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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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      Salt Slow

      by Julia Armfield

      Mar 2020

      Adult Crossover High Plus

      In her provocative, electrifying debut, Julia Armfield explores women’s experiences in contemporary society, mapped through their bodies.

      As urban dwellers' sleep becomes disassociated from them, like Peter Pan’s shadow, a city turns insomniac. A teenager entering puberty finds her body transforming in ways very different from her classmates’. As a popular band gathers momentum, the fangirls following their tour turn into something monstrous. After their parents remarry, two step-sisters, one a girl and one a wolf, develop a dangerously close bond. And in an apocalyptic landscape, a pregnant woman begins to realize that the creature in her belly is not what she expected.

      Blending elements of horror, science fiction, mythology, and feminism, salt slow is an utterly original collection of short stories that are sure to dazzle and shock, heralding the arrival of a thrilling new literary voice.

      Instructions Not Included: How a Team of Women Coded the Future

      by Tami Lewis Brown

      Mar 2020

      Science Nonfiction Elementary Plus

      Click. Whir. Buzz.

      Not so long ago, math problems had to be solved with pencil and paper, mail delivered by postman, and files were stored in paper folders and metal cabinets. But three women, Betty Snyder, Jean Jennings, and Kay McNulty knew there could be a better way. During World War II, people hoped ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer), one of the earliest computers, could help with the war effort. With little guidance, no instructions, and barely any access to the machine itself, Betty, Jean, and Kay used mathematics, electrical engineering, logic, and common sense to command a computer as large as a room and create the modern world.

      The machine was like Betty, requiring outside-the-box thinking, like Jean, persistent and consistent, and like Kay, no mistakes, every answer perfect. Today computers are all around us, performing every conceivable task, thanks, in large part, to Betty, Jean, and Kay’s pioneering work. Instructions Not Included is their story.

      Authors’ note, with photographs. Resources. Full-color illustrations.

      Girl Under a Red Moon: Growing Up During China’s Cultural Revolution

      by Da Chen

      Mar 2020

      Biography Middle Plus

      In a small village called Yellow Stone, in southeastern China, Sisi is a model sister, daughter, and student. She brews tea for her grandfather in the morning, leads recitations at school as class monitor, and helps care for her youngest brother, Da.

      But when students are selected during a school ceremony to join the prestigious Red Guard, Sisi is passed over. Worse, she is shamed for her family's past—they are former landowners who have no place in the new Communist order. Her only escape is to find work at another school, bringing Da along with her. But the siblings find new threats in Bridge Town, too, and Sisi will face choices between family and nation, between safety and justice. With the tide of the Cultural Revolution rising, Sisi must decide if she will swim against the current, or get swept up in the wave.

      Author’s note. Black-and-white photographs and illustrations.

      Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All

      by Laura Ruby

      Feb 2020

      Mature Young Adults Plus

      When Frankie’s mother died and her father left her and her siblings at an orphanage in Chicago, she thought it was only supposed to be temporary—just long enough for him to get back on his feet be able to provide for them once again. That’s why she is not prepared for the day that he arrives for his weekend visit with a new woman on his arm and out-of-state train tickets in his pocket. Now Frankie and her sister, Toni, are abandoned to the orphanage, two young, unwanted women doing everything they can to survive. And as the embers of the Great Depression are kindled into the fires of World War II, and the shadows of injustice, poverty, and death walk the streets in broad daylight, it will be up to Frankie to find something worth holding on to in the ruins of this shattered America —every minute of every day spent wondering if the life she is able to carve out will be enough.

      I will admit, I do not know the answer to this last question. But I will be watching, waiting to find out. That’s what ghosts do.

      Author’s note.

      Mighty Moe: The True Story of a Thirteen-Year-Old Women's Running Revolutionary

      by Rachel Swaby

      Feb 2020

      Sports Middle Plus

      The untold true story of runner Maureen Wilton, whose world record-breaking marathon time at age thirteen was met first with misogyny and controversy, but ultimately with triumph.

      In 1967, a thirteen-year-old girl named Maureen Wilton set the women's world marathon record, running 26.2 miles in 3:15:23. Nicknamed “Little Mo” by her track teammates, Wilton was already a headline-making athlete. But her accomplishment was greeted with controversy and misogynistic accusations of cheating. Wilton receded into the background, left the sport, and kept her achievement secret. This is the story of what happened, and how Maureen found her way back to the sport decades later as the mother of a young runner herself. Introduction by Katherine Switzer, first official female participant of the Boston Marathon in 1967.

      Introduction by Kathrine Switzer. Afterword. Sources. Notes. Index. Black-and-white photo insert.

      The Forty Thieves

      by Christy Lenzi

      Feb 2020

      Fantasy/Science Fiction Elementary Plus

      Marjana and her little brother, Jamal, who have been slaves of Ali Baba's cruel brother ever since their mother died, are kidnapped by the Forty Thieves one night. They are able to escape, but Marjana is worried for Jamal, as he becomes drawn to their lifestyle and joins a street gang. When Marjana meets Saja, a slave who works at the bathhouse who's also concerned about her little brother, Badi, becoming involved with the street gangs, Saja and Marjana try to get their brothers to become friends and, in turn, become friends themselves, despite Marjana's initial reluctance.

