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A Lady Has the Floor: Belva Lockwood Speaks Out for Women's Rights

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  302 ratings  ·  86 reviews
Unafraid to take to the floor and speak her mind, lawyer, activist, and presidential candidate Belva Lockwood devoted her life to overcoming obstacles and demanding equality for women.

Activist Belva Lockwood never stopped asking herself the question Are women not worth the same as men? She had big dreams and didn't let anyone stand in her way--not her father, her law
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published February 20th 2018 by Calkins Creek (first published 2018)
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Mar 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The incredible and impressive life of Belva Lockwood is depicted in this nonfiction picture book. Belva grew up playing outside with the boys and soon became a teacher in her community. Though women did not attend college, Belva did and graduated with honors in 1857. She taught school, but didn’t like that the girls in the class were not called on or asked to recite in front of the class. She worked with Susan B. Anthony to demand that New York public schools teach public speaking to all ...more
Belva Lockwood was so cool! This little book packs a big punch. It tells the story of Belva Lockwood, a girl who dared to challenge the gender norms of the early 19th-century. She was physically free, intelligent and unafraid of a challenge. Belva Lockwood changed education for girls, became a lawyer (she had to lobby the President for her diploma), argued before the Supreme Court, fought for women's rights including suffrage and ran for President of the United States! Sadly, Belva Lockwood died ...more
This book taught me so much about women's place in American history. Lockwood is one name I have never heard, but she certainly advocated not just for women, but freed slaves and Native Americans and other marginalized groups in society. There is a great reference list in the back also.

The reason we picked it is up is because my oldest daughter noted the illustrator, Alison Jay. We love the pictures that accompany this one.
Lesley Burnap
Feb 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
How have I not heard of Belva Lockwood? This text highlights Lockwood's life events from childhood to her passing. Education was important to Belva as she became a teacher, attended university to become a lawyer, and then, ran for president in 1884 & 1888. All this well before equal rights and votes for women. This should be required reading for all children.

Illustrations remind me of oil paintings from the 19th century with their crackles across each image. Characters are stylized by
Rebecca Gierman
Oct 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Why have I never heard of Belva Lockwood? I assure you my daughter will know who she is.
Baby Bookworm
Jan 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: our-reviews

This review was originally written for The Baby Bookworm. Visit us for new picture books reviews daily!

Hello, friends! Our book today is A Lady Has The Floor: Belva Lockwood Speaks Out For Women’s Rights, written by Kate Hannigan and illustrated by Alison Jay, a fabulous biography of one of America’s first great feminists.

Since she was a little girl in the late 1800’s, Belva Lockwood outright refused to be treated any differently than a boy. When she became a schoolteacher at the age of 14 and
I'd never heard of Belva Lockwood before but she was fascinating to read about. She believed women had the same worth as men. She challenged inequality in education and she became one of the first female lawyers. She worked to represent the poor, freed slaves, Civil War veterans and others in court. But the Supreme Court would not allow female lawyers argue in the Supreme Court. She worked tirelessly until, in 1879, she was allowed to speak in front of the Supreme Court justices. Belva continued ...more
“I was not to be squelched so easily.”

