This is a re-read for me, and my memory of the impression it made on me is that it was a good popular history of the subject but not an especially rigorous one. Reading it again is improving my opinion of it, as I'm impressed by Barker's inclusion of observation, which so many histories of the First World War in the air leave out.
This is an absolute gem of a book and I am so glad I borrowed it from my library on a whim. Samira, a refugee in an abusive household, buys a hat in a hat box one day and finds a diary hidden inside. Opening the pages, she meets Henrietta, a girl from 1891, who is also trapped by the expectations of her parents.
Believing that her and her mother, who does not speak English, will be deported if they run away from their living situation, Samira is at the mercy of Robel, a man who controls every aspect of their lives. She often goes to school hungry and struggles to keep her secrets hidden.
The only problem this book suffered from was a few too many elements - the diary, Samira's missing father, her life as a refugee, household abuse, the suffragette movement, feminism, animal rights, famous people, the list goes on. Some elements seemed to be sacrificed later to focus on Samira, which was a wise choice.
This is told very well for younger readers, despite the tougher subjects they were written carefully, in a way that readers could fully empathise but wouldn't leave the story feeling traumatised (like I did after reading The Turnaway Girls!). This would be an amazing introduction to feminism and the suffrage movement too.