Yesterday, I finished Secret Suffragette by Barbara Mitchelhill. The title caught my eye because my younger girls and I had done a hugely successful suffragette unit study whilst in the middle of a larger Edwardian Unit. The suffragettes captured our interest and we dug much deeper than I had first planned.
Why Am I Reading Children’s Books?!
In my big goal of reading 100 books in 2023, I want to try and read some children’s books. There are many reasons for this. The main one is that I feel I did not read widely as a child. I read copious number of books but they were all by the same author. And eventually my mother had to talk to my primary school teacher to wean me off them! I have made up for lost time by reading aloud to my five children but the reality is that they are all voracious readers now and tend to read for themselves. So I miss out!
Another reason I want to include children’s books is so that I can recommend historical fiction to go along with some of my unit studies. Secret Suffragette falls into this category.
What is Secret Suffragette About?
Secret Suffragette is book about a struggling family at the beginning of the 1900s. Following an accident involving Daisy’s father, the family had needed to move to a smaller home in a less desirable neighbourhood. In addition to Daisy, her parents have three other children – a six year old daughter and twin baby sons. All six of them share the same bedroom in their tiny dwelling, with the older four sharing the same bed. The girls help out as much as they can whilst both their mother and father work long hours at the local factory. They often go without food during the day.
Life gets even more difficult when Daisy and her mum find out about the suffragettes promising a better life for all. Unfortunately most men, including Daisy’s father, and the majority of woman, hate the suffragettes. Daisy and her mum come under fire for their beliefs that there might be a better life than the one they are currently living.
Daisy becomes a secret suffragette and helps out all where she can without her dad knowing. But when her mum is caught and put in prison, how will their family and friends react? Is this the end of life as Daisy knows it? Or is a better life just round the corner?
What I thought of Secret Suffragette
Firstly, this is a great stand alone book. Regardless of whether the reader has any interest at all in the history of the time or the people who lived then, this is just a really good book. Add to that the vivid descriptions of how life was for those who were poor during the Edwardian period in Great Britain, the well known historical figures such as Florence Nightingale and Emmeline Pankhurst (to name just two) and the reality of life as a member of the female race and you have a top notch homeschool book.
This book would have been absolutely perfect to go along with our suffragettes unit study or in deed our Edwardian unit study. It is rich with historical information, particularly the living conditions and desperations of the poor.
I really recommend Secret Suffragette, particularly as a go along historical reader. It is an easy read for independent readers but is also interesting enough to be read out loud to any age group. All my children would have enjoyed this book. There is also and handy dandy discussion guide to go along with the book!
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