Author: Barb Rosenstock
Illustrator: Scott Dawson
Concepts: careers, jobs, discrimination, economics of gender, budget constraints.
Review: As the first woman elected to the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, Louise Smith enjoyed nothing more than stock car racing. In fact, Louise started driving in the early 1900s at the ripe age of seven when she hopped behind the wheel of her father's car and pushed the car as fast as it would go. Unfortunately she had not asked how to stop, so a chicken coop ended that ride. As a young adult, Louise tried a number of different jobs, but none appealed to her as much as racing. She wound up traveling across the country in this sport, with little safety equipment for protection and plenty of risk of crashing and earning next to nothing.
Told with a touch of humor and engaging illustrations, this biographical children's book shines a spotlight on a female trailblazer who children may not know much about. Key to the narrative is an important economics lessons about women breaking into non-traditional occupations. Parents may want to hide the car keys for a while so their children don't sneak behind the wheel like Louise did during her fateful first drive.
Review by: The Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children