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Women’s History Month: Our History is Our Strength

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A Wynk, a Blynk, and a Nod to Books

A Wynk, a Blynk, and a Nod to Women’s History Month
Women’s History Month is celebrated annually each year in March. As many new books have recently been published recounting the accomplishments of women, we’d like to share some of those with you. Some names will be familiar while others may be unknown. Enjoy learning about women’s history!

Ada Byron LovelaceAda Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine by Laurie Wallmark, illus. by April Chu

Ada Byron Lovelace is considered by many to be the inventor of computer programming. The daughter of the famous poet, Lord Byron, she was fascinated by numbers and mathematics as a child. She became a mathematical genius and after meeting Charles Babbage, the inventor of the first mechanical computer, she wrote the algorithm, or instructions, that became the world’s first computer program.

 

02_ameliaAmelia Earhart by Emma E. Haldy, illus. by Jeff Bane

This biography of the infamous aviator is part of the My Itty-Bitty Bio series aimed at the earliest of readers. The books in this series are written in the first person and include photos and illustrations to keep the reader’s attention. Sentences and vocabulary are simple and familiar.

 

 

03_dancerThe Cambodian Dancer: Sophany’s Gift of Hope by Daryn Reicherter, illus. by Christy Hale

This work was inspired by the true story of Sophany Bay, a Cambodian dancer, who was forced to flee her homeland when the Khmer Rouge came into power. She became a refugee to the United States. In her new life here she found ways to help heal the Cambodian community in the U.S. In an effort to keep her culture alive, she created a program for teaching Cambodian dance to the children of this community.

 

04_corettaCoretta Scott King by Kathleen Krull, illus. by Laura Freeman

This book is part of the Women Who Broke the Rules Series which celebrates women who have helped to shape our country’s past, present, and future. This work covers King’s life while focusing on her lifelong quest for racial equality. Though presented in early chapter book format, illustrations are abundant and complement the text.

 

 

05_malalaFor the Right to Learn: Malala Yousafzai’s Story by Rebecca Langston-George, illus. by Janna Bock

Malala is the young Pakistani schoolgirl who stood up against the Taliban. She has become the voice for equal education and in 2014 became the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. This is her story.

 

 

06_arcticHelen Thayer’s Arctic Adventure: A Woman and a Dog Walk to the North Pole by Sally Isaacs, illus. by Iva Sasheva

In 1988, at the age of 50, Helen Thayer walked 364 miles from northern Canada to the magnetic North Pole.  Accompanied by a Husky named Charlie, the journey took nearly a month. Helen later wrote about this historical journey in her book entitled Polar Dream. She was named one of the “Great Explorers of the Twentieth Century” by National Geographic and honored in a ceremony at the White House by the Clinton administration. Backmatter includes a note from Thayer herself, as well as additional information about her and her dog, Charlie, who lived to be 23 years old.

 

07_hillaryHillary by Jonah Winter, illus. by Raúl Colón

Winter has written numerous highly acclaimed biographies for children, and this is no exception. In this picture book biography of Hillary Rodham Clinton, Winter focuses on Clinton’s professional and political career and accomplishments. Hillary is presented as a woman who “may soon change the world.” Colón’s illustrations are done in warm colors and soft tones, personalizing the story.

 

08_elephantsA Passion for Elephants: The Real Life Adventure of Field Scientist Cynthia Moss by Toni Buzzeo, illus. by Holly Berry

This engaging book introduces young readers to scientist and activist Cynthia Moss, who has devoted her adult life to studying elephants and working to ban the sale of ivory worldwide. The vibrant and rich illustrations draw the reader into the world of the African savannah.

 


14_rad
Rad American Women A-Z by Kate Schatz, illus. by Miriam Klein Stahl

The women come from a variety of economic and ethnic backgrounds and many had to overcome extreme hardships. One woman represents each alphabetical letter beginning with Angela Davis, an activist, teacher, and writer, and concludes with Zora Neale Hurston, an anthropologist and writer.

 


09_rebel
Rebel with a Cause: The Daring Adventure of Dicey Langston, Girl Spy of the American Revolution
by Kathleen Kudlinski, illus. by Rudy Faber

This is the story of the brave young girl who spied on British Loyalists and warned the Patriots of an impending attack, thus saving many lives. The story reads a little like fiction but in this way engages the reader. Illustrations help to bring the adventure to life.

 

 

10_seaSolving the Puzzle under the Sea: Marie Tharp Maps the Ocean Floor by Robert Burleigh, illus. by Raúl Colón

Marie Tharp was one of the 20th century’s most important scientists. The daughter of a mapmaker, she became the first person to map the ocean floor, and her work was invaluable in proving the theory of plate tectonics or continental drift.  Burleigh tells the story through Marie’s eyes. Additional biographical information is included in the backmatter. Award-winning illustrator Colón’s drawings are nicely done. The collaboration between author and illustrator provides a beautiful introduction to a lesser known woman in history.

 

11_starsTo the Stars: The First American Woman to Walk in Space by Carmella Van Vleet and Dr. Kathy Sullivan, illus. by Nicole Wong

In 1978, Kathy Sullivan became one of NASA’s first six women astronauts. The text is presented in alternating scenes, from childhood to adulthood, and Wong’s watercolor and ink illustrations bring that text to life. Sullivan’s story is an inspirational one, especially for girls. End notes provide additional information about Sullivan as well as other women in the space program.

 

12_friendsTwo Friends: Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass by Dean Robbins, illus. by Sean Qualls and Selina Alko

Though this is a work of historical fiction, it does introduce readers to two important figures in American history, both champions for equal rights. This book imagines what it was like when the two of them met at Susan’s house for tea to discuss their ideas about rights and freedom.  Today, a statue of the two of them having tea actually exists in Rochester, New York, where they used to live. The illustrations are stunning and very cleverly incorporate the use of collage.

 

13_womenWomen who Changed the World: 50 Amazing Americans by Laurie Calkhoven, illus. by Patricia Castelao

This book contains brief bios on fifty influential and inspirational American women who have impacted our nation and the world. These women are all unique, and all of them have changed the world in some way. From Pocahontas to Louisa May Alcott to Sally Ride to Michelle Obama, this book features women from all walks of life, from the past to the present.

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