Bad Girls Throughout History is a beautifully illustrated book with brief histories of a hundred women who paved the way for today’s modern woman. Shen begins with Lillith and ends with Malala Yousafzai sprinkling activists, actresses, scientists and spies throughout history as she goes.
To be a bad girl is to break any socially accepted rule. For some women, it’s the way they dress. For other girls, it’s the act of going to school. At one point, it was fighting for the right to vote.
The format of a large colorful picture on one page and a two to four paragraph blurb on the opposite page makes this more “coffee table” than encyclopedia. Just enough to whet your appetite but not enough to satisfy me. While reading I was essentially making a list of whose biographies I plan to seek out in the future.
Obviously, since she limits herself to 100, there are many important figures readers may feel are left out, she focuses on Western women with only a handful of exceptions, but an imperfect collection of history’s greatest women is better than ignoring their contributions. Perhaps she can write a Volume Two!
While I borrowed this book from the library I plan to purchase a copy if I ever have a daughter! I think it’s an accessible and entertaining way to let young women know about the trail blazers who came before them.