The inspirational story of Belva Lockwood: from her tomboy beginnings on the farm, to her time teaching in a one room school house. From her quest for equal education for girls to being admitted to law school. From demanding her diploma from Ulysses S. Grant to practicing law to aid Civil War widows and veterans, former slaves and Native Americans. Finally turning to Women’s suffrage and becoming the first woman on the ballot for US President. “Fight, fight,
Dec 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this children's picture book biography. I had never heard of Belva Lookwood before. She made huge advancements in Women's and minority rights. One of the first women in America to earn a law degree in 1873. First woman attorney to argue a case before the Supreme Court. 1884 first woman to launch a viable presidential campaign and appear on ballots for president. Represented the Eastern Cherokee Nation in relation to money owed by US gov related to The Trail of Tears.
Apr 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The artwork is very engaging, I love the crackle, it gives a time-period feel to the book, and for some reason I find the shapes of the animals and people very satisfying. It is a story I haven't heard before, and while her story is very positive and empowering, I couldn't help but feel disgust that 150 years later we are fighting many of the same fights.
Why don't we know just as much about Belva Lockwood as we do about Susan B. Anthony? She accomplished so much in the face of so much resistance, it's kinda ridiculous. Also, she went to seminary right around the corner from here in Lima! We walked down the same hallways! Who knew?
This picture book biography tells the story of a woman determined to fight for fairness and equality for women in schools, courtrooms, and at the ballot box. Belva Lockwood, born in 1830, believed women should be treated the same as men. She fought for the right to attend college and law school. As an attorney, she fought for the right to present arguments before the Supreme Court. With the help of other pioneering women, she fought for the right to vote. Well researched and beautifully ...more
Richie Partington
Richie’s Picks: A LADY HAS THE FLOOR: BELVA LOCKWOOD SPEAKS OUT FOR WOMEN’S RIGHTS by Kate Hannigan and Alison Jay, ill., Boyds Mills/Calkins Creek, January 2018, 32p., ISBN: 978-1-62979-453-2

“This is my fight song
Take back my life song
Prove I’m alright song
My power’s turned on
Starting right now I’ll be strong
I’ll play my fight song
And I don’t really care if nobody else believes
‘Cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me”
--Rachel Platten (2015)

“An attorney now, Belva helped poor widows,
Apr 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bio-strong-women
“I have not raised the dead, but I have awakened the living.” - Belva Lockwood

So many places in this book where I murmured, "Oh, my!" because of Lockwood's tenacity and resilience. This woman’s achievements--in pursuit of justice and equality for everyone-- in the mid- to late 19th century were quite remarkable. For example, she went to law school but they would not grant her a diploma when she finished the coursework so she wrote to the president of the college who also happened to be the
What an amazing woman Belva Lockwood was! It is cool that young readers can now draw inspiration from her story since this picture book biography is pitched to them. The first woman to have her name on a presidential ballot, Belva grew up as independent and questioning why girls and women were not treated equally. Throughout her life, she continued to ask that question. Not only was she paid half what the other male teachers were paid in her first job, but she later challenged the teaching ...more
Nov 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
If you are looking for nonfiction read-alouds to introduce events and historical figures to young readers, add this book to your collection. Belva Lockwood was a determined woman and fought for parity and justice all her life. Whether is was the unfairness of female teachers receiving half the pay of male teachers, girls and women being denied entry to law school, or female lawyers being unable to argue cases in court, Belva was convinced that things needed to change.

Kate Hannigan has written
Jan 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Born in New York in 1830, activist Belva Lockwood never stopped asking herself the question - Are women not worth the same as men? She had big dreams and didn't let anyone stand in her way--not her father, her law school, or even the U.S. Supreme Court. She fought for equality for women in the classroom, in the courtroom, and in politics. In her quest for fairness and parity, Lockwood ran for President of the United States, becoming the first woman ever on the ballot.

Almost every page offers a
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
A Lady Has the Floor: Belva Lockwood Speaks Out for Women’s Rights by Kate Hannigan, illustrated Alison Jay. PICTURE BOOK. Calkins Creek (Highlights), 2018. $18. 9781629794532



A true story about Belva Lockwood who advocates for girls to learn public speaking in school and be allowed physical activity there as well. She then fights to be allowed to attend and receive a diploma from law school. From here she goes on to advocate for women
Laura Giessler
It is important for me to be reminded how far we've come--that at one time, women/girls made half the salary of males for the same work; that girls were discouraged from enrolling in math, science, and political science classes in college; that girls could not speak in front of the class or participate in physical activity; that they were not admitted to law school because of their gender. It is shocking that Belva would have been refused her diploma when she had completed the same course of ...more
Abby Johnson
Nov 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Don't miss this upcoming nonfiction picture book (February 2018) if you need to refresh your selection on Women's History. Belva Lockwood ran for president in 1884. She was one of the first women in the country to earn (and be awarded) a legal degree after pushing and pushing to be accepted as a law student. Even then some courthouses would not allow a woman to argue cases. Belva never gave up in her quest for equal rights for women.

