Alice Across America

Alice Across America by Sarah Glenn Marsh and illustrated by me, is available for purchase as of February 2020. It’s a non-fiction story about Alice Ramsey and her cross country trip in a 1909 Maxwell automobile with her friends, becoming the first female to drive cross country. Of course, with only a portion of the U.S. having paved roads back then, all sorts of things went wrong, making this a tale of perseverance in the face of adversity.

Below are some of the illustrations from the picture book.

Alice and her pals were interviewed by the press in every town they drove through.
Once they reached the redwoods, they knew that San Francisco was not far away.

The Story of the First Women’s Cross-Country Road Trip
Author: Sarah Glenn Marsh
Illustrator: Gilbert Ford

Publisher: Christy Ottaviano/Henry Holt
Pages: 48
Price (Hardcover): $18.99
Publication Date: Feb. 2020
ISBN (Hardcover): 9781250297020

Gr 2-5–Marsh describes the fascinating story of the first cross-country trip made by women. Alice Ramsey fell in love with driving when she first got behind the wheel of an automobile. When Ramsey earned a perfect score in an endurance test, she caught the eye of the publicist for the Maxwell-Briscoe Company. He proposed that she drive a new Maxwell automobile from New York to California to prove that the car was so well built, even a lady could handle it. Ramsey and three of her friends embarked on a two-month journey that took them across the country. Historical details about cars, roadways, and gender bias are incorporated throughout the story and enhance the plot. The author’s note includes more information about Ramsey, her companions, the journey, and photos of the women during the trip. Ford’s illustrations are a true asset to the text and evoke a sense of the early 1900s. Most of the illustrations are large two-page spreads that provide a sense of the wide-open spaces the women traveled. VERDICT A fun and fascinating story that includes many favorites: cars, strong women, and little-known historical facts. A must-have for a school or public library collection.–V. Lynn Christiansen, Wiley International Studies ­Magnet Elementary School, Raleigh, NC