Women’s History Month: Celebrate Fierce Fearless Females
Celebrate Women's History Month by adding these titles to your classroom and school libraries!
The Green Piano By Roberta Flack with Tonya Bolden; illlustrated by Hayden Goodman
This autobiographical picture book by the multiple Grammy Award-winning singer Roberta Flack recounts her childhood in a home surrounded by music and love: it all started with a beat-up piano that her father found in a junkyard, repaired, and painted green.
Growing up in a Blue Ridge mountain town, little Roberta didn't have fancy clothes or expensive toys...but she did have music. And she dreamed of having her own piano.
When her daddy spies an old, beat-up upright piano in a junkyard, he knows he can make his daughter's dream come true. He brings it home, cleans and tunes it, and paints it a grassy green. And soon the little girl has an instrument to practice on, and a new dream to reach for--one that will make her become a legend in the music industry.
Here is a lyrical picture book--perfect for aspiring piano players and singers--that shares an intimate look at Roberta Flack's family and her special connection to music.
Little Rosetta and the Talking Guitar By Written and illustrated by Charnelle Pinkney Barlow
A picture-book biography of Sister Rosetta Tharpe, the woman who invented rock and roll—a warm, inspiring tale of a childhood filled with music, community, and a drive to succeed.
"Music is the heart of our story," says Momma to young Rosetta, surprising her with her first guitar. Rosetta's strums sound like ker-plunks. But with practice and determination, she makes music, fingers hopping "like corn in a kettle," notes pouring over the church crowd "like summer rain washing the dust off a new day."
In this stunning picture book, author and illustrator Charnelle Pinkney Barlow imagines the childhood of Sister Rosetta Tharpe, whose rural roots inspired the music we still hear today.
Young readers will see a child's dream become reality through hard work and perseverance. And they'll learn the overlooked story of a pioneering Black artist, whose contribution to music history is only now being discovered.
All Rise: The Story of Ketanji Brown Jackson By Carole Boston Weatherford; illustrated by Ashley Evans
Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court, is an inspiration and role model to children of all ages. Award-winning author Carole Boston Weatherford tells her story of perseverance, dignity, and honor in this uplifting picture book biography filled with colorful and dynamic illustrations from Ashley Evans.
Whatever she did, wherever she was, Ketanji Brown Jackson rose to the top.
From the time their daughter was born, Ketanji Brown’s parents taught her that if she worked hard and believed in herself, she could do anything. As a child, Ketanji focused on her studies and excelled, eventually graduating from Harvard Law School.
Years later, in 2016, when she was a federal judge, a seat opened on the United States Supreme Court. In a letter to then-President Barack Obama, Leila Jackson made a case for her mother—Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. Although the timing didn’t work out then, it did in 2022, when President Joe Biden nominated her. At her confirmation, Ketanji Brown Jackson became the first Black female Supreme Court justice in the United States.
Lyrical text by renowned author Carole Boston Weatherford and evocative illustrations by Ashley Evans combine to make this an inspirational and timely read.
Bold & Brave By Kirsten Gillibrand; illustrated by Maira Kalman
The perfect read for the one-hundredth anniversary of the nineteenth amendment and in advance of the upcoming presidential election, this inspiring picture book from United States Senator Kirsten Gillibrand shares the stories of ten suffragists who fought for women's right to vote.
Bold & Brave introduces children to strong women who have raised their voices on behalf of justice--and inspires them to raise their own voices to build our future.
Here are the stories of ten leaders who strove to win the right to vote for American women--a journey that took more than seventy years of passionate commitment. From well-known figures, such as Susan B. Anthony and Sojourner Truth to lesser known women such as Alice Paul and Mary Church Terrell, these are heroes who dreamed big and never gave up. Senator Gillibrand highlights an important and pithy lesson from each woman's life--from "dare to be different" to "fight together."
With gorgeous illustrations by renowned artist Maira Kalman, this is a book that will inspire and uplift, a book to be cherished and shared.
The suffragists included are: Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Jovita Idár, Alice Paul, Inez Milholland, Ida B. Wells, Lucy Burns, and Mary Church Terrell.
