Louisa May Alcott, Charlotte Forten, Kate Chopin, Sarah Jane Foster, Alice Dunbar-Nelson, Ida B. Wells, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman were 19th century young women who grew up to be novelists, poets, essayists, or journalists. Keeping a private diary helped each girl find her public voice.
"A collection of seven literary biographies liberally sprinkled with brief quotations from the subjects' diaries, written when they were young adults." - School Library Journal, starred review
"Lyons writes with style and feeling, creating a strong sense of each individual life story, even as she gives us a social history of what it was like to be a woman at that time. ... Any teen who keeps a journal will recognize what the title implies: the private world behind the mask of duty." - Booklist