The Weaker Sex? Not These Women!
A couple weeks ago Leslie posted an article on women’s struggle to gain their rights, especially the right to vote—a struggle that it is important for us to remember at least once a year during Women’s History Month.
Women have made many remarkable achievements in the past—achievements made even more impressive by the fact that the “fairer sex” was considered to be not strong enough or smart enough or tough enough to accomplish them. So let’s give a cheer for these ladies, and encourage today’s female scientists, journalists, politicians, fire fighters, and all the others to inspire a new generation of girls.
Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea : Marie Tharp Maps the Ocean Floor by Robert Burleigh (ill. by Paul Colon). 9781481416009. 2016. Gr K-2.
Marie Tharp was a female pioneer geologist and oceanographic cartographer who helped create the first scientific map of the ocean floor. This newest of Burleigh’s excellent picture book biographies also includes a glossary, resources for further research, and photographs.
To the Stars! : The First American Woman to Walk in Space by Carmella Van Vleet & Kathy Sullivan (ill. by Nicole Wong). 9781580896443. 2016. Gr K-3.
Van Vleet compares Kathy Sullivan’s interests and dreams as a girl to her accomplishments as an adult. She wanted to do the things that men did—exciting things like exploring and flying and learning about science. Kathy became the first woman to walk in space while on a Challenger flight in 1984.
Miss Mary Reporting : The True Story of Sportswriter Mary Garber by Sue Macy (ill. by C.F. Payne). 9781481401203. 2016. Gr K-3.
When Mary Garber became a sportswriter in the 1940s, women were not allowed in the press box or even on the sidelines; they had to sit with the players’ wives. But Mary was spunky and determined, and she loved sports. Respected for covering sports and players that were usually overlooked, Mary wrote for 56 years—and now there is even an award named after her, given to women role models in sports media. An excellent biography about a lesser-known, but inspiring trailblazer.
The First Step : How One Little Girl Put Segregation on Trial by Susan E. Goodman (ill. by E.B. Lewis). 9780802737397. 2016. Gr 1-4.
In 1847 Sarah Roberts was told she couldn’t come back to her school. Ever. She was African American, and the Boston school was now for whites only. Her family made history when they brought the case to court. Not only was it the first case to present a legal challenge against segregated schools, but it was also the first time an African-American lawyer argued in a supreme court. Though Sarah lost her case, it was the first step toward school desegregation.
Dorothea’s Eyes : Dorothea Lange Photographs the Truth by Barb Rosenstock (ill. by Gerard DuBois). 9781629792088. 2016. Gr 2-6.
This picture book biography highlights the life and career of photographer Dorothea Lang, explaining why she was drawn to photograph the people that she did. Back matter includes a selection of Dorothea’s photographs, resources for further information, and a timeline.
Ten Days a Madwoman : The Daring Life and Turbulent Times of the Original “Girl” Reporter Nellie Bly by Deborah Noyes. 9780803740174. 2016. Gr 5-8.
Nellie was determined to be a journalist in the days when women, if they wrote for newspapers at all, only authored articles on fashion and other womanly topics. She made a name for herself when she portrayed herself as mentally ill and went undercover in an asylum for ten days. Recounting this and other daring exploits, this well-researched biography follows her daring career exposing evils in politics and society and the adventures in her personal life.
Radioactive! : How Irene Curie and Lise Meitner Revolutionized Science and Changed the World by Winifred Conkling. 9781616204150. 2016. Gr 7-10.
Irene Curie, the daughter of Marie Curie, discovered artificial radioactivity in 1934 and earned a Nobel Prize along with her husband. Her work set the stage for physicist Lise Meitner to unlock the secret of nuclear fission four years later. Conkling discusses how Curie and Meitner were discriminated against for their gender, yet their accomplishments were crucial in the development of nuclear energy and ultimately, the nuclear bomb.
Women of Colonial America : 13 Stories of Courage and Survival in the New World by Brandon Marie Miller. 9781556524875. 2016. Gr 9-12.
This latest in the Women of Action series explores true stories of thirteen women who lived during the colonial period of the United States. They were hardy and strong in an unforgiving environment, where they had to learn to assert themselves into a world run mostly by men. Included are the stories of Elizabeth Ashbridge, an indentured servant turned Quaker preacher; Anne Bradstreet, a poet and mother of eight; Sarah Kemble Knight, a businesswoman; and Eve, a Virginia slave who escaped twice to freedom.
Fast into the Night : A Woman, Her Dogs, and Their Journey North on the Iditarod Trail by Debbie Clarke Moderow. 9780544484122. 2016. Gr 10-Adult.
At the age of forty-seven, Debbie Clarke Moderow entered the Iditarod for the first time. But less than 200 miles from the finish line, she found that her beloved huskies no longer wanted to run. Desperate to figure out how she had lost touch with her dogs, Moderow spent the next two years training and reconnecting. Finally, after much hardship, she and her team were able to finish the race.
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