Informative text about Belva's life and work is enhanced with
Stephanie Bange
May 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
An intriguing biography of the first woman whose name appeared on the ballot for U.S. President.

Hannigan passionately states the case of the importance of this woman who broke glass ceilings as she advocated for civil rights for under-served constituents -- women/girls, widows, veterans, African Americans and Native Americans -- in court cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Alison Jay's oil paint with crackle varnish illustrations have an "old fashioned" look to them that is fitting for both the
Mary Sanchez
The perfect non-fiction read-aloud or read-alone biography for Women's History Month, or for any day, about an important, yet little known HER-o (Belva Lockwood) in American history who made a difference "In the classroom! In the courtroom! In the White House!"

The author did a wonderful job integrating actual Lockwood quotations in the text. I was also interested to learn Ms. Lockwood ran for President of the United States in 1884 on the Equal Rights Ticket.

Besides an author's note, the book
Nov 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Excellent picture book biography of Belva Lockwood with Alison Jay's distinctive illustrations.

I knew very little about Lockwood and I'm really sorry to say that as this energetic and determined woman has an impressive list of firsts! First woman member of the bar of the U.S. Supreme Court, first woman to argue a case in the Supreme Court, first woman to "launch a viable presidential campaign," first woman to appear on the ballot for president. In the Supreme Court, she argued and won a case for
Kerrie Barton
Sep 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: activism-books
This book is the true story of Belva Lockwood, another forgotten figure in American history. She was the first woman to appear on a presidential ballot, earning 4,000 votes in 1884. Incredible achievements include graduating from college with honors, working with notables such as Susan B. Anthony to create more opportunities for young girls, attending law school and having to demand her degree from the president of the university, Ulysses S. Grant (yep - he was also president of the US at that ...more
Camilla Roper
Apr 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Belva Lockwood was the first woman to have her name on the ballot as running for the Presidency of the U.S. The illustrator does a fabulous job to support the story, and it is a story of empowerment of women, at a very early time in U.S. history. Youth (and adults) will benefit by being exposed to such a strong personality who does not let her father, the Supreme Court, law school, or any other institution, stand in her way. Lockwood was a forward-thinking person who just happened to be female, ...more
Mar 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
A must-read for Women's History Month. This picture-book biography of lawyer Belva Lockwood shines a light on her struggles to achieve women's equality in the 1800s. She started physical education and speech classes for both boys and girls as a teacher, attended law school and even ran for president against Grover Cleveland. She was ridiculed and bullied, but she kept on fighting ever larger battles for women's equality. In fact, she was the lawyer who secured a $5 million settlement for the ...more
What a woman...and do we even know about her? The first woman member of the bar of the US Supreme Court. The first woman to successfully run for president. She fought for women's rights, and the rights of all who are oppressed. She actually won a huge settlement for the Cherokee Nation in 1906 -- she won the tribe the full sale price (and interest) for land they were forced to abandon. She even came here to make sure the funds were distributed.

A mighty girl for sure. Another book for my
Interesting title about Belva Lockwood and her efforts to secure rights for women during the 19th century and very early 20th. Among Belva’s accomplishments were obtaining a college education, obtaining a law degree, becoming the first woman lawyer to argue a case before the Supreme Court, first woman to launch a viable Presidential campaign in 1884. During Belva’s life from 1839 till 1917, she accomplished many things never done by women before.
The illustrations are so appropriate for the
Carol  Vanhook
Feb 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A Lady Has the Floor: Belva Lockwood by Kate Hannigan, Alison Jay. - An amazing picture biography for children, 2nd grade up. This story is about a brave woman, ahead of her time in the movement for women's rights. She was a trailblazer for the rights of women, African Americans, & Native Americans. Her legacy has carried on today. The artwork resembles early American art. The facts, timeline, quote references, and other resources in the back of this book makes this a wonderful jump-starter ...more
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