Friday, April 29, 2022

Review: Bernice Sandler and the Fight for Title IX by Jen Barton

Today's read sweeps back into the late 1960's and takes a look at a woman's fight against discrimination in the educational world. I'll admit that I didn't really know much about Title IX before I picked this book up. Nor do I remember hearing about Bernice Sandler. But that's what makes reading so wonderful, since I can now fill this knowledge gap. Considering this is written with the teen audience in mind, I'm also curious how the information has been delivered to them.

Ready to learn something (or refresh your memories)?  Oh, and this one is hitting the shelves next week, so you won't have to wait long.

by Jen Barton
Illustrated by Sarah Green
Magination Press
YA History
160 pages

MAY 3rd!!!

In 1969 Bernice Sandler was finishing her doctorate in Education at the University of Maryland, teaching part-time at the university, and trying to secure a full-time position. Despite her excellent credentials, it became clear she wasn't even being considered. But why? she wondered.

"Let's face it," a male colleague said, "you come on too strong for a woman."

Those fateful words brought sex discrimination home for Sandler. Facing it herself, front and center in her own workplace, meant she could no longer be ambivalent about women's rights. She could no longer buy the media coverage of feminists as "man-hating," "abrasive," and "unfeminine." But what could she do? Sandler soon discovered that none of the obvious laws prohibiting discrimination covered sex discrimination in education. Sandler's work led to the passage of Title IX--making it illegal, once and for all, for a federally funded institution to discriminate against someone based on their sex, including in education. This had a profound effect for women in the workplace, in school, and in sports.

Bernice Sandler and the Fight for Title IX that drives home the message that it doesn't take a person with power to make a difference. More often, it takes determination. When confronted with injustice, regular people can effect change. Also includes extensive backmatter about How To Be an Activist written in partnership with Know Your IX, a survivor- and youth-led project of Advocates for Youth that aims to empower students to end sexual and dating violence in their schools.



While taking a glance at the life and work of Bernice Sandler surrounding Title IX and the fight against discrimination, this book goes beyond that and offers ideas to stimulate more thought.

The style is informative and, yet, causal enough to keep 'heavy' reading at bay. It begins where Bernice Sandler's problems with discrimination truly began (or when she really noticed what was happening) and builds from there with only light touches on her childhood and earlier years as needed. Only those important moments are visited, which really mattered in her fight or realizations, and that also kept this from bogging down with facts, which break away from the main theme. It's easy to read, simple to understand, and pointed to make sure the reader doesn't grow bored.

And this is so much more than the history of Bernice Sandler and Title IX. There are sections, which give deeper explanations to help the reader understand the background or effect on modern situations. There are suggestions on how the reader can conduct their own interviews, research, social observations, writing Congress, and so on...all of which are encouraged to hit whatever topic or direction the reader sees fit. It simply tries to teach the process and encourage thought. There are also definitions, examples to help understand historical settings, and so much more. The history of Bernice Sandler doesn't really take up even half of the pages.

The author makes it clear how broad reaching Title IX is and explains how it is still a very modern topic, influencing many aspects of society today...which addresses current events as well. This does expand into the areas of sexual harassment and the LGBTQ community, explaining how they influence and are influenced by Title IX.

While this works well as a book, for those wanting to discover more about the topic, it also invites to be used in groups or as an extra addition to discussions.

And here she is...

Jen Barton is the author of six books for kids, including What's Your Story, Amelia Earhart? (Lerner Classroom), What's Your Story, Harriet Tubman? (Lerner Classroom), and School Shootings (BrightPoint Press). Jen lives in Pennsylvania. Visit Sage Carson is a gender justice advocate of Know Your IX (KYIX), a youth-led project of Advocates for Youth that aims to empower students to end sexual and dating violence in their schools. Sage is based in Washington, DC. Sarah Green is an illustrator and designer from San Francisco and a graduate of Rhode Island School of Design. Sarah lives in San Francisco, California, and Vancouver, Canada. Visit, @s_green_bean on Twitter, and @sarahgreenstudio on Instagram.

No comments: