A Reflection on Our Right to Vote: A Review of Good Girls Don’t Make History

Good Girls Don’t Make History 
Created by Elizabeth Kiehner and Keith Olwell 
Written by Elizabeth Kiehner and Kara Coyle 
Illustration/design by Micaela Dawn and Mary Sanche 
Wide Eyed Editions 
August 31, 2021 
Ages 12-18 
This nonfiction graphic novel delves into the path towards women’s suffrage in the United States. The timeline begins with the 1840 World Anti-Slavery Conference and stretches into today, with interspersed scenes taking place in the present day. Modern voters are shown reflecting on the hardships that others endured in order to secure the right to vote that many take for granted. Per its foreword, the book aims to shed a light on events that are not generally taught in the American school system. Kiehner and Coyle succeed in expanding the picture, focusing on figures who pre-date the most well-known members of the women’s suffrage movement. They open the story with Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, who were key to starting the women’s suffrage movement before the Civil War era. 

The artwork places great emphasis on the faces and expressions of the historical figures it depicts, with their features instantly recognizable. Simple backgrounds draw attention to said historical figures, with each panel highlighting the gravity of the depicted historical events. The panels are arranged in a variety of ways, with two-page spreads emulating newspapers scattered throughout the book. A wide array of colors is used, though the colors of the scenes set in the past are noticeably more muted. While there are not traditional chapters, a full-page illustration of an important figure, accompanied by a quote, divide the book into sections. Each shift to a new time period includes the date, along with the names of the figures central to the events being depicted. Beyond the text indicating settings, the text is exclusively dialogue, which serves to drive the story forward. Good Girls Don’t Make History depicts the long journey to women’s suffrage in a way that is easy to follow, meeting its goal of highlighting lesser-known advocates of women’s rights.