A Lady Has the Floor: Belva Lockwood Speaks Out for Women’s Rights. But that was not the end of her story. It was the middle of Lockwood’s journey to be one of the first women lawyers and to present a case at the Supreme Court. Kate Hannigan and illustrator Alison Jay tell the story of Lockwood in picture book format. Jay’s unusual style of illustrating can be a little awkward for this subject, but it is still amazing. The “cracked paint look” gives you a feel of history. Bright colors that are not over powering, but give a bit of pop, help keep the story accessible.
The author focuses on the main theme of Lockwood overcoming the odds to become a lawyer. Most personal facts are left for the timeline at the end of the book. This helps move the story along, but would have been nice to see where in her life she was while doing the things she did: How old she was? Was she married yet? Was this during her first or second marriage? And maybe even a little of what her husbands were thinking would have helped fill the story out. With that said, it is a picture book and all facts cannot be used as it would bog down the story. With that said, everything is handled well. I would like to read a biography of Lockwood to fill in those blanks.
Sadly, I had never head of Lockwood, or if I had, I had forgotten. Thankfully, current events are pushing to include all people who helped create this nation. I am a firm believer you cannot focus on just one group of people. For better or worse all types of people and even groups we personally might not support have formed this nation. A Lady Has the Floor made me think that it is good to focus on people, events and things we have not before, but we cannot separate them from what was going on around them at the same time. It is all one big historical stew!