Ten Days a Madwoman: The Daring Life and Turbulent Times of the Original “Girl” Reporter, Nellie Bly

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Ten Days a Madwoman: The Daring Life and Turbulent Times of the Original “Girl” Reporter, Nellie Bly

Written By: Deborah Noyes

Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers (February 23, 2016)

MG Nonfiction

Borrowed from the Chicago Public Library as a Cybils nominee

Nellie Bly could have invented the term “girl power,” and she owned a monkey. What more could you ask for in a biography? She was very definitely ahead of her time.

 I think if I lived back then I would have liked her very much. She was the kind of person that figured out how to get what she wanted out of life. She went off to New York in 1887 on her own and managed to become primarily the first female investigative reporter ever. In those days journalism was strictly for males except fashion and society type columns. She volunteered to go undercover and be committed to the insane asylum for her first story. I found it strange that the expose is in the title of this book as that is only one part of her story. I guess the publisher thought that is the story she is most known for?

I was entertained by her trip around the world and the fact that she brought just one carry-on bag. I’d say she would be in the running for the first minimalist as well. I think it spoke to her independent spirit that she purchased a pet monkey on that trip as well.

My only complaint was that the sidebars didn’t have good flow and they jumped around in time which could get confusing for the reader.

 I read Libertarians on the Prairie: Laura Ingalls Wilder, Rose Wilder Lane, and the Making of the Little House Books a few months ago and was struck by the similarities between Rose and Pinkie Cochran (as Nellie was known a child).

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