Rad American Women A-Z

Rad American Women A-Z
Rebels, Trailblazers, and Visionaries Who Shaped Our History . . . and Our Future!

Press Reviews

Juxtapoz Magazine

"Rad American Women rightfully honors the female voices who have made an unforgettable, indelible impact on art, literature, culture, social justice and beyond. From rocker Patti Smith to activist Angela Davis, author Ursula K. Le Guin to Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, these are the 'rebels, trailblazers and visionaries who shaped our history... and our future!' Illustrated by rad artist and educator Miriam Klein Stahl in her signature style that boldly communicates the personality and strength of each luminary, this is a book about women you need to know, and legacies that have changed the course of everyday life. A New York Times bestseller, it's described as a book for 'children, their parents, teachers and cool grown-up friends,' and that includes you."—Kristin Farr


"Besides creating a perfect addition to the collection of budding young feminists of all genders and the people who are helping them to grow into good humans, alike, Schatz and Stahl have included a handy resource guide in the back of the book for further reading and research, as well as an additional alphabetical list that suggests ways that readers can also be rad, such as learn from mistakes, make jokes, and, well, 'X-ray everything! Learn what's inside.'"—Ashley Patronyak

The Portland Mercury

"This brilliant picture book was the first kids' book published by the historic San Francisco press City Lights, and sold out before it hit the shelves in April! It went on to become a New York Times bestseller—a rarity for a small press—and immediately went into a second printing. . . .  It warms my heart to know thousands of kids will grow up with this impressive list of feminist role models, from the famous to the obscure, and I look forward to future volumes. Appropriate for all ages—it's never too early or too late to get rad!"


"Rad American Women A-Z is an alphabet book with a difference...Schatz's lively one-page biographies show all the things a woman can do — and excel at — from dance to architecture, labor organizing to sports, journalism to rock 'n' roll. Stahl’s black paper-cuts against primary-colored backgrounds capture individual expressions, easily distinguishable for young readers."—Elaine Elinson

International Literature Association

"This book for all ages features 25 women who made a difference, women readers young and old should know all about, and women who all deserve more than the one page dedicated to them in this book. While some of the names will be familiar to readers (Rachel Carson and Carol Burnett), many will stand out as new and unknown (Jovita Idar, the Grimke sisters, Yuri Kochiyama). Energy and enthusiasm pervade the text and art in this book; each woman featured gets a byline ('who reminds us to bravely claim our true identity,' 'who shows us the power of a brilliant mind,' 'who led her people with strength and courage'), a cut-paper portrait against a bright background, and a page of biographical information. The back matter is as engaging as the individual treatments, featuring '26 things you can do to be rad' and plenty of resource material."--Lesley Colabucci, associate professor at Millersville University in Pennsylvania


"Readers of various ages, from elementary school through adulthood, will find this book accessible and empowering. Miriam Klein Stahl's illustrations––bold, black paper cutouts that accompany each biography––make the book even more appealing to kids and teens. The book ends with a resource guide of other books, organizations, and websites, as well as a list of 26 things you can do to be rad. It entreats the reader to act as an ally, ask questions and make mistakes, voice her opinion, and practice zero tolerance for discrimination. Lemony Snicket describes this book as, 'a guest list for a party of my heroes.' I couldn’t agree more. Celebrate the brave, inspiring women of American history, and read Rad American Women A-Z today!"––Rachel Placchetti, Central Rappahannock Regional Library

The Baltimore Sun

"Short, powerful biographies — only a page long apiece — highlight some of the achievements of women who make us proud to be Americans. Whether their triumphs are artistic, like Maya Lin's Vietnam War Memorial, or athletic, as when Billie Jean King kicked the stuffing out of Bobby Riggs in a tennis match on live TV, or if they made their mark challenging injustice or fighting for the rights of the oppressed, all readers can find something of themselves inside this book."—Paula Willey

We Need Diverse Books

"Summer Reading Series." "If you liked Tanya Lee Stone's ALMOST ASTRONAUTS read Kate Schatz’ and Miriam Klein Stahl’s RAD AMERICAN WOMEN A-Z because both introduce young readers to fabulous, fantastic, phenomenal women!”—Terry Hong

