One of the reasons we honor Women's History Month is to celebrate the women whose accomplishments history may have overlooked. Below you'll find recommendations for books in our collections about some of these women and their contributions to society. Additions are always welcome!
We may know a thing or two about Marie Curie's interest in radium or Rachel Carson's disdain for DDT, but did you know that for the past 20 years, Caitlin O'Connell has been studying how elephants communicate? Learn all about her work in the Elephant Scientist.
One of the women I remember learning about in elementary school was Amelia Earhart and her famous trip across the Atlantic — I highly recommend Amelia Lost for a refresher. Beryl Markham was the first woman to fly alone from England to North America. Promise the Night is a fictionalized account of her life.
Reach for even higher stars with Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream — the story of 13 women who were brave enough for space exploration AND to challenge NASA's rules limiting space exploration to men. These kinds of accomplishments paved the way for Sally Ride (astronaut and environmentalist) and Mae Jemison (the first African American woman in space).
Margaret Knight may not be a household name, but without one of her inventions, you would have a really hard time carrying your groceries home or packing a brown bag lunch! Check out Marvelous Mattie to learn more.
Acting against injustice requires bravery, and being courageous is a characteristic of every "shero" mentioned here. Nurse, Soldier, Spy: The Story of Sarah Edmonds, A Civil War Hero is all about a civil war soldier... who contributed to the war effort disguised as a man! For older students, Women Heroes of WWII details 26 women who risked their lives as spies, information collectors, and Resistance Fighters. For a fantastic picture book about Josephine Baker (who worked for the Allies in France), check out Jazz Age Josephine.
Irena's Jar of Secrets tells the powerful story of Irena Sendler, a Polish social worker who saved 2,500 Jewish children from ghettos in Poland during WWII.
Inspire future social activists with the Prudence Crandall's story in Forbidden Schoolhouse. Crandall was a white school teacher who, in spite of the efforts against her, opened and ran a school for African American girls in 1833. Another champion of the civil rights movement is Claudette Colvin. Learn about her role in the Montgomery bus boycott in Claudette Colvin Twice Toward Justice.
You're probably pretty familiar with tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams and IndyCar champ Danica Patrick, but did you ever wonder what it was like for girls to play sports a long time ago? Travel back in time with Touch the Sky, a free-verse biography about high jumper Alice Coachman. Rejuvenate your love of basketball by joining Agnes Morley and the Basketball Belles for the first game between two women's basketball teams!