Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World

Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World by Pénélope Bagieu

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Received: Distributor
Published: March 2018
Publisher: First Second
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Graphic Novel, Biography, Feminism, Coming of Age, Art, Science, History


Throughout history and across the globe, one characteristic connects the daring women of Brazen: their indomitable spirit. Against overwhelming adversity, these remarkable women raised their voices and changed history. With her one-of-a-kind wit and dazzling drawings, celebrated graphic novelist Pénélope 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.


If you care about feminism and innovation at all, I urge you to read this one of a kind graphic biography ASAP.

Do not deny your mind a much needed introduction to glorious women who have helped change the world for the better in a many unforgettable ways.

Although there are thirty short biographies, including the author’s, I was only familiar with Josephine Baker and Peggy Guggenheim and even then I learned information about them that I never stumbled across in the past.

This means that this was a surprising read for me. I was indeed expecting to sleep a little more educated tonight, but I dreaded that the reading experience would feel disconnected, since so many women are featured. But all of these women having something in common: they persisted and challenged both society and themselves. Their stories then intertwine in beautiful ways while remaining unique.

It both motivated me to follow my own dreams and made me angry for all these women because of all they had to overcome in order to even get to the starting line of their dreams, let alone the finish line. None of them were treated with the respect they deserved, and all of them were judged, lied to, undermined and underestimated. And yet, they didn’t just… give up on their dreams and callings.

This is a necessary read.


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