Goldie Takes a Stand: Gol­da Meir’s First Crusade

  • Review
By – May 22, 2014

Young lis­ten­ers and read­ers are intro­duced to the ear­ly life of Israel’s first female Prime Min­is­ter, Gol­da Meir, in an age-appro­pri­ate sto­ry based on real events.

At the age of nine, Gol­da Mabowe­hz, her­self a mem­ber of a Jew­ish fam­i­ly that immi­grat­ed to Mil­wau­kee from Kiev, Rus­sia in 1906, responds to the needs of her poor school­mates for new text­books. She does this with empa­thy, and a plan she devel­ops exem­pli­fies matu­ri­ty beyond her years. As pres­i­dent of a group she cre­ates and adminis­ters, the Amer­i­can Young Sis­ters Soci­ety, she orga­nizes the girls who are her friends and neigh­bors to help raise mon­ey — in pen­nies, nick­els, and dimes — until the real­iza­tion that a pub­lic meet­ing and fundrais­ing gala is need­ed to raise suf­fi­cient fund­ing. After con­vinc­ing the own­er of a large hall to donate the hall for the meet­ing, Gol­da then orga­nizes her group to cre­ate invi­ta­tions and paint posters to hang; she her­self speaks pub­licly to the large audi­ence of friends, neigh­bors, teach­ers, par­ents, and school admin­is­tra­tors who turn out for the cause. Even at this young age her lead­er­ship char­ac­ter­is­tics show clearly.

Illus­tra­tions in sepia tones and dra­mat­i­cal­ly drawn peri­od dress and home fur­nish­ings make Golda’s times come to life. The inte­ri­or of her mother’s gro­cery store with its prod­ucts lined up give a vivid sense of her family’s life.

The text is fol­lowed by a love­ly mini-biog­­ra­phy of Gol­da, illus­trat­ed with pho­tos of her child­hood and as prime min­is­ter, a one-page bib­li­og­ra­phy of places to vis­it to learn more about Gol­da and a list of books to read more about her.

This is a love­ly addi­tion to the biog­ra­phy shelf for the youngest read­ers and is recom­mended for chil­dren ages 5 – 8.


Read Bar­bara Biet­z’s inter­view with Bar­bara Kras­ner here.

Shelly Feit has an M.L.S. and a Sixth-year Spe­cial­ist’s Cer­tifi­cate in infor­ma­tion sci­ence. She is the library direc­tor and media spe­cial­ist at the Mori­ah School in Engle­wood, NJ.

Discussion Questions