Reviews for Outrageous Women of Ancient Times

Booklist Monthly Selections - #1 November 1997
Gr. 4^-7. Children will probably be familiar with Cleopatra from their history or literature studies. They may also have heard of Sappho. But few will have run across the names of the valiant Trung sisters from Vietnam or heard of Locusta, who "did a rip-roaring business in poisonings for hire." Leon introduces 15 mostly estimable women from ancient European, African, and Asian cultures, who excelled in endeavors ranging from art and sport to politics and war. Although the profiles aren't penetrating (Leon notes that facts about some of the women are sparse), they are informative and colorful and are amplified by interesting historical and cultural sidelights. The author's use of contemporary language and references ("a girl from the boondocks"; "Cleo" for Cleopatra) seems somewhat incongruous, but it may be very attractive to kids who think reading about history will be boring and couldn't possibly be related to their own lives. Time line; suggested readings. ((Reviewed November 1, 1997)) Copyright 2000 Booklist Reviews

School Library Journal Reviews 1997 December
Gr 5 Up León has a unique talent for making the politics, wars, religious practices, and educational ideals of ancient civilizations understandable and interesting to modern young people. She says of a widely celebrated ancient celebrity, "Her merchandising would have made Michael Jordan jealous." Discussing grooming and style in the Middle East in 800 B.C., the author reports, "No bad hair days in old Assyria." This casual tone does not compromise the splendor and import of the subject matter, however. Outrageous subjects include warriors, philosophers, empresses, artists, and professional poisoners, among others. They lived from 2300 B.C. to A.D. 200 in Asia, Europe, and Africa. Readers will enjoy their exciting stories and may be surprised and pleased to learn how much is known about people who lived so long ago. Impressive list for further reading, whimsical illustrations. Rebecca O'Connell, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Copyright 1998 School Library Journal Reviews