Indelible Ann By Meghan P. Browne; illustrated by Carlynn Whitt
A folksy, larger-than-life picture book biography about Ann Richards, the late governor of Texas who has inspired countless women in politics today.
Dorothy Ann Willis hailed from a small Texas town, but early on she found her voice and the guts to use it.
During her childhood in San Diego and her high school years back in Texas (when she dropped the "Dorothy"), Ann discovered a spark and passion for civic duty. It led her all the way to Washington, DC, where she, along with other girls from around the country, learned about the business of politics. Fast forward to Ann taking on the political boys' club: she became county commissioner, then state treasurer, and finally governor of Texas. In this stunning picture book biography, full of vim, vigor, and folksy charm, two Texan creators take us through the life of the legendary "big mouth, big hair" governor of Texas, a woman who was inspired by Eleanor Roosevelt, and in turn became an inspiration to Hillary Clinton and countless others.
Mae Makes a Way By Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich; illustrated by Andrea Pippins
Tip your hat to fashion designer and civil rights icon Mae Reeves in this picture book biography written in collaboration with the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture!
"A fine introduction to a determined trailblazer." -The New York Times
Mae had a dream to make one-of-a-kind hats. But the path for a Black female designer was unclear, so Mae made a way, leaving her home in the segregated South to study at the Chicago School of Millinery.
Mae had the skills, but craved the independence to create her own styles. So Mae found a way. In Philadelphia, she became the first Black woman to own a business on South Street. Whether you were Lena Horne, Ella Fitzgerald, Marian Anderson or a lady from the neighborhood, Mae wanted you to look good and feel special in one of her original hats.
A mother, a successful entrepreneur, and a community advocate, Mae led the way.
Published in collaboration with the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, acclaimed author Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich (Two Naomis) and award-winning illustrator Andrea Pippins (I Love My Hair) bring the life of fashion entrepreneur and civic organizer Mae Reeves to the page. And when you are done reading, explore Mae’s store and styles in person at her permanent exhibit at the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read By Rita Lorraine Hubbard; illustrated by Oge Mora
Imagine learning to read at the age of 116! Discover the true story of Mary Walker, the nation's oldest student who did just that, in this picture book from a Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator and a rising star author.
In 1848, Mary Walker was born into slavery. At age 15, she was freed, and by age 20, she was married and had her first child. By age 68, she had worked numerous jobs, including cooking, cleaning, babysitting, and selling sandwiches to raise money for her church. At 114, she was the last remaining member of her family. And at 116, she learned to read. From Rita Lorraine Hubbard and rising star Oge More comes the inspirational story of Mary Walker, a woman whose long life spanned from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement, and who--with perseverance and dedication--proved that you're never too old to learn.
The First Woman Cherokee Chief: Wilma Pearl Mankiller By Patricia Morris Buckley; illustrated by Aphelandra Messer
Find out all about Wilma Pearl Mankiller, the first woman Cherokee chief whose image will appear on a 2022 US quarter, in this Step 3 Biography Reader.
In 1985, Wilma Pearl Mankiller became the first woman Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation. She had to convince her people that the chief should be the best person for the job, man or woman.
Before the English came to what is now the United States, Cherokee women and men shared the leadership of the tribe. This created balance. But the English colonists told the Native People that men should be in charge.
It stayed that way for many years, until Wilma Pearl Mankiller made history. She used the concept of gaduji, of everyone helping each other, to make the Cherokee Nation strong.
Step 3 Readers feature engaging characters in easy-to-follow plots and popular topics—for children who are ready to read on their own.
Lady Icarus By Deborah Noyes
A riveting middle-grade biography about Sophie Blanchard, the first woman to work as a professional aeronaut in France in the late 1700s, set against the thrilling backdrop of early flight.
Before Amelia Earhart, there was Sophie Blanchard, the first woman to earn her living in the air. While no one knows the fate of Earhart, a terrified crowd of thousands looked on as French aeronaut Sophie Blanchard met her end in a tragic blaze of glory over the streets of Paris in 1819.
But first, Blanchard made nearly 70 spectacular flights, survived a revolution, and become a court favorite of the emperor Napoleon (who gave her the title, "Aeronaut of the Official Festivals") and later of the King of France. Set against the backdrop of the history of flight, watch as Balloonmania-- a phenomenon that riveted all of Europe-- took hold and inspired a great many artists authors, and dreamers.
