By Karen Williams
Happy Women’s History Month! What a wonderful time to highlight and celebrate the groundbreaking contributions women have made to our world. From being pioneers in several fields to careers as inventors, authors, athletes and so much more, women have made a tremendous impact in society, and continue to do so to this day. It’s never too early to learn about how women have shaped the course of history, showing courage, wisdom, and empowerment.
So how did it all start? Women’s History Month began in Sonoma, California in 1978. The local school district planned a weeklong celebration to honor women’s contributions. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter declared the week of March 8th as International Women’s Week. After a petition from the National Women’s History Project, an organization known as the only clearinghouse providing information and training in multicultural women’s history, Congress expanded the celebration to the entire month of March in 1987.
Make reading aloud more rewarding for the whole family.
If you’re looking for some empowering books to enjoy with your child for Women’s History Month, here’s a curated selection of illustrated reads by and about a diverse set of amazing women. You’ll also want to check out our post on picture books by Toni Morrison!
Elizabeth Started All The Trouble by Doreen Rappaport
Once upon a time, women were not able to vote, attend college, or even have a job. Courageous ladies like Elizabeth Stanton helped women receive the rights they were denied for so long. Learn more about how history was shaped by the likes of Stanton, Lucretia Mott, and more.
Florence Nightingale by Demi
Florence Nightingale is best known for being the founder of modern nursing and caring for the unfortunate. This book tells the story of her life, recounting the triumphs and hardships she endured in the field of medicine and helping others.
I am Rosa Parks by Rosa Parks
We remember Rosa Parks as the woman who refused to give up her seat while riding on a bus. Her autobiography has been turned into a simplified illustrated book, so young readers can learn about the pivotal role Ms. Parks played in the Civil Rights Movement in her own words.
Turning Pages – My Life Story by Sonia Sotomayor
Follow the first Latina Supreme Court Justice’s journey as she explains how books were an instrumental part of her life, from her tragedies to her successes. All in her own words.
Malala’s Magic Pencil by Malala Yousafzai
A New York Times bestseller, Nobel Prize Winner Malala Yousafzai wrote this picture book inspired by her childhood. She wishes for a magic pencil so she can help people and make the world a better place. She soon discovers that, although there is no magic pencil, she can still find ways to change the world, especially during difficult times.
My Name Is Not Isabella: Just How Big Can a Little Girl Dream? by Jennifer Fosberry
This charming story stars Isabella, a girl who decides to spend a day pretending she’s an amazing woman in history, such as Rosa Parks and Anne Oakley. This picture book combines the power of women’s feminist history with a good old-fashioned game of role-playing.
The Seven Chinese Sisters by Kathy Tucker
Learn about family love and female empowerment as you read about one of six sisters getting captured by a dragon and the others working together to save her. This tale emphasizes the importance of individual work and determination, as well as how powerful women can be when they work together.
Grace for President by Kelly DiPucchio
This fun book recounts the story of a girl named Grace who enters her school presidential election seeking to be the first girl in her school to win. Follow Grace’s adventure as she learns about the Electoral College, the voting process, and the importance of choosing leaders wisely.
Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly
Originally a nonfiction book for grownups, Hidden Figures explores the hard work of African American female mathematicians and how their contributions sent astronauts into space. This selection has been adapted into an illustrated kid-friendly book and highlights an important piece of women’s history.
Which picture books look appealing as you create your child’s Women’s History reading list? Let us know which ones you choose and if you have any other favorites!