      Marjana's mistress, however, is more worried about what her husband's fortune will be and convinces Marjana to spy on him when the fortune-teller Abu-Zayed visits. Abu-Zayed predicts that Ali Baba will end up far richer and greater, which sends Marjana's master into a panic, especially when he learns that Ali Baba has found the secret of the Forty Thieves' cave, which indicates that the fortune is coming true. Can Marjana save her brother from joining the street gangs, all the while helping Ali Baba from the wrath of the Forty Thieves?

      Author’s note.

      All-American Muslim Girl

      by Nadine Jolie Courtney

      Feb 2020

      PG High Plus

      Allie Abraham has it all going for her—she’s a straight-A student with good friends and a close-knit family, and she’s dating popular, sweet Wells Henderson. One problem: Wells’s father is Jack Henderson, America’s most famous conservative shock jock, and Allie hasn’t told Wells that her family is Muslim. It’s not like Allie’s religion is a secret. It’s just that her parents don’t practice, and raised her to keep it to herself. But as Allie witnesses Islamaphobia in her small town and across the nation, she decides to embrace her faith—study, practice it, and even face misunderstanding for it. Who is Allie if she sheds the façade of the “perfect” all-American girl?

      A Slip of a Girl

      by Patricia Reilly Giff

      Feb 2020

      PG Middle Plus

      For Anna, the family farm has always been home… But now, things are changing. Anna’s mother has died, and her older siblings have emigrated, leaving Anna and her father to care for a young sister with special needs. And though their family has worked this land for years, they’re in danger of losing it as poor crop yields leave them without money to pay their rent.

      When a violent encounter with the Lord’s rent collector results in Anna and her father’s arrest, all seems lost. But Anna sees her chance and bolts from the jailhouse. On the run, Anna must rely on her own inner strength to protect her sister—and try to find a way to save her family.

      Glossary. Author’s note.

      Life Undercover: Coming of Age in the CIA

      by Amaryllis Fox

      Jan 2020

      Adult Crossover Nonfiction Plus

      Amaryllis Fox was in her last year as an undergraduate at Oxford studying theology and international law when her writing mentor Daniel Pearl was captured and beheaded. Galvanized by this brutality, Fox applied to a master’s program in conflict and terrorism at Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service, where she created an algorithm that predicted, with uncanny certainty, the likelihood of a terrorist cell arising in any village around the world.

      At twenty-one, she was recruited by the CIA. Her first assignment was reading and analyzing hundreds of classified cables a day from foreign governments and synthesizing them into daily briefs for the president. Her next assignment was at the Iraq desk in the Counterterrorism center. At twenty-two, she was fast-tracked into advanced operations training, sent from Langley to “the Farm,” where she lived for six months in a simulated world learning how to use a Glock, how to get out of flexicuffs while locked in the trunk of a car, how to withstand torture, and the best ways to commit suicide in case of captivity. At the end of this training she was deployed as a spy under non-official cover—the most difficult and coveted job in the field as an art dealer specializing in tribal and indigenous art and sent to infiltrate terrorist networks in remote areas of the Middle East and Asia.

      Life Undercover is exhilarating, intimate, fiercely intelligent—an impossible to put down record of an extraordinary life, and of Amaryllis Fox’s astonishing courage and passion.

      Lintang and the Pirate Queen

      by Tamara Moss

      Jan 2020

      Fantasy/Science Fiction Middle Plus

      Lintang is an island girl who longs for daring and danger. When she meets the feared pirate, Captain Shafira, and her all-female crew, Lintang is determined to join them. Secrets within secrets, life-or-death battles with spectacular monsters, and hair’s breadth escapes keep readers turning the pages of a story populated by women of color who are fighters, adventurers, and leaders.

      Little Frida: A Story of Frida Kahlo

      by Anthony Browne

      Jan 2020

      Arts Elementary Plus

      Following a bout with polio at the age of six, Frida Kahlo's life was marked by pain and loneliness. In real life she walked with a limp, but in her dreams she flew. One day, her imagination took her on a journey to a girl in white who could dance without pain and hold her secrets, an indelible figure who would find her way into Frida's art in years to come. Inspired by Frida Kahlo's diary, Anthony Browne captures the essence of the artist's early flights of fancy and depicts both Frida and her imaginary friend in vivid illustrations evoking Kahlo's iconic style. A note at the end offers a brief biography of the artist who has intrigued art lovers the world over.

      Note on Frida Kahlo. Full-color illustrations done in watercolor and gouache.

      War Girls

      by Tochi Onyebuchi

      Jan 2020

      Current Trends High Plus

      The year is 2172. Climate change and nuclear disasters have rendered much of earth unlivable. Only the lucky ones have escaped to space colonies in the sky.

      In a war-torn Nigeria, battles are fought using flying, deadly mechs, and soldiers are outfitted with bionic limbs and artificial organs meant to protect them from the harsh, radiation-heavy climate. Across the nation, as the years-long civil war wages on, survival becomes the only way of life. Two sisters, Onyii and Ify, dream of more. Their lives have been marked by violence and political unrest. Still, they dream of peace, of hope, of a future together. And they’re willing to fight an entire war to get there.
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