1. How did you come to the story of Barbara Rose Johns?
I learned about Barbara Johns while reading Richard Kluger’s Simple Justice. I was taken by the story of this teenage girl who stood up against injustice and inequality in a time when doing so was dangerous.
2. What made Barbara a strong girl?
Barbara Johns was completely fearless. She did what she thought was right, even if it put her in personal danger.
She was a creative problem solver. She came up with a solution to the problem of inequality in her community — a creative solution that worked, but not in the way she expected. Through her actions, she helped change the laws in the entire United States.
3. Finish this sentence, strong girls______.
Strong girls often don’t get the credit they deserve because they are girls.
4. What are you working on next?
A biography of the extraordinary Susanna Wright, a woman who lived on the American frontier. In an era when women had political power only through the men in their lives, she became a prominent citizen in her own right: She was a friend and advisor to Benjamin Franklin and other leaders, an unofficial magistrate, a horticulturist, a renown poet, and pioneer of feminism.