This lively scrapbook-style biography with more than fifty black-and-white photos throughout, introduces a frightened, nervous girl who became a fearless legend in the skies.
Becoming: Adapted for Young Readers By Michelle Obama
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Michelle Obama’s worldwide bestselling memoir, Becoming, is now adapted for young readers.
Michelle Robinson was born on the South Side of Chicago. From her modest beginnings, she would become Michelle Obama, the inspiring and powerful First Lady of the United States, when her husband, Barack Obama, was elected the forty-fourth president. They would be the first Black First Family in the White House and serve the country for two terms.
Growing up, Michelle and her older brother, Craig, shared a bedroom in their family’s upstairs apartment in her great-aunt’s house. Her parents, Fraser and Marian, poured their love and energy into their children. Michelle’s beloved dad taught his kids to work hard, keep their word, and remember to laugh. Her mom showed them how to think for themselves, use their voice, and be unafraid.
But life soon took her far from home. With determination, carefully made plans, and the desire to achieve, Michelle was eager to expand the sphere of her life from her schooling in Chicago. She went to Princeton University, where she learned what it felt like to be the only Black woman in the room. She then went to Harvard Law School, and after graduating returned to Chicago and became a high-powered lawyer. Her plans changed, however, when she met and fell in love with Barack Obama.
From her early years of marriage, and the struggle to balance being a working woman, a wife, and the mom of two daughters, Michelle Obama details the shift she made to political life and what her family endured as a result of her husband’s fast-moving political career and campaign for the presidency. She shares the glamour of ball gowns and world travel, and the difficulties of comforting families after tragedies. She managed to be there for her daughters’ swim competitions and attend plays at their schools without catching the spotlight, while defining and championing numerous initiatives, especially those geared toward kids, during her time as First Lady.
Most important, this volume for young people is an honest and fascinating account of Michelle Obama’s life led by example. She shares her views on how all young people can help themselves as well as help others, no matter their status in life. She asks readers to realize that no one is perfect, and that the process of becoming is what matters, as finding yourself is ever evolving. In telling her story with boldness, she asks young readers: Who are you, and what do you want to become?
Brave. Black. First. By Cheryl Willis Hudson; illustrated by Erin K. Robinson
Published in collaboration with the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, discover over 50 remarkable Black women whose unique skills and contributions paved the way for the next generation of young people.
Fearless. Bold. Game changers.
Harriet Tubman guided the way.
Rosa Parks sat for equality.
Aretha Franklin sang from the soul.
Serena Williams bested the competition.
Michelle Obama transformed the White House.
Black women everywhere have changed the world!
Published in partnership with curators from the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, this illustrated biography compilation captures the iconic moments of 50 Black women whose heroism and bravery rewrote the American story for the better.
"A beautifully illustrated testament to the continuing excellence and legacy of African American women." -Kirkus Reviews
Girls Who Run the World: 31 CEOs Who Mean Business By Diana Kapp; illustrated by Bijou Karman
The perfect graduation gift for future entrepreneurs! Part biography, part business how-to, and fully empowering, this book shows that you're never too young to dream BIG! With colorful portraits, fun interviews and DIY tips, Girls Who Run the World features the success stories of 31 leading ladies today of companies like Rent the Runway, PopSugar, and Soul Cycle.
Girls run biotech companies.
Girls run online fashion sites.
Girls run environmental enterprises.
They are creative. They are inventive. They mean business.
Girls run the world.
This collection gives girls of all ages the tools they need to follow their passions, turn ideas into reality and break barriers in the business world.
