Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World

Posted March 29, 2018 by shooting in Book Review / 18 Comments

Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World by Pénélope Bagieu

Review by Lauren

source: copy from the publisher; all opinions are my own

Official Summary (add to Goodreads)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 Bakerto Naziq al-Abid, the stories in this comic biography are sure to inspire the next generation of rebel ladies.

Review: March is Women’s History Month, so I’ve been trying to read some nonfiction books that focus on feminism and amazing women in history. While March might be coming to a close, expect more of these reviews in the coming months! Today, however, I’m here to share the new graphic novel book Brazen, by the awesome Pénélope Bagieu, who I’ve read previous graphic novels from.

To be honest, I don’t know that much about famous women of history, and I want to change this. Therefore, I can’t say if you’d know all of these women or not – I definitely recognized many of them. Regardless, I think the comic medium makes this a must-read even if you already know some of these stories. Some of the women’s stories are longer than others, but they all start the same way, talking about when that particular person was born. From there, the important information about their childhood – and then life – is shared, allowing you to understand just why these women should still be known today.

All the illustrations are colorful and easy on the eye; I think Pénélope Bagieu is a fantastic artist. One of the things that I really loved is that there is a two-page illustration at the end of every little “comic.” This depicts a specific scene from their story – that wasn’t already included in the comic – and it’s just a wonderful addition. I love how bright and colorful the scenes are, allowing you to really see the various details, since everything is a bit larger. Plus, there is no dialogue or description, so it’s just the picture.

Now, you want to know some of the women included, right?
Nellie Bly, Journalist

Las Mariposas – Rebel Sisters (I had never heard of these sisters but they are so brave!)

Agnodice – Gynecologist (Another woman I had never heard of but her story is wonderful)

Nellie Bly – Journalist (I had heard of Nellie but I didn’t know much about her, but I’d love to learn even more now)

Frances Glessner Lee – Crime Miniaturist (I had never heard of this woman, but her mini crime scenes are fascinating)


Obviously there are many more women featured in this graphic novel, so please do check it out for yourself!

Do you know any of the women mentioned above? Do you have a favorite woman in history?

18 responses to “Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World

  1. What a neat book! Thank you so much for sharing–is this all ages? Bryan has a niece who’s about 7 years old and this might be a great book for her. Thanks for this, Lauren!

    • shooting

      I’d check it out in person if you can – that way you can kind of flip through and check. I think it would be fine for any age, but some of the stories are a bit “tougher” so to speak than others.

  2. I absolutely love these types of read a Lauren, ever since picking up Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls. It’s inspirational to be able to read about the history of these incredible women who each day and pushing against that glass ceiling. I must grab a copy of this one, brilliant review Lauren! <3 <3

  3. I always love to learn about celebrated women of history. Girl power is important and these women helped to shape our world into what it is today. Everyone should know that. It’s great you enjoyed this graphic novel! Happy Easter!

    Ronnie @ Paradise Found recently posted: Weekend Wrap-up #3
  4. This sounds so awesome!!!! I would LOVE to see more books about women in history. And written in graphic novel format? Brilliant! Definitely could draw in a YA audience and possibly, maybe, dare I say, educate? 😀 At least get a reader interested in finding out more. Bravo review!!

  5. Liz

    Sounds like a great book! I’ve heard of a few of these women but not all. The graphic novel format seems like this would be a fun and quick read 🙂 I’ll have to check it out!

  6. Jen

    A crime miniaturist?! I didn’t know such a thing existed. Mini crimes scenes sounds pretty cool, but might have freaked people out a little back then. Definitely a good addition to the list then 🙂

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