March is Women’s History Month, a time to inspire a new generation of young women, and a time to celebrate the accomplishments of women throughout history. To help celebrate, we have compiled a set of kid-friendly books that feature strong and successful women. Remember – great accomplishments can inspire girls and boys, alike!
She Was the First
Even as a young child growing up in the 1920s, Shirley Chisholm was a leader. At the age of three, older children were already following her lead in their Brooklyn neighborhood.
As a student at Brooklyn College, Shirley could outtalk anyone who opposed her on the debate team. After graduating, she used her voice and leadership to fight for educational change. In community groups, she stood up for the rights of women and minorities. Her small stature and fiery determination often took people by surprise. But they listened.
In 1964, Shirley took her voice and leadership to politics, becoming the first Black woman elected to the New York State Assembly, and in 1968, the first Black woman elected to Congress. Then in 1972, she became the first Black woman to seek the presidency of the United States. She pushed for laws that helped women, children, students, poor people, farm workers, Native people, and others who were often ignored. She fought for healthcare. She spoke up for military veterans. She spoke out against war.
Shirley Chisholm, a woman of many firsts, was an unforgettable political trailblazer, a candidate of the people and “catalyst of change” who opened the door for women in the political arena and for the first Black president of the United States.
Throughout U.S. history, there have always been women who have spoken out for what’s right, even when they have to fight to be heard. In early 2017, Senator Elizabeth Warren’s refusal to be silenced in the Senate inspired a spontaneous celebration of women who persevered in the face of adversity. This book celebrates thirteen American women who helped shape our country through their tenacity, sometimes through speaking out, sometimes by staying seated, sometimes by captivating an audience. They all certainly persisted. 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 and Sonia Sotomayor.
Shaking Things Up: 14 Young Women Who Changed the World
In this book of poems, you will find Mary Anning, who was just thirteen when she unearthed a prehistoric fossil. You’ll meet Ruby Bridges, the brave six year old who helped end segregation in the South. And Maya Lin, who at twenty-one won a competition to create a war memorial, and then had to appear before Congress to defend her right to create.
And those are just a few of the young women included in this book. Readers will also hear about Molly Williams, Annette Kellerman, Nellie Bly, Pura Belpré, Frida Kahlo, Jacqueline and Eileen Nearne, Frances Moore Lappé, Mae Jemison, Angela Zhang, and Malala Yousafzai—all whose stories will enthrall and inspire. This poetry collection was written, illustrated, edited, and designed by women and includes an author’s note, a timeline, and additional resources.
With artwork by notable artists including Selina Alko, Sophie Blackall, Lisa Brown, Hadley Hooper, Emily Winfield