Isabella Bird was like a wild vine stuck in a too-small pot. She needed more room. She had to get out. She had to explore. Exploring was easier said than done in Victorian England. But Isabella persisted, and with each journey, she breathed in new ways to see and describe everything around her. Question by question, word by word, Isabella bloomed. First, out in the English countryside. Then, off to America and Canada. And eventually, around the world, to Africa, Asia, Australia, and more.
Always more―more places, more questions, more words―and all those experiences became books, in which she described the land she traveled, the people she met, and the dangers she experienced, to a fascinated audience who could only dream of such travels and adventures.
This dashing picture book biography about the first female member of the Royal Geographical Society takes readers around the world with a daring nineteenth-century female explorer and bestselling author. Kristy Caldwell’s detailed, graphic novel-like illustrations illuminate Bird’s travels around the world, with words and phrases from Bird’s own writing sprinkled throughout the story. Lori Mortensen’s back matter, author’s note, and bibliography will satisfy the curiosity of readers who want to learn more.
Away With Words is the perfect book to start off Women’s History Month! Not only does it highlight a woman who struggled under the circumstances of her time, when women were expected to wear dresses and corsets, stay at home instead of go to school, and sacrifice their own needs for those of their families, but it also celebrates a strong, brave, and independent woman who broke free from societal expectations to experience adventures and feats that even women and men today would find inspiring. Read an excerpt here. And for ideas of how to use this book in the classroom and beyond, check out the teacher’s guide with included curriculum connections.
“Mortensen distills a very full life into a condensed but readable narrative for primary-grade children.… Children who hope to forge their own paths can take heart from this picture-book biography.” ―Booklist
“Mortensen writes in a precise, poetic manner… This volume captures the spirit of a woman who embraced new experiences and played by her own rules…” ―Publishers Weekly
“Caldwell’s illustrations are clean and beautiful.” ―Kirkus Reviews
Follow along with our blog tour, where bloggers will be featuring reviews, interviews, book lists, and even a giveaway!
Good Reads with Ronna
Let’s Talk Picture Books
Kid Lit Frenzy
Get your copy of Away with Words: The Daring Story of Isabella Bird on Amazon or at your local library, indie bookstore, or Barnes & Noble!