Two intrepid librarians

Two intrepid librarians review the best nonfiction books for children

Monday, June 19, 2023

The Women Who Built Hollywood by Susan Goldman Rubin

The Women Who Built Hollywood: 12 Trailblazers in Front Of and Behind the Camera
Susan Goldman Rubin

Calkins Creek. An Imprint of Astra Books for Young Readers. 2023

From 1900 until 1920’s, the movie industry was new and possibilities for women to be directors, screen writers, performers, costume designers, stunt performers, and owners of their own companies was wide open. 

Nonfiction writer, Susan Goldman Rubin, traces the careers of 12 influential women who blazed a trail for other female filmmakers: Mary Pickford, Lillian Gish, Frances Marion, Louise Beavers, Fredi Washington, Hattie McDaniel, Marion Wong, Anna My Wong, Dorothy Arzner, Margaret Booth, Clare West, Helen Holmes.

They were among the firsts in their fields and did everything from acting, writing and directing, to performing their own stunts. 

Each entry is a brief biography of each woman that highlights their careers. The writing is interesting and engaging. Accompanying each entry are black & white photos that are well-captioned.

Rubin delves into the challenges the women faced, such as sexism, racism, and prejudice. These 12 trailblazers were not afraid to speak out and have their voices heard. 

Included is an afterword, author’s note, bibliography, source notes, and index. There is also a listing of where to see early Hollywood films. 

A great read for those seeking short biographies or a perfect introduction to some of classic silent movies. For all ages.

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