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Celebrating Women's History Month

We've selected books highlighting women's history and voices that would be perfect to add to your shelves! We've even included fiction titles packed with powerful female protagonists that will prompt your young readers to strive to make history themselves.

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      Cubs in the Tub: The True Story of the Bronx Zoo’s First Woman Zookeeper

      by Candace Fleming

      Oct 2020

      Nonfiction Early Elementary Plus

      When Bronx Zoo-keeper Fred brought home a lion cub, Helen Martini instantly embraced it. The cub's mother lost the instinct to care for him. "Just do for him what you would do with a human baby," Fred suggested…and she did. Helen named him MacArthur, and fed him milk from a bottle and cooed him to sleep in a crib. Soon enough, MacArthur was not the only cub bathed in the tub! The couple continues to raise lion and tiger cubs as their own, until they are old enough to return them to zoos. Helen becomes the first female zookeeper at the Bronx zoo, the keeper of the nursery.

      This is a terrific non-fiction book to read aloud while snuggling up with your cubs! Filled with adorable baby cats, this is a story about love, dedication, and a new kind of family. Gorgeously patterned illustrations by Julie Downing detail the inhome nursery and a warm pallet creates a cozy pairing with Candace Fleming's lovely language.

      A Thousand Glass Flowers: Marietta Barovier and the Invention of the Rosetta Bead

      by Evan Turk

      Oct 2020

      Arts Elementary Plus

      Marietta and her family lived on the island of Murano, near Venice, as all glassmakers did in the early Renaissance. Her father, Angelo Barovier, was a true maestro, a master of glass. Marietta longed to create gorgeous glass too, but glass was men’s work.

      One day her father showed her how to shape the scalding-hot material into a work of art, and Marietta was mesmerized. Her skills grew and grew.

      Marietta worked until she created her own unique glass bead: the rosetta. Small but precious, the beautiful beads grew popular around the world and became as valuable as gold. The young girl who was once told she could not create art was now the woman who would leave her mark on glasswork for centuries to come.

      The Radium Girls: Young Readers’ Edition: The Scary but True Story of the Poison that Made People Glow in the Dark

      by Kate Moore

      Oct 2020

      Biography Middle Plus

      Now adapted for young readers! The incredible true story of the young women exposed to the “wonder drug” radium, and their struggle for justice.

      The Radium Girls is a rich, historical narrative of the young women exposed to the "wonder" substance of radium, and their brave struggle for justice. Their courage and tenacity saved many others, led to world-changing regulations, and even prevented nuclear war.

      Written with a sparkling voice and galloping pace, The Radium Girls is the first book that fully explores these women's strength in the face of almost impossible circumstances, and the incredible legacy they left behind. Now adapted for young readers!

      The Ocean Calls: A Haenyeo Mermaid Story

      by Tina Cho

      Oct 2020

      Multicultural Elementary

      Dayeon wants to be a haenyeo just like Grandma. The haenyeo dive off the coast o Jeju Island to pluck treasures from the sea—generations of Korean women have done so for centuries. To Dayeon, the haenyeo are as strong and graceful as mermaids. To give her strength, Dayeon eats Grandma’s abalone porridge. She practices holding her breath while they do the dishes. And when Grandma suits up for her next dive, Dayeon grabs her suit, flippers, and goggles. A scary memory of the sea keeps Dayeon clinging to the shore, but with Grandma’s guidance, Dayeon comes to appreciate the ocean’s many gifts.

      Tina Cho’s The Ocean Calls, with luminous illustrations by muralist Jess X. Snow, is a classic in the making.

      Echo Mountain

      by Lauren Wolk

      Sep 2020

      Upper Elementary & Junior High Plus

      After the financial crash, Ellie and her family have lost nearly everything—including their home in town. They have started over, carving out a new life in the unforgiving terrain of Echo Mountain. Though her sister Esther, especially, resents everything about the mountain, Ellie has found more freedom, a new strength, and a love of the natural world that now surrounds them. But there is little joy, even for Ellie, as they all struggle with the sorrow and aftermath of an accident that left her father in a coma. An accident for which Ellie has accepted the unearned weight of blame.

      Urgent for a cure to bring her father back, Ellie is determined to try anything. Following her heart, and the lead of a scruffy mutt, Ellie will make her way to the top of the mountain, in search of the healing secrets of a woman known only as “the hag.” But the mountain still has many untold stories left to reveal to Ellie, as she finds her way forward among a complex constellation of strong women spanning generations.

      Shirley Chisholm Is a Verb!

      by Veronica Chambers

      Sep 2020

      Biography Elementary Plus

      A timely picture book biography about Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman in Congress, who sought the Democratic nomination to be the president of the United States.

      Shirley Chisholm famously said, “If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.” This dynamic biography illuminates how Chisholm was a doer, an active and vocal participant in our nation’s democracy, and a force to be reckoned with. Now young readers will learn about her early years, her time in Congress, her presidential bid and how her actions left a lasting legacy that continues to inspire, uplift, and instruct.

