Fashion Rebels: Style Icons Who Changed the World Through Fashion by Carlyn Cerniglia Beccia (2016)

A celebration of women throughout history who had confidence in themselves and used style to make a difference.

Recommended grade level: 4 and up

Pages:  176 (for ISBN 9781582704876)

Genre(s) and keywords: nonfiction, reluctant readers

Tone/Style: informational, celebratory

Pace: fast

Topics: fashion, politics, celebrities, women’s rights

Themes: self-expression, confidence, being oneself

Summary: Throughout time, daring women have made fashion choices that have altered the course of history. From Marie Antoinette, who wore a hairstyle as large as her presence, to Coco Chanel, who imagined a world without rib crushing corsets and heavy gowns, to Katharine Hepburn, who walked around the studio in her underwear when studio executives refused to let her wear her then-scandalous jeans, these women were mavericks as well as rebellious icons.

Their fashion choices mirrored and redefined what it meant to be a woman in their era. They didn’t follow trends or cultural conventions, but instead set the course with their own style. Meet the Rebels whose brave and inventive fashion choices paved the way for female empowerment. (Source)

Who will like this book?: The gorgeous layout and illustrations will make it immensely appealing to visual learners. Short segments (about 5 minutes each) on various women should be helpful to reluctant readers, who can take small bites and still be learning a lot. Fashion-lovers will appreciate this book, and so will anyone seeking empowering messages about the inherent strength in traditionally feminine realms.

Who won’t like this book?: You have to have at least some interest in fashion to enjoy this book (though the history, politics, and big-sister-type wisdom woven in leave some other interesting parts for those who are iffy on fashion). The fashionistas are all women, so non-women may feel left out.

Other comments: According to the quiz, my style is a combination of Ellen DeGeneres and Cleopatra.  I think that translates to, “You like to dress comfy and boss people around.”

Sequel(s):

Readalikes: Bad Girls of Fashion: Style Rebels From Cleopatra to Lady Gaga by Jennifer Croll is a similar title released around the same time as this one. Readers seeking inspirations for their own style can try The Book of Styling: An Insider’s Guide to Creating Your Own Look by Somer Flaherty and Bloom: A Girl’s Guide to Growing Up Gorgeous by Carmindy. There is also a lot of fun fiction relating to fashion and beauty, such as My Life in Pink and Green by Lisa Greenwald, Geek Girl by Holly Smale, and The Allegra Biscotti Collection by Olivia Bennett

-Kylie Peters

Image: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28954234-fashion-rebels

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