Boston Globe

"Rad American Women A-Z is for anyone, age 8 and up, curious about American history. Author Kate Schatz and illustrator Miriam Klein Stahl, who are teachers in the Bay Area, keep things moving with 26 one-page essays and boldly graphic portraits. The women they highlight span several centuries and a multitude of professions. Among the lesser-known women are journalist Jovita Idar, who fought for the rights of Mexican children in Texas to get an education, and Hazel Scott, who in 1950 became the first African-American to host her own TV show."—Jan Gardner

Largehearted Boy

"Rad American Women A-Z is one of the most striking and important children's books I have read in years. Written by Kate Schatz and illustrated by Miriam Klein Stahl, the book shares iconic portraits of a diverse selection of strong women from America's past and present."


"Author Kate Schatz just wrote the ultimate book to inspire the next generation of young girls."

Tom Tom Magazine (UK)

"Rad American Women A-Z is a concise book with vividly colored illustrations about fearless women who all have in common a passion for fighting for what is right, educating people, and advancing society in a positive and equal way. . . . This short read will leave you feeling empowered and inspired."—Tara Thiessen

Rethinking Schools Review

"Do we really need another A to Z book? Well, yes, if it's one like Rad American Women A-Z, which introduces readers to a host of feisty 'rebels, trailblazers, and visionaries' who offer inspiration for living life with purpose and spirit. . . . The book would lend itself to a classroom mixer in which students take on different personas and introduce themselves to one another toward further research. Grades 5-8 and up."

Ohio Outlook

"Described as a book for kids—'and their parents, teachers and cool grown-up friends'—author Kate Schatz and illustrator Miriam Klein Stahl features queer heroines such as Angela Davis and Billie Jean King in just the first couple of pages, as well as trans activist Kate Bornstein and friends of the LGBT community such as Patti Smith and Carol Burnett, among others."

BookDragon: Books for the Multi-Culti Reader
May 26, 2015

"Rad American Women A-Z is the first-ever kids' title in 60 years of 'storied history' from San Francisco’s iconic bookseller/publisher City Lights. What a way to grab attention . . .  and hopefully never let go: please keep younger readers’ titles of this caliber coming and often!"—Terry Hong

Shelf Awareness
May 26, 2015

"From A for Angela Davis to Z for Zora Neale Hurston, this memorable abecedarian introduces readers to women leaders of community organizing, music, sports, writing and much more."—Jennifer M. Brown

Cent Magazine

The book is reviewed in UK's Cent Magazine book feature. "The goal of City Lights Books was to empower readers and foster independent thinking, and this beautifully compiled book, illustrated by Miriam Klein Stahl encourages positive discussion about remarkable American women."—Shannon Brien

Ms. Magazine

"The Feminist Children's Book You’ve Been Searching For. . . . Rad American Women A-Z is a book that belongs in the hands of all feminists, young and old."


"RAD American Women A-Z: Required reading for our girls. And definitely our boys. . . .  Know that you're definitely opening yourself up to the opportunity for some amazing conversations with your kids if you read RAD American Women together. Maybe even some hard conversations. Because life can be tough, and these are women who have fought for equal education, equal pay, and equal rights. They’ve stood strong against racial injustice."—Kate Eute


"Rad American Women A-Z Is Our Kind Of Alphabet."—Nikki Gloudeman

East Bay Express

"In Rad American Women A–Z, Kate Schatz and Miriam Klein Stahl offer an alphabet's worth of female role models for children and adults."—Sarah Burke


"5 Books to Watch Out For in April:  How about a children's non-fiction picture book about feminists who shaped America? Count me all in. Along with introducing amazing and diverse women like A is for Angela Davis or P is for Patti Smith, this book talks about what it means to be rad and be a radical world-changer. This might be the picture book that we all need."—Kelly Jensen

Commonsense Media

"Besides the dazzling visual presentation, what also makes Rad American Women A-Z special is the fresh selection of women profiled. It's not a fusty, dusty history book. There are women from a wide variety of fields, from sports and entertainment to politics, literature, science, law, medicine, and more—and many of them are still living. With striking art and lively, engaging storytelling, Rad American Women A-Z is both inspiring and accessible. Kids may be moved to positive action in their own communities by the list at the back titled '26 Things That You Can Do to Be Rad.' A great choice for the home library or classroom."


