Book Review – The Woman who Rode a Shark

Title: The Woman who Rode a Shark and 50 more wild female adventurers

Written by: Ailsa Ross

Illustrated by: Amy Blackwell

Published by: AA Publishing

The Woman who Rode a Shark

This hardback book features 50 amazing women and their achievements through history, from 200BC in Ancient Illyria when Teuta the pirate queen stood up to Ancient Rome, to Svetlana Alexievich, the Nobel prize winning journalist in Ukraine today, who is giving a voice to the survivors of conflict and disaster.

The book is split into six sections: the artists; the pioneers; the scientists; the activists; the athletes and the seekers. Each section features around 7-10 amazing women from all over the world 0rganised from eh earliest to the most recent. Each double spread consists of a single page of fascinating facts with a corresponding full page portrait in bold vibrant colours that instantly capture the reader’s imagination. Each section also has a map showing where each of the woman is from.

Every page of The Woman who Rode a Shark contains a rich, diverse message that women all over the globe, throughout the ages have had a positive impact and legacy on society, from Jeanne Barret the first woman to sail around the world from 1740 -1803, to Sacagawea who helped chart North America in 1785-1812. She did everything the men did and she did it all carrying a baby on her back.

The Woman who Rode a Shark inside

There are also snippets of information to ignite every female adventurers’ imagination, such as it is said that pirate Teula’s treasure is still buried in the hills somewhere above the Adriatic Sea and whilst Diana Nyad swam from Cuba to Florida for 52 hours without sleeping she passed the time by dreaming of dancing Foxtrot on Dancing with the Stars. These snippets are accompanied by inspirational quotes such as:

“I’s rather dream large and fail than shoot for mediocre and never discover my limits.”

(Diana Nyad).

I think one of my favourite bits of the book is that at the bottom of each spread there are the names and dates of even more women who have also made achievements in similar fields for the reader to research and find out more. Proving the list of dynamic women is endless.

A must have book for all young girls who are not going to let anyone hold them back.

This book review was previously published on the online Armadillo Children’s Book Review Magazine.

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