HomeGeneralWomen’s History Books: A List from Random House Children’s Books

Women’s History Books: A List from Random House Children’s Books

By Bianca Schulze, The Children’s Book Review
Published: March 23, 2011

This is an abbreviated version of a list of books put together by Lauren Donovan from Random House Children’s Books.

TILLIE THE TERRIBLE SWEDE: How One Woman, a Sewing Needle, and a Bicycle Changed History

By Sue Stauffacher; illustrated by Sarah McMenemy

When Tillie Anderson came to America, all she had was a needle. So she got herself a job in a tailor shop and waited for a dream to find her. One day, a man sped by on a bicycle. She was told “bicycles aren’t for ladies,” but from then on, Tillie dreamed of riding—not graceful figure eights, but speedy, scorching, racy riding! And she knew that couldn’t be done in a fancy lady’s dress. . . . With arduous training and her (shocking!) new clothes, Tillie became the women’s bicycle-riding champion of the world. Sue Stauffacher’s lively text and Sarah McMenemy’s charming illustrations capture the energy of America’s bicycle craze and tell the story of one woman who wouldn’t let society’s expectations stop her from achieving her dream.

Alfred A. Knopf | January 25, 2011 |  Ages 5-8 | 40 pgs

Add this book to your collection: TILLIE THE TERRIBLE SWEDE: How One Woman, a Sewing Needle, and a Bicycle Changed History

AMELIA LOST: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart

By Candace Fleming

In this stunning new biography, Candace Fleming, the acclaimed author of The Great and Only Barnum and The Lincolns: A Scrapbook Look and Abraham and Mary, peels back the layers of myth surrounding the world’s most famous aviatrix Amelia Earhart and presents an honest portrait of a multi-faceted, inspirational woman. With photos, maps, and hand-written notes from Amelia herself—plus informative sidebars tackling everything from the history of flight to what Amelia liked to eat while flying (tomato soup), this unique biography is tailor-made for middle graders.

Schwartz & Wade Books|February 8, 2011| Ages 8-12 up|128 pgs

Add this book to your collection: AMELIA LOST: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart


By Kimberly Newton Fusco

Filled with memorable moments and a winning cast of characters, Fusco’s story, set during the Great Depression, is sure to tug at the heartstrings of all who read it. Bringing topics such as the Depression and segregation to life for young readers, this is a beautifully moving story about a spunky young heroine and her determination to overcome the hardships that life has given her. A story begging to be shared and discussed, Kimberly Newton Fusco’s lyrical novel is the perfect selection for book clubs everywhere, and is the summer read kids will want to get their hands on before returning to school. In a starred review, KIRKUS REVIEWS said “good humor, kindness, and courage triumph in this warm, richly nuanced novel that cheers the heart like a song sweetly sung.”

Alfred A. Knopf | August 10, 2010 |Ages 8-12 | 272 pgs

Add this book to your collection: THE WONDER OF CHARLIE ANNE

BOSTON JANE: An Adventure

By Jennifer L. Holm

Boston Jane, the acclaimed historical-fiction trilogy by three-time Newbery Honor winner Jennifer L. Holm, brings together beautiful writing, strong characters, mystery, romance, and even an element of the supernatural. Follow the adventures of sixteen-year-old Jane Peck—from the whirl of Philadelphia high society ballrooms to the primitive settlements of the glorious Pacific Northwest, where armed with just her wits and her finishing-school education, she must explore the unchartered frontiers of friendship, true love and the unknown wilds outside her front door. Readers can continue on Jane’s journey with Boston Jane: Wilderness Days and Boston Jane: The Claim.

Yearling | January 26, 2010 | Ages 9-12 | 272 pages

Add this book to your collection: BOSTON JANE: An Adventure


By Cora Harrison

Budding fans of Jane Austen will gobble up Cora Harrison’s dashing new historical fiction novel. An inside look awaits anyone who has imagined what it might have been like to be the best friend, cousin, and confidante of the one and only Jane Austen. Jane’s cousin Jenny Cooper knows she must sneak to the post inn during the dead of night in order to save her from death, but such an excursion is highly forbidden. When her dark walk through Southampton turns dangerous, the handsome Captain Thomas Williams comes to her rescue. Austen’s signature theme of the longing for first love comes to life through the diary entries of Jenny Cooper, with line drawings complementing the account throughout. Harrison concludes the novel with a note on the historical accuracy. The book provides an easy introduction to Austen’s style, and is perfect for fans of Austen who just can’t get enough.

Delacorte Press | September 28, 2010 | Ages 12 UP | 352 pgs

Add this book to your collection: I WAS JANE AUSTEN’S BEST FRIEND

THREE RIVERS RISING: A Novel of the Johnstown Flood

By Jame Richards

The spring of 1889 brings Celestia to the wealthy Lake Conemaugh community. When Celestia and Peter, a hired boy from the lower class neighborhood of Johnstown, fall in love, Celestia’s father forbids the relationship. After Celestia’s dear sister Estrella is banished from the family because of her own elicit affair, Celestia runs away to Johnstown to live with Peter and his ill father. In this same city of Johnstown is Maura, a seventeen-year-old pregnant mother of three and Kate, a determined and able nurse-in-training. When the Lake Conemaugh mountaintop dam collapses, it sends a devastating tidal wave through the lives of these affecting characters, mixing them together in unexpected ways. With a map of Johnstown, and valuable back matter including a timeline, historical note, and suggested reading list, THREE RIVERS RISING sweeps teens into fascinating historical fiction. A haunting event from American history delivers the perfect storm of storylines. Written in lyrical prose, multiple narrators tell intersecting stories of how one weak dam irrevocably changes the course of their lives.

Alfred A. Knopf| April 13, 2010| Ages 12 UP|304 pgs

Add this book to your collection: THREE RIVERS RISING: A Novel of the Johnstown Flood


By Jennifer Donnelly

In her first young adult novel since her Printz honor-winning A Northern Light, Jennifer Donnelly gives voice to two very distinct characters—Andi Alpers, who lives in modern-day Brooklyn, and Alexandrine Paradis, who lived over two centuries ago in Revolutionary Paris. Andi is on the edge, destroyed by rage and grief, and about to be expelled from Brooklyn Heights’s most prestigious private school. She’s angry with her parents, and heartbroken by the loss of her younger brother, Truman. Alexandrine always dreamed of making her mark on the Paris stage, but a fateful encounter with the doomed prince of France cast her in a tragic role she didn’t want—and couldn’t escape. Their stories come together when Andi travels to Paris and discovers Alexandrine’s diary in an old guitar case. She is moved by her words to the point of obsession, and what unfolds is an exhilarating journey where the past becomes suddenly—and terrifyingly—present.

Delacorte Press | October 12, 2010 | Ages 14 up | 496 pgs

Add this book to your collection: REVOLUTION

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Bianca Schulze is the founder of The Children’s Book Review. She is a reader, reviewer, mother and children’s book lover. She also has a decade’s worth of experience working with children in the great outdoors. Combined with her love of books and experience as a children’s specialist bookseller, the goal is to share her passion for children’s literature to grow readers. Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, she now lives with her husband and three children near Boulder, Colorado.

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