BOOK NAME: Wheels of Change
AUTHOR: Sue Macy
As I read Wheels of Change, the newest book from National Geographic, it really started moving the wheels in my mind. This book takes you through how the bicycle began a chain of events in which women and the general public came to realize that women’s rights, freedoms and expectations were in need of change.
The book starts with a basic history of the bicycle itself with many intriguing facts, images, and short biographies of ladies who led the way. A woman riding a bike back in the late 1800s wasn’t that big of a deal, but when they wanted to become competitive, they realized that the long skirts had to go. Many felt that if women got to wear pants or divided skirts, the whole social system would collapse. Maybe women would even compete with men! In fact, in a race in which a woman challenged a man-she won! This behavior was considered scandalous at that time.
The bicycle aroused wide-spread thinking about women’s rights and their place in society. It opened the way for actions toward equality and women eventually gaining the right to vote. The new freedom that the bicycle gave them opened up the way for different kinds of thinking, a sort of symbol of independence.
I would recommend this book to older readers due to the vocabulary and the topic itself. This book lends itself to have you think about women as activists and their place in society. A pretty heavy topic, but told in an attractive, easy to follow format.
And yes, a big change started with something as simple as a bicycle!