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Rejected Princesses: Tales of History's Boldest Heroines, Hellions, and Heretics

4.42  ·  Rating details ·  2,970 ratings  ·  540 reviews
Blending the iconoclastic feminism of The Notorious RBG and the confident irreverence of Go the F**ck to Sleep, a brazen and empowering illustrated collection that celebrates inspirational badass women throughout history, based on the popular Tumblr blog.

Well-behaved women seldom make history. Good thing these women are far from well behaved . . .

Illustrated in a contempo
ebook, 384 pages
Published October 25th 2016 by Dey Street Books
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Monica I met the author tonight at an event and book signing. He said the book is divided into chapters rated G-R, just like the film rating system. He did s…moreI met the author tonight at an event and book signing. He said the book is divided into chapters rated G-R, just like the film rating system. He did say that one nasty word ended up in one G-rated chapter and that adults should ALWAYs read before sharing with children. He also has a blog of the same name that has corrections to the book and things that didn't make it into the book. I hope this helps answer your question. (less)
layla :) omygosh i hope so! I would love kids all over the world to learn about these kick-butt gals

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Oct 17, 2018 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to emma by: Meeghan
i've said it before and i'll say it again: I Will Read Every Entertaining Feminist Nonfiction Collection Of Badass Women From History That Exists In The World.

this is my quest and i'm sticking to it.
Feb 21, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
~ 2.5 stars ~

TW/CW: suicide, rape, self harm, sexual assault/abuse, violence, domestic violence, death, genocide, murder, slut shaming, hanging (execution), forced marriage, rasicm, homophobia.

None of these are condoned, but they are part of the women's stories, and their experiences. I will also be mentioning some in my review, so read this with caution, if any of these may be triggering for you

This was not as good as I thought it would be. There were many things that were just absolutely frus
Mar 02, 2019 rated it liked it
We all no doubt consumed our fair share of Disney princesses stories and movies growing up. The heroines always possess that most important female feature -- beauty-- and that second most desirable female feature -- fragility, or in other words, in need of rescue by a man, preferably a prince. They're also all (until recently) white, usually with blonde hair, and slender with just the "right" amount of curves.

Well, the author of
Rejected Princesses: Tales of History's Boldest Heroines, Hellions
Dianna ♡ the belle and the book ♡
“This is a book for any girl who ever felt she didn't fit in. You are not alone. You come from a long line of bold, strong, fearless women. Glory in that.”

This should be a required reading for females, especially young girls. Rejected Princesses is an empowering compilation of stories about women who challenged societal norms and proved that they are equal and as powerful as any man. I loved this book so much. If ever I'll have a daughter in the future or a niece even, you can bet th
Mar 07, 2021 marked it as to-read
the fact that this book about strong, rebellious women is written by a man makes me... skeptical, to say the least
Kaethe Douglas
Short form: this book is awesome and every home and classroom should have a copy.

Long form: This was a whim. I just picked it up because it had a fun cover and title, but once I started reading it I couldn’t bear to put it down. The introduction is amusing, the art is spot on, and the stories are delightful. Well, many of them have violence and heinous cruelty, or just plain gore, but Porath forewarns the reader with some very specific codes. And when he’s writing about the evil that is lynchi
Oct 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
So, the dedication made me cry.

I've been a feminist and a history lover all of my life. I've got (nearly) all the books in my home library, from 'Female Tars' to 'The Obstacle Race: The Fortunes of Women Painters and Their Work'. And I grit my teeth at how historical novels nearly relentlessly cover the same handful of women - Eleanor of Aquitaine, Elizabeth I, Anne Boleyn, etc. Rinse, lather, repeat.

I pre-ordered this book the instant it was possible. Some of the 100+ women covered were new t
A plethora of princesses and famous women who'll probably never get the Disney treatment. Also included are a number of women centered folktales and myths. The art is very well done and I learned some stuff along the way. From women heroes of WWII like Noor Inyat Khan (whom I've been dying to read more about for a long time!) to female poets and warriors of the East, and even my favorite serial killer (who might not have actually been one!). I spent about a third of the book wondering why I neve ...more
Jul 01, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

Mixed feelings about this one. It brings popular light to a lot of untold stories, is quick and easy to read, and as a visitor to the original webpage from which this book was spawned I know the author does his research on each of his subjects. However, I personally disliked the stylistic choices in the book - the chatty tone, the organisation of entries, and the leaving out of references. Its fun and light-hearted nature gives the impression of a children's book.
Apr 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Full review now posted!

