March is Women's History Month

The library has always been a place to explore interests, ignite curiosities and discover new passions. As a child, I remember visiting the public library and feeling thrilled that I could find books on any and every topic I could imagine. The library fed my explorations.

Today I am the librarian and one of the best aspects of my job is helping kids explore their own interests. To quote Annie Murphy Paul in a November 2013 article, “The Science of Interest”: “Librarians are ideally positioned to become cultivators of students’ interests.”

Writers and publishers are turning out an abundance of fantastic nonfiction titles for children. With an increased focus on Common Core standards, newly published informational books for kids are high-interest and content rich, making them well-suited to capture the interest of children.

Recently published biographies are no exception and we have seen some fabulous titles released in recent years. In honor of Women’s History Month, I have chosen to highlight a few of my favorite biographies on worthy women. All of these titles were written for children but I recommended them for people of all ages.

“Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers’ Strike of 1909” by Michelle Markel

This biography describes Clara Lemlich’s pivotal role in the influential 1909 women’s labor strike. Clara worked long grueling hours to acquire an education and to support her family before organizing a massive walkout to protest the unfair working conditions in New York’s garment district.

“Who Says Women Can’t be Doctors? The Story of Elizabeth Blackwell” by Tanya Lee Stone

Elizabeth Blackwell, America’s first female doctor, had limited career prospects and faced a great deal of opposition in her time. This biography explores Blackwell’s life, how she overcame challenges to obtain a medical education and blazed the trail for future female science professionals.

“Founding Mothers: Remembering the Ladies” by Cokie Roberts

This beautifully illustrated book highlights the lives and accomplishments of women patriots during the American Revolution. Abigail Adams, Martha Washington, Phillis Wheatley and many others fabulous women are included.

“The Watcher: Jane Goodall’s Life With the Chimps” by Jeanette Winter

This picture book biography follows Goodall from her childhood in London through her collaboration with Louis Leakey and her fight to protect the chimpanzees she loved.  

“Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker” by Patricia Hruby Powell

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In this portrait of 1920s performer Josephine Baker, the author follows her through a childhood in St. Louis to the dazzling stages of Paris and the world. Baker was a passionate singer, performer and civil rights advocate.

“Temple Grandin: How the Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World” by Sy Montgomery

This book about Grandin’s life with autism highlights her groundbreaking work as a scientist and animal advocate. Throughout her life, Grandin overcame key disabilities and became a leader in the design on cruelty-free facilities for livestock.

Contract Publishing

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