A modern girl is nothing without her squad of besties. But don’t let all the hashtags fool you: the #girlsquad goes back a long, long time. In this hilarious and heartfelt book, geek girl Sam Maggs takes you on a tour of some of history’s most famous female BFFs.
When a surprise package landed on my doorstep and I opened it up to find this book, my raging feminist heart was delighted. Despite not having a Girl Squad myself (insert tears) I can still be obsessed with them. I am so happy to see that in 2018, girls are bigging up their female friends. More and more films are focussing on female friendships rather than assuming putting two women in a room together will result in a jealousy fuelled catfight. This book is a celebration of the women throughout history who have worked together to pave the way for our generation. We learn about women who overcame the odds and not just because of their gender but because of their race. We meet Sharon and Shirley Firth, Indigenous twin sisters who became Olympic skiers. Anne Bonny and Mary Read, the iconic female pirates (insert me crying over Assassin’s Creed Black Flag) and The Edinburgh Seven, a group of seven who became the first women to be admitted into medical school in the 19th century. Other than a couple of stories I was aware of, most of the book featured women who I’ve never heard of which is both sad and exciting.
The book is split into sections based on women in Athlete Squads, Political and Activist Squads, Warrior Squads, Scientist Squads and Artist Squads and each new chapter will feature amazing artwork by Jenn Woodall. I especially loved hearing about the real life Amazons, a Royal Regiment in the African Kingdom of Dahomey consisting only of women. It is through historical documents that these stories have been told and as you can probably guess, a lot of them were destroyed or just omitted the women’s names completely.
Ultimately, it is through books like this that we keep the women alive. Women, who without realising it, have made so many things possible for us. They faced discrimination, abuse and constantly had to prove themselves worthy. This book doesn’t just celebrate women but more importantly, celebrates us working together, supporting each other, loving each other, inspiring confidence in each other. I am grateful for learning their names and their history in this little book. I’d definitely recommend reading it, whether you read it in one go or come back and read a different story each time. You’ll also find yourself researching more about them and Googling the images Sam Maggs mentions. This is truly the type of history I want to learn.
Lots of Love,