"If my youngest daughter ever has children, this would be the sort of thing she would take to the hospital to read to a newborn, in much the same way I read her D'Aulaire's Greek Myths! In fact, I may have to go buy multiple copies for just such gift giving purposes!"—Ms. Yingling


". . . if you want to teach your son what it means to be rad (and radical) . . .  pick them up a copy of Rad American Women A-Z."


"I don't have kids (yet!) but that pesky little details isn’t going to stop me from buying this, well, rad children’s book, Rad American Women A-Z written by Kate Schatz and illustrated by Miriam Klein Stahl, ASAP. Published by City Lights Press, the book aims to teach kids their ABCs while also getting them up to speed on some of America’s greatest female heroes. I’m especially psyched to see how diverse and perhaps a bit unexpected their choices were for each letter, giving some perhaps lesser known but totally badass women in a variety of fields their due."—Amelia McDonell-Parry

Dangerous Minds

"I've been noticing a recent (though long overdue) trend in woman-centric education tools for the tiniest of tots, but frankly, a lot of them are super lame. I don’t really  think preschoolers need to learn about Hillary Clinton, she’ll be ruling over them soon enough. They’ll get it by osmosis . . . The new alphabet book—Rad American Women A-Z—is a breath of fresh air on that front. Combining figures from the arts like Patti Smith and dancer Isadora Duncan with human rights activist Yuri Kochiyama, and the first female chief of the Cherokee Nation, Wilma Mankiller, the book goes for the deeper cuts and avoids a wholesome/boring lecture on 'foremothers'—plus, the graphics beat a princess theme any day. Considering how many times kids request the same book, I’d say it’s a good move for parental sanity."—Amber Frost

My Modern Met

"Designed to teach the ABCs from a new and creative angle, Rad American Women is making its debut on the children's literature scene. Within its colorful pages, author Kate Schatz and illustrator Miriam Klein Stahl familiarize children with the faces and accomplishments of notable American women who worked to change culture. It even includes an ode to unnamed women everywhere who are making our communities better."—Kelcee Griffis


"Best Idea Ever or BEST IDEA EVER. Why just learn your ABCs when you can be empowered by them?  A new illustrated children's book from iconic City Lights press, Rad American Women A-Z, offers kids the chance to educate themselves on women’s history and the alphabet at the same time."—Kaili Joy Gray

MTV News

"This A-Z Picture Book Is Nursery School For Feminists. It's never to early to be rad. You don't have to be a child to dig Kate Schatz’s newest picture book, Rad American Women A-Z. Nope, the love letter to amazing musicians, activists, journalists and otherwise iconic ladies has become a kind of phenomenon of late—selling out its first edition basically one week after release."—Brenna Ehrlich

Hello Giggles

"The raddest ABC picture book of women who changed history. We're obsessed with Rad American Women A-Z, the picture book for women of all ages that aims to teach us about the most badass ladies in history—from Angela Davis to Zora Neale Hurston and all the lettered ladies in between. Written by Kate Schatz and illustrated by Miriam Klein Stahl, the book is the perfect gift for the young activists in your life, and we seriously can’t get enough of it."—Gina Mei


"This new title—the first children's book from famed publisher City Lights in San Francisco, California—celebrates both famous and unsung women in American history. From Angela Davis to Patti Smith to Zora Neale Hurston, Rad American Women is a who's who of iconic female visionaries whose work still impacts us today. With this book, author-illustrator duo Kate Schatz and Miriam Klein Stahl offer your child his or her first feminist primer, promoting women's empowerment at large."—Matt Petronzio


"It is the first children's book to be published by the famed City Lights in its more than 60-year history—and with good reason. The book is an illustrated introduction to American women's history, and each letter of the alphabet corresponds to a badass woman in history."—Emi Boscamp

Bitch Reads at Powell's Books

"Ever wanted a women-centric history book to hand to a kid? Publisher City Lights/Sister Spit recently released this exciting new book that tells the stories of 26 important American women, one for each letter of the alphabet. Rad American Women A-Z features biographies of women from Angela Davis to Zora Neale Huston. Author Kate Schatz and illustrator Miriam Klein Stahl highlight a great selection of women—the group is diverse in terms of race, era, and in their field of work, ranging from scientists to writers and activists."—Sarah Mirk

