The month of March is Women's History Month. Here is a list of books celebrating women in history and educating young readers about the women who've made the inroads that impact their future as women.
The Women's History of the Modern World: How Radicals, Rebels, and Everywomen Revolutionized the Last 200 Years (Paperback)
A testimony to how women have persisted and excelled, this book takes us through through a colorful pageant of astonishing women, from heads of state like Empress Cixi, Eugenia Charles, Indira Gandhi, Jacinda Ardern, and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to political rainmakers Kate Sheppard, Carrie Chapman Catt, Anna Stout, Dorothy Height, Shirley Chisholm, Winnie Mandela, STEM powerhouses Jocelyn Bell Burnell, Rosalind Franklin, Sophia Kovalevskaya, Marie Curie, and Ada Lovelace, revolutionaries Olympe de Gouges, Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Patyegarang, and writer/intellectuals Mary Wollstonecraft, Simone de Beauvoir, Elaine Morgan, and Germaine Greer. Women in the arts, women in sports, women in business, women in religion, women in politics—this is a one-stop roundup of the tremendous progress women have made in the modern era.
An examination and celebration of Black womanhood, beginning with the first African women who arrived in what became the United States to African American women of today, "A Black Women’s History of the United States" reaches far beyond a single narrative to showcase Black women’s lives in all their fraught complexities. Many voices are shared: enslaved women, freedwomen, religious leaders, artists, queer women, activists, and women who lived outside the law. The result is a starting point for exploring Black women’s history and a testament to the beauty, richness, rhythm, tragedy, heartbreak, rage, and enduring love that abounds in the spirit of Black women in communities throughout the nation.
Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race (Paperback)
The true story of the Black female mathematicians at NASA whose calculations helped fuel some of America’s greatest achievements in space, "Hidden Figures" follows the interwoven accounts of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson and Christine Darden, four African American women who participated in some of NASA’s greatest successes. Beginning during World War II and moving through to the Cold War, the Civil Rights Movement and the Space Race, their careers over nearly three decades faced challenges, forged alliances and used their intellect to change their own lives, and their country’s future.
The young readers edition of Margot Lee Shetterly’s acclaimed "Hidden Figures" is the powerful story of four African-American female mathematicians at NASA who helped achieve some of the greatest moments in our space program.
Based on the New York Times bestselling book "Hidden Figures" and the Academy Award–nominated movie, author Margot Lee Shetterly and Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Award winner Laura Freeman bring the incredibly inspiring true story of four black women who helped NASA launch men into space to picture book readers.
An educational illustrated book that highlights the contributions of fifty notable women to the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) from the ancient to the modern world. Full of striking, singular art, this fascinating collection also contains infographics about relevant topics such as lab equipment, rates of women currently working in STEM fields, and an illustrated scientific glossary. The trailblazing women profiled include primatologist Jane Goodall, as well as lesser-known pioneers such as Katherine Johnson, the African-American physicist and mathematician who calculated the trajectory of the 1969 Apollo 11 mission to the moon, among others.
The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars (Paperback)
In the mid-nineteenth century, the Harvard College Observatory began employing women as calculators, or “human computers,” to interpret the observations their male counterparts made via telescope each night. At the outset this group included the wives, sisters, and daughters of the resident astronomers, but soon the female corps included graduates of the new women's colleges Vassar, Wellesley, and Smith. As photography transformed the practice of astronomy, the women turned from computation to studying the stars captured nightly on glass photographic plates.
Marie Curie discovered radioactivity, for which she won the 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics. In 1911 she won an unprecedented second Nobel Prize in chemistry for isolating new radioactive elements. Despite these achievements, she has remained a saintly, unapproachable genius. Using family documents and a private journal only recently made available, author Susan Quinn tells the full Madame Curie story. From the stubborn sixteen-year-old studying science at night while working as a governess, to her romance and scientific partnership with Pierre Curie, we learn of her defeats as well as her successes: her rejection by the French Academy, her unbearable grief at Pierre's untimely and gruesome death, and her retreat into the love affair with a married fellow scientist that caused the scandal which almost cost her the second Nobel Prize.
A children's book packed with 100 bedtime stories about the lives of extraordinary women from the past and the present, illustrated by 60 female artists from all over the world brings readers on an empowering journey, introduces young readers to the real-life adventures of trailblazing women from Elizabeth I to Malala Yousafzai. Each woman's story is accompanied by a full-page, full-color portrait that captures her rebel spirit.
Just released in paperback, the intimate, powerful, and inspiring memoir by the former First Lady of the United States features a new introduction by Michelle Obama, a letter from the author to her younger self, and a book club guide with 20 discussion questions and a five-question Q&A.
This young people's volume 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?
