Hanks
All I have to say, is that these are some tough ladies. This book was filled with really short explanations on some of the famous women in history, and told their life story very succinctly, a few anectdotes, and the reason why they were famous. Some of the women you just have to admire, and some make you want to kiss your wife and thank her for not being like that!

It was interesting, and provided some good jeopardy-type facts. For example: I found out that Eva Perone weighed less than 90 pound...more
"Traditionally, historians have talked most often about what powerful women looked like. This book focuses on daring deeds" (Krull, 2000, p. 9). This book profiles 20 women leaders in chronological order from Cleopatra and Eleanor of Aquitaine through Wilma Mankiller and Rigoberta Menchu.

This was a fascinating read. I learned new facts about women I thought I already knew much about (Queen Elizabeth I, Eleanor Roosevelt and Queen Victoria) plus I was introduced to Nzingha, African Warrior Queen...more
Amy Lindsay
the write-ups on each of the famous women were actually not half bad. i learned a lot and the third person fact dispenser had a kinda chatty, informal voice.

but, and i kid you not, at least four of the write ups included some sort of reference to Hilary Clinton! badly timed political propaganda disguised as kid non-fiction??? blech...

yeah, i'm an obama gal. and i hate it when anyone says Senator C should get any bonus points for being a woman. i know i'm from the generation of cynicism and gend...more
Abby Johnson
This book gives short introductions to 20 extraordinary women throughout time. From Cleopatra to Harriet Tubman to Eleanor Roosevelt, the collection is surprisingly diverse, including women from Africa, Asia, India, Latin America, and Native America (although it must be said that a full half of the women are European and/or white American). This is a great choice for women's history units and will likely inspire children to find out more about some of these powerful ladies.
Natalie Quinn
A lot of historical biographies about great leaders focus on men, so it is refreshing that this book focuses on twenty women who really made a difference! I believe it is great for a teacher to include this in his or her library so that the girls of the classroom can maybe see themselves reflected in the literature, by showing them that women have made a difference and can continue to make a difference. This also falls under the category of collective biographies.
I really liked this book. I had read quite a bit about 90% of the women illustrated and enjoyed learning about those I was unfamiliar with.
Among Kathleen Krull's "lives" series of books, this is one of the better ones. I was fascinated with these famous women. Krull has done a great job of making history come alive for kids and adults alike. And after reading the short versions, I'm even more interested to read longer biographies of some of these ladies (Cleopatra and Joan of Arc, in particular).
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Krull turns her talents yet once again to lives of
extraordinary people, this time the lives of extraordinary women.
She examines such well known women as Eleanor Roosevelt and Queen
Elizabeth I along with less well known women such as Rigoberta Menchu
and Nzingha. Each chapter is filled with fascinating details about
the women.
Nov 08, 2008 Megan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Everyone who wants to learn more about the extraordinary women in history
I was sitting in the children's section at the library to tutor my student and I looked up and saw this super cool looking children's book. I started reading it and was hooked. It just gives a little blurb on all the awesome women in history, and is very kid friendly. Much more exciting to read than all those stuffy college books!
I picked this up to read to A. for Women's History Month. I've had to edit the chapters a bit as I'm reading them to her; she's a bit young for some of the details. She enjoys the stories & thinks the illustrations are funny. I've learned about some interesting female leaders that I'd never heard of.
Interesting women. It is interesting hearing about different personality types from Joan of Arc to Cleopatra. I would have liked a little more detail. I'm listening to this on CD and they cover each woman for about 10 minutes, which doesn't quite do them justice, but it has some good tidbits of history.
I got this from the library in honor of National Women's History month -- great illustrations and entertaining antecdotes. I especially loved reading about Wilma Mankiller, longtime American Indian leader and chief of the Cherokee Nation for ten years.
I enjoy this book. Meant for younger readers it gives you just a glimpse of the lives of the famous Women included. Better yet for those seeking more information, you can always seek out the books listed in the resources section at the back.
This book is a great compilation of short biographies of many women from history.It contains facts that may not be as commonly known. The portraits of the women are also beautiful. This would be a perfect resource for a historical figure report.
Twenty women who have wielded political power worldwide throughout history are profiled in brief biographies.

Too short, but filled with many interesting facts.
Oct 07, 2007 Kricket rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Women
It is a good overview of lot of inspiring women. Some of them are of less integrity then others but they are interesting non the less.
Simple, fun, and interesting. This book provided a nice light read that I managed to learn a little from. I liked it quite a bit.
It's a children's book (reference), but interesting. I was disappointed that Hatshepsut was overlooked, though.
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