Written by Jonah Winter, illustrated by Raul Colón
Schwartz & Wade Books, 2016
Once there was Queen Elizabeth, perhaps the wisest ruler England has ever had.
Hillary Rodham was a good student, enjoyed sports and wasn’t afraid to stand up to people when she needed to. In her family, her father made the decisions and her mother cooked and cleaned. When she graduated from college, she became the first student to ever speak at the ceremony and she used the platform to protest the war, which got her notice from Life magazine. She went on to law school, where she met and married fellow student Bill Clinton and they had a baby girl. When Bill became the governor of Arkansas, she stayed in her position as the first female lawyer at the firm where she worked and when he was elected to the White House, she became an active and involved First Lady. She was elected to the US Senate and ran for President in 2008 but was defeated by Barack Obama in the primaries. Under President Obama, she served as Secretary of State. She worked hard and forged good partnerships with other countries, improving situations for women and girls all over the world. During her time as Secretary of State, she visited 122 countries, which was more than any other person who ever held that position. She has left her mark on the world and helped pave the way for a future woman president someday.
Hillary Clinton’s life and career have been filled with accomplishments, both personal and political. She has always been involved in leadership roles, starting from student council in her youth and continuing into college, where she was active in civil rights organizations and the children’s rights movement. She broke a lot of new ground as First Lady, including being the first to have a postgraduate degree. The Clintons survived a number of scandals and she stood by Bill during his admission of extra-marital affairs. Her historic campaign for the presidency in 2016 ended with her winning the popular vote by a wide margin, but losing the electoral vote. But it didn’t end there. In the months since the election, women across the country have been empowered to run for local offices, stand up to discrimination and speak out against harassment, resulting in the recent #MeToo and #TimesUp movements that have radically changed the way sexual harassment is treated in America.
I don’t know exactly when in 2016 this book was published, but I’m assuming it was likely during Hillary’s presidential campaign, but before the actual election. Author Jonah Winter includes a note with more information and in a paragraph at the end, stresses his enthusiasm and our country’s readiness for a woman president. Raul Colón’s illustrations, in watercolor, colored pencils and lithograph crayons, beautifully take us through her life, showing her hard at work in most of the pictures. Had she won the election, this book would have been a great way to introduce young kids to our new president, but instead, it shows them a profile of the woman who opened that door a little wider and galvanized a generation to take up the mantle and run a little farther.
And what did we learn from her? What she teaches me is that with every disappointment comes the opportunity to grow, change and bounce back stronger.