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Award-winning journalist Molly Ball’s nuanced portrait takes readers inside Pelosi’s life and times, from her roots in urban Baltimore to her formative years as a party activist and fundraiser, from the fractious politics of San Francisco to high-stakes congressional negotiations with multiple presidents. The result is a compelling portrait of a barrier-breaking woman that sheds new light on American political history. Based on exclusive interviews with the Speaker and deep background reporting, Ball shows Pelosi through a thoroughly modern lens to explain how this extraordinary woman has met her moment.
One of today’s most inspiring political leaders, Vice President Kamala Harris talks about the core truths that unite us and the long struggle to discern what those truths are and how best to act upon them, in her own life and across the life of our country.
Mr. President, How Long Must We Wait?: Alice Paul, Woodrow Wilson, and the Fight for the Right to Vote (Paperback)
From solitary confinement, hunger strikes, and the psychiatric ward to ever more determined activism, "Mr. President, How Long Must We Wait?" reveals the courageous, near-death journey it took, spearheaded in no small part by Alice Paul’s leadership, to grant women the right to vote in America. This portrait of a little-known feminist heroine is an eye-opening exploration of a crucial moment in American history one century before the Women’s March.
In the first single-volume cradle-to-grave portrait in six decades, acclaimed biographer David Michaelis delivers a stunning account of Eleanor Roosevelt’s remarkable life of transformation. Drawing on new research, Michaelis’s riveting portrait is not just a comprehensive biography of a major American figure, but the story of an American ideal: how our freedom is always a choice. "Eleanor" rediscovers a model of what is noble and evergreen in the American character, a model we need today more than ever.
The first Hispanic and third woman appointed to the United States Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor is an American icon. Her book recounts her life from a Bronx housing project to the federal bench, a journey that offers an inspiring testament to her own extraordinary determination and the power of believing in oneself.
"In My Own Words" is a collection of Ruth Bader Ginsburg's speeches and writings dating back to the eighth grade. Justice Ginsburg discusses gender equality, the workings of the Supreme Court, being Jewish, law and lawyers in opera, and the value of looking beyond U.S. shores when interpreting the U.S. Constitution. Throughout her life Justice Ginsburg was a prolific writer and public speaker.
A biographical graphic novel about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Chelsea Clinton introduces tiny feminists, mini activists and little kids who are ready to take on the world to thirteen inspirational women who never took "no" for an answer, and who always, inevitably and without fail, persisted: Harriet Tubman, Helen Keller, Clara Lemlich, Nellie Bly, Virginia Apgar, Maria Tallchief, Claudette Colvin, Ruby Bridges, Margaret Chase Smith, Sally Ride, Florence Griffith Joyner, Oprah Winfrey, Sonia Sotomayor—and one special cameo — are featured.
What feeds the soul of feminists—and all women—today? To be safe, to be valued, to live in peace, to have their own resources, to be connected, to have control over our bodies and lives, and above all, to be loved. On all these fronts, there is much work yet to be done. Allende hopes this book will “light the torches of our daughters and granddaughters with mine. They will have to live for us, as we lived for our mothers, and carry on with the work still left to be finished.”
An inspiring, powerful, and galvanizing memoir by an amazing American woman: Pulitzer Prize winner, human rights advocate, and former US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power.
The moving and profound story of Gloria Steinem’s growth and the growth of a revolutionary movement for equality and the story of how surprising encounters on the road shaped both. From her first experience of social activism among women in India to her work as a journalist in the 1960s; from the whirlwind of political campaigns to the founding of Ms. magazine; from the historic 1977 National Women’s Conference to her travels through Indian Country, a lifetime spent on the road allowed Gloria to listen and connect deeply with people, to understand that context is everything, and to become part of a movement that would change the world.
In this personal, eloquently-argued essay Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie offers readers a unique definition of feminism for the twenty-first century, one rooted in inclusion and awareness. Drawing extensively on her own experiences and her deep understanding of the often masked realities of sexual politics, here is her exploration of what it means to be a woman now—and an of-the-moment rallying cry for why we should all be feminists.
In her searing collection of essays, Mikki Kendall takes aim at the legitimacy of the modern feminist movement, arguing that it has chronically failed to address the needs of all but a few women. Drawing on her own experiences with hunger, violence, and hyper sexualization, along with incisive commentary on politics, pop culture, the stigma of mental health, and more, "Hood Feminism" delivers an irrefutable indictment of a movement in flux. An unforgettable debut, Kendall has written a ferocious clarion call to all would-be feminists to live out the true mandate of the movement in thought and in deed.
I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World (Young Readers Edition) (Paperback)
Malala Yousafzai was only ten years old when the Taliban took control of her Pakistani region. They said music was a crime. They said women weren't allowed to go to the market. They said girls couldn't go to school. Raised in a once-peaceful area of Pakistan transformed by terrorism, Malala was taught to stand up for what she believes. So she fought for her right to be educated. And on October 9, 2012, she nearly lost her life for the cause: She was shot point-blank while riding the bus on her way home from school. Now Malala is an international symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest ever Nobel Peace Prize winner. This Young Readers Edition of her bestselling memoir has been reimagined for a younger audience.
For two years in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Azar Nafisi, a bold and inspired teacher, secretly gathered seven of her most committed female students to read forbidden Western classics. Some came from conservative and religious families, others were progressive and secular, some had spent time in jail. They were shy and uncomfortable at first, unaccustomed to being asked to speak their minds, but soon they removed their veils and began to speak more freely, their stories intertwining with the novels they were reading by Jane Austen, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Henry James, and Vladimir Nabokov. As Islamic morality squads staged arbitrary raids in Tehran, as fundamentalists seized hold of the universities and a blind censor stifled artistic expression, the women in Nafisi’s living room spoke not only of the books they were reading but also about themselves, their dreams and disappointments. "Reading Lolita in Tehran" is the remarkable exploration of resilience in the face of tyranny, and a celebration of the liberating power of literature.
The groundbreaking speeches of Greta Thunberg, the young Swedish climate activist who has become the voice of a generation. Included is her historic address to the United Nations.
"As a young child author Moore escaped from her home in Liberia, across the border to Sierra Leone and then on to the US, during a terrifying civil war that was often fought by armed teenage rebels. One of those rebels commits an unimaginable act of altruism, and Moore goes back years later to Liberia to see if she can find her. The author easily pivots from her remarkable first novel about Liberia's origins, to this new short memoir. It's an instant classic, that's likely to be added to many class booklists. I can't stop thinking about it!" — from Carla's Picks
"A memoir and a family history as a legacy for the author's daughters, "In the Country of Women" has an enormous cast of characters. Luckily for the reader, each chapter is riveting enough to stand on its own. Novelist Straight mentored with James Baldwin in college, but returned to her hometown to teach at UC in Riverside, the 58th most populous city in the country, and a California city you've probably never thought about. As a small blonde woman who married her tall black high school sweetheart in the 70s, she learned to navigate the inevitable public and private tensions, from skeptical relatives on both sides, to police pullovers (two black teenagers is okay, but three is a gang...). Stories of Jim Crow and a direct family connection to the 1921 Tulsa race riot, poverty, abuse and parental neglect in both families, are overcome often due to the strength and sacrifice of strong female relatives This is an unforgettable story of resilience and reconciliation." — from Carla's Picks
"The author's mother was a Numbers "banker," the "House" if you will, in the illegal betting that people make on their lucky numbers, or hunches. Fanny Davis, part of the postwar migration north, survives poverty, the disadvantages of being a black female entrepreneur, and the decline of Detroit, only to meet her greatest business challenge-the Michigan State Lottery. This is a fascinating inside look at a little known path for black Americans to the middle class: if all you know is "Guys and Dolls," you don't know. An historical look at the last few decades of Detroit, and a beautiful family memoir with great relevance to our fractured civic discourse." — from Carla's Picks
Professor of American History at Harvard University and The New Yorker staff writer, historian Jill Lepore argues that Wonder Woman is the missing link in the history of the struggle for women’s rights—a chain of events that begins with the women’s suffrage campaigns of the early 1900s and ends with the troubled place of feminism a century later.
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At her death in 1817, Jane Austen left the world six of the most beloved novels written in English, but her shortsighted family destroyed the bulk of her letters, and if she kept any diaries, they did not survive her. Biographer Claire Tomalin has filled the gaps in the record, creating a convincing portrait of the woman and the writer. While most Austen biographers have accepted the assertion of Jane's brother Henry that "My dear sister's life was not a life of events," Tomalin shows that, on the contrary, Austen's brief life was fraught with upheaval. She provides detailed and absorbing accounts of Austen's ill-fated love for a young Irishman, her frequent travels and extended visits to London, her close friendship with a worldly cousin whose French husband met his death on the guillotine, her brothers' naval service in the Napoleonic wars and in the colonies, and thus shatters the myth of Jane Austen as a sheltered and homebound spinster whose knowledge of the world was limited to the view from a Hampshire village.
Mary Norris has spent more than three decades working in The New Yorker’s renowned copy department, helping to maintain its celebrated high standards. In "Between You & Me," she brings her vast experience with grammar and usage, her good cheer and irreverence, and her finely sharpened pencils to help the rest of us in a boisterous language book as full of life as it is of practical advice.
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Far beyond the recently resurrected “Jolene” or quintessential “9 to 5,” Parton’s songs for decades have validated women who go unheard: the poor woman, the pregnant teenager, the struggling mother disparaged as “trailer trash.” Parton’s broader career—from singing on the front porch of her family’s cabin in the Great Smoky Mountains to achieving stardom in Nashville and Hollywood, from “girl singer” managed by powerful men to leader of a self-made business and philanthropy empire—offers a springboard to examining the intersections of gender, class, and culture.