Bad Girls: Sirens, Jezebels, Murderesses, Thieves and Other Female Villains Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2018-11-01 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 3 user ratings

"I would have given this a 3.5, because the summation of the Bad Girls was well done and the illustrations were lovely. But the authors - a mother daughter team - inserted a comic panel of themselves "discussing" the relative badness of each girl after every story, and not only were the panels jarring and lacking, they failed at what I believe the goal was - to get readers thinking about relativity. Halfway through the book I started skipping those panels and I found the experience much more pleasant (and actually MORE thought-provoking!)" said.

"This is a horrible book that portrays women in a bad light. Not only is it badly written the authors go out of their way to make these women seem bad for the stupidest reason which in many cases is historically incorrect. This was another book I picked to read with my daughter thinking it will be nice to introduce her to females from history. According to the author Jezebel was bad because she was spoiled, was different, and made bad choices. Elisabeth Bathory murdered people because she was vain and bored and to make her worse she practiced witchcraft and magic not any magic but black magic. This book is a joke and I regret getting it!" said.

"The summaries of each "bad girl" in the book were awesomely written, and Guay's portraits of each were exquisite. I was less thrilled about the didactic and corny comics of the authors discussing the women's relative guilt. I think the ideas they presented were great, I just didn't understand the need to put it in graphic format. We're they afraid that young readers would be put off if those thoughts were in essay form? Great summation of those ideas at the end - in a thoughtful essay at that. Also, awesome bibliography, but then, Yolen is a professional! Can't wait to read more about the women they introduced. Maybe they'll write Bad Girls II but skip the cheesy comics." said.

"I think maybe I wanted a little more from this... but then I studied women's history in college and this is a book for tweens, so maybe that's unreasonable. I think it's a great little intro to some famous (and not-so-famous) women of history, as well as to the concept that there are multiple perspectives on historical figures. And that people, especially women, maybe have been operating within a limited framework when they made their options.

I also liked the comic versions of Jane Yolen and her daughter/co-author talking about each "bad girl" and making their own judgement. It feels cute and behind-the-scenes-y, and shows healthy disagreements.
" said.

"This book wasn't what I expected! First of all, it's a nice book, aesthetically. It's got shiny pages and pretty pictures (Rebecca Guay's art, as always, is stunning). Every section is about a separate 'bad girl' from history, and after the two or three page sections there's a one page comic of the authors (mother and daughter!) discussing whether they think the girl is 'bad' or 'good'. It's cute. The book has big print and is targeted probably towards a middle school audience. My major problem with the book is that the focus is so heavy on western women. Every single person is white except Cleopatra and Tituba. I mean, they're awesome ladies! I like this book! But it would have gotten four or five stars if they included some great Asian, African, Latin American, Native American, etc etc women in it as well." said.

"Bad Girls: Sirens, Jezebels, Murderesses, and Other Female Villains is a wonderful book written my Yolen and her daughter. They tell the tales of women in history that are considered villains. You determine if they had cause for what they did or did they really commit a heinous crime. Villians range from Jezebel, Ma Barker, Bonnie Clyde, Bloody Mary, and Virginia Hill to name a few. Some of the crimes committed where horrible and were not glamorized in the story. It is an account of what history can tell us.
This book is perfect for reluctant readers and I can't wait to share this with my class when school starts. I love that this is several short stories of villainess women, and that each has a short comic page of the two authors discussing between them what was said. One taking the view of evil and the other questioning. A wonderful read for middle schoolers.
" said.

"Infamous women from history: are they bad, or just not adhering to the social mores of their times? This is the question that Jane Yolen and her daughter ask about a variety of women through history. Some are well known (Cleopatra, Typhoid Mary) and some are rather obscure (Popova?), but all get a nice short treatment and interesting illustrations. I think that students interested in graphic novel treatments of nonfiction will be drawn to this, but I think they will be disappointed that the interior graphics are devoted mainly to discussions between the two writers about whether the women were bad or misunderstood. The comic strip format covers Yolen and Stemple as they shop for shoes, go to a spa, go to a conference and book store, etc. That part was really odd, and I didn't care much for it. While I like the idea of discussing whether or not the women covered were really bad, it could have been done in a more effective way.

" said.

"This was a fun and interesting book about rebellious women of history and legend. The cast of characters is a motley crew of women who have make their presence known by breaking many rules and perhaps not a small number of bones. I think Yolen and Stemple do a great job of introducing readers to some important and wacky (and terrifying) historical figures, and to the processes of researching, writing and collaboration.

My main issue with the book was the comics that came after each chapter. Sometimes the shtick in these sections got heavy-handed -- I found them to be very repetitive and a bit condescending toward their intended audience. I think perhaps the authors were trying a little too hard to keep to their chosen recipe of humor and reflection and it felt over-produced and hemmed in. I doubt their YA audience would have minded more authentic, in-depth reflections. I did enjoy some of the comic-book banter of the mother-daughter team. It's great that they address the process of writing together and the question of badness versus boldness versus people in dire straights just trying to make it in the world. But, these sections were very guarded and not so engaging.
" said.

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