No Steps Behind

Beate Sirota Gordon's Battle for Women's Rights in Japan

  • Interest Level: Grade 3 - Grade 6
  • Reading Level: Grade 4

Discover the unlikely story of Beate Sirota Gordon, a young woman who grew up in Japan and returned as a translator working for the American military after WWII. Fluent in Japanese language and culture, she was assigned to work with the delegation writing the new post-war constitution. Thanks to her bravery in speaking up for the women of Japan, the new constitution ended up including equal rights for all women.

Format Your Price Add
Interest Level Grade 3 - Grade 6
Reading Level Grade 4
Genre Picture Books, Social Studies
Category 5 Kinds of Nonfiction, 5KN: Narrative Nonfiction, Diverse Books: Feminism, Diverse Books: Social Justice, Diversity, SEL: A Self-Awareness, SEL: B Self-Management, SEL: C Social Awareness, SEL: D Relationship Skills, SEL: E Responsible Decision-Making, Social Emotional Learning
Copyright 2019
Publisher Creston Books
Imprint Creston Books
Language English
Number of Pages 44
Publication Date 2020-03-03
Text Type Narrative Nonfiction
BISACS JNF007020, JNF007070, JNF007120
Dewey 320.082/0952
Graphics Full-color illustrations
Dimensions 8.25 x 11
Lexile 840
Features Awards, Bibliography/further reading, Original artwork, and Reviewed

Author: Jeff Gottesfeld

Jeff Gottesfeld writes for page, stage, screen, and television. He's won many awards, including ones from the American Library Association, the Association of Jewish Libraries, and the Writer's Guild. His most recent title The Christmas Mitzvah was named a Sydney Taylor Honor Book. He currently lives in Los Angeles.

Illustrator: Shiella Witanto

Shiella Witanto draws or paints all day long. She grew up in Indonesia, where her hometown of Bandung has the best bowl of chicken noodles in the world, and now lives in San Francisco.


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  • Freeman Book Award Winner, Winner, 2020
  • National Jewish Book Award Finalist, Runner-up, 2020


School Library Journal

“In an era when women are finally being recognized for their important accomplishments, this title adds one more name to the list.”—School Library Journal

Publishers Weekly

“Gottesfeld’s compelling telling is supplemented by comprehensive notes. Witanto’s illustrations richly render the story of an immigrant’s contribution with the precision of old snapshots.”—Publishers Weekly

Kirkus Reviews

“The richly colored paintings uplift the story, conveying strong emotion and drama. . . .Valuable and inspiring . . .”—Kirkus Reviews