Jenn Hyman, Rent the Runway
Sara Blakely, Spanx
Emma Mcilroy, Wildfang
Katrina Lake, Stitch Fix
Natasha Case, Coolhaus
Diane Campbell, The Candy Store
Kara Goldin, Hint Water
Anne Wojcicki, 23andMe
Rachel Haurwitz, Caribou Bioscience
Nina Tandon, EpiBone
Jessica Matthews, Uncharted Power
Jane Chen, Embrace
Emily Núñez Cavness, Sword & Plough
Hannah Lavon, Pals
Leslie Blodgett, Bare Escentuals/Bare Minerals
Katia Beauchamp, Birchbox
Emily Weiss, Glossier
Christina Stembel, Farmgirl Flowers
Mariam Naficy, Minted
Maci Peterson, On Second Thought
Stephanie Lampkin, Blendoor
Sarah Leary, Nextdoor
Amber Venz, RewardStyle
Lisa Sugar, Pop Sugar
Beatriz Acevedo, MiTu network
Julie Rice and Elizabeth Cutler, Soul Cycle
Suzy Batiz, Poo-Pourri
Tina Sharkey, Brandless
Jesse Genet, Lumi
Tracy Young, Plan Grid
The Woman All Spies Fear By Amy Butler Greenfield
An inspiring true story, perfect for fans of Hidden Figures, about an American woman who pioneered codebreaking in WWI and WWII but was only recently recognized for her extraordinary contributions.
A YALSA EXCELLENCE IN NONFICTION FINALIST • A KIRKUS REVIEWS BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR
Elizebeth Smith Friedman had a rare talent for spotting patterns and solving puzzles. These skills led her to become one of the top cryptanalysts in America during both World War I and World War II.
She originally came to code breaking through her love for Shakespeare when she was hired by an eccentric millionaire to prove that Shakespeare's plays had secret messages in them. Within a year, she had learned so much about code breaking that she was a star in the making. She went on to play a major role decoding messages during WWI and WWII and also for the Coast Guard's war against smugglers.
Elizebeth and her husband, William, became the top code-breaking team in the US, and she did it all at a time when most women weren't welcome in the workforce.
Amy Butler Greenfield is an award-winning historian and novelist who aims to shed light on this female pioneer of the STEM community.
Girls Who Green the World By Diana Kapp; illustrated by Ana Jarén
Part biography, part guidebook to the contemporary environmental movement, this book is the perfect gift for future and current activists and changemakers! Girls Who Green the World features the inspiring stories of 34 revolutionaries fighting for our future!
An inspired collection of profiles, featuring environmental changemakers, social entrepreneurs, visionaries and activists.
Journalist Diana Kapp has crisscrossed this country writing for and about empowered girls, girls who expect to be leaders, founders and inventors. This book takes it a step further. It says to girls: while you’re striving to be CEOs and world leaders, consider solving the biggest challenge of our lifetime, too—because you can do both at the same time, and here are 34 women doing just that.
Yes She Can By Compiled by Molly Dillon
"Young women can run the world. These are the stories of those who did..." @hillaryclinton
"An excellent guide to the how and why of a life of public service." --Amy Poehler
Return to President Obama's White House in this New York Times bestselling anthology for young women by young women, featuring stories from ten inspiring young staffers who joined his administration in their 20s with the hope of making a difference.
Includes a foreword by actress (Grown-Ish) and activist Yara Shahidi! Shahidi is the creator of Eighteen x '18, a platform to empower first-time voters.
They were teens when Barack Obama announced he was running for president.
They came of age in the Obama Era.
And then they joined his White House. Smart, motivated, ambitious--and ready to change the world.
Kalisha Dessources Figures planned one of the biggest summits held by the Obama White House--The United State of Women. Andrea Flores fought for the president's immigration bill on the Hill. Nita Contreras traveled the globe and owned up to a rookie mistake on Air Force One (in front of the leader of the free world!).
Here are ten inspiring, never-before-told stories from diverse young women who got. Stuff. Done. They recall--fondly and with humor and a dose of humility--what it was like to literally help run the world.
YES SHE CAN is an intimate look at Obama's presidency through the eyes of some of the most successful, and completely relatable, young women who were there. Full of wisdom they wish they could impart to their younger selves and a message about the need for more girls in government, these recollections are about stepping out into the spotlight and up to the challenge--something every girl can do.
With contributions from Jenna Brayton, Eleanor Celeste, Nita Contreras, Kalisha Dessources Figures, Molly Dillon, Andrea R. Flores, Vivian P. Graubard, Noemie C. Levy, Taylor Lustig, and Jaimie Woo.