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America’s Most Badass Women, Now In Alphabet Book Form

With all due respect to Amelia Earhart and Eleanor Roosevelt, the “Cool American Women” chapter of most history textbooks is a bit stale. If you’re the kind of guy who encourages his daughter to turn a Lego Friends juice bar into a flame-throwing mega-bot — or if you want to teach your son what it means to be rad (and radical) — get thee to a local Amazon pick them up a copy of Rad American Women A-Z.

The book covers the alphabet by swapping out Apples and Zebras for Angelas and Zoras — as in political activist Angela Davis and author Zora Neale Hurston. In between, you’ll find short profiles of women spanning multiple generations and professions, as well as a diverse swath of racial and ethnic backgrounds and sexual orientations. The whole thing puts traditional textbooks to shame with vivid wood block-style illustrations that look like they came from a 50s-era, Soviet superhero comic (if Carol Burnett was a Soviet superhero).

Rad American Women will give your kids an appreciation for the traditionally less-heralded role that women have played in our nation’s history — this might be the first thing you could call a “Herstory Book” with a straight face.

Hazel Scott was a musician and entertainer who was the first African American with her own TV show. The Hazel Scott Show was a variety show that premiered in 1950, 14 years before the Civil Rights Act and 39 years before The Arsenio Hall Show.

A proto-punk poet and queen of the downtown New York City scene in the 70s, Smith served as a muse for men who failed to ever become her artistic equal.

The first hispanic judge on the Supreme Court, Sotomayor brings a voice for minorities to an institution long dominated by old white guys.