11 Empowering Books for Both Girls and Boys | Women’s History Month
The Children’s Book Review | March 9, 2017
This is a book list meant to empower all boys and girls. This is a book list to show that it’s okay for humans to be both strong and sensitive at the same time. This is a book list that showcases the power of ambition and courage. This is a book list that helps both boys and girls know that we can all be heroes!
Publisher’s Synopsis: Get to know celebrated Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg—in the first picture book about her life—as she proves that disagreeing does not make you disagreeable!
Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has spent a lifetime disagreeing: disagreeing with inequality, arguing against unfair treatment, and standing up for what’s right for people everywhere. This biographical picture book about the Notorious RBG, tells the justice’s story through the lens of her many famous dissents, or disagreements.
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers | 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-1481465595
Publisher’s Synopsis: In the spirit of Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope and Amelia and Eleanor Go for a Ride comes an inspiring portrait of Hillary Rodham Clinton, the first female presidential nominee in United States history: a girl who fought to make a difference—and paved the way for women everywhere—from Michelle Markel and LeUyen Pham.
In the 1950s, it was a man’s world. Girls weren’t supposed to act smart, tough, or ambitious. Even though, deep inside, they may have felt that way. And then along came Hillary. Brave, brilliant, and unstoppable, she was out to change the world.
They said a woman couldn’t be a mother and a lawyer. Hillary was both. They said a woman shouldn’t be too strong or too smart. Hillary was fearlessly herself.
It didn’t matter what people said—she was born to lead.
With illustrations packed full of historical figures and details, this gorgeous and informative picture book biography is perfect for every budding leader. Includes a timeline, artist’s note, and bibliography.
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Balzer + Bray | 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-0062381224
Written by Alexandra S.D. Hinrichs
Illustrated by Renée Graef
Publisher’s Synopsis: Step back in time to seventeenth-century Paris with Thérèse, a talented young girl who lives and works at the Gobelins Manufactory, where Europe’s greatest artisans make tapestries and luxury objects for King Louis XIV. Even though girls are not trained on the great looms there, Thérèse practices on a small one at home and dreams of becoming a royal weaver someday.
This charming story follows Thérèse as she carries out an ambitious plan with the help of family, friends, and the artisans of the Gobelins. The intricate craft of tapestry weaving is illuminated, and surprises await Thérèse, her parents and brothers, and even the king himself. Children’s book author Alexandra S. D. Hinrichs here breathes vivid life into a delightful tale full of fun twists and an appealing cast of characters.
Original paintings by award-winning artist Renée Graef playfully illustrate the book, as well as the many steps involved in the creation of the famous Gobelins tapestries, from dyeing wool and making silver thread, to painting and copying the elaborate designs, to the delicate art of weaving.
Thérèse’s fictional adventures are inspired by real people, the actual Gobelins Manufactory, and a beautiful tapestry that hangs today in the J. Paul Getty Museum.
Ages 6-9 | Publisher: J. Paul Getty Museum | 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-1606064733
Written by Matthew Clark Smith
Illustrated by Matt Tavares
Publisher’s Synopsis: Take to the skies with the beautifully told tale of Sophie Blanchard — a woman meant for the air — as she discovers the incomparable sensation of flight.
Behold the story of Sophie Blanchard, an extraordinary woman who is largely forgotten despite her claim to being the very first female pilot in history. In eighteenth-century France, “balloonomania” has fiercely gripped the nation . . . but all of the pioneering aeronauts are men. The job of shattering that myth falls to a most unlikely figure: a shy girl from a seaside village, entirely devoted to her dream of flight. Sophie is not the first woman to ascend in a balloon, nor the first woman to accompany an aeronaut on a trip, but she will become the first woman to climb to the clouds and steer her own course. The words of Matthew Clark Smith bring Sophie’s story to light after so many years, while Matt Tavares’s atmospheric art and unique perspectives take her to new heights.
Ages 6-9 | Publisher: Candlewick | 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-0763677329
Publisher’s Synopsis: Malala Yousafzai stood up to the Taliban and fought for the right for all girls to receive an education. When she was just fifteen-years old, the Taliban attempted to kill Malala, but even this did not stop her activism. At age eighteen Malala became the youngest person to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her work to ensure the education of all children around the world.
Malala’s courage and conviction will inspire young readers in this beautifully illustrated biography.
Ages 6-9 | Publisher: Charlesbridge | 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1580897853
Publisher’s Synopsis: We can all be heroes. That’s the inspiring message of this New York Times bestselling picture book biography series from historian and author Brad Meltzer. Learn all about Jane Goodall, the chimpanzee scientist.
