Here are 9 books children and teens should read during Women’s History Month

Are you looking for a graphic novel or an educational picture book to give your early readers this women’s history month?

Linda Tripp, Somerset County Library Systems’ collection development librarian, suggests these nine books to young readers who want to learn about the contributions women have made throughout U.S. history.

“It is important for readers of all ages to learn about different women who have historically been overlooked, or who have had their achievements trivialized, asserted by others, or disappeared.” It is imperative that our youngest readers see themselves and their worldview is reflected in the books they encounter, and when they read stories about someone similar to them, their reality is recognized and validated. “

  • All the way to the top: How a girl’s fight for Americans with disabilities changed everything “ by Annette Bay Pimentel and illustrated by Nabi H. Ali.

Tripp said Jennifer Keelan, who was born with cerebral palsy, was already an experienced activist at the age of 8 when she went to the U.S. Capitol to advocate for the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“The image of this young girl crawling up the stairs to Capitol Hill went viral, helping push Congress to finally adopt the action,” Tripp said.

This illustrated biography of Keelan’s life, Tripp says, contains information and a timeline of the disability movement.

  • “Becoming an RBG: Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Journey to Justice” written by Debbie Levy and illustrated by Whitney Gardner.

Following on from the author’s picture book biography for younger children, “In Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark,” Tripp said that this graphic biography of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will inspire and empower middle-class readers through adults.

In this colorful biography book, Tripp said Levy explains some of Ginsburg’s most important cases as a groundbreaking feminist icon who argued for equal treatment for girls and women in society and in the workplace.

  • “Girls think of everything: stories of ingenious inventions of women” by Catherine Thimmesh and illustrated by Melissa Sweet.

“From Ruth Wakefield’s happy accident that led to the delicious Toll House cookie, to graduate students who designed a solar-powered inflatable lantern for use in disaster relief efforts, this collection of short biographies shows various female inventors who were challenged to solve a problem and succeeded, “said Tripp.

This book contains interesting stories about inventors, Tripp said, along with information about the patent process, competition sites and organizations that will encourage young people to become innovators and inventors.

Heritage: Women poets from the Harlem Renaissance

Filled with poems by unsung female poets from the early 20th century Harlem Renaissance, author Nikki Grimes’ book contains her own poetry and illustrations by modern black female artists.

  • “Legacy: Women Poets of the Harlem Renaissance” by Nikki Grimes.

This book contains poems by unsung female poets from the early 20th century Harlem Renaissance, which are accompanied by Grimes’ original poetry.

Tripp said amazing illustrations created by modern black female artists throughout the book.

The award-winning author uses the unique poetic form of the Golden Shovel, borrows a line or phrase from one of the other poets and uses each of their words as the last word in each line of his new poems in this collection that pays homage to it. black woman. experience, “Tripp said.

  • “Noisemakers: 25 women raising their voices and changing the world” published Kazoo Magazine and edited by Erin Bried.

“Short profiles in this graphic novel anthology show various inventors, scientists, athletes, writers, activists and pioneers,” Tripp said.

Tripp said the book includes the exercise “Count All the Things You Have in Common,” which begins each profile to engage the reader. Each biography is paired with cartoon illustrations by another talented female artist.

  • “Shark Lady: The True Story of Eugenie Clark Became the Sea’s Most Fearless Scientist” by Jess Keating and illustrated by Marta Álvarez Miguéns.

Eugenie Clark turned her childhood passion for sharks, Tripp said, into a lifelong study of the most feared sea predator, dispelling myths and misconceptions along the way.

“The colorful illustrations by Marta Álvarez Miguén in this picture book biography perfectly complement the story of this fearless but little-known mixed-race woman who overcame countless obstacles and discrimination in her career as a female scientist,” Tripp said.

  • “This is your time” by civil rights activist and author Ruby Bridges.

Bridges, who at age 6 was the first African-American to integrate an all-white elementary school in New Orleans, shares his story in this first-person “letter” to young readers, Tripp said.

“Period black-and-white photographs are equated with images from current events, emphasizing the lessons of civil rights history and the positive work still to be done by young activists,” she said.

  • “Walking for Water: How One Boy stood up for gender equality” written by Susan Hughes and illustrated by Nicole Miles.

A young boy sets out to create change in his family and community as he recognizes the inequalities that his twin sister and other girls face in their village in Malawi.

Based on a true story, Tripp said that this inspiring story shows how any action, no matter how small, can wave outward and change things for the better.

History Smashers: Women's suffrage

This informative book is written by Kate Messner and shows the untold stories of women who helped push women’s suffrage movement forward.

  • “History Crushers: Women’s Right to Vote” by Kate Messner and illustrated by Dylan Meconi.

“Susan B. Anthony might come to mind when considering the fight to win women’s suffrage, but she was just part of the story,” Tripp said.

Tripp said millions of women worked together for decades to achieve this goal, but as readers will find out, they also struggled with each other, arguing not only about who should vote but how to bring about change.

This book shatters history, Tripp said, because it contains stories that pay homage to other leaders, including the colored ones, in the women’s suffrage movement, whose work was often ignored or deleted from history books.

“Non-fiction for children has come a long way from the dry, dusty textbooks of the past,” Tripp said. “We are so fortunate to have many talented, diverse writers and illustrators researching and writing nonfiction in various formats such as picture books, graphic novels or comics, collective biography anthologies, and narrative nonfiction.”

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Vashti Harris can be reached at [email protected].

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