Women’s History Month: Her Story
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 relatively unknown. Enjoy learning about women’s history!
Alabama Spitfire: The Story of Harper Lee and To Kill a Mockingbird by Bethany Hegedus, Illustrated by Erin McGuire
This is the true story of Nellie Harper Lee who grew up to become one of the greatest writers of the 20th century. Though young readers will most likely be unfamiliar with her Pulitzer Prize winning novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, they should still be able to relate to the young child full of dreams for her future.
Born to Swing: Lil Hardin Armstrong’s Life in Jazz by Mara Rockliff, Illustrated by Michele Wood
Lil Hardin was born in 1898 in Memphis, Tennessee. She loved music and went on to become a famous bandleader and composer, working with many of the greatest early jazz musicians, including her husband, Louis Armstrong! The acrylic illustrations are vibrant and engaging.
Brave Jane Austen: Reader, Writer, Author, Rebel by Lisa Pliscou, Illustrated by Jen Corace
This is a brief biography of one of the best known writers of all time who forged a way for women writers. The stylized illustrations effectively evoke the time period during which Austen lived and worked.
A Lady Has the Floor by Kate Hannigan, Illustrated by Alison Jay
Belva Lockwood was a teacher, lawyer, and presidential candidate in 1884 and 1888. She spent her entire life fighting for women’s equality. This picture book biography provides an engaging introduction to this important yet lesser known figure in American history. The illustrations with their crackle finish have an antique look to them which works well with the story.
Long-Armed Ludy and the First Women’s Olympics by Jean L. S. Patrick, Illustrated by Adam Gustavson
This is the story of Lucile “Ludy” Godbold who excelled at shot put. She made the U.S. Women’s Olympic team in 1922; however, she lacked the funds to travel to France for the games. Students and faculty at Winthrop College raised the money for her to go. Godbold traveled to Paris and took home the gold. The illustrations transport the reader to the time period. Backmatter includes more on this lesser known female athlete as well as the evolution of women being included in the Olympic Games.
Marie Curie by Demi
Demi, in her typical gilded style, portrays the story of the revolutionary, Nobel Prize winning scientist, Marie Curie. This is a beautifully done book.
Shaking Things Up: 14 Young Women Who Changed the World by Susan Hood
This is a very unique book, not only in subject matter, but also because it is illustrated by many different women illustrators, including Caldecott Award winning artist Sophie Blackall. Each of the fourteen inspiring young women is given a double-page spread which includes a poem by Susan Hood and a full page illustration by one of the 13 different illustrators. A brief biographical explanation is also included. The different artistic styles and the variety of poems make the book interesting.
She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World by Chelsea Clinton, Illustrated by Alexandra Boiger
This is perhaps our most favorite new book about women’s history. This is a brief introduction to thirteen women who refused to take no for an answer. From Harriet Tubman to Nellie Bly to Sonia Sotomayor, Clinton recounts how these women worked towards the betterment of themselves and others. This is a truly inspiring book and should pique children’s interests to want to learn more. The watercolor illustrations are a perfect complement to the text. Clinton has also written a companion volume, She Persisted Around the World: 13 Women Who Changed History.
Trailblazer: The Story of Ballerina Raven Wilkinson by Leda Schubert, Illustrated by Theodore Taylor III
Raven Wilkinson was the first African American ballerina to ever dance for a major classical ballet company. She toured the U.S. in the 1950’s and faced ugly bigotry. She inspired contemporary dancer Misty Copeland, who in fact has written the beautiful foreword in the book.
Who Says Women Can’t Be Computer Programmers?: The Story of Ada Lovelace by Tanya Lee Stone, Illustrated by Marjorie Priceman
Ada Lovelace is recognized today as history’s first computer programmer. She lived in the 19th century and was the daughter of a poet and a mathematician. She befriended scientist Charles Babbage, and they often discussed ideas for his proposed Analytical Engine, a mechanical computer. Priceman’s illustrations are bright and full of energy and whimsy.
Written by Cecilia Horn and Terri Diebel
Cecilia Horn is currently the Juvenile Collection Development Librarian for the Kenton County Public Library. Terri Diebel is a Children’s Librarian at the Covington Branch. Both hold Masters of Library Science degrees and have worked in the field of Children’s Literature for many years. In recent years, they have collaborated on presentations at local, state, and national library and literature conferences.
“Children’s literature is our passion. Through this blog, we hope to share that enthusiasm and love of children’s books. As children’s literature enthusiasts, our blog name pays homage to the classic children’s poem from 1889, “Wynken, Blynken, and Nod,” by Eugene Field.”