I’m not the biggest fan of nonfiction, as I read to escape reality instead of learning more about it. I know, it’s a failing of mine. But every once in a while, I come across a nonfiction book that actually maintains my interest. This book was one of those. Jason Porath formerly worked in animation on such movies as Megamind, The Croods, and How to Train Your Dragon 2. This book is about women of myth or history who would never make the cut to become a Disney princess. Por
Sep 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, 5-stars
Rejected Princesses Tales of History's Boldest Heroines, Hellions, and Heretics by Jason Porath

If you want to read something about women with all sorts of gender identity, sexual orientation and walks of life... This is your book. I am so glad I decided to request this on a whim because it's probably the most incredible thing I've ever read. I got to know so many unbelievable stories and myths. I marked some of the women in this and I'm definitely going to look into the bibliography and read up on some of the women mentioned in here. This book featured gorgeous cartoon illustrations o
Apr 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Rejected Princesses is a true yet irreverent poke at the tales of fairy princesses that far too many little girls read today. These are the real life stories of heroines who saved themselves rather than waiting for a prince. Tales of sword wielding ninja warriors who protected the kingdom and whose suitors had to fight her for the mere honor of a marriage proposal....which they usually lost. It's the story of heretics who stood up to corrupt religious leaders, hellions who fought against corrupt ...more
Scottsdale Public Library
Witty, inspiring and just so gosh-darn cute! This encyclopedia of notable women is such a wonderful collection of biographies, drawn in the Disney style (the author was an illustrator for DreamWorks). Each entry summarizes the life of the female with a corresponding detailed and meaningful caricature. Although Rejected Princesses could at first be mistaken as a children’s book because of the artwork, the content can be far from. Guide markers alert the audience to the nature of the entry. Some o ...more
Jun 06, 2017 rated it really liked it

100 badass women who were forgotten or defamed by men history!!

The majority of them I did not know but there were some (like Joan of Arc) who I thought I knew... until I read this book.
Each women is accompanied by fantastic art and a brief biography. Which is perfect if you don't have time to read because real life gets in the way. I also appreciate the fact that each story contains trigger warnings!

A fantastic (intersectionalist!)feminist book about women who did not fit into the mould. Highly
DNF, read various sections out of order.

First off, can we get over this fucking trend of publishing things we can get for free online and making money off them? Because I read sections of this book at the store, and was not shocked when I got home and found that I could access a lot of this material on their website or Tumblr.

Second of all, my inner historian is crying.

Sorry, but a little disclaimer at the beginning about history being "ever-changing" as we learn new things does not excuse the
Nov 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Originally published at Reading Reality

Think of this as the ultimate collection of fractured fairy tales, because this collection is fractured on a number of different axes, all of them worth thinking about.

Also, the whole thing is a terrific hoot. So if you are looking for a slightly ironic and occasionally a bit pained laugh, this book is well worth dipping into. Often.

Many of these stories are based on history, some a bit more loosely than others. And the rest are based in myths that are well
Dec 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
This book is so important for every woman, I can't even stress this enough. You have a broad list of women: wise women, badass women, broken women, angry women; women who rule, who fight, who love, who educate, and do research of all kinds. I would actually recommend it to anyone, the writing style is amazingly ironic yet serious when it's necessary. The illustrations are wonderful, detailed, and mostly historically accurate. I just can't express my love for this book and the stories it presents ...more
Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews)

100 of the world's boldest, baddest women. It was fantastic and I need a volume two.
Jenn "JR"
Here's another NPR-inspired book on my reading list. I borrowed this as an e-book from my library, and found that it took a bit longer to read than I expected (other concurrent books in progress notwithstanding).

