The Ballot Box Battle

“McCully’s richly hued, softly textured paintings beautifully evoke the late 19th-century era. Skillfully weaving fact and story, The Ballot Box Battle offers a history lesson pleasingly framed in a story about an independent young girl. A full-page author’s note gives further information on Stanton and on the creation of the book.”

-School Library Journal

“On Election Day 1880, the women’s rights activist Elizabeth Cady Stanton teaches her young neighbor a lesson in gumption. McCully’s art and story deliver a relevant message gracefully.”

-Publishers Weekly

“McCully has wisely given children a protagonist they can relate to in feisty Cordelia, and she realistically portrays the child as more interested in her own concerns than in those of her famous neighbor. The misty paintings evoke the New England setting nicely, and the contrast between the fresh young child and the white-haired older lady is particularly effective.”


“The author of The Bobbin Girl offers another strong, admirable character in this encounter between Elizabeth Cady Stanton and a young neighbor. Every afternoon Cordelia comes over to care for Mrs. Stanton’s horse in exchange for a riding lesson—plus a series of reminiscences to which she listens politely, if not always attentively. One day, after explaining how her strenuous but futile childhood efforts to win her father’s respect taught her to keep on fighting, Mrs. Stanton invites Cordelia to come along to the polls as she quixotically tries yet again to vote. Her example before a jeering (as well as, in one or two cases, admiring) throng of men and boys inspires an act of courage in Cordelia. An author’s note at the end separates facts and fictions. Like Michael Bedard’s Emily (1992), this book gives readers a tantalizing, child’s-eye view of an American original, a challenger of social norms and expectations. McCully’s dark, vigorously brushed watercolors successfully evoke both period (1880) and personalities: Stanton is a glowering, formidable presence, while Cordelia, with her straight back, pinafore, and large hair ribbon is a poised, blonde soulmate to Mirette.”