Alice Across America: The Story of the First Women’s Cross-Country Road Trip (Sarah Glenn Marsh)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Alice Across America: The Story of the First Women’s Cross-Country Road Trip, written by Sarah Glenn Marsh and illustrated by Gilbert Ford.

From when Alice Ramsey was a little girl, she loved to go fast. Graduating from horses to the relatively-new invention of automobiles in her adulthood, she surprised many by becoming a skilled driver and racer, eventually being approached by an auto manufacturer. They had an offer: drive across the United States in one of their cars, to show that they were so easy to operate, “even a lady could do it”. Alice agreed, bringing three friends along for the nearly-4000 mile journey. Using mostly-unpaved roads and pathways in a vehicle lacking all modern convenience, the four girls rattled from New York to San Francisco over the course of two months, learning how to solve problems, whether storms, and rely on each other to keep the little car going.

Interesting! Alice’s story is certainly one I wasn’t aware of and, despite it’s mildly sexist impetus, was a pretty exciting tale of female fortitude, ingenuity, and friendship. Each spread gives an account of challenges the four ladies faced along the way, from broken or overheated parts, flooded rivers, bedbug-ridden hotels, and escaped criminals, making the reader feel like they are right beside the women on their exciting journey. Alice herself is portrayed as level-headed and no-nonsense, and she makes for a strong central figure. The folk-art style illustrations capture the scenic drive from city to mountains to redwoods forests beautifully, though the human characters occasionally sport unusual features or facial expressions. The length would be best for elementary-aged bookworms, but JJ enjoyed the ride. A warm and enjoyable girl-power tale, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

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