Today marks and celebrates the centenary of the first wave of women in the UK being given the right to vote. After years of toil, violence, campaigning, and protesting on 6th February 1918 the women of Britain were offered their first real glimmer of equality. And they’ve continued to fight for better ever since.
In the past few years, there has been a fantastic rise in children’s books dedicated to and celebrating powerful, history-changing women with many of these books focusing on the lives of the incredible women of the suffrage movements. Things a Bright Girl Can Do by Sally Nicholls, The Princess and the Suffragette by Holly Webb, and Make More Noise a collection of 10 short stories by the likes of Emma Carroll and Katherine Woodfine, are just a few of the brilliant books on offer for young readers looking to learn more about this turbulent time in history.
Our very own celebration of these women comes from the award-winning and best-selling author Linda Newbery. A moving and powerful book, Until We Win tells the story of Lizzie an ordinary young women desperate for change, who finds the hope that she urgently needs in the voices and actions of the protesting Suffragettes. Lizzie goes to extremes to make her voice heard and Linda perfectly captures the often fraught and dangerous lives that the Suffragettes led.
“I’ve often wondered what it would have been like to be a girl or a young woman at the time of the Votes for Women campaign. Wouldn’t you be full of indignation at the unfair situation? Wouldn’t you be determined that things must change? What would you do – would you march, write letters, protest? Would you break the law, like Lizzie in my story, and gladly go to prison? One thing was certain: these campaigners were never going to give in until they’d won the right to vote – never. That’s what gave my story its title.
I hope Until We Win is more than a story set a hundred years ago. It’s a story about demanding change and standing up for what you believe in. Lizzie’s fight may have been won, but there’s still plenty to campaign for in an unfair world – equality, environmental protection, animal welfare.
What changes do you want to see?”
To help you get into the spirit and celebrate the fearless woman of a century ago, you can read the first chapter of Until We Win below: