What's in it?

50 thoroughly-researched stories of history's most badass moms from all around the world, most of whom you've never heard of. Each entry has a page of illustration and a page or three of text.

What age group is this good for?

Short answer: 12 and up. Younger readers could enjoy most of it, but you'd probably want to read it with them.

Long answer: There's harsh material at the very end, but every entry has content warnings and a maturity level. In terms of US movie ratings, it's probably 35% PG, 60% PG-13, 5% R. This isn't a book to censor history or try to put a pretty spin on things, but it also doesn't get explicit regularly or without reason. Some of the most harrowing entries are online, to help you gauge how bad it gets: check out Tamar of Georgia, Kate Leigh and Tilly Devine, and Ranavalona I.

Who's in the book?

The full table of contents is available below - click here to jump to it. Many chapters are available for you to preview!

How Can I Get a Copy?

Option 1: Get a signed copy with dust jacket!

You can get a signed copy by preordering from Book Soup! By doing this, you get a signed book and a special alternate cover foil-stamped dust jacket!

Option 2: Get the Premium Bundle!

You can get all of the above, plus a personalized sketch, enamel pin, set of stickers, and bookmark for just a few dollars more by preordering the Premium Bundle from Book Soup!

Option 3: Preorder wherever!

First off, it'll be available at bookstores everywhere, so support your local bookstore!

Failing that, it's also totally available for order online. Click any of the icons below:

Harper-Collins
Barnes & Noble
Books-A-Million
IndieBound

Here's some of the entries in the book. Click through to read them.

(keep an eye out for these icons, showing content posted online that didn't make the final cut for the book)

Cut Content: Cut content that couldn't make it into the main entry.     Art Notes: Art notes that couldn't make it into the book.

Intellectuals

Sor Juana Inés de La Cruz: The Phoenix of Mexico

This brilliant poet rose from illegitimacy and poverty to become one of the luminaries of her age - until she flew too close to the sun.

Sutematsu Oyama: Japan's First College-Educated Woman

The first Japanese woman to go to college didn't have a choice. But the experience changed her - and she changed Japan in return.

Zelia Nuttall: The Queen of Mexican Archaeology

This single mom developed the field of Mexican archaeology, while fiercely protecting it from the sleazy and opportunistic.

Matrons of Steel

Isabel Godin des Odonais: The Woman Who Lived

To reunite with her husband, she went on a months-long trek through the jungle -- and was the only survivor.

Rebecca Lukens: Iron-Willed 1820s CEO

First her father died. Then her sons. Then her husband. Pregnant, saddled with debt, a failing company, and an overbearing mother, Rebecca Lukens rolled up her sleeves and showed the world what she was made of: iron.

Freydís Eiríksdóttir: Sword-Wielding Pregnant Viking

When attacked by Native Americans, this pregnant viking bared her chest, brandished a sword, and took them on by herself. And she won.

Conquering Queens

Isabella of France: The She-Wolf of France Art Notes

After years of neglect and abuse from her husband, this queen raised an army and took over England for herself.

Masako Hojo: The Nun Shogun Art Notes

When her shogun husband cheated on her, she raised an army and destroyed the other woman's house. Later she deposed her incompetent son to become the first nun to rule Japan.

Tamar of Georgia: Holy Righteous King of Georgia

Saint, sovereign, and fiercely independent woman, she quashed two rebellions from her ex-husband, expanded her nation's borders, and ushered in a golden age.

Rebel Spirits

Naziq al-Abid: The Sword of Damascus

She traded a life of privilege for one spent fighting for justice on both literal and political battlefields so tirelessly that even exiling her five times couldn't keep her down.

Ida Laura Pfeiffer: The Travelogue Queen

Starting her travels at 45 years old, this globetrotter became a worldwide sensation for going boldly where no woman had gone before.

The Mirabal Sisters: The Sisters Who Toppled a Dictatorship

When a cruel dictator ruined this Dominican Republic family, these sisters gave their lives to end his.

Wicked Ladies

Kate Leigh and Tilly Devine: The Queens of the Sydney Underworld

America had Al Capone. Sydney had Kate Leigh and Tilly Devine - who *hated* each other.

Jeanne de Clisson: The Lioness of Brittany Art Notes

When her husband was unjustly executed, this French noblewoman-turned-pirate became the terror of France.

Ranavalona I: The Female Caligula

This brutal sovereign's reign saw her outlaw clapping, pioneer death by feet-kissing, and design giant weaponized scissors - but are we only getting one side of the story...?

Mothers of Countries

The Rest of the Book

Sutematsu Oyama

The first Japanese woman to go to college didn't have a choice. But the experience changed her - and she changed Japan in return.

Soraya Tarzi

1920s Afghanistan was a progressive and rapidly-modernizing country in large part to the most powerful, empathic, and maligned queen it had ever seen.

Amanirenas

When Rome set its eyes on her country, this one-eyed queen fought them tooth and nail, until they left her alone.

Kate Leigh and Tilly Devine

America had Al Capone. Sydney had Kate Leigh and Tilly Devine - who *hated* each other.

Jeanne de Clisson

When her husband was unjustly executed, this French noblewoman-turned-pirate became the terror of France.

Sor Juana Inés de La Cruz

This brilliant poet rose from illegitimacy and poverty to become one of the luminaries of her age - until she flew too close to the sun.

The Mirabal Sisters

When a cruel dictator ruined this Dominican Republic family, these sisters gave their lives to end his.

Isabel Godin des Odonais

To reunite with her husband, she went on a months-long trek through the jungle -- and was the only survivor.

Freydís Eiríksdóttir

When attacked by Native Americans, this pregnant viking bared her chest, brandished a sword, and took them on by herself. And she won.

Rebecca Lukens

First her father died. Then her sons. Then her husband. Pregnant, saddled with debt, a failing company, and an overbearing mother, Rebecca Lukens rolled up her sleeves and showed the world what she was made of: iron.

Ida Laura Pfeiffer

Starting her travels at 45 years old, this globetrotter became a worldwide sensation for going boldly where no woman had gone before.

Zelia Nuttall

This single mom developed the field of Mexican archaeology, while fiercely protecting it from the sleazy and opportunistic.

Tamar of Georgia

Saint, sovereign, and fiercely independent woman, she quashed two rebellions from her ex-husband, expanded her nation's borders, and ushered in a golden age.

Masako Hojo

When her shogun husband cheated on her, she raised an army and destroyed the other woman's house. Later she deposed her incompetent son to become the first nun to rule Japan.

Ranavalona I

This brutal sovereign's reign saw her outlaw clapping, pioneer death by feet-kissing, and design giant weaponized scissors - but are we only getting one side of the story...?

Naziq al-Abid

She traded a life of privilege for one spent fighting for justice on both literal and political battlefields so tirelessly that even exiling her five times couldn't keep her down.

Vera Peters

When she was told to "go do women's work" after upstaging the medical community in her treatment of Hodgkin's disease, Dr. Vera Peters revolutionized breast cancer treatment through years of painstaking, meticulous work.

Velu Nachiyar

With a dead husband and a hostile foreign country on her hands, this Indian queen did the unthinkable - turned her loyal servants into some of the first suicide bombers in recorded history.

Trinidad Tecson

Turned into a revolutionary in middle age, this mother became one of the Philippines most heralded women.

Te Ao-Kapurangi

Abducted from her tribe, this Maori woman managed to save her kinsmen and stop a war - by straddling a roof and cramming the house underneath.

Susan la Flesche Picotte

The first Native American medical doctor endured back-breaking labor, years spent alone, and institutional racism to better the lives of her people.

Sojourner Truth

When her kid was stolen from her, this ex-slave successfully sued to get him back; she then went on to become a forceful speaker for abolition across the United States.

Savitribai Phule

In fighting the bias of the caste system to spread education, this woman brought knowledge to girls across India.

Sacajawea

One of the most famous women in American history, this hyper-capable Shoshone woman walked across America with a baby strapped to her back, in order to map it.

Sister Rosetta Tharpe

The godmother of rock and roll, this black bisexual singer fused gospel and pop to blaze her own way across the Jim Crow-era south.

Pailadzo Captanian

After escaping the Armenian Genocide (by walking across the Syrian desert while pregnant), this woman went back into Armenia to rescue her sons, then made her way to America -- where she invented the recipe for Rice-a-Roni.

Olympias of Macedon

The much-maligned woman fought tooth and nail to position her son, Alexander, to become "the Great" - and herself in the process.

Mother Jones (Mary Harris Jones)

This leader of the labor movement suffered imprisonment, defamation, and untold misery to battle against forces that most of us just take for granted.

Mother Lu

When a government magistrate unjustly killed her son, this unassuming middle-aged wife spent years raising an army to topple that same government.

Molly Craig

The daughter of an aboriginal woman and a white man, her race led her to be kidnapped by the Australian government - only for her to escape and walk across the continent to get home... twice.

Marsha P. Johnson

This cheery godmother of trans civil rights masked a dark past of abuse.

Marie Equi

Once upon a time, there was a lesbian Wild West abortion doctor. She once horsewhipped a guy in the face and was tossed in San Quentin Prison for sedition. To the surprise of no one, she lived in Portland.

Madam C.J. Walker

America's ostensible first female self-made millionaire was a black beauty magnate who did it all for her daughter.

