March is Women’s History Month, a time dedicated to the observance and celebration of the vital role of women in American History—both past and present. In every scientific and humanitarian field, there have been women who have changed the world. Whether it is chemistry, journalism, politics, or civil rights, women have left their mark on all of our lives.
To honor their persistence, bravery, and compassion, we have gathered a list of titles which highlight our history’s female legacy. Please feel free to share these stories with family and friends and any woman, young or old, who has inspired you to reach higher, go farther, and dream bigger.
|It Can’t Be Done, Nellie Bly!
by Nancy Butcher
illustrated by Jen Singh
This book tells the true story of Nellie Bly, a courageous newspaper reporter for the New York World, who decided to circle the globe in 1889 in less than eighty days. Equipped only with one sturdy travel dress and a small satchel, she has all kinds of incredible experiences—from surviving a monsoon at sea to visiting a leper colony in China. Bly’s indomitable spirit and love of adventure will inspire a new generation of young readers to defy the odds and attempt to do what many believe cannot be done.
|Mind Your Manners, Alice Roosevelt!
by Leslie Kimmelman
illustrated by Adam Gustavson
Alice Roosevelt was an independent, outspoken young woman during a time when women were supposed to be quiet and reserved. She flew in the face of convention at every turn, from riding a pig and keeping a pet snake to speeding through town in a new car. Her free-spirited antics, and rapier wit, drew the eyes and ears of the nation, inspiring many of its citizens to question their own definitions of womanhood.
|Marching with Aunt Susan
by Claire Rudolf Murphy
illustrated by Stacey Schuett
Based on the experiences of a real ten year old girl, this title centers around Bessie a young woman who just wants to go hiking with her father and brothers. But it’s 1896, and girls don’t get to hike. Not only that, but they don’t get to vote either. So when Susan B. Anthony comes to town to lead a campaign for women’s suffrage, Bessie is stirred to action. Upon joining the movement, she discovers that small efforts can result in small changes—and maybe even big ones.
Despite the Emancipation Proclamation, the stench of slavery still lingered over America in the late 19th century. Blessed with a strong will, an eager mind, and a deep belief in America’s promise of “freedom and justice for all,” journalist Ida B. Wells used her position as a platform to speak for justice and civil rights.
by Li Keng Wong
In this dramatic memoir of early-twentieth century immigration, Li Keng Wong shares her family’s journey from rural China to a new life in California. Hunger, poverty, police raids, frequent moves, and the occasional sting of racism were a part of everyday life, but slowly Li Keng and her family found stability and a true home in “Gold Mountain.”
|Sweet Land of Liberty
by Deborah Hopkinson
illustrated by Leonard Jenkins
This inspiring story of little-known civil rights champion Oscar Chapman and his role in Marian Anderson’s concert at the Lincoln Memorial reminds readers that one person can truly make a difference.
by Eleanor Ramrath Garner
Eleanor’s Story is the dramatic autobiography of Eleanor Ramrath Garner’s youth, growing up as an American caught in World War II Berlin. It’s a story of trying to maintain stability, hope, and identity in a world of terror and contrasts. Throughout her work, Garner puts a very human face on the horrors of war and helps us understand that each casualty of war is a person, not a number.
by Ken Rappoport
Rappoport showcases a dozen of the twentieth century’s greatest female athletes in this particular title. Each profile highlights the lasting impact of women not only on their sport but on society as well, challenging popular misconceptions about women and sports.