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Votes for Women!: American Suffragists and the Battle for the Ballot

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  380 ratings  ·  115 reviews
The story of the tenacious American women who demanded, fought for—and finally won—their right to vote; paving the way for generations of civil rights activists.

For nearly 150 years, American women did not have the right to vote. On August 18, 1920, they won that right, when the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified at last. To achieve that victory, some of the
Hardcover, 312 pages
Published February 13th 2018 by Algonquin Young Readers
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Average rating 4.13  · 
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 ·  380 ratings  ·  115 reviews

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Start your review of Votes for Women!: American Suffragists and the Battle for the Ballot
This is a compelling, engaging, and balanced look at the women's suffrage movement which doesn't shy away from the racist attitudes of some of the movement's most well-known (and historically beloved) leaders. Complete with interesting images and great back matter, this is a book for readers looking for a solid history of the American push for the right for women to vote. I've read more than one book on this topic for young readers, but this is the first one I've read which doesn't shy away from ...more
Lauren Stoolfire
Feb 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
I received a free copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The 19th amendment was finally ratified on August 18th, 1920 granting women the right to vote as citizens of the United States of America. This work of narrative non-fiction discusses the suffragists achievements, politics, and their passion from Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Victoria Woodhull, Sojourner Truth, and Alice Paul. It also focuses on the darker moments within the movement in regards to their relationsh
Woah, totally in love with this well-researched gem about American suffragists that doesn't hide the grittiness of the movement including the racist remarks the heroines of the movement wrote and spoke around the fight for white women's suffrage against black men's suffrage. It was particularly fascinating during Lincoln's time as president when he said "one war at a time" and another responded that this "is the negro's hour" when both battles struggled against one another. This particular eleme ...more
Jul 15, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: feminism, non-fiction
A history of the American suffragist movement with a heavy focus on how it overlapped with the abolitionist movement. The writing was very dry and didn't keep my attention. ...more
Marie Andrews
Jan 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-feminism
Being from the UK, I was only ever taught about women's suffrage here in England, and therefore knew very little about the journey to American suffrage, so thought this would be a great book to pick up to learn about it, especially as this is marketed as a YA book. It's very clear that this book has been researched very well, and there is a good mixture of information from primary sources too, as well as reflecting back from a current perspective. However, I didn't find it that engaging and it w ...more
Angela Blount
Jan 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Originally reviewed for YA Books Central:

3.5 Stars

A candid, comprehensive, and thoroughly researched look at the long fight for women’s rights—spanning nearly a century of history while following select figureheads of the Suffrage movement through their varied efforts, missteps, divisions, and triumphs.

To be up-front honest, let me just say that this was easily the most thorough work I’ve ever read on the Women’s Suffrage movement. Which, sadly, isn’t sa
Jun 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobook, 2018
A must read! It is dense but it's also critical information for the next generation. ...more
Molly Dettmann
Mar 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
An excellent and detailed, but not overwhelming read about the women’s suffrage movement. I loved that this one didn’t shy away from the amazing things these women did, and the not so amazing things that get glossed over in shallower books about this time period. The back matter and resources could keep me reading for days.
Ms. Yingling
Jan 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
E ARC from Edelweiss Plus

This extremely informative book on the history of women's suffrage starts with Elizabeth Cady Stanton's life, and her father's disappointment that she is not a boy. It continues through the Seneca Falls Convention, covers Susan B. Anthony, and gives really interesting information about Victoria Woodhull. Lucy Stone and other luminaries in the Suffrage movement are amply covered, and the stories are told in an intriguing way. For example, we are given just enough informat
This book is listed as a Young Adult book. I think that is a miscategorization, although I would encourage young adults to read it. I thought this was a very engaging book that is well researched. It covers the American Suffragist movement from pre-Civil War days through the final ratification of the 19th amendment in 1920.

The author concentrates on the birth of the movement with Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Seneca Falls Convention, as well as Stanton's friendship and work with Susan B. Antho
Enjoyed this well-written, easy-to-follow book that traces the women's suffrage movement from the childhood of Elizabeth Cady Stanton in the 1830s to the ratification of the amendment in 1920. Kudos to Winifred Conkling for making this a story with a human face as well as making it compelling. ...more
Oct 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020, 20x20, non-fiction
I thought this was going to be a fairly boring book, but it ended up being so interesting I plan to give copies away as holiday gifts. I found it very readable and learned some new details about the history of the movement.

Conkling takes readers back to a time when women did not have the right to own property, could not enter into contracts or sign legal documents, could not keep their wages, had limited options for work, and had few legal rights overall. She takes a straightforward approach in
Oct 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Conkling has written a compelling narrative around the experiences of the major leaders of the women's suffrage movement. Both those who helped start the movement and those who saw the final victory are included. Conflict from without and within hampered the movement from the beginning, but the determination and courage of those who believed so firmly lead to the movement's survival. Conkling includes lots of interesting stories, quotes, and details about both the people involved and the main ev ...more
Susan O
Gaining the right to vote in the US has been a difficult process for everyone who wasn't born a white male.

