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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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      Lift as You Climb: The Story of Ella Baker

      by Patricia Hruby Powell

      Sep 2020

      Character Building Elementary

      “What do you hope to accomplish?” asked Ella Baker’s granddaddy when she was still a child.

      Her mother provided the answer: “Lift as you climb.”


      Long before the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s, Ella Baker worked to lift others up by fighting racial injustice and empowering poor African Americans to stand up for their rights. Her dedication and grassroots work in many communities made her a valuable ally for leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and she has been ranked as one of the most influential women in the civil rights movement. In the 1960s she worked to register voters and organize sit-ins, and she became a teacher and mentor to many young activists.

      Caldecott Honor winner R. Gregory Christie’s powerful pictures pair with Patricia Hruby Powell’s poignant words to paint a vivid portrait of the fight for the freedom of the human spirit.

      Fight of the Century: Alice Paul Battles Woodrow Wilson for the Vote

      by Barb Rosenstock

      Sep 2020

      Nonfiction Elementary Plus

      The fight for women's suffrage between women's rights leader Alice Paul and President Woodrow Wilson is creatively presented as a four-round boxing match in this energetic nonfiction picture book.

      When Woodrow Wilson was elected President, he didn't know that he would be participating in one of the greatest fights of the century: the battle for women's right to vote. The formidable Alice Paul led the women's suffrage movement, and saw President Wilson's election as an opportunity to win the vote to women. She battered her opponent with endless strategic arguments and carefully coordinated protests, calling for a new amendment granting women the right to vote. With a spirit and determination that never quit—even when peaceful protests were met with violence and even when many women were thrown in jail—Paul eventually convinced President Wilson to support her cause, changing the country forever.

      Women in Basketball

      by Buckey, A.W.

      Aug 2020

      Series Nonfiction
      History Grades 6-8

      Introduces readers to the development of women’s basketball, as well as the sport’s star players from past to present. Colorful spreads, fascinating sidebars, and athlete bios make this a thrilling read for young sports fans.

      Valentine

      by Elizabeth Wetmore

      Jul 2020

      Adult Crossover Thrillers Plus

      Mercy is hard in a place like this…

      It’s February 1976, and Odessa, Texas, stands on the cusp of the next great oil boom. While the town’s men embrace the coming prosperity, its women intimately know and fear the violence that always seems to follow.

      In the early hours of the morning after Valentine’s Day, fourteen-year-old Gloria Ramírez appears on the front porch of Mary Rose Whitehead’s ranch house, broken and barely alive. The teenager had been viciously attacked in a nearby oil field—an act of brutality that is tried in the churches and barrooms of Odessa before it can reach a court of law. When justice is evasive, one of the town’s women decides to take matters into her own hands, setting the stage for a showdown with potentially devastating consequences.

      The Eagle Huntress: The True Story of the Girl Who Soared Beyond Expectations

      by Aisholpan Nurgaiv

      Jul 2020

      Biography Middle Plus

      In this compelling memoir, teenaged eagle hunter Aisholpan Nurgaiv tells her own story for the first time, speaking directly with award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Liz Welch (I Will Always Write Back), who traveled to Mongolia for this book. Nurgaiv's story and fresh, sincere voice are not only inspiring but truly magnificent: with the support of her father, she captured and trained her own golden eagle and won the Ölgii eagle festival. She was the only girl to compete in the festival.

      Filled with stunning photographs, The Eagle Huntress is a striking tale of determination—of a girl who defied expectations and achieved what others declared impossible. Aisholpan Nurgaiv's story is both unique and universally relatable: a memoir of survival, empowerment, and the positive impact of one person's triumph.

      Alguien como yo: La lucha de una niña por alcanzar el sueño americano (Someone Like Me: How One Undocumented Girl Fought for Her American Dream)

      by Julissa Arce

      Jul 2020

      Spanish Middle

      Born in the picturesque town of Taxco, Mexico, Julissa Arce was left behind for months at a time with her two sisters, a nanny, and her grandma while her parents worked tirelessly in America in hopes of building a home and providing a better life for their children. That is, until her parents brought Julissa to Texas to live with them. From then on, Julissa secretly lived as an undocumented immigrant, went on to become a scholarship winner and an honors college graduate, and climbed the ladder to become a vice president at Goldman Sachs.

      This moving, at times heartbreaking, but always inspiring story will show young readers that anything is possible. Julissa’s story provides a deep look into the little-understood world of a new generation of undocumented immigrants in the United States today—kids who live next door, sit next to you in class, or may even be one of your best friends.

