The Bodyguard Unit
Edith Garrud, Women's Suffrage, and Jujitsu
Who were the jujitsuffragettes?
In the early twentieth century, women in England demanded the right to vote—and faced violent retaliation. Rather than back down, the suffragist group Women’s Social and Political Union formed its own security unit. Edith Garrud, a pioneering self-defense instructor, trained them to fight back against abuse and arrest while pursuing long-overdue rights.
This graphic retelling of Garrud’s life reveals the resilience and (often physical) resistance of her era’s voting-rights activists. Featuring an introduction from Elsa Dorlin (Self-Defense: A Philosophy of Violence), The Bodyguard Unit explores an explosive stage of the fight for suffrage.
|Grade 8 - Grade 12
|Graphic Novels, Young Adult
|Diverse Books: Feminism, Diverse Books: Social Justice, Diversity, SEL: C Social Awareness, Social Emotional Learning
|Lerner Publishing Group
|Graphic Universe ™
|Number of Pages
Author: Clément Xavier
Clement Xavier is a writer based in France. In 2015, Xavier and illustrator Lisa Lugrin jointly received the prestigious Prix Révélation (Debut Prize) at the Angoulême International Comics Festival for their first French-language graphic novel, Yékini, le roi des arènes.
Illustrator: Lisa Lugrin
Lisa Lugrin is a comic book artist and author based in France. In 2015, Lugrin and Clement Xavier jointly received the prestigious Prix Révélation (Debut Prize) at the Angoulême International Comics Festival. She is co-founder of Na editions.
Women’s History Month honors both the struggle that women have faced throughout time, as well as the many important achievements women have made that haven’t always been recognized. Books can give us extra insight into influential figures and the stories of women that aren’t always… View →
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“Captures a well-documented but lesser-known piece of history with acumen, and subtly telegraphs the still relevant experience of employing radical means in an unjust system. . . a unique and involving lens through which to consider an essential moment in modern history.” —School Library Journal
“The cartooning, beautifully rendered in muted, old-timey hues, presents information about jujitsu, the inner workings and tensions of the WSPU, and everyday indignities faced by the subjects . . . While enduring themes such as resisting oppression and asserting autonomy abound, the book remains centered on its specific time, place, and people.” —The Horn Book Magazine
“This engaging and informative graphic biography, which includes historical back matter, about an overlooked yet influential suffragist and martial artist deserves a spot in every graphic-novel collection.” —starred, Booklist
“[A]n empowering work both in content and visuals, about the figure who taught women how to take back their power.” —Publishers Weekly
“Engaging feminist history attractively presented.” —Kirkus Reviews