Author: Elizabeth Fitzgerald Howard
Illustrator: E.B Lewis
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; 2000
Suitable for: 5 and up
Topics: School life, African-American history, Women’s Experience
Opening: Virgie was always begging to go to school with us boys. All summer long she kept asking and asking.
Book Summary: All Virgie wants is to go to school with her brothers George, Will, Nelson, Val, and C. C. But they keep saying she's too little for the long, seven-mile walk, and that girls don't need school.
Well, Virgie doesn't agree, and she's not gonna let anything stand in her way.
Links to resources:
Lesson Plan for this book on page 28 of document recommended for grades 1-2:
Lesson plan for grades 3-5
Why I like this book:
In post Civil War South, Virgie is determined to prove she can go to school just like her brothers. The story is written in the point of view of her brother, Cornelius (C.C) but you can clearly see, hear and feel Virgie’s strength and determination. Virgie shows a lot of courage stepping outside of the role that society has placed on her. She is brave, determined and enthusiastic. I love that she not only learns what she can at school, but she also takes that knowledge back to her parents, “that way, might seem like they’ve been to school too. Learning to be free, just like us.” This is a great book for all children but especially for girls, including the girls who are not really into school. In this book, they see just how lucky they are to be able to go to school and receive an education without the prejudice and challenges that girls and women had in the past and those that still can't get equal educational opportunities in many oppressed and poverty stricken countries today.
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