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More Women (and a Few Girls) of Note

Some really lived extraordinary lives while others were imagined by their authors. But each of the girls and women you’ll meet in these books share things in common: their creativity and imagination, or their bravery and willingness to take on challenges. Whether that means facing an angry crowd while trying to get to school, admitting a wrongdoing, or learning to pilot a plane, you’ll enjoy their stories. Take some time to meet and read all about a few noteworthy women (and girls!).

Quotable Quotes: The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you'll go. -- Dr. Seuss

Beatrix Potter and the Unfortunate Tale of a Borrowed Guinea Pig

By: Deborah Hopkinson
Illustrated by: Charlotte Voake
Genre: Nonfiction, Biography
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

The author of The Tale of Peter Rabbit (among other children’s classics) comes into focus as an eager young artist who borrows a guinea pig as a subject. Left unattended, however, the curious animal meets an untimely end. Based on Potter’s journals, young readers will enjoy a fascinating introduction to an author/artist in lively illustration and lucid narrative. An endnote includes photos of Beatrix as well as additional information.

Chasing Freedom: The Life Journeys of Harriet Tubman and Susan B. Anthony, Inspired by Historical Facts

By: Nikki Grimes
Illustrated by: Michele Wood
Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Underground Railroad “conductor” Harriet Tubman and Susan B. Anthony, a staunch proponent of women’s suffrage, lived during the same period in US history and actually met several times. Grimes richly imagines what they might have talked about at these meetings, contextualizing the period’s history and major events. Illustrations use strong lines and bold color to provide more than visual interest but also suggesting the strength of two remarkable women.

Coretta Scott King: I Kept on Marching

By: Kathleen Krull
Genre: Nonfiction, Biography
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Before she married Martin Luther King, Coretta Scott was known for her beautiful singing voice – and for her willingness to stand up for what was right. This installment of the series is similar in appearance and appeal as women from different historical times and places share the series title in common; each were "Women Who Broke the Rules."

Elizabeth Started All the Trouble

By: Doreen Rappaport
Illustrated by: Matt Faulkner
Genre: Nonfiction, Biography
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Women could not attend college, enter politics or vote when the United States was established. Over time, however, because of the work started by many women like Elizabeth Cady Stanton and her friend, Lucretia Mott, contemporary women can vote, work and more. Vivid language and dramatic illustrations present the early trailblazers and their work. Additional information concludes this slim but informative volume.

Freedom's School

By: Lesa Cline-Ransome
Illustrated by: James Ransome
Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

For Rosa and her family, Emancipation means education and schooling. The child's narration accompanied by richly hued illustrations, reveals the strength in community and the power of learning in the face of adversity and opposition in a post-Civil War South.

Friends for Freedom: The Story of Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass

By: Suzanne Slade
Illustrated by: Nicole Tadgell
Genre: Biography
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

An unlikely friendship developed between a white woman, Susan B. Anthony, and Frederick Douglass, a man born into slavery. Both were opposed to slavery and both recognized its similarity to women’s rights. A readable, well documented text and realistic illustrations present the engaging story of their friendship and their accomplishments.

Hillary

By: Jonah Winter
Illustrated by: Raul Colón
Genre: Nonfiction, Biography
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Hillary was born into a traditional family but one that felt their daughter should have the same opportunities as their sons. Though Hillary married and had a daughter, she also went on to law school and far beyond. This is a handsomely illustrated, respectful glimpse of the life of a woman who has gained a place in history. 

Lillian’s Right to Vote: A Celebration of the Voting Rights Act of 1965

By: Jonah Winter
Illustrated by: Shane Evans
Genre: Fiction, Biography, Historical Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

As the older woman, Ms Lillian, walks a steep hill to vote. While walking, she remembers the precipitous climb that those who preceded her made so that she could cast her ballot. The storyteller’s tone of the text and dramatic illustrations tell a powerful story.

Lizzy Bennet’s Diary: Inspired by Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice

By: Marcia Williams
Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Young readers are introduced to Lizzy (nee Elizabeth) Bennet, heroine of Jane Austen’s classic, Pride and Prejudice, through her "diary." Attractively formatted with spot illustrations, letters that can be unfolded, and charming entries, readers not ready for the 19th century novel are sure to enjoy this glimpse at it through the unique perspective of Lizzy’s journal.

Miss Emily

By: Burleigh Muten
Illustrated by: Matt Phelan
Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Young Mac introduces readers to Miss Emily — better known as Emily Dickenson, poet extraordinaire — as an adventurous, lively woman who wants to share wonders of a circus with a group of children. Animated black/white illustrations accompany the action told in free verse for an open, inviting, and highly readable novel about a famous poet.

The Quickest Kid in Clarksville

By: Pat Z. Miller
Illustrated by: Frank Morrison
Genre: Biography
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Wilma Rudolph was going to be in a parade in Clarksville, TN, after she won gold in the 1960 Summer Olympics. Alta, herself a runner, is inspired by Wilma but so is the new girl in town with the flashy new shoes. The girls put their competition aside ultimately finding friendship and a front row seat and a smile from Wilma at the parade. An author’s note about the Olympian is sure to inspire young readers to learn more about Rudolph. 

To the Stars: The First American Woman to Walk in Space

By: Carmella Van Weet
Illustrated by: Nicole Wong
Genre: Nonfiction, Biography
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Kathy Sullivan followed her dreams regardless of what other girls did. She learned to pilot a plane as a teenager and as an adult, an astronaut and the first woman to walk in space. Her early experiences are juxtaposed to her work as an astronaut on alternating spreads seen in attractive illustrations and a crisp text. A note from Sullivan (coauthor of the book) as well as brief sketches of other women astronauts concludes this fascinating book.

Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer

By: Carole Boston Weatherford
Illustrated by: Ekua Holmes
Genre: Nonfiction, Biography, Poetry
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Stirring poems and vibrant collage illustrations combine to celebrate the life of Fannie Lou Hamer, a champion of the Civil Rights and voting rights movements during the 1950s through the 1970s. Born in the Mississippi delta, the youngest of 20 children, Hamer had to drop out of school after sixth grade to work in the cotton fields before she became a powerful voice for her people. The book vividly brings to life Hamer’s legacy with a message of hope, determination, and strength.

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