Mandukhai Khatun

Destined to be a mere political pawn, this Mongol queen rode into battle while pregnant, united the warring tribes, and was considered to be the second coming of Genghis Khan.

Labotsibeni Gwamile LaMdluli

When her husband inadvertently sold the country to colonial forces, this queen spent the rest of her life getting it back.

Man-deok Kim

When famine hit Jeju island, where she'd been exiled since birth, this prostitute-turned-businesswoman spent her fortune to feed everyone.

Juana Azurduy de Padilla

This revolutionary (and mother of five) should have been the namesake of Bolivia - and that's the opinion of Simon Bolivar, the actual namesake of Bolivia!

Jigonhsaseh

This Native American clan mother brought together 5 tribes under the Haudenosaunee Confederacy - and helped make the document that inspired the United States Constitution.

Irena Sendler

This Polish nurse sacrificed her safety, her marriage, her very family to save 2500 Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto during the Holocaust.

Ilona Zrinyi

When her rebel husband was imprisoned, she continued the movement - by holding a castle under siege for three long, lonely years.

Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti

Through years of unrelenting protest, this Nigerian teacher felled a king, won women the right to vote, and taught all of Africa how to protest.

Fannie Lou Hamer

This uneducated, impoverished activist suffered unbelievable abuse in her journey to be able to vote -- but that did not stop her.

Cut Nyak Dhien

When her (second) rebel husband was killed, this heroine of Indonesian revolution took over the fight against the Dutch.

Carolina Maria de Jesus

Brash, funny, and difficult, this mother of three wrote her way out of extreme poverty with her uncompromising look at Brazilian society - and was alternately lauded and berated for it.

Benazir Bhutto

The exiled daughter of a deposed ruler, she could have been a fairytale bridge between worlds - but fairy tales are not real. Benazir, whose name means "without flaw," was anything but.

Bella Abzug

Loud, proud, uncompromising: this bold politician helped bring about Title IX, the Freedom of Information Act, and the Equal Rights Amendment - as well as much more.

Arwa al-Sulayhi

The greatest ruler of Yemeni history, she defeated her numerous foes to usher the country into its golden age.

Angela Jimenez

Tomboy, daughter, spy, soldier, foster mom, innkeeper, gold miner, nurse, activist; veteran: Angela Jimenez doesn't need a movie so much as a mini-series.

Ada Blackjack

The lone survivor of an ill-fated scientific expedition, this Inuit woman persevered for two years on a remote arctic island in order to get money to treat her ill son.
Has Web Preview Book-Only Entries

All of these have illustrations and stories just like the ones above - but you can only see them in the book!

(keep an eye out for these icons, showing content posted online that didn't make the final cut for the book)

Cut Content: Cut content that couldn't make it into the main entry.     Art Notes: Art notes that couldn't make it into the book.

  1. Ada Blackjack (1898-1983)

    The lone survivor of an ill-fated scientific expedition, this Inuit woman persevered for two years on a remote arctic island in order to get money to treat her ill son.

  2. Angela Jimenez (1896-1982) Art Notes

    Tomboy, daughter, spy, soldier, foster mom, innkeeper, gold miner, nurse, activist; veteran: Angela Jimenez doesn't need a movie so much as a mini-series.

  3. Arwa al-Sulayhi (c.1048-1131)

    The greatest ruler of Yemeni history, she defeated her numerous foes to usher the country into its golden age.

  4. Bella Abzug (1920-1998)

    Loud, proud, uncompromising: this bold politician helped bring about Title IX, the Freedom of Information Act, and the Equal Rights Amendment - as well as much more.

  5. Benazir Bhutto (1953-2007)

    The exiled daughter of a deposed ruler, she could have been a fairytale bridge between worlds - but fairy tales are not real. Benazir, whose name means "without flaw," was anything but.

  6. Carolina Maria de Jesus (1914-1977)

    Brash, funny, and difficult, this mother of three wrote her way out of extreme poverty with her uncompromising look at Brazilian society - and was alternately lauded and berated for it.

  7. Cut Nyak Dhien (1848-1908)

    When her (second) rebel husband was killed, this heroine of Indonesian revolution took over the fight against the Dutch.

  8. Fannie Lou Hamer (1917-1977)

    This uneducated, impoverished activist suffered unbelievable abuse in her journey to be able to vote -- but that did not stop her.

  9. Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti (1900-1978)

    Through years of unrelenting protest, this Nigerian teacher felled a king, won women the right to vote, and taught all of Africa how to protest.

  10. Ilona Zrinyi (1643-1703)

    When her rebel husband was imprisoned, she continued the movement - by holding a castle under siege for three long, lonely years.

  11. Irena Sendler (1910-2008)

    This Polish nurse sacrificed her safety, her marriage, her very family to save 2500 Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto during the Holocaust.

