Swipe to look inside
A Take-Charge Girl Blazes a Trail to Congress

A Take-Charge Girl Blazes a Trail to Congress

The Story of Jeannette Rankin

Illustrated by Rebecca Gibbon


A Take-Charge Girl Blazes a Trail to Congress

About the Book

For take-charge girls in the making and fans of I Dissent and Kamala Harris: Rooted in Justice, this is the story of Jeannette Rankin, the first US congresswoman.

Jeannette Rankin was always a take-charge girl. Whether taking care of horses or her little brothers and sisters—Jeannette knew what to do and got the job done. That’s why, when she saw poor children living in bad conditions in San Francisco, she knew she had to take charge and change things.

But in the early twentieth century, women like Jeannette couldn’t vote to change the laws that failed to protect children. Jeannette became an activist and led the charge, campaigning for women’s right to vote. And when her home state, Montana, gave women that right, Jeannette ran for Congress and became America’s first congressWOMAN!

Product Details

On sale: February 7, 2023
Age: 7-10 years
Grade: Grades 2-5
Page count: 40 Pages
ISBN: 9781662680120
Reading level: Lexile: 710L | Fountas/Pinnell: U

Author Bio

Gretchen Woelfle is the author of multiple award-winning fiction and nonfiction books for young readers, including Write On, Mercy!, Mumbet's Declaration of Independence, and Answering the Cry for Freedom.

Rebecca Gibbon is a graduate of the Cardiff School of Art & Design, the Liverpool School of Art, and the Royal College of Art. She is the illustrator of many books for children including Marjory Saves the Everglades and Nellie vs. Elizabeth.


★ “This lively biography showcases one tireless activist, Jeannette Rankin from Montana, who became the first U.S. congresswoman in 1916 and whose fight for all women to have the right to vote was key in ratifying the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920. Rankin’s story is made relatable to young readers through Woelfle's focus on how 'take-charge' she was, starting as a child...The section on Rankin’s campaign for Congress, in which she crisscrossed 6,000 miles of Montana by train and horse, is riveting. The illustrations, done in colored pencils and acrylic inks, jauntily convey period detail.”—Booklist, starred review

“Woelfle wisely begins the narrative in Rankin’s youth, then leads into her suffragist activism and her political career...The text as a whole grounds Rankin’s ambitions in her determination to advocate for children, and such framing will likely make the book more accessible to young readers, as will the energetic illustrations. Gibbon’s acrylic ink and colored pencil pictures have a homespun, folk-art quality to them, offering readers depictions of Rankin’s early life...A yes vote for this title’s inclusion on children’s bookshelves.”—Kirkus Reviews

“'Take-charge girl’ Jeanette Rankin…inspires in this lively, quote-filled picture book about her journey to become the first U.S. congresswoman. Woefle narrates with a conversational tone that makes Rankin feel accessible… [and] Rankin exudes confidence in quaint acrylic ink and colored pencil artwork.” —Publishers Weekly

“As a group read-aloud, this book could be followed by a discussion of dreams among the participants. Just as Jeannette did, young people could envision the steps from smaller goals to larger goals, creating the greatest possible impact. Early elementary children will enjoy the story and the lovely illustrations, while upper elementary children will recognize connections to social studies, politics, and modern-day activism.” —Friends Journal