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.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Chapter 1: Reaching High on Tippy-Toes
Chapter 2: Leaping into the Future
Chapter 3: Running on Her Own
Chapter 4: Speaking Up Courageously
Chapter 5: Working Extra Hard
Chapter 6: The First, Not the Last
How You Can Persist
Reaching High on Tippy-Toes
When Margaret Chase was a little girl, no one would have thought to ask what she wanted to be when she grew up. In those days, it didn’t much matter what a girl wanted
to be, because there were very real limits on what she could
be. She was supposed to get married to a man and be a mother. And if she had to work outside the home to make money, there were very few jobs for which she would be hired—maybe a maid or a teacher or a waitress or a store clerk. Women weren’t expected to be much else, and more than that, they weren’t supposed to want
much else. Women weren’t expected to have ambition—goals or dreams that they could work hard to make happen.
But from the start, Margaret had ambition: she wanted to build her own future in her own way.
Copyright © 2021 by Ruby Shamir 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.