About the book:

Outrageous Women of Colonial America features
delightful and inspiring tales of some of the most fascinating and awesome women of colonial times. history is rife with stories of our founding fathers, but what of the women who lived and worked alongside these men? This fun and exciting book whisks young readers back to early America, introducing them to a refreshing assortment of brave and unique American women of colonial times.


April 15, 2001
Reviewer: A reader from
Pittsburgh, PA
Lively writing enhances the wonderful stories of the women that Mary Furbee features in her book. The women, from all types of backgrounds, inspire young girls to face adversity head on. As we all search for role models in the face of media onslaughts, these women are strong, smart and unique individuals. The writing and the strong descriptive components, combined with interesting historical details, provide a sense of the world and the times in which these women lived. Wonderful stuff!

Morgantown WV Dominion Post:

. . . Outrageous Women of Colonial America" is geared to readers 10 to 14 years old. It's heavily researched with a reporter's attention to names and dates, but it's also a fun romp through history. Furbee tells stories that haven't really been brought to light until now...

Women of the American Revolution

From West Virginia University Magazine

Mary Furbee, a free-lance writer who teaches in the Perley Isaac Reed School of Journalism at WVU, writes an engaging account of six Revolutionary-era women: Abigail Adams, Peggy Arnold, Esther Reed, Deborah Sampson, Mercy Otis Warren, and Phillis Wheatley. Furbee contends that these women challenged the societal view of women at the time, through letters debating women's rights, spying, serving as a soldier, or writing poetry and history. She makes a solid argument that their contributions began to change the way society viewed women, specifically in terms of what women could accomplish...

...These...women represent all those early women who made contributions to the development of this country. The women chosen for this book all had left some record of their lives, whether it was the Adams family letters, Warren and Wheatley's own works, or the government documentation of Sampson as a woman who received an army pension for her services. This allows Furbee to provide readers with a good background for all of these women and a convincing argument for their importance.

From Booklist
Gr. 3-6. From the Outrageous Women series, this volume presents 14 notable figures from colonial America. The first section on New England includes famous names such as Ann Hutchinson, Deborah Samson, Elizabeth "Mumbet" Freeman, Abigail Adams, and Phillis Wheatley. The sections on the middle colonies and the South focus primarily on lesser-known women in American history. Furbee makes some interesting choices. For instance, Betsy Ross is included not as the maker of the first American flag, a claim that the author notes is debatable, but as a woman who "plotted her own course in life, founded a new religious group, survived three husbands, and built a thriving family business." The decidedly colorful tone of the writing ("Anne really got the Puritans' knickers in a twist") makes the series a bit more lively than most history books. The black-and-white illustrations include maps and simple line drawings as well as reproductions of period paintings and engravings. An interesting addition to history shelves. Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Shawnee Captive: The Story of Mary Draper Ingles
Today’s Librarian
Taken captive by Shawnee Indians when she was 23 years old, Ingles endured hardships no one should have to experience. She gave birth along the trail of a Shawnee camp, watched as her sons were stripped from her, toiled for her captors and left behind an infant daughter. Hoping to return to their homesteads, Mary and another female captive trudged for 42 days across 800 miles of rugged wilderness, crossed streams and nearly starved to death. Once home, Mary never gave up on being reunited with her children. Using colorful, descriptive words, Furbee takes the reader along on Mary's incredible journey from her abduction to her amazing trip home. This excellent resource is an engaging read that offers insight into the life of the early settlers. An index, expansive bibliography and recommended reading list is provided. The only information missing is a timeline of events. Young adult readers will enjoy the story and their hearts will go out to this brave woman of the frontier.

From Booklist
Gr. 5-8. Mary's Scotch-Irish family heads to western Virginia in 1745, looking for opportunity. Skirmishes with Native Americans erupt as more and more settlers push west, and the thought of violence is never far from the family as it struggles to build a new life in the wilderness. Tragedy strikes when Mary is a young mother, pregnant with her third child. Shawnee creep into the homestead, murder Mary's mother and infant niece, and haul off the survivors into captivity. Terrified for herself and small sons, Mary grimly endures the ordeal, which takes her hundreds of miles from home. In a moment of desperation while living with the Shawnee, after being separated from her sons, Mary slips away. She leaves her newborn daughter behind and begins, with another woman captive, the agonizing journey home. The travelers nearly starve during the trek but, amazingly, reach their destination alive. Furbee liberally assigns motives to the captors at times, but the lively narrative of this high-action true tale flows from page one and will capture interest. Illustrated with black-and-white sketches and maps; a bibliography is appended. Anne O'Malley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

From School Library Journal

Gr 5-8-In 1755, Mary Draper Ingles, her two sons, and her sister-in-law were taken from their Shenandoah Valley home by a band of Shawnee Indians. Ingles was expecting her third child at the time of her capture. Her mother and her sister-in-law's baby were murdered in the raid. Furbee begins with the Draper family's move to this largely unsettled area. Some of the hardships and setbacks endured over time, Mary's eventual marriage to Will Ingles, and the political climate that helped shape their experience are described. Then comes the raid that led to her capture, her time in captivity, her daring escape, and her 800-mile journey back home. Some of the reasons for the conflicts between the Native Americans and the white settlers are also presented. The workmanlike text tries hard to avoid biased language, although Furbee does not shrink from reflecting the attitudes toward Native Americans held by Ingles, her family, and friends. Fairly gruesome events are described, but they are neither sensationalized nor glossed over. The narrative does present the subject's feelings and thoughts from time to time, but conversations are held to a minimum and the effect is to lend texture to what might have otherwise been a rather dry text. The result is both a readable biography of a daring frontier woman and a snapshot of life in pre-Revolutionary America...

Linda Greengrass, Bank Street College Library, New York City

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.