Thematic Reading List: International Women’s Day: Celebrating Women from Around the World
In honor of International Women’s Day and National Women’s History Month (March) this reading list shares stories of women who have spent their lives being courageous and inspiring others.
Contributor: Elizabeth Bridges
By: Yuyi Morales
An illustrated picture book autobiography in which award-winning author Yuyi Morales tells her own immigration story.
|Elizabeth Warren: Nevertheless, She Persisted
By: Susan Wood
Illustrated by: Sarah Green
This book outlines the history of Elizabeth Warren, the first female senator from Massachusetts. Elizabeth came from a struggling middle-class family in Oklahoma City. After a heart attack put Elizabeth’s father out of work, Elizabeth helped out by babysitting, waitressing, and sewing dresses, all while skipping a grade and shining in her school’s debate team. Debate taught Elizabeth how to fight with her words, a skill that eventually won her a state championship and a college scholarship. As a lawyer and law professor, Elizabeth learned why it was so difficult for working-class families like her own to advance economically, and today she continues to fight, with her words, for the poor and middle-class in her role as a politician. The text focuses on the importance of being outspoken–of fighting with words both for yourself and for those that need your help.
|For the Right to Learn: Malala Yousafzai’s story
By: Rebecca Langston-George
Illustrated by: Janna Bock
Malala Yousafzai’s harrowing story of standing up for girls’ education against the Taliban, being shot in the head, and surviving to continue the fight.
| Frida Kahlo: The Artist Who Painted Herself
By: Margaret Frith
Illustrated by: Tomie dePaola
A biography of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, written as a child’s school report.
|The Girl Who Thought in Pictures: The Story of Dr. Temple Grandin
By: Julia Finley Mosca
Illustrated by: Daniel Rieley
The life and accomplishments of the animal scientist and designer of cruelty-free livestock facilities, from her early life and autism diagnosis through her journey to become a livestock expert.
|Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race
By: Margaret Lee Shetterly
Illustrated by: Laura Freeman
Based on the New York Times bestselling book and the Academy Award–nominated movie, author Margot Lee Shetterly and illustrator Laura Freeman bring the incredibly inspiring true story of four black women who helped NASA launch men into space to picture book readers.
|Little Dreamers: visionary women around the world
By: Vashti Harrison
Brief illustrated bios of women creators around the world.
|Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom
By: Carole Boston Weatherford
Illustrated by: Kadir Nelson
Describes Tubman’s spiritual journey as she hears the voice of God guiding her north to freedom on that very first trip to escape the brutal practice of forced servitude. Tubman would make nineteen subsequent trips back south, never being caught, but none as profound as this first one.
|Ruth Bader Ginsburg: The case of R.G.B vs. Inequality
By: Jonah Winter
Illustrated by: Stacy Innerst
A picture book biography of the “notorious” Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the first Jewish female Supreme Court Justice.
|Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation
By: Duncan Tonatiuh
Years before the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling Brown v. Board of Education, Sylvia Mendez, an eight-year-old girl of Mexican and Puerto Rican heritage, played an instrumental role in Mendez v. Westminster, the landmark desegregation case of 1946 in California.
|She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World
By: Chelsea Clinton
Illustrated by: Alexandra Boiger
She Persisted is for everyone who has ever wanted to speak up but has been told to quiet down, for everyone who has ever tried to reach for the stars but was told to sit down, and for everyone who has ever been made to feel unworthy or unimportant or small. This book features: Harriet Tubman, Helen Keller, Clara Lemlich, Nellie Bly, Virginia Apgar, Maria Tallchief, Claudette Colvin, Ruby Bridges, Margaret Chase Smith, Sally Ride, Florence Griffith Joyner, Oprah Winfrey, Sonia Sotomayor–and one special cameo.
|When Amelia Earhart Built a Roller Coaster
By: Mark Weakland
Illustrated by: Oksana Grivina
Engaging text and fun illustrations tell the story of Amelia Earhart’s childhood.
|When Marian Sang: The True Recital of Marian Anderson
By: Pam Munoz Ryan
Illustrated by: Brian Selznick
An introduction to the life of Marian Anderson, extraordinary singer and civil rights activist, who was the first African American to perform at the Metropolitan Opera, whose life and career encouraged social change.