McCully, Emily Arnold Ida M. Tarbell : The Woman Who Challenged Big Business -- and Won!, 288 pgs. Clarion Books, 2014. $18.99. Language: G (0 swears); Violence: G; Mature Content: G. NON FICTION
Ida Tarbell was one of the first investigative reporters, and the only woman of her time in this career. She chose magazine writing over marriage and family in a day when career wasn’t really available to women. She disagreed with the suffragettes and the robber barons. She wrote for McClure Magazine and dug up a lot of dirt on John D. Rockefeller and Standard Oil, and was one of the first to be called a muckraker (though she hated that name). Biographer, researcher, writer and woman before her time, Ida crossed gender barriers to achieve her dreams.
I cannot tell you how much I hated reading this book. I kept hoping it would get exciting, or interesting. She had many famous friends in her social circle, Alexander Graham Bell, Mark Twain, Willa Cather, - - some anecdotes about them would have picked up the story considerably, but the passing name drop only teased my hope, and dropped it flat. This contains far too much text for a YA reader. Dry and difficult - - full of archaic vocabulary, and extremely slow. More like a textbook than a page turner, the index, source notes, bibliography and photography show the intense amount of research and preparation, but it didn’t pan out in the book. Sorry, not for my middle school library. HS - - No Lisa Librarian