School Library Journal

"Please go buy this book. Buy it for your library, your classroom, your kids, your friends' kids, your neighbors, yourself. Maybe, just to be safe, buy like 10 copies, so you have plenty to hand out for gifts. This book would make a great graduation present, a birthday present for kids of all ages, and a great gift for your adult friends, too. Can you guess that I’m kind of into this book? Because I am. "—Amanda MacGregor

Houston Chronicle book blog "Bookish"

"Omigod I want this book, now burning through social media.  Rad American Women A-Z is a hardcover primer on 26 radical feminist heroes, with cool graphic portraits and a bit of bio on everyone from Angela Davis to Zora Neale Hurston Written by Kate Schatz and illustrated by Miriam Klein Stahl, the book is published by San Francisco's City Lights, now scrambling to print more copies. It’s popular."—Maggie Galehouse

Goodnight Already (Raising the Next Generation of Flawed Humans)

"Every once in a while a children's book comes out that gives me the urge to run to my nearest bookstore and buy a dozen copies, so that I can hand one to every child in my life. When I first encountered Rad American Women A-Z,  I had precisely this urge."—Jennifer Berney

Sweatpants & Coffee
Mar 30, 2015

"For the future of our budding feminists, read this book to your kids. Read it yourself, even. It's a scant quarter inch thick, with a page for each letter of the alphabet, and beautiful woodblock prints of each rad woman."—Julia Park Tracey

Unicorn Booty

"Like Howl, Rad American Women could find itself banned or playing major role in shifting American cultural education. Either way, it stands as an important reminder of the power of language and the importance of fighting for your beliefs, no matter the odds."—Daniel Villarreal

Good Magazine

"Why just learn your ABCs when you can be empowered by them? A new illustrated children's book from iconic City Lights press, Rad American Women A-Z, offers kids the chance to educate themselves on women’s history and the alphabet at the same time."—Laura Feinstein

Mixed Diversity Reads

"Rad American Women A-Z is a truly inclusive alphabet book for all readers, and even comes with suggested activities, '26 things that you can do to be rad,' a resource guide, books about rad women, further reading, and a list of websites and organizations. Great for home use, this book is also perfect for libraries and classrooms to incorporate into diverse curriculums. Recommended: Highly, ages 5+."—Yu-Han Chao

Hip Mama

"This book is perfect for any parent seeking out herstory to add to all the history we are taught. I even learned some tactics for calling out sexism in public spaces."—Rhea St Julien

SF Examiner

"History books come in all sizes, but few include enough stories of women who have influenced American society. Those looking for more than Susan B. Anthony should look no further than  'Rad American Women A-Z: Rebels, Trailblazers, and Visionaries Who Shaped Our History … and Our Future!' written by Kate Schatz and illustrated by Miriam Klein Stahl."—Cathy Bowman

Literacy Daily

"The introduction to this abecedary asks what it means to be rad, and then explores the many ways women have been radical throughout history: from the Latin meaning 'from the root' to being something out of the ordinary. The book features a multicultural cast of women from Angela Davis to Dolores Huerta to Maya Lin and Wilma Mankiller in careers as varied as comedy, athletics, dance, aviation, ecology, and law. The 26 one-page biographies are well written, readable introductions to these women and how they made an impact on the world. The book ends with an alphabet of 26 things readers can do to be rad, and a resource guide lists books, websites, and organizations of interest to readers who want more information or who want to start making a difference now."—Linda Parsons


"Rad American Women A-Z and 14 Other Picture Books Adults Will Love Maybe Even More Than Children." "Rad American Women A-Z: Rebels, Trailblazers, and Visionaries Who Shaped Our History… and Our Future! is your typical alphabet-learning picture book, but this time, every letter of the alphabet stands for an American woman that has shaped our history and culture. We're talking people varied from Patti Smith to  Zora Neale Hurston to the Grimke Sisters. Basically, it is one badass picture book. And let’s just be upfront: I want this book, badly, and I am in no way, shape, or form, a child."—Caitlin White

Publishers Weekly

"This lively abecedary introduces 25 inspiring women and their accomplishments, from environmentalist Rachel Carson ('R is for Rachel') and rocker Patti Smith to lesser-known history-makers like Wilma Mankiller, who became the first female Chief of the Cherokee Nation, and transgender author/artist Kate Bornstein. Schatz opens with a discussion of different meanings of rad/radical ('A radical can be a person who wants to make big changes in society'), and the snappy mini-biographies that follow hit the highlights of the women's lives and legacies in an accessible, conversational tone. Bright hues provide backdrops for Stahl’s angular cut-paper portraits, which emphasize the subjects’ power, humor, and strength. The letter X 'is for the women whose names we don’t know.... For the women who aren’t in the history books, or the Halls of Fame.… The women who made huge changes and the women who made dinner.' This inspiring and diverse tribute to artists, journalists, sports phenoms, judges, and more culminates with an energizing A–Z list of '26 Things That You Can Do to Be Rad!' and a reading list to encourage further exploration. Ages 8–up."

KCET Los Angeles blog

Mike Sonksen discusses Rad American Women A-Z in the L.A. Letters column. "This week L.A. Letters highlights this important book and adds a few more names to the 26 movers and shakers featured in its pages."

A Book and a Hug

"This book is perfect for schoolwork or for pleasure and is geared towards  middle and older readers who are just starting to learn about history  and activism. For those who want to learn more, the author has included a list of resources. Additionally, a Common Core curriculum has already been developed to accompany the book in the classroom. Good for reluctant readers."—Molly Crumbley, Librarian

Blog by Kara Newhouse

"Rad American Women A-Z: A Perfect Read for Women's History Month"—Kara Newhouse

Blog by Kara Newhouse

Kara Newhouse interviews author Kate Schatz in her blog Exploring Social Change in Kid Lit interview and review. 

Teen Vogue

"The History of Feminism—in an Awesome Picture Book. The ABCs just got a major girl-power upgrade."—Chantal Strasburger

Huffington Post Parents

"Rad American Women A-Z Is The Empowering Book Both Girls And Boys Need."—Caroline Bolgona


"I've noticed a trend of children loving, LOVING, books with characters that shake things up. Who can blame them for envying radicals, when kids they spend their own days entirely dictated by others? All of the radical women within these pages fit the bill, each bringing a different set of values that kids can connect with, whether it’s revolution, or resistance. Discipline or family."—Rachael Inciarte

San Jose Mercury News

"San Francisco's own City Lights turns 60 this year, and for the first time in the treasured publishing house's history, it has produced a book for kids. Alameda-based Kate Schatz has assembled an 'A' list of American women who worked to make the world a better place, and she ingeniously presents them in alphabet book form. With bold illustrations by Berkeley's Miriam Klein Stahl, the book introduces 26 'rad' women, beginning with activist Angela Davis and ending with Zora Neale Hurston. In between, we meet Rachel Carson, Billie Jean King, Patti Smith, Sonia Sotomayor and others. Every kid should have a copy."—Georgia Rowe, San Jose Mercury News

Baltimore Gay Life

"Rad American Women A-Z will ignite elaborate conversations with the little ones who read it, and that alone is enough reason to add it the bookshelves of the children in your life."—Anthony Moll, Baltimore Gay Life

San Francisco Chronicle
Feb 19, 2015

"March is Women's History Month. Just in time is this alphabetical pantheon of American women. The qualifier in the title is 'rad,' short for 'radical' and defined at the outset as a person who wants big changes or something very different, or as slang for 'cool.' From Angela Davis to Zora Neal Hurston, 26 women get their due with a mini bio and a hip portrait. Emphasis is on obstacles and accomplishments, the women’s missteps not included. Alphabet books impose an artificial constraint, in this case one letter, one woman. How to choose? Maya Lin over Margaret Sanger (M).  Sonia Sotomayor over Susan B. Anthony (S). Tough calls. As locals, the publisher, author and illustrator share a Left Coast appreciation for their heroines — rebels, trailblazers and visionaries who might inspire kids to action in their own communities."—Susan Faust

Misadventures Magazine
Feb 17, 2015

"From Angela Davis to Zora Neale Hurston, the sto­ries are enlight­en­ing, sur­pris­ing, and mov­ing, and the voice that tells them is sharp. . . . It's a his­tory and a how-to that reminds us how much our fore­moth­ers did for us and how much still needs be done."—Zoe Balaconis


"Accompanied by brightly colored illustrations, this would be a fantastic book to use in the classroom for Women's History Month. Since the entries are short, teachers could read one a day. What a great book for #WeNeedDiverseBooks."— Karen Yingling, Goodreads Librarian with over 2000 reviews

