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  • Writer's pictureMichael Ireland

Women’s History Month: Six juvenile books to inspire

Women’s History Month began as Women’s History Week at the start of March 1982 with the important goal of celebrating the contributions and specific achievements women have made over the course of American history. It’s hard to believe that just over 100 years ago women won the right to vote with the ratification of the 19th amendment. We can find prominent women in society breaking down boundaries, finding new opportunities, and excelling in their field where ever we look. However, there are still many challenges and obstacles that must be faced by women. The struggle for equality didn’t end with equal political representation, and, even in our current age, women continue the fight, ever striving to find equal footing in traditionally male-dominated institutions.

So, in celebration of Women’s History Month, I would like to present five fantastic resources for young readers. Each of these books features a number of women in a given time or field. Representation matters, especially to a young developing mind. So a number of these resources feature or focus on women from different cultures and women of color. Hopefully, this selection will inspire, excite, and encourage your little ones to learn more about many of the influential women highlighted in these collections.

Cover of Women of the American West

Highlighting the struggles of women at the dawn of the American west, this book offers a great historical overview with primary resources like journal entries, providing important historical context with a wide range of perspectives. White settlers, former slaves, and Native American peoples are all represented here. Women of the American West also takes time to tell the stories of specific women like the first female lawyer of the west coast, Clara Shortridge.

Cover for A Galaxy of Her Own

To infinity, and beyond! Galaxy Girls features 50 prominent women in the study and exploration of space. With full-page biographies and beautifully illustrated portraits of each woman featured, Galaxy Girls is a very engaging read. The arrangement of the various biographies is chronological which provides a nice timeline of the developments in space exploration. A great read for any aspiring explorer.

Cover of Changing the Equation

Slightly more advanced than the other books featured on this list, this might be best reserved for older children or those with strong independent reading skills. Changing the Equation is also the most focused collection, choosing to highlight more than fifty women of color in US STEM fields like Astronomer and Astrobiologist, Aomawa Shields. Filled with historical and technical context, Tonya Bolden’s book is a wonderful gathering of exceptional women.

This adorably illustrated volume features trailblazing scientists like Marie Curie, musicians like Violeta Parra, and many other women at the front of a variety of fields. Filled with beautiful full-page illustrations to accompany the brief biographies of each woman, Little Dreamers is an excellent resource for young learners to find a starting point for research on a number of visionary women.

Cover of Women in Sports

Another more targeted collection, Women in Sports covers a huge range of athletics and women athletes from the turn of the 20th century until now. Packed with quirky illustrations and facts, this colorful volume is a must for any young sports enthusiast looking for inspiring female representation.

What are your thoughts? Did you recognize any of the featured women or did you discover some new favorites? What stories inspired or excited you? Please let us know in the comments below.

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