  1. Jigonhsaseh (12th century CE)

    This Native American clan mother brought together 5 tribes under the Haudenosaunee Confederacy - and helped make the document that inspired the United States Constitution.

  2. Juana Azurduy de Padilla (1780-1862) Art Notes

    This revolutionary (and mother of five) should have been the namesake of Bolivia - and that's the opinion of Simon Bolivar, the actual namesake of Bolivia!

  3. Man-deok Kim (1739-1812)

    When famine hit Jeju island, where she'd been exiled since birth, this prostitute-turned-businesswoman spent her fortune to feed everyone.

  4. Labotsibeni Gwamile LaMdluli (c.1858-1925)

    When her husband inadvertently sold the country to colonial forces, this queen spent the rest of her life getting it back.

  5. Madam C.J. Walker (1867-1919)

    America's ostensible first female self-made millionaire was a black beauty magnate who did it all for her daughter.

  6. Mandukhai Khatun (1448-1510) Art Notes

    Destined to be a mere political pawn, this Mongol queen rode into battle while pregnant, united the warring tribes, and was considered to be the second coming of Genghis Khan.

  7. Marie Equi (1872-1952)

    Once upon a time, there was a lesbian Wild West abortion doctor. She once horsewhipped a guy in the face and was tossed in San Quentin Prison for sedition. To the surprise of no one, she lived in Portland.

  8. Marsha P. Johnson (1944-1992)

    This cheery godmother of trans civil rights masked a dark past of abuse.

  9. Molly Craig (c.1917-2004) Art Notes

    The daughter of an aboriginal woman and a white man, her race led her to be kidnapped by the Australian government - only for her to escape and walk across the continent to get home... twice.

  10. Mother Lu (1st century CE)

    When a government magistrate unjustly killed her son, this unassuming middle-aged wife spent years raising an army to topple that same government.

  11. Mother Jones (Mary Harris Jones) (1837-1930)

    This leader of the labor movement suffered imprisonment, defamation, and untold misery to battle against forces that most of us just take for granted.

  1. Olympias of Macedon (c.375-316 BCE) Art Notes

    The much-maligned woman fought tooth and nail to position her son, Alexander, to become "the Great" - and herself in the process.

  2. Pailadzo Captanian (1882-1968)

    After escaping the Armenian Genocide (by walking across the Syrian desert while pregnant), this woman went back into Armenia to rescue her sons, then made her way to America -- where she invented the recipe for Rice-a-Roni.

  3. Sister Rosetta Tharpe (1915-1973) Art Notes

    The godmother of rock and roll, this black bisexual singer fused gospel and pop to blaze her own way across the Jim Crow-era south.

  4. Sacajawea (1788-1812)

    One of the most famous women in American history, this hyper-capable Shoshone woman walked across America with a baby strapped to her back, in order to map it.

  5. Savitribai Phule (1831-1897)

    In fighting the bias of the caste system to spread education, this woman brought knowledge to girls across India.

  6. Sojourner Truth (1797-1883)

    When her kid was stolen from her, this ex-slave successfully sued to get him back; she then went on to become a forceful speaker for abolition across the United States.

  7. Susan la Flesche Picotte (1865-1915)

    The first Native American medical doctor endured back-breaking labor, years spent alone, and institutional racism to better the lives of her people.

  8. Te Ao-Kapurangi (19th century)

    Abducted from her tribe, this Maori woman managed to save her kinsmen and stop a war - by straddling a roof and cramming the house underneath.

  9. Trinidad Tecson (1848-1928)

    Turned into a revolutionary in middle age, this mother became one of the Philippines most heralded women.

  10. Velu Nachiyar (1730-1796)

    With a dead husband and a hostile foreign country on her hands, this Indian queen did the unthinkable - turned her loyal servants into some of the first suicide bombers in recorded history.

  11. Vera Peters (1911-1993)

    When she was told to "go do women's work" after upstaging the medical community in her treatment of Hodgkin's disease, Dr. Vera Peters revolutionized breast cancer treatment through years of painstaking, meticulous work.

Got the book? Get Bonus Content!

Making-of images and videos

There's a ton of behind-the-scenes content for book owners:

  • Over 5,000 reference images, pieces of concept art, and process imagery across every entry, both on the book and on the web - over 200 as of this writing!
  • Over 1,000 hours of timelapse videos, one for almost every entry.
  • Imagery and timelapses for alternate version interior art and alternate version book cover art.
  • Check out this sample entry for a glimpse of what you could see for every entry!

You can unlock it for free just by getting the book! As a special 'thank you', all book owners get a free month of behind-the-scenes access that is normally only available to Patreon backers.

Whew! Sound good? Click here to scroll back up and buy a copy!