Cover image for All by herself : 14 girls who made a difference : poems
All by herself : 14 girls who made a difference : poems
Paul, Ann Whitford.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
San Diego : Browndeer Press/Harcourt Brace, [1999]

Physical Description:
39 unnumbered pages : color illustrations ; 29 cm
Poems recount the stories of fourteen girls, some of whom later became famous, who performed acts of daring, determination, and heroic courage at a young age.
Reading Level:
540 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 4.0 0.5 47732.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 4.1 3 Quiz: 30834 Guided reading level: P.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3566.A826148 A75 1999 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



Amelia Earhart, Golda Meir, Pocahontas, Rachel Carson, Wanda Gág, Wilma Rudolph, and other determined young women--both famous and less familiar--took risks and made sacrifices to do brave things. Each of these inspiring poems proves that every girl, no matter who she is or where she lives, is capable of making a difference.

Author Notes

Ann Whitofrd Paul graduated from the University of Wisconsin and Columbia University School of Social Work. She worked as a social worker until she started her family. She soon became inspired to write picture books after years of bedtime reading to her four children. She's published 19 different award-winning books. Now she gets story ideas from her three grandchildren. For ten years she taught picture book writing through UCLA Extension. She still enjoys teaching how to write picture books. Her title, If Animals Kissed Good Night, made The New York Times Best Seller List in 2016.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 3^-5. This handsome, large-format book showcases 14 poems celebrating incidents in the early lives of American women. The subjects include well-known figures: Rachel Carson, Amelia Earhart, Pocahontas, Wilma Rudolph, and Sacajawea, as well as little-known heroines, such as Violet Sheehy, who saved her family from a fire, Harriet Hanson, who led fellow mill workers to join a strike, and Kate Shelley, who brought help to the scene of a train wreck. One side of each double-page spread carries a free-verse poem about the girl's courage, daring, or strength of character. On the facing page, a large painting illustrates the poem. Like the poems with their plain, forthright, and sometimes dramatic language, the illustrations by Michael Steirnagle are varied in approach, composition, and emotional content, reflecting the tone of the storytelling. An attractive choice for those seeking role models for girls. Carolyn Phelan

Publisher's Weekly Review

Paul (The Seasons Sewn) surfs through history, emerging with an assortment of 14 plucky young heroines--some famous, some not--to commemorate in verse. In "Ida Lewis," one of the strongest poems, the poet's use of repetition and rhythm mimics the pounding of the waves from which the 16-year-old daughter of a lighthouse keeper single-handedly rescues four men whose boat has capsized. Other poems highlight such galvanizing girlhood incidents as Amelia Earhart rocketing off the toolshed roof in a homemade roller coaster she fashioned from a wooden crate; more contemplative poems reflect cerebral heroines such as nature writer Rachel Carson and educator/activist Mary Jane McLeod (later Bethune). From Wilma Rudolph, who discarded a painful leg brace and went on to win three gold medals at the 1960 Olympics, to fourth-grader Golda Mabovitch (later known as Golda Meir), who encouraged her classmates to donate money for books for poor children, the poems describe telling moments from these inspiring lives. A few poems may be difficult to decode without a context, but an afterword fleshes out the historical details. Paul keeps the flow lively by employing a range of poetic styles, including free verse and rhyming couplets, while the broad, energetic brush strokes and intense hues of Steirnagle's (Billy Lazroe and the King of the Sea) oil portraits reflect the fierce determination of his subjects. An intriguing hybrid of history, poetry and art, this book may well prod readers to find out more about these strong role models. Ages 6-9. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-6-This handsome gallery of girls features 14 episodes of heroism conveyed in poetry and oil paintings. Ida Lewis's daring rescue of men foundering in a stormy sea and Wanda G g's late night drawing of greeting cards to support her impoverished family are among the brave ventures, each set on double-spread view. Some of the subjects-Sacajawea, Amelia Earhart, Pocahontas-are nearly legendary. Others are well known-Maria Mitchell, Wilma Rudolph, Rachel Carson. Harriet Hanson of the Lowell Mills and Frances Ward of the Westward Movement are less widely recognized though certainly heroic in their time. "Jabbed by splinters, ripped by nails,/she crawled along the planks-across a span, five hundred feet" is a partial description of Kate Shelley's dramatic rescue of two men after a train crash. Nearly a page each in length, the narrative verses are uneven in rhyme, meter, and vitality. The broadly sketched paintings vividly render key moments of each girl's story, whether it's of bold action or more subdued, personal achievement. Concluding notes, titled "About the Girls," offer a short picture glossary with portraits and brief accounts of the major adult accomplishments of each young woman. Teachers and librarians will find many opportunities here for making connections with other books, introducing curriculum units, or sparking discussion.-Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.