2018 is a particularly interesting year, it marks 100 years since the Representation of the People Act 1918 which gave women the vote for the first time. Although equality of suffrage wasn’t achieved till 1928, this was a landmark achievement for the suffragette movement. In recognition of the centenary, Nosy Crow have brought together a fabulous collection of female authors who have each written a brand new story celebrating strong, female characters. The title inspired by the very words of Emmeline Pankhurst, leader of the British suffragette movement, ‘You have to make more noise than anybody else,’ promises a lively and compelling read and delivers brilliantly. Featuring stories from Emma Carroll, Kiran Millwood Hargrave, Ally Kennen, Catherine Johnson, Patrice Lawrence, M.G. Leonard, Sally Nicholls, Ella Risbridger, Jeanne Willis and Katherine Woodfine prepare to be inspired and entertained by this glorious book.
Whilst I genuinely enjoyed every story in this collection, I just wanted to share a few with you that really resonated with me personally. I adored the setting of Emma Carroll’s L’etters From the Lighthouse‘ so was delighted when she transported me back to WW2 in ‘The Otter Path,’ which gives us another glimpse into the lives of children’s experiences during the war. She weaves the historical reality of the shortage of men and the introduction of land girls seamlessly into a tale filled with empathy and understanding. We unexpectedly find out how easy it is to make assumptions about people and judge them without actually knowing anything about them. M.G. Leonard’s ‘The Bug Hunters’ is made more powerful as it was inspired by the true story of a girl who was bullied for her love of insects. It shows how challenging it can be to be a girl in the world who doesn’t conform to others expectations of them and celebrates those who dare to be different.
Kiran Millwood Hargrave brings her gift for beautiful, haunting storytelling to the exquisite, ‘The Green-Hearted Girl’ a modern fairy tale about a world that has been flooded by the sea of a witch’s tears. A brave girl Alba, is fascinated by the idea that people had lived their lives differently before the flood and she wants to build bridges between tribes of people separated physically and emotionally by fear and distrust. Katherine Woodfine’s ‘Tea and Jam’ captures brilliantly the inconsistency of how certain members of society privately treated different women within in, whilst proclaiming publicly that they wanted to promote women’s rights to votes and freedoms. Without wishing to spoil it Eveline’s frustrations at being kept ‘in her place’ are magnificently expressed. And finally having loved Sally Nicholls’s ‘Things A Bright Girl Can Do’ I’m delighted that she features in this anthology with ‘Out For the Count.’ Based on a little-known story of the census night in 1911 when women across the country took up the cause in protest at being counted, when they didn’t feel they counted as individuals.
This is a book that I want everyone to go out and read or buy from a bookshop or borrow from a library and then to press it into the hands of everyone they know. It’s an absolute joy to read and needs to be in every school library, I love this celebration with its incredible stories #VotesForWomen
Thank you to Nosy Crow for sending me copy of this brilliant book, ‘Make More Noise’ is available to buy online or from any good bookshop.
£1 from the sale of each book will go directly to the charity Camfed, an international charity which tackles poverty and inequality by supporting women’s education in the developing world.