      The Last Lie

      by Patricia Forde

      Sep 2020

      Fantasy/Science Fiction Middle Plus

      Words hold power—and Letta wields them fiercely.

      The city of Ark is no longer safe. Before the rebellion, everyone could only speak List, a language of just 500 words. But when Letta became the Wordsmith, the keeper of all the words that have ever existed—she learned that being able to express yourself is what makes you human.

      And now, the new ruler has wicked plans to eliminate language once and for all: If a baby never hears a single word, they will never speak.

      Letta and the other rebels must find a way to defeat the evil for good before they lose the very thing that will set them free.

      The Amelia Six

      by Kristin L. Gray

      Sep 2020

      Mystery/Adventure Elementary Plus

      Eleven-year-old Amelia Ashford—Millie to her friends (if she had any, that is)—doesn’t realize just how much adventure awaits her when she’s given the opportunity of a lifetime: to spend the night in Amelia Earhart’s childhood home with five other girls. Make that five strangers. But Millie’s mom is a pilot like the famous Amelia, and Millie would love to have something to write to her about…if only she had her address.

      Once at Amelia’s house in Atchison, Kansas, Millie stumbles upon a display of Amelia’s famous flight goggles. She can’t believe her good luck, since they’re about to be relocated to a fancy museum in Washington, DC. But her luck changes quickly when the goggles disappear, and Millie was the last to see them. Soon, fingers are pointing in all directions, and someone falls strangely ill. Suddenly, a fun night of scavenger hunts and sweets takes a nosedive and the girls aren’t sure who to trust. With a blizzard raging outside and a house full of suspects, the girls have no choice but to band together. It’s up to the Amelia Six to find the culprit and return the goggles to their rightful place. Or the next body to collapse could be one of theirs.

      Dress Coded

      by Carrie Firestone

      Sep 2020

      Advanced Readers Plus

      Molly Frost is FED UP…
      Because Olivia was yelled at for wearing a tank top.
      Because Liza got dress coded and Molly didn’t, even though they were wearing the exact same outfit.
      Because when Jessica was pulled over by the principal and missed a math quiz, her teacher gave her an F.
      Because it’s impossible to find shorts that are longer than her fingertips.
      Because girls’ bodies are not a distraction.
      Because middle school is hard enough.

      And so Molly starts a podcast where girls can tell their stories, and before long, her small rebellion swells into a revolution. Because now the girls are standing up for what’s right, and they’re not backing down.

      Women’s Right to Vote: History Smashers

      by Kate Messner

      Sep 2020

      Nonfiction Middle

      In 1920, Susan B. Anthony passed a law that gave voting rights to women in the United States. RIGHT? WRONG! Susan B. Anthony wasn’t even alive when the Nineteeth Amendment was ratified. Plus, it takes a lot more than one person to amend the constitution. Did you know that when women’s rights activists picketed President Wilson to get his support for voting rights, some men beat them up, tore down their banners, and stole from them? And then it was the women who got arrested! No joke. Through illustrations, graphic panels, photographs, sidebars, and more, acclaimed author Kate Messner smashes history by exploring the little-known details behind the fight for women’s suffrage.

      Ms. Gloria Steinem: A Life

      by Winifred Conkling

      Sep 2020

      Biography High Plus

      Her strength and wisdom have inspired women for generations, but Gloria Steinem’s life is more complex and compelling than most people realize. Her unconventional childhood caused her to rethink society’s assumptions about the roles of women and men. This spark lit a fire in her that burned for decades as she became a leading voice in the women’s movement.

      Throughout the years, Gloria Steinem is perhaps the single-most iconic figure associated with women's rights, her name practically synonymous with feminism. Documenting everything from her boundary-pushing journalistic career to the foundation of Ms. magazine to being awarded the 2013 Presidential Medal of Freedom, Winifred Conkling's Ms. Gloria Steinem: A Life is a meticulously researched biography that is sure to satisfy even the most voracious of aspiring glass-ceiling smashers.

      Simone Biles: Epic Athletes

      by Dan Wetzel

      Sep 2020

      Sports Elementary Plus

      Acclaimed sports journalist Dan Wetzel scores a perfect ten with this uplifting middle-grade biography of gold medal gymnast Simone Biles!

      In the 2016 Summer Olympics, Simone Biles dazzled gymnastics fans across the globe with each jaw-dropping backflip, spin, and jump she landed. Her record-breaking performance catapulted her to the top of the sport, and she quickly became a hero to young people.

      But well before Simone faced Olympic trials on the balance beam and rings, she confronted real-life challenges as a kid, as she moved in and out of foster care. With the support and love of her grandparents, plus her unwavering drive to make history on the ultimate stage in sports, she grew into an incredible role model and activist for the #MeToo movement—and one of the greatest athletes of our time.
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