How Women Took the Wheel and Drove Boldly into the Twentieth Century

By: Sue Macy

Published: February 7, 2017

Publisher: National Geographic Society


In the late 1800’s, what began as horseless carriages or motor cars that held a driver and maybe one passenger with them exposed to the elements has led to over 130 years later having various types of vehicles on the road. Many of those early motor car inventors and salesmen would be shocked today to see the millions of women behind the wheel cars, trucks, and even semis. Motor cars began as steam or gas powered engines, but quickly also added electric cars. But, as people wanted to make longer trips, electric cars became more and more impractical. As things sometimes do, the electric cars have made a comeback and are a viable option for car owners today.

In MOTOR GIRLS, your child will be fascinated by the styles of cars, lack of laws for drivers, the bias in advertising against women, and how there were even manners of etiquette related to drivers and passengers of cars. I found so much of the information in this book to be new to me and became quite interested in it. I think about it often when I am driving now, how far women and the car industry have come in these last 100 plus years. During the same time women were trying to get the right to vote, they were also told they were incapable, too weak, or it wasn’t ladylike for a woman to drive a car. Thank goodness for the women who got behind the wheel anyway and drove across the country, came up with the original idea of what we know as windshield wipers today, or proved they could race cars just as good as men.

This book includes profiles of women integral to the history of automobiles, numerous photos of cars from many generations, and fascinating articles teaching the progression of cars and driving through the years. The author makes this history lesson full of twists and turns and fun antidotes to keep kids and adults learning something new on every page.

Danica Patrick, a race car driver, offers the foreword, and her contribution to women and cars is also quite interesting. What a powerful message for young girls to show they can have an impact on the world whether it is behind the scenes or in the trenches. Finish up Women’s History Month by reading this book with your daughter!

Sue Macy – source

This is Sue Macy’s sixth book for National Geographic. She is a graduate of Princeton University. Macy lives in New Jersey. This book continues her story from the book WHEELS OF CHANGE: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom which was a finalist for the YALSA’s 2012 Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Award. For more on Macy, visit her website, HERE.

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I will be linking up this review on Booking Mama’s regular Saturday feature, Kid Konnection. This is a place for bloggers to share posts related to children’s and YA books. You will find spotlights, reviews, and sometimes even giveaways by clicking HERE, every Saturday.

Thanks to the publisher for providing a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. This review is my honest opinion. If you choose to purchase this book through the above link, I may receive a small commission without you having to pay a cent more for your purchase. Thanks for supporting 

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