Each picture book in this series is a biography of a significant historical figure, told in a simple, conversational, vivacious way, and always focusing on a character trait that makes the person a role model for kids. The heroes are depicted as children throughout, telling their life stories in first-person present tense, which keeps the books playful and accessible to young children. And each book ends with a line of encouragement, a direct quote, photos, a timeline, and a source list. This tenth book in the series features Jane Goodall, the scientist and conservationist who is famous for her work with chimpanzees.
Ages 5-8 | Publisher: Dial Books | 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-0525428497
Publisher’s Synopsis: Meet the youngest known child to be arrested for a civil rights protest in Birmingham, Alabama, 1963, in this moving picture book that proves you’re never too little to make a difference.
Nine-year-old Audrey Faye Hendricks intended to go places and do things like anybody else.
So when she heard grown-ups talk about wiping out Birmingham’s segregation laws, she spoke up. As she listened to the preacher’s words, smooth as glass, she sat up tall. And when she heard the plan—picket those white stores! March to protest those unfair laws! Fill the jails!—she stepped right up and said, I’ll do it! She was going to j-a-a-il!
Audrey Faye Hendricks was confident and bold and brave as can be, and hers is the remarkable and inspiring story of one child’s role in the Civil Rights Movement.
Ages 5-10 | Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers | 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1481400701
Written by Phil Bildner
Illustrated by Brett Helquist
Publisher’s Synopsis: A fascinating dual biography of tennis greats Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert celebrates the power of equality, respect, and sportsmanship.
Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert come from completely different places and play tennis in completely different ways. Chrissie is the all-American girl: practiced, poised, with perfect technique. Martina hails from Czechoslovakia, a Communist country, and her game is ruled by emotion. Everything about them is different, except one thing: they both want to be the best. But as their intense rivalry grows, something else begins to swing into place, and a friendship forms that will outlast all their tennis victories. Phil Bildner and Brett Helquist tell the engaging true story of these two masters of the court as they win title after title — and, most importantly, the hearts of the fans.
Ages 7-10 | Publisher: Candlewick | 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-0763673086
Rad Women Worldwide: Artists and Athletes, Pirates and Punks, and Other Revolutionaries Who Shaped History
Written by Kate Schatz
Illustrated by Miriam Klein Stahl
Publisher’s Synopsis: Educational and inspirational, this gift-worthy New York Times bestseller from the authors of Rad American Women A-Z, is a bold, illustrated collection of 40 biographical profiles showcasing extraordinary women from across the globe.
Rad Women Worldwide tells fresh, engaging, and amazing tales of perseverance and radical success by pairing well-researched and riveting biographies with powerful and expressive cut-paper portraits. The book features an array of diverse figures from 430 BCE to 2016, spanning 31 countries around the world, from Hatshepsut (the great female king who ruled Egypt peacefully for two decades) and Malala Yousafzi (the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize) to Poly Styrene (legendary teenage punk and lead singer of X-Ray Spex) and Liv Arnesen and Ann Bancroft (polar explorers and the first women to cross Antarctica). An additional 250 names of international rad women are also included as a reference for readers to continue their own research.
This progressive and visually arresting book is a compelling addition to women’s history and belongs on the shelf of every school, library, and home. Together, these stories show the immense range of what women have done and can do. May we all have the courage to be rad!
For teachers, this book is appropriate for grades 6-8 and could be used in either Social Studies or English classes, or as part of a text for a multidisciplinary unit. It can also be used as a Common Core text for grades 6-8 Social Studies/History – CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.1-10.
Ages 10+ | Publisher: Ten Speed Press | 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-0399578861
Publisher’s Synopsis: “Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls” is a children’s book packed with 100 BEDTIME STORIES about the life of 100 EXTRAORDINARY WOMEN from the past and the present, illustrated by 60 FEMALE ARTISTS from all over the world. Each woman’s story is written in the style of a fairy tale. Each story has a full page, full color portrait that captures the spirit of the portrayed hero. Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls is also the MOST CROWDFUNDED ORIGINAL BOOK IN HISTORY. Hardcover, with an extra smooth matte scuff-free lamination, 100lbs beautiful paper, a double satin bookmark and an extraordinary print quality, Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls is a beautiful object, it’s printed with soy and vegetable based inks and it’s FSC certified.
Ages 10+ | Publisher: Timbuktu Labs, Inc. | 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-0997895810
Written by Stephanie Warren Drimmer
Publisher’s Synopsis: Everybody needs a role model! Discover true stories of superstars, war heroes, world leaders, gusty gals, and everyday women who changed the world. From Sacagawea to Mother Teresa, Annie Oakley to Malala Yousafzai, these famous women hiked up their pants and petticoats and charged full-speed ahead to prove girls are just as tough as boys…maybe even tougher. Complete with amazing images and a fun design, this is the book that every kid with a goal, hope, or dream will want to own.
Ages 8-12 | Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books | 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-1426325571