      Exquisite: The Poetry and Life of Gwendolyn Brooks

      by Suzanne Slade

      Jul 2020

      Biography Elementary Plus

      Gwendolyn Brooks (1917–2000) is known for her poems about “real life.” She wrote about love, loneliness, family, and poverty—showing readers how just about anything could become a beautiful poem. Exquisite follows Gwendolyn from early girlhood into her adult life, showcasing her desire to write poetry from a very young age. This picture-book biography explores the intersections of race, gender, and the ubiquitous poverty of the Great Depression—all with a lyrical touch worthy of the subject. Gwendolyn Brooks was the first Black person to win the Pulitzer Prize, receiving the award for poetry in 1950. And in 1958, she was named the poet laureate of Illinois. A bold artist who from a very young age dared to dream, Brooks will inspire young readers to create poetry from their own lives.

      The Only Black Girls in Town

      by Brandy Colbert

      Jul 2020

      Advanced Readers

      Beach-loving surfer Alberta has been the only black girl in town for years. Alberta's best friend, Laramie, is the closest thing she has to a sister, but there are some things even Laramie can't understand. When the bed and breakfast across the street finds new owners, Alberta is ecstatic to learn the family is black-and they have a 12-year-old daughter just like her.

      Alberta is positive she and the new girl, Edie, will be fast friends. But while Alberta loves being a California girl, Edie misses her native Brooklyn and finds it hard to adapt to small-town living.

      When the girls discover a box of old journals in Edie's attic, they team up to figure out exactly who's behind them and why they got left behind. Soon they discover shocking and painful secrets of the past and learn that nothing is quite what it seems.

      Kamala Harris

      by Jopp, Kelsey

      Jul 2020

      Series Nonfiction
      Social Studies Grades 6-8

      This title introduces readers to the political career of Kamala Harris. Concise text, thought-provoking discussion questions, and compelling photos give the reader an insightful look into the impacts Harris has had on the urgent issues of today.

      Mother Jones and Her Army of Mill Children

      by Jonah Winter

      Jun 2020

      Biography Elementary Plus

      Here’s the inspiring story of the woman who raised her voice and fist to protect kids’ childhoods and futures—and changed America forever.

      Mother Jones is MAD, and she wants you to be MAD TOO, and stand up for what’s right! Told in first-person, New York Times bestelling author Jonah Winter, and acclaimed illustrator Nancy Carpenter, share the incredible story of Mother Jones, an Irish immigrant who was essential in the fight to create child labor laws. Well into her sixties, Mother Jones had finally had enough of children working long hours in dangerous factory jobs, and decided she was going to do something about it. The powerful protests she organized earned her the name “the most dangerous woman in America.” And in the Children’s Crusade of 1903, she lead one hundred boys and girls on a glorious march from Philadelphia right to the front door of President Theodore Roosevelt’s Long Island home.

      Saint X

      by Alexis Schaitkin

      Jun 2020

      Adult Crossover Thrillers Plus

      Claire is only seven years old when her college-age sister, Alison, disappears on the last night of their family vacation at a resort on the Caribbean island of Saint X. Several days later, Alison’s body is found in a remote spot on a nearby cay, and two local men—employees at the resort—are arrested. But the evidence is slim, the timeline against it, and the men are soon released. The story turns into national tabloid news, a lurid mystery that will go unsolved. For Claire and her parents, there is only the return home to broken lives.

      Years later, Claire is living and working in New York City when a brief but fateful encounter brings her together with Clive Richardson, one of the men originally suspected of murdering her sister. It is a moment that sets Claire on an obsessive pursuit of the truth—not only to find out what happened the night of Alison’s death but also to answer the elusive question: Who exactly was her sister? At seven, Claire had been barely old enough to know her: a beautiful, changeable, provocative girl of eighteen at a turbulent moment of identity formation.

      As Claire doggedly shadows Clive, hoping to gain his trust, waiting for the slip that will reveal the truth, an unlikely attachment develops between them, two people whose lives were forever marked by the same tragedy.

      A Portrait in Poems: The Storied Life of Gertrude Stein & Alice B. Toklas

      by Evie Robillard

      May 2020

      Arts Elementary Plus

      Here's an insider's tour of the fascinating lives of Gertrude Stein and her partner, Alice B. Toklas, amusingly addressed directly to the reader ("The next time you go to…"). It explores the couple's art collection, their famous writer and artist friends, and even their dog, Basket. It also describes how Gertrude's book The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas was not about Alice, but was more about Gertrude herself! A celebration of creativity and the creative process, this original and very readable picture book biography champions two women who dared to live unconventional lives.
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