Book Riot

"There might be something more exciting than an illustrated alphabet of American heroines both famous and unsung, but I'm not sure what that thing would be. Created with children (and their parents, teachers, and interested adults) in mind, this book features one important woman for each letter of the alphabet in a one-page biography. It’s a marvelous, simple idea executed beautifully."—Rebecca Joines Schinsky

Weird Sister

"Moms and dads everywhere, take note. Indoctrinating your wee ones into your feminist girl gang just got a little easier. This illustrated book teaches kids (and adults) the A, B, Cs of American feminist history with vivid illustrations by Miriam Klein Stahl. A is for Angela Davis, B is for Billie Jean King, C is for Carol Burnett, and so on & so on, be still my beating heart."—Marisa Crawford

Foreword Reviews, Spring 2015:

"Angela Davis. Billie Jean King. Carol Burnett. The first three women in this fantastic ABC book set the tone for what's to come: visionary, bold, diverse role models for an array of children today. Each page, with a modern illustration, a brief biography, and an uplifting overview of her accomplishments, will inspire young world-changers both in social studies classrooms and at home. Ages eight and up."

Kirkus Reviews

"Rousing tributes to 26 women who didn't keep their heads or voices down. Reserving 'X' for 'the women whose names we don't know,' Schatz presents an unusually diverse gallery of activists. Along with the predictable likes of the Grimke sisters, Billie Jean King and Zora Neale Hurston, it includes Patti Smith, blacklisted musical prodigy Hazel Scott, Mexican-American journalist Jovita Idar and transgender performance artist Kate Bornstein. Furthermore, the author extends her definition of 'radical' beyond the arenas of politics and social causes to include Florence Griffith-Joyner ('Who showed us how to run like a girl'), Rachel Carson, Temple Grandin and Dr. Virginia Apgar (developer of the Apgar Score for newborns). . . . A ‘rad' alternative to less-inclusive albums, such as Cynthia Chin-Lee, Megan Halsey and Sean Addy's Amelia to Zora (2005). (Collective biography. 11-14)"

School Library Journal

"Colorful and hip portraitures create a visual sensation that immediately draws in readers. Profiled are 26 American women from the 18th through 21st centuries, who have made—or are still making—history as artists, writers, teachers, lawyers, or athletes. The women come from a variety of economic and ethnic backgrounds and many had to overcome extreme hardships.  One woman represents each alphabetical letter beginning with Angela Davis, an activist, teacher, and writer, and concludes with Zora Neale Hurston, an anthropologist and writer. Readers will also encounter Carol Burnett, the Grimke Sisters, Lucy Parsons, Rachel Carson, and Sonia Sotomayor, among others. Interestingly, the letter X is designated for the women, 'we haven't learned about yet, and the women whose stories we will never read.' The book's conclusion challenges readers to be strong and to make a difference in their own communities and suggests 26 things that students can do to be rad. VERDICT Classes across the curriculum can utilize this informative book."—Patricia Ann Owens

- School Library Journal, February issue

Yahoo News
Feb 5, 2015

"This is the only alphabet where A stands for Angela Davis and Z stands for Zora Neale Hurston —and you haven't learned it, yet. Writer Kate Schatz  and artist Miriam Klein Stahl  have radical ambitions to amplify your vocabulary of women’s history with their new children’s picture book, Rad American Women A-Z.  Schatz and Stahl are hoping to teach young boys and girls—and their mothers, fathers, caregivers, siblings, and teachers—about strong women who have made waves and inspired change. The thoughtfully compiled group of women spans the spectrum in terms of ethnicity, industry of work, age, and era—but all were essential contributors to American history."—Noel Duan

Bitch Magazine
Feb 3, 2015

"Ever wanted a women-centric history book to hand to a kid? This March, publisher City Lights/Sister Spit is releasing an exciting new book that tells the stories of 26 important American women, one for each letter of the alphabet. Rad American Women  features  biographies of women from Angela Davis to Zora Neale Huston. Author Kate Schatz and illustrator Miriam Klein Stahl highlight a great selection of women—the group is diverse in terms of race, era, and in their field of work, ranging from scientists to writers and activists."—Sarah Mirk