Author(s): Pénélope Bagieu
Throughout history and across the globe, one characteristic connects the daring women of Brazen their indomitable spirit.
With her characteristic wit and dazzling drawings, celebrated graphic novelist Penelope Bagieu profiles the lives of these feisty female role models, some world famous, some little known. From Nellie Bly to Mae Jemison or Josephine Baker to Naziq al-Abid, the stories in this comic biography are sure to inspire the next generation of rebel ladies.
This title has Common Core connections.
From bearded ladies and obstinate lovers to volcanologists and Syrian activists, Brazen features twenty nine women from around the world and throughout history who just "brazenly" did what they wanted with their lives. Mostly women who are less well-known (Queen Nzinga of Ndongo and Matamba, Sonita Alizadeh, Frances Glessner Lee), although there are some you may have heard of before (Josephine Baker, Hedy Lamarr), these stories are important and inspiring. Brazen is like Good Night Stories for much older Rebel Girls.
Originally published for Le Monde as Les Culottées (you can read many of the original strips here in French), Bagieu's graphic style is flowing and often spare, yet manages to convey so much; this is a graphic novel that can act. And it's very very funny. And it's heartbreaking. But beyond that, it will leave you feeling triumphant as women rock the world by winning the Nobel Peace Prize, by opening grocery stores, and by refusing to live life by the rules of the day even after death.
Not shying away from the complex realities of life (you'll find murder, rape and domestic violence in here), this is more suited to teenagers up but can definitely be read by anyone mature enough to handle it. It is seriously good and you should read it.
"Bagieu's writing is clever and concise and panels brim with sly subtleties; Bagieu delivers laugh-out-loud one-liners in bitsy speech bubbles and summons tragedy with no words at all, and her fine-lined figures are by turns playfully expressive, fierce, and reverent. This dynamic paean to women's flair for fierce resistance will have readers happily sifting through history - and tackling the future with renewed verve. Rock on, ladies." -- Booklist * Booklist *
"Bagieu delivers a piece de resistance that succinctly summarizes the obstacles and victories of these daring women. Insightful and clever ... this serves as a reminder that the hardships women face today have been shared - and overcome - by many others." -- Kirkus * Kirkus *
"Story collections about famous women often include figures like Joan of Arc and Florence Nightingale. Bagieu goes further afield, creating short graphic biographies about inspiring women from many unexpected times and places. Bagieu's writing is sly and understated, and her panels combine impish comedy with unexpected moments of sensuousness. Any one of these stories would make a rousing picture book biography; 29 of them in one volume produces a work whose energy and wit will spur readers to get going and change the world." -- Publishers Weekly * Publishers Weekly *
"Brazen is a colorful look into the fascinating lives of twenty-nine determined, iconoclastic women who were bold visionaries. It features both world-famous and little-known women throughout history." * Voya *
"A strikingly original collective biography for casual readers, students, and those looking for inspiration in their own lives." * School Library Journal *
Penelope Bagieu was born in Paris in 1982 to Corsican and Basque parents. She is a bestselling graphic novel author, and her editorial illustrations have appeared all over the French media. In America, her graphic novels include Exquisite Corpse and California Dreamin'. She blogs, plays drums in a rock band, and watches lots of nature shows.