Cooper, I. (2014). A woman in the House (and Senate): How women came to the United States Congress, broke down barriers, and changed the country. New York, NY.
This is a great non fiction resource that is both informative and inspiring. The book is organized into chapters by time period, then further divided into different sections that profile different women in Congress. This can either be a section about one individual or about a group of women that are linked in some way by either geography, year, or political similarities. The Book features many photos and illustrations of the people mentioned in the text as well as illustrations of some of the famous quotes used throughout the book. While this book is more of an overview and only goes in depth on some of the women who have served in Congress, it is still very informative and well thought out. It is a great place to begin researching the topic for a report or great choice to read for fun for tweens interested in the topic. The age recommendation for this book is 8-14 years according to Barnes and Noble which I agree with though I could still see even older teens picking this book up to familiarize themselves with the topic. In addition to offering the different profiles of some of the women who have served in Congress the book also provides an appendix offering more information on women’s rights, how Congress works, and other political terms used in the book younger readers may not be familiar with such as impeachment.
I would certainly recommend this book to any tweens or teens looking for an overview of the history of women in Congress as well as a starting point for looking at any of the women profiled in the book. This would also be a great book to include in displays with a political focus particularly around election time. The one drawback with this book is how quickly some of the information can go out of date. The book was written in 2013 and published in 2014 so already there have been changes in the political careers of some of the women mentioned in the last chapters of the book. One major example of this would be Hillary Clinton who has a section in the book describing her time as the First Lady, her time in Congress, her running against Barack Obama, and her becoming Secretary of State. Since she is now running for the Democratic nomination again this chapter is already a little outdated but still useful for those who are not familiar with her career. Despite how quickly the final chapters of the book will become a bit outdated it is still a good overall resource and particularly a great source on some of the earliest female members of Congress.