Photo Credit: Penguin Books NZ

Go Girl: A Storybook of Epic NZ Women by Barbara Else features 48 real-life awesome New Zealand girls and women, including astronomer Beatrice Tinsley, activist Whina Cooper, writer Margaret Mahy and spy Nancy Wake. Each story is paired with a beautiful full-page portrait drawn by amazing women illustrators. 

Go Girl focuses on female achievement. Else writes of many different types of success, with the clear message for children that success can be measured in a whole variety of ways. She states: “She might stun the world; she might make only a few people proud and happy. She might keep her bravery to herself. True heroes just want to do their best at whatever it happens to be.” 

This is a book which will inspire conversations. Written in a fun, short-story style, each biography is quick and easy to read – perfect for bedtime reading. It is also a great way to learn about New Zealand history, regardless of where you are in the world! After the story of Merata Mita, you could talk about the occupation of Bastion Point, or after Te Puea Herangi, you could learn about the Tainui land confiscation. The earliest story is that of Ahumai Te Paerata, a brave warrior during the New Zealand Wars, but there are many recent achievers including swimmer Sophie Pascoe, choreographer and dancer Parris Goebel, golf pro Lydia Ko and pop-star Lorde. 

Go Girl shows the generosity and bravery of many New Zealand women, including the country’s first female GP, Margaret Cruickshank, who gave her life for her community by over-working during the 1918 influenza epidemic; Lisa King, whose business Eat My Lunch, has given thousands of free lunches to school pupils; and the country’s first woman MP, Elizabeth McCombs, who campaigned for the rights of women and the unemployed. 

Designed to inspire children to have the confidence to follow their own paths, Go Girl is aimed at children aged 7+ but is also perfect for anyone who enjoys reading fun stories about amazing girls and women. 

With beautiful endpapers, gorgeous illustrations and epic storytelling, this is not a book to be missed. 

-Rosalie Elliffe
Junior Girl
Girl Museum Inc.

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