March, as you know, is Women’s History Month. As a person who often writes about women’s history, I was asked to weigh in on the subject and have written about my personal connections to this concept over at Kidlit Celebrates Women’s History Month.
What I would like to do here is share a few of my favorite nonfiction books about women. I was going to write about Tami Lewis Brown’s Soar, Elinor! but Marfe beat me to it just yesterday! But I will add to her comments that this book is really something special—one of those picture books you want to leave on a coffee table for a conversation starter. Both Brown and Elinor Smith are names you want to know.
There are several books I love that are collective stories, pulling in many women who impacted a particular area of interest. Girls Think of Everything: Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women, by Catherine Thimmesh, is a shining example of this approach. This book had me at the cover, and it’s a staple for any women’s history collection. Independent Dames by Laurie Halse Anderson is also a must-have. This book is so chock full of information it probably could have filled three books. And Remember the Ladies: 100 Great Women by Cheryl Harness is a book I have referred to and shared with others countless times. Wings and Rockets: The Story of Women in Air and Space by Jeannine Atkins is especially captivating for me, as is Anita Silvey’s I’ll Pass for Your Comrade: Women Soldiers in the Civil War. This little-covered area of interest long overlooked is done in stellar Silvey fashion.
In the single-female category, I have my favorites as well. There is When Marian Sang: The True Recital of Marian Anderson, the Voice of a Century, by Pam Munoz Ryan; Barbara Kerley’s What to do About Alice?, which, yes, I have written about before, but I can’t help it, I simply love it; Shana Corey’s You Forgot Your Skirt, Amelia Bloomer, Kathleen Krull's A Woman for President: The Story of Victoria Woodhull, Gretchen Woelfle’s Jeannete Rankin: Political Pioneer, Vicki Cobb's Marie Curie, Susanna Reich's Clara Schumann, and for older readers, Bull's Eye: A Photobiography of Annie Oakley by Sue Macy, and Jane Addams: Champion of Democracy by Judith Bloom Fradin and Dennis Brindell Fradin.
A few new and forthcoming books I can’t wait to get my hands on include Candace Fleming’s Amelia Lost: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart. I am a big fan of Fleming’s work and am anxious to see how she handled this topic. The other is Penny Coleman’s forthcoming book on a subject near and dear to my heart. The title says it all: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, A Friendship that Changed the World.
So there you have it, my small tribute to women’s history in the shape of a few favorite books for kids and teens. There are many, many others on my shelves that I simply didn’t have the room to discuss here, but there’s always next year!