Book review by Aarene Storms - Brazen: rebel ladies who rocked the world by Pénélope Bagieu

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Brazen: rebel ladies who rocked the world by Pénélope Bagieu

Some names may be familiar: Mae Jamison (astronaut), Margaret Hamilton (actress), Tove Jansson (author/artist), Temple Grandin (scientist, advocate for animals and autism).

Other names are not-so-familiar: Adnodice (ancient gynecologist), Lozen (warrior/shaman), Frances Glessner Lee (crime miniaturist).

What they all have in common: each of the women profiled accomplished what she wanted most.

Some women (Josephine Baker, dancer, social activist, spy) flaunted society’s norms in order to live the life she chose. 

Others (Leymah Gbowee, social worker) rose above terrible circumstances to change the world. 

Still others (Clémentine Delait, bearded lady) used their own intelligence to create a life of freedom.

The stories of 29 free thinkers who changed the world are told in brisk, expressive, snarky cartoons. Some cussing, violence, blood, death, sexual situations and (cartoon) nudity, politics, science, and art.

Highly recommended for independent thinkers, ages 14 to adult.

Aarene Storms is a librarian who reads and reviews books for all ages. She can be reached at


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