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Bad Girls of Fashion

Style Rebels from Cleopatra to Lady Gaga

By Jennifer Croll
Illustrated by Ada Buchholc
Interest Age: 12+
Grade: 7+
Reading Level: Common Core Correlations
CCSS.ELA-Literacy Strand-Reading literature: WHST.11-12.1,2,4,5,6

Reading Level: Lexile 1130L
Hardcover : 9781554517862, 208 pages, September 2016 , 9" x 7.25"
Paperback : 9781554517855, 208 pages, September 2016 , 9" x 7.25"
Rights sold: Macedonian


The title says it all: Bad Girls of Fashion explores the lives of ten famous women who have used clothing to make a statement, change perceptions, break rules, attract power, or express their individuality. Included are Cleopatra, Marie Antoinette, Coco Chanel, Marlene Dietrich, Madonna, and Lady Gaga. Sidebar subjects include: Elizabeth I, Marilyn Monroe, Rihanna, and Vivienne Westwood.

Photos illuminate the text, while edgy, vividly colored illustrations depict the subjects with interpretive flair. Readers will learn not only about changing fashion styles through history, but about changing historical attitudes toward women, and the links between fashion and art, film, music, politics, and feminism. With an energetic, appealing writing style, Croll demonstrates how through the ages, women – often without other means of power – have used fashion as a tool, and how their influence continues to shape how women present themselves today.


  • Nominated, Amelia Bloomer Project List nomination 2017
  • Short-listed, Arkansas Teen Book Award finalist 2018
  • Short-listed, Best Books for Kids & Teens, *starred selection, Canadian Children’s Book Centre 2017
  • Joint winner, Foreword Indies Book Awards 2017
  • Runner-up, Independent Publishers Book Awards, Silver 2017


“Croll digs deep for fascinating details . . . anyone interested in clothes, history, or girl power should pick up a copy.”

- GeekDad, 09/25/16

“Bright, funny, and fascinating . . . an utter blast to read . . . HUGE FUN.”

- Kirkus Reviews, Nonfiction Spotlight, 11/21/16

“[A] history book for teens [that] won’t end up in the recycling bin.”

- Fashion Magazine, Winter/16

“Punchy-but-palatable read, perfect for the young feminist with a penchant for pop culture history.”

- Loose Lips Magazine, 09/20/16

“So much couture. So much gossip. So much fun.”

- The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, 09/16

“An energetic, appealing writing style.” 

- Winnipeg Public Library, 04/27/17

“The stories of these 40 women will inspire a new generation of girls to live on their own terms.”

- Canadian Children’s Book News, Fall/16

“Historical in scope and reader friendly, there is much to learn here.”

- Sal’s Fiction Addiction, 07/11/17

“Well researched and thoroughly referenced.”

- Resource Links, 04/17

“Richly detailed and engagingly written, Croll’s captivating study is sure both to enlighten and embolden fashion-minded youth.”

- Kirkus Reviews, *starred review, 05/18/16

“With its engaging writing and lavish illustrations, Bad Girls of Fashion makes a bold statement.”

- National Reading Campaign, 12/15/16

“An energetic, appealing writing style.”

- Canadian Children’s Book Centre Newsletter, 03/17

“Thank God for books like . . . Bad Girls of Fashion . . . Flashy clothes and colours aside, there is also a serious undercurrent to the book.”

- Quill & Quire, 06/16

“Whopping good fun for fashionistas, Croll’s witty . . . book belongs in public and school libraries and on home shelves.” 

- VOYA, 02/01/17

“Entertaining and also informative.”

- CM Reviews, 09/12/16