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Mary Wears What She Wants
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Mary Wears What She Wants

4.44  ·  Rating details ·  132 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Inspired by the true story of Mary Edwards Walker, a trailblazing doctor who bucked the gender expectations of her time, this is a fresh, charming picture book about a young girl who decides to wear what she wants: pants!

Once upon a time (but not too long ago), girls only wore dresses.

And only boys wore pants.

Until one day, a young girl named Mary had a bold idea: She woul
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Hardcover, 48 pages
Published January 15th 2019 by Balzer + Bray
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4.44  · 
Rating details
 ·  132 ratings  ·  27 reviews


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Laura Harrison
Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
2019 is already beginning with some pretty amazing picture book biographies. Mary Wears Want She Wants is one of them. Well written, entertaining and with some eye popping, creative and beautiful illustrations. I love it!
Elizabeth
Jan 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love the woman this book is about. She is the definition of a feminist, and the fact that she stood her ground is amazing. Even more impressive, she graduated from medical school and became a surgeon, then still fought for women's rights to vote! She just may be my new idol.
Kristina Jean Lareau
A delightfully imaginative and entertaining mini-bio of Mary Walker, the woman who wore pants. Not only is the text concise, the use of color and white space is expertly illustrated. An informative author's note gives more info about Mary Walker's life. Truly a delightful book.
Annalisa
Jan 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: eb
This book tells the story of Mary Edwards Walker, a woman who, aside from her various accomplishments, elected to wear pants at a time when it was unheard of and even illegal. I loved this book! I didn't feel like it was trying too hard to sell a message. I liked that the text was simple yet very honest. Though the book is based on a true historical figure, it has a bit of a fantastical feel. This is partly because of the graphic, striking illustrations that use bright pinks and drab blues. Part ...more
Megan - Alohamora Open a Book
"Mary didn't understand why everyone cared so much about what she wore.
They've never seen a girl wearing pants before, said her father. Sometimes people get scared of what they don't understand."

"I'm not wearing boys' clothes. I'm wearing MY clothes!"

A fantastic story based on Mary Edwards Walker. Mary Walker lived in the 19th century. She wore pants, arrested for doing so, became a doctor, and a surgeon in the Civil War. She was most definitely an activist for women and fighting "social norm
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Briony
Jan 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children
This is loosely based on Mary Edwards Walker. Walker was a trailblazer by wearing pants instead of dresses, attending medical school, volunteering as an army surgeon during the Civil War, and so much more.

Mary Wears What She Wants is a standout in the field of picture books breaking gender stereotypes. While Mary breaks social protocol by wearing pants, she also experiences social backlash and doubts her decision. However, her decision ultimately paves the way for other girls in her class to we
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Erin
Feb 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
unique illustrations. lots of pink. simply drawn but faces have lots of expressions. 1-3 sentences per page. easy for preschool storytime, class visit grades k-2 but sometimes it might be a bit hard for a large group to see the expressions on characters. good message.
based on true story with note about the real Mary at the end. includes and black and white photo of her wearing an elegnat suit. she wore pants, graduated medical school, was a surgeon in civil war, won a Congressional Medal of Hon
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Emily
The illustrations are bright and beautiful, and I like that Mary is based off of a real person: Mary Walker, one of the first women to wear pants. It teaches to stand up for what you believe in, even when facing adversity. I do wish the story didn't imply that pants are better than dresses. Instead, the lesson ought to be that you don't have to wear dresses if you don't want to, nor pants for that matter.
Melanie
Young Mary hates wearing dresses all of the time. It's so restricting! She can't bend over to pet her cat or play on the playground with the boys. One day she decides to wear pants to school. This causes such an uproar that Mary isn't sure she made the right choice. Her father helps her understand that she must do what's right for her. Thus, the pants-wearing continues!

Fantastic picture book bio of Mary Edwards Walker!
Brooklyn Cribdon (Kemp)
Jan 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is such a fantastic non-fic picturebook!! The artwork is simple yet gorgeous and uses a lovely colour pallet. The story is fun, engaging, and inspiring, and I feel like it would start an awesome conversation if read in a group like storytime or a classroom. I also appreciate the back matter that shares the story of the real Mary ;)
Andrew
Dec 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This picture book is the true story of Mary Walker, who shocked the world by wearing... pants!?! Back in the mid-1800s, this was unheard of, and it made many people upset! That didn't stop her, though, and in doing so, helped defy the notion that all girls and women must wear dresses-- and reminds us all to wear what we feel comfortable in.
Jillian Heise
I wish there was a bit more of the back matter info incorporated into the actual story, as it seemed to lack a bit of depth - I wondered as I was reading if this was a fictional story or that of a real person. But I liked the idea of telling Mary Edwards Walker's story, though was surprised it was a male author telling it.
Sam
Jan 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loosely based on Mary Walker's life. Girl chooses to wear pants and wins her right to do so.
Alyson
Feb 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture
A great story about being yourself despite the odds, and it's based on an actual historical figure! Could be great in storytime.
Pam  Page
Feb 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Arrested for wearing pants! Mary Walker was a brave woman who paved the way for women today. Thank heavens...I can't imagine not wearing pants!
Rita
I loved this book! Plus, I hated dresses growing up so I could totally relate! Thank goodness for Mary paving the way!
Mr. George
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I am different and folks find it hard to accept that I am different. This book is beautiful and rings true with me. Well done.
Cecilia Rodriguez
Jan 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
The color illustrations are cheerful and funny. The story addresses gender identity based on clothing.
Inspired by Mary Edward Walker
Emma (Miss Print)
Oct 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Would have liked a little more backmatter about the real Mary Negley. And I admit it's a little weird to me that the author is a man. BUT I think it's fun, it's timely, and the artwork is stunning.
Raven Black
Jan 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Not sure I like the illustrations,but is an interesting way to do them. The tone of them does mute the seriousness of the subject. A nice fiction biography
Maggie Mattmiller
Jan 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Love the simple text and pictures, but they pack a punch! Also love the true story (but still understandable) in the back!
Edward Sullivan
Jan 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A charming, uplifting story inspired by the life of Mary Edwards Walker, a trailblazing doctor who bucked the gender expectations of her time.
Yevgenia Nayberg
Dec 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love Keith Negley’s work, everything he does is bound to be amazing!
Julia Bennett
Feb 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is motivational for kids to be themselves, and do what they feel is right even when others stare or make comments about what they do. It challenges gender norms - girls only wear dresses, like pink things and that boys only wear pants and like blue. It’s a story based on a real life person, and they are introduced at the end of the book as the inspiration for writing it.
Earl
Jan 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
It's so crazy that women were forbidden to wear pants. I was so fascinated to learn about her that I checked out another picture book to see more of what she did in her life!
Dreaday
Aug 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
“I was so glad to see this! Mary Edwards Walker was ARRESTED FOR WEARING PANTS. How cool is it that?! I didn’t know about her, and now I want everyone to know about her. Books that challenge societal norms and give young kids the opportunity for critical thinking in a method this easily digestible are fantastic, and this book is a GEM.”
Debbra
rated it it was amazing
Feb 03, 2019
Beth
rated it liked it
Feb 04, 2019
Kelly Gamache
rated it it was amazing
Feb 07, 2019
Jenny Abbott
rated it it was amazing
Feb 09, 2019
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Keith's work has appeared on book covers, children's books, t-shirts, album covers, posters, skateboard decks, and even a watch. He is a frequent contributor to The New York Times and New Yorker in addition to many other national publications. He received his BFA from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design in 2000, and his MFA from The School of Visual Arts in New York City in 2013 and doesn’t ...more
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