As Sally Ride and Marian Wright Edelman both powerfully said, “You can’t be what you can’t see.” When Sally Ride said that, she meant that it was hard to dream of being an astronaut, like she was, or a doctor or an athlete or anything at all if you didn’t see someone like you who already had lived that dream. She especially was talking about seeing women in jobs that historically were held by men.
I wrote the first She Persisted
and the books that came after it because I wanted young girls—and children of all genders—to see women who worked hard to live their dreams. And I wanted all of us to see examples of persistence in the face of different challenges to help inspire us in our own lives.
I’m so thrilled now to partner with a sisterhood of writers to bring longer, more in-depth versions of these stories of women’s persistence and achievement to readers. I hope you enjoy these chapter books as much as I do and find them inspiring and empowering.
And remember: If anyone ever tells you no, if anyone ever says your voice isn’t important or your dreams are too big, remember these women. They persisted and so should you.
Warmly,Chelsea ClintonTABLE OF CONTENTS
Chapter 1: Burning to Read
Chapter 2: New Worlds
Chapter 3: All Fired Up
Chapter 4: A Fire in Her Mouth
Chapter 5: She Persisted!
Chapter 6: What Would Clara Do?
How You Can Persist
ReferencesChapter 1Burning to Read
Clara Lemlich had a fire inside her—a fire for justice, for fairness, for equality. When she saw something wrong, she spoke up. Clara’s voice was beautiful and strong, smart and loud. Clara’s voice and actions changed the world.
Because of where and when she was born, this was not easy. She needed
Copyright © 2021 by Deborah Heiligman with introduction by Chelsea Clinton; illustrated by Alexandra Boiger and Gillian Flint. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.