Jen Bryant Books ;
Fall Down Seven Times, Stand Up Eight:
Patsy Takemoto Mink and the Fight for Title IX
written by Jen Bryant
illustrated by Toshiki Nakamura
Quill Tree Books, an imprint of HarperCollins, January 25, 2022
ISBN 9780062957221, ISBN10: 0062957228, hardcover $17.99, 48 pages
ages 4 and up
Readers of all ages will be enthralled by this inspiring biography of Patsy Takemoto Mink, the first Asian American woman elected to Congress.
At an early age, Patsy Takemoto Mink learned that working toward a goal could come with challenges. But she never gave up. As the Japanese proverb says, fall down seven times, stand up eight. That spirit helped Patsy throughout her life. She wanted to become a doctor, but medical schools refused to admit her because of her gender. So … Patsy carved her own path. She went to law school, ran for a seat in the United States Congress, and helped create Title IX, the law that requires federally funded schools to treat boys and girls equally. Although many people tried to knock her down, Patsy always got up again. She was a historic trailblazer who championed equal rights and helped create a better future for all Americans.
K-6 Learning activities from the Asian American Education Project
History/Timeline of Title IX at Women’s Sports Foundation
Watch this film about Patsy, narrated by her daughter, Wendy, and exec. produced by Naomi Osaka.
Patsy Takemoto Mink Educational Foundation
for Low-Income Women and Children
Patsy T. Mink at U.S. House of Representative Archives
U.S. Dept. of Education Page for Title IX
1974 Video Interview of Congresswomen Patsy T. Mink
and Martha Griffiths (Nat’l Archives and Records Admin.)
Jen's interview with Kathy Macmillan, author of She Spoke: 14 Women Who Raised Their Voices and Changed the World
Honors and Recognition
ABA Indie Next List Pick Jan/Feb 2022
RISE: A Feminist Book Project, 2023 List
Early Readers/Non-Fiction Category

“Wow! What a tremendous telling of a critical American story. Patsy Takemoto Mink’s story resonates on such a deep and interconnected level. Told through beautiful prose and illustrations, this is an essential read.” (Lauren Kean, Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, NC)
“Utilizing the Japanese proverb ‘Fall down seven times, stand up eight’ as a refrain, Bryant showcases Mink’s tenacity in fighting racism and sexism throughout her life, and her commitment to challenging laws and proposing new ones, such as the groundbreaking Title IX. Crisp language expounds the figure’s accomplishments: ‘Making a law was like drawing a map, Patsy realized. If a map was drawn well, it led you to a new place. If a law was written well, it changed lives.’” (Publishers Weekly)
“Growing up in Hawaii as the grandchild of Japanese immigrants, young Patsy learned much from observing her father work hard to make a better life for their family. As a teenager, she courageously fought against the internment of Japanese Americans after the Pearl Harbor attacks. Barred from entering medical school and later denied employment as a lawyer due to her gender, Patsy nevertheless fought tirelessly on behalf of her fellow students and citizens and ultimately helped create the Title IX federal law that prohibits gender-based discrimination in educational institutions. The Japanese proverb ‘fall down seven times, stand up eight’ is used as a motif throughout the text to underscore Mink’s determination … An informative profile of a trailblazing legislator that will inspire children to work for justice.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“In this accessible and engaging picture-book biography, Bryant … focuses on the ways groundbreaking Japanese American legislator from Hawaii Patsy Takemoto Mink overcame setbacks in her life and career. Early on, Bryant invokes the Japanese saying “Fall down seven times, stand up eight,” explaining that it “means never give up!” She repeats this refrain throughout the book, applying it to the many hurdles Mink faced—as a college student fighting segregation, an aspiring doctor denied entrance to medical schools, the only woman in her law school class, and the first woman of color in the U.S. Congress. The climax of the narrative comes as Mink fights to ensure that her signature legislation, Title IX, will protect the rights of female athletes. Bryant’s clear prose draws a distinct line from Mink’s childhood precociousness and fortitude to her adult accomplishments. In doing so, she renders a somewhat abstruse concept (education legislation) engaging to her target audience. Nakamura’s digital illustrations complement the text, with finely drawn facial expressions underlining the emotional impact of the historical events. The art also expands on the text; one illustration contrasts a boys’ well-funded basketball team with a girls’ team playing in a classroom. Back matter includes a timeline of Mink’s life, a selected biography, and sources for direct quotes.” (K. Rachael Stein for The Horn Book Magazine)
“This political biography of Patsy Takemoto Mink uses the traditional Japanese saying “Fall down seven times, stand up eight” to emphasize the persistence and determination of this congresswoman from Hawaii and champion of Title IX. The book is packed with historical events: the Great Depression, Pearl Harbor, anti-Japanese policies during WWII, Hawaiian statehood, discrimination against women in higher education and the workplace, and the civil rights movement all get at least a glancing mention, as well as Title IX itself … Japanese (and Japanese Hawaiian) cultural traditions, such as waiting to paint an eye on a Daruma doll until one has achieved a certain goal, add richness … This story of a noteworthy woman is packed with history and strength.” (Booklist)
Fall Down Seven Times, Stand Up Eight
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