Living DangerouslyPublished by Scholastic, Inc.

Meet five incredible women—Daredevil teacher, Annie Edson Taylor; mountain climber Annie Smith Peck; pilot Bessie Coleman; conservationist Delia Akeley; ichthyologist Eugenie Clark; marathon runner, Thecla Mitchell.


“Rappaport casts her fishing net over the vast and teeming waters of the 20th century and plucks out six American women who have little in common except grit. In a “you are there” reportorial style, she spotlights days in the lives of thrill seekers and explorers. But her book is dedicated to the woman whose story fills the final pages: Thecla Mitchell, who overcomes a physical handicap to run the New York City marathon. . . .The variety of stories here could spark discussion on the difference between daredevil mania and thoughtful challenges to limits.” — Publishers Weekly

“A collective biography that reads like a novel. These women] all have one thing in common–they are women who struggled against social conventions and physical challenges to accomplish amazing feats. Each of these women’s lives is candidly portrayed, making this an excellent starting point for learning about these little-known figures. Black-and-white photographs clarify and enhance the textual descriptions and add enormously to the overall appeal. The facts are well documented in the author’s afterword.” — School Library Journal

“Biographic sketches of six dashing women who put the lie to stereotypes of female timorousness. The text is brisk and fluid, emphasizing the women’s determination, careful preparation, and resolution in meeting all obstacles. A nice addition to the biography shelves.” — Booklist

“In taut narratives centering on a few dramatic events, Rappaport focuses on her subjects’ problem solving, pluck, and perseverance rather than on their lifelong accomplishments, though she does provide enough biographical background to set each in context. Her text is lively, with direct quotes, garnered, she explains in excellent notes, from interviews and the subjects’ own writings. Bracing and inspirational.” — Kirkus

Guess which one of the women in Living Dangerously this is, and explain your reason for your choice.

In 1995, the U.S. Postal Department issued the Bessie Coleman stamp. And finally, in 2000, Bessie Coleman was inducted into the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame.

Hear Eugenie Clark share her experiences as an ichthyologist

Learn More

Here are some web pages where you can find more information, photographs, or videos of these adventurous women:

Annie Edson Taylor

Annie Smith Peck: Brooklyn College Library: The Anne Smith Peck Collection.

Bessie Coleman: American Experience: Fly Girls. People and Events: Bessie Coleman.

Delia Akeley: The Field Museum’s Women in Science. Past Pioneers: Delia Akeley

Eugenie Clark: The Shark Lady

Doreen’s Study Guides

Return to Celebrating Women’s History or Find in a Library