In March, we celebrate Women’s History Month. That means it’s a great time to start conversations with even the littlest readers about how they can achieve whatever they set their minds to! When we talk about women taking the lead in non-traditional roles, we plant the seeds of empowerment in young minds.
Children’s biographies can be a fun way to bring up these conversations about women and their many accomplishments. Try some of these newly released titles with your kids next story time!
Kamala and Maya’s Big Idea by Meena Harris and Ana Ramírez González
Inspired by a true story from the childhood of Vice President Kamala Harris! This is the uplifting tale of how the author’s aunt and mother first learned to persevere in the face of disappointment and turned a dream into reality. This is a story of children’s ability to make a difference and of a community coming together to transform their neighborhood.
Girls Who Build by Katie Hughes
Girls Who Build features candid and arresting photographs of forty-five girls showing off their power tools and can-do attitudes. Accompanying each girl is a profile interview where she speaks to her inspirations and favorite builds, plus tips for others starting out. Also included are building skills, techniques, and safety tips to teach girls — and older beginners — how to handle hammers, drills, and saws plus thirteen do-it-herself building projects (from the featured girls themselves) such as picture frames, nightstands, playhouses, and more.
Classified by Traci Sorell and Natasha Donovan
Cherokee author Traci Sorell and Métis illustrator Natasha Donovan trace Ross’s journey from being the only girl in a high school math class to becoming a teacher to pursuing an engineering degree, joining the top-secret Skunk Works division of Lockheed, and being a mentor for Native Americans and young women interested in engineering. In addition, the narrative highlights Cherokee values including education, working cooperatively, remaining humble, and helping ensure equal opportunity and education for all.
Beatrix Potter, Scientist by Lindsay H. Metcalf and Junyi Wu
Everyone knows Beatrix Potter as the creator of the Peter Rabbit stories. But before that, she was a girl of science. As a child, Beatrix collected nature specimens; as a young adult, she was an amateur mycologist presenting her research on mushrooms and other fungi to England’s foremost experts. Like many women of her time, she remained unacknowledged by the scientific community, but her keen eye for observation led her to an acclaimed career as an artist and storyteller. A beloved author is cast in a new light in this inspiring picture book story.
Ambitious Girl by Meena Harris and Marissa Valdez
In this inspiring picture book from New York Times-bestselling author Meena Harris, a young girl sees words like “too ambitious” and “too assertive” being yelled at a strong woman on TV and it sends her on a journey of discovery through past, present, and future about the limits put on women and girls and the ways in which they can resist, assist, coexist, and excel.
How Women Won the Vote by Susan Campbell Bartoletti and Ziyue Chen
This is how history should be told to kids-with photos, illustrations, and captivating storytelling. Bartoletti spins a story like few others-deftly taking readers by the hand and introducing them to suffragists Alice Paul and Lucy Burns. Paul and Burns met in a London jail and fought their way through hunger strikes, jail time, and much more to win a long, difficult victory for America and its women.
Latinitas by Juliet Menéndez
Discover how 40 influential Latinas became the women we celebrate today! In this collection of short biographies from all over Latin America and across the United States, Juliet Menéndez explores the first small steps that set the Latinitas off on their journeys. With gorgeous, hand-painted illustrations, Menéndez shines a spotlight on the power of childhood dreams.
Claudette Colvin by Lesa Cline-Ransome
Before Rosa Parks famously refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, fifteen-year-old Claudette Colvin made the same choice. She insisted on standing up–or in her case, sitting down–for what was right, and in doing so, fought for equality, fairness, and justice. In this chapter book biography by award-winning author Lesa Cline-Ransome, readers learn about the amazing life of Claudette Colvin–and how she persisted. Complete with an introduction from Chelsea Clinton!
Send a Girl! by Jess Rinker and Meg Hunt
Brenda Berkman was often told that she couldn’t do certain things because she was a girl. When she grew up, she longed for a job that was challenging, different every day, and required physical and mental strength. In 1977 when the New York City Fire Department finally complied with the Civil Rights Act (from 1964) by allowing women to take the FDNY exam, Brenda jumped at the chance. But the FDNY changed the rules of the exam so women wouldn’t be able to pass it. Even a lot of men couldn’t pass this new exam. So Brenda Berkman took the FDNY to court. In 1982, they finally made a fair test, and Brenda and 41 other women passed. Brenda went on to serve in the FDNY for 25 years, reaching the positions of Lieutenant and Captain, and was a first responder during the attacks on the Twin Towers on 9/11. After her retirement, Brenda founded the United Women Firefighters, an organization that helps train and prepare women to be firefighters. Send a Girl! is Brenda Berkman’s inspiring story.
Legacy by Nikki Grimes
From Children’s Literature Legacy Award-winning author Nikki Grimes comes a feminist-forward new collection of poetry celebrating the little-known women poets of the Harlem Renaissance–paired with full-color, original art from today’s most talented female African-American illustrators.
Publisher descriptions retrieved from Google Books.