"The Nineteenth Amendment enfranchised women, but some states quickly moved to deny nonwhite women - and men - the right to vote. Native Americans were not granted the right to vote until the Indian Citizenship Act was passed in 1924. Chinese Americans didn't get the right to vote until 1943. Japanese Americans and other Asian Americans weren't granted the right to vote until 1952. And the
Feb 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
An interesting book on the Women's American Suffragists. It starts out in the mid 1800's when some women started up the campaign for rights for women to vote and other rights. In the beginning women like,Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Lucy Stone, and Sojourner Truth, to name a few started the long road to women's rights for vote and other rights. The book writes of their struggles and what they went through. It takes the readers up to 1920 when the 19th ammendment was finally signed. ...more
Kathleen Duffy
Jun 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most comprehensive and interesting books I’ve read on the women’s suffrage movement. It starts in 1800 with Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B Anthony and works its way all the way to the 19th amendment. I love how the author connected these histories, which often seem to be segmented in texts. And I love how she didn’t put the women on pedestals, instead focused on their strengths and weaknesses so that we can learn from their mistakes. Conkling- thank you. I will be using se ...more
May 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a fact based read, but it is a smooth read that moves quickly and is full of so much information about all of the women involved over the 72 years since the idea first had a voice in the US. There are many books available on the suffragists but if you want a quick and thorough read this book fits the bill. Some have written there wasn’t enough “flower” in the writing. I found learning about many of these women was a bouquet. The Bewitching Brokers who following a scam became legal invest ...more
Jan 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Votes for Women! is a very well-researched account of the American Women's Suffrage Movement. While technically aimed at the middle grade audience, this is dense text. There are some fascinating facts throughout the book, and I think it would be great to pull passages to use in the classroom. I just wish that this was slightly more engaging for the younger audience. ...more
Jan 24, 2018 rated it liked it
This book is very detailed, comprehensive and engaging, but for me I found it a little boring. as a YA book, I think it might be a little heavy. Too much text book, not enough to engage the younger readers. I did enjoy it, but found MY attention span wandering, so I think the target audience would too.
Collette Switzer
Jun 10, 2020 rated it liked it
I learned so much from this book! Conking does an amazing job of introducing American suffragist, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, as well as emphasizing the hard work and dedication that so many women exhibited while fighting for the right to vote. It definitely took me a little while to get into and finish, however it was truly inspirational and I really recommend!
Oct 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very informative, engaging and an easy read.
Cindy H.
Apr 01, 2020 rated it liked it
This was a really informative book/audio about the US Suffragist Movement. I “met” so many brilliant women who wouldn’t be silenced or bullied by the government nor stifled from the ignorance of those who opposed them. This is a wonderful book for young budding feminists or the more mature gals and guys too 😉We can all benefit from a dose of #GirlPower

I was surprised by all the fractures within the movements. It seems many individuals had their own agendas often at the expense of the other grou
Jul 27, 2020 rated it liked it
A good basic story of the fight for the vote and the women who put their lives on the line for our suffrage. Sometimes a little too basic, though notes and bibliography offer a chance to dig deeper.
Apr 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow, what an unexpected pleasure it was to read this! I had just watched a movie about British suffragettes, and I realized I had known nothing about this movement, and I knew very little about American suffragists, either. I picked up this book on a whim, unsure if I would do more than leaf through it. But I started at the beginning and I was immediately hooked. Though the focus of the story fades from character to character, Conkling succeeded in keeping me thoroughly engrossed. The names Eliz ...more
May 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Votes for Women! American Suffragists and the Battle for the Ballot (2018) by Winifred Conkling is engaging narrative non-fiction at its best.

This book offers a nuanced history of the women’s suffrage movement in the United States from the Seneca Falls convention through to the momentous vote that ratified the nineteenth amendment with the moments leading up to the vote and its aftermath framing the book as prologue and epilogue.

Most of the book is follows Elizabeth Cady Stanton from her birth
I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher -
On August 18, 1920, American women finally won the right to vote. Ratification of the 19th Amendment was the culmination of an almost eighty-year fight in which some of the fiercest, most passionate women in history marched, protested, and sometimes broke the law in to achieve this huge leap toward equal rights.
In this expansive yet personal volume, author Winifred Conkli
Roberta Havel
Mar 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
I love learning, it is a lifetime obsession. This brilliantly written book put the fight for suffrage into perspective. I can only be thankful to the Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B Anthony, Alice Paul and their sister’s in arms for making voting for women a reality and equality for women a possibility.

I wish modern day activists would use some of the organizing techniques of the suffragettes to get environmental, health care, gun control and Women’s equality enacted into law.

Read this book an
Libby Ames
Jul 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: girl-power
Votes for Women! follows the grueling battle for women’s suffrage in the United States. Starting with the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848 until the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920, this book documents the highs and lows of the struggle. Winifred Conkling aptly describes the strong women behind this cause, showing their determination as well as their humanity. Her writing flows and presents all the major historical events in a way that compels readers to continue.

This is an excellent b
May 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
Susan B. Anthony was definitely important to the cause, but she was also a racist and uncompromising person. This book makes it seem that only SBA and Elizabeth Cady Stanton were the ones who mattered, but there were plenty of other women who were involved.
May 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
VOTES FOR WOMEN is a bold new nonfiction book from Winifred Conkling, author of PASSENGER ON THE PEARL, RADIOACTIVE and SYLVIA AND AKI. Chronicling the entire suffragist movement from its birth to the ratification of the 19th amendment, Conkling’s book tells the story of American women fighting for their right to vote. The book pulls you in from the first chapter and will have readers cheering on the tenacious American women as well as mourning their losses.

As a feminist and a strong supporter o
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WINIFRED CONKLING studied journalism at Northwestern University and spent the next 25 years writing non-fiction for adult readers, including for Consumer Reports magazine and more than 30 books. As part of her transition to writing for young people, she is working toward her Master of Fine Arts in Writing for Children and Young Adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Sylvia & Aki is her firs

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