Rejected Princesses: Tales of History’s Boldest Heroines, Hellions & Heretics

Written by Jason Porath
Review by Arleigh Johnson

From 1500 BCE to the 20th century, this compendium is packed with famous as well as lesser-known women of history who, in the animator-turned-author’s view, would not have made the cut in the film industry for various reasons. There are fairytale legends, empresses, actresses, women of the Bible, slaves, revolutionists, warriors, and even a few real princesses.

With much humor, the author introduces readers to 100 women who made their mark in history, but would not be the best on-screen heroines for children. Since historical fact is sketchy when it comes to women’s history, the author outlines the likely fanciful details and includes footnotes where needed.

The artwork is in a modern cartoonist style–Porath worked for DreamWorks Animation—with Art Notes and Trivia at the end of most chapters. This is a bulky, though well-made hardcover, with sleek pages and content organization that is pleasing to the eye. Though young readers may be drawn to its attractive appearance, it is recommended and, in fact, color-coded for PG through R ratings due to content with violence, abuse, sex, rape and self-harm. It makes an enjoyable read for those who like to delve into unremarked collections of history.