Content: Overall, the length of different profiles varies somewhat. There are 100 profiles -- about 384 pages total (12% are end notes). The research seems to be really good - the author didn't just do this on a whim so he could create a bunch of Disney-style princess portraits; he's go
It's only January but I'm pretty sure that this will still be the highlight of my reading year by the time 2017 ends. If you're interested in history (particularly the lesser known kind), you're a feminist, you appreciate art, and/or you're a human being (kind of assuming that last point grabs a lot of you if the others don't) then you should read this book.

A few other things:
- The tales are about all kinds of different women from all over the world and various times in history and that is so
Jul 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Hugely fun to read. A really interesting collection of women, not all of them heroic. Oddly, there are a few mythical/folkloric figures. Cool to read about, because they are relatively obscure, but I'm here for the real ladies. I really liked the full-page illustrations that come with every story. They reminded me very strongly of Liberty's Kids, and that's (almost) always a good thing. Actually a published version of a still ongoing blog, so I'm off to catch up there. ...more
Nov 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was empowering

Honestly, I low-key want to destroy the patriarchy, form a matriarchy and empower young girls. Goals.

This was an incredible collection of short stories detailing the histories of women scorned from orthodox history. And I love every single one of these women. They all prevailed against society and themselves and took control of their own fates. These women were truly power and had such significant roles in history. I was and still am, amazed by their tales of heroics.

And Jaso
Nov 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Fascinating women from cover to cover...and most of them are women history tried erase from the books. I *DARE* anyone who thinks they hate history to read this book and not enjoy it...dry is one thing it is definitely not! The illustrations which accompany each story are so frickin' cute and the author's witty, snarky writing is easy to read -- the style is conversational and the stories are told in a way that you don't get lost or confused by what's going on. The almost-breezy writing is neede ...more
Stephanie Molnar
This book was okay but definitely too long. I would have preferred if fictional/mythical women were left out and those whom "little is known about" because if they aren't real and nothing of what they "did" can be verified, then they weren't really "history's boldest" but more "mythology's boldest". Also, some of these women were quite evil (ahem, Erzebet Bathory) but the author makes them seem like decent gals and only sites one author as his source (there are several sources that say the Blood ...more
Jan 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I really really loved Jason Porath's voice.. I completely adore the way he's captured tales of women from all time periods, from all corners of the world - from the starchily upright to the more flamboyant 'bad girls'.

Where's that volume 2 when I need it? :)
Dee (PlainlyReads)
Aug 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
Intrigued by the stories. But not a fan of the writing. it's like I'm reading a summary of each characters and it really put me off ...more
Abi (The Knights Who Say Book)
Very enjoyable. Not all entries are created equal, of course, and I had issues or were slightly bored with some of them. But on the whole it's a great read, filled with humor but without softening the brutality or tragedy of many of these women's stories (or, on that note, being any less enthusiastic about their successes and legacies). While there are a few women covered I already knew of, in each case the author brought new information and a new perspective, and I learned of so many awesome ne ...more
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, enough that I checked out the web page. It is a large variety of women from many cultures and times and what they did. He arranged the book, not chronologically or other conventional methods but on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most likely to not be told to kids for a variety of reasons such as sex, violence, self harm, rape, etc. it certainly knocks women off the gentle and frail pedestal! His last entry was nicknamed countess Dracula and may be at least par ...more
Marie the Librarian
lots of great entries, I like that its not all sunshine and rainbows but also tell some of the dark and awful things. the entries are marked with content warnings.
Apr 13, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received this book as a birthday present from my parents and was very excited to read it. I have been seeing more and more books for young girls teaching them about famous women in history that seem to get overlooked in our history classes. This was one that I had not seen before.

Rejected Princesses is the brain child of Jason Porath, a former animator for Dreamworks. He states in his book that one day at lunch he and his colleagues were joking about what unlikely women could get the Disney p
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In a past life, Jason Porath used to work on animated movies such as How to Train Your Dragon 2, Megamind, and The Croods. Upon leaving the animation industry, he started Rejected Princesses: a blog celebrating women of history and myth who were too awesome, awful, or offbeat for the animated princess treatment. It went viral, there's a book, and the rest is history.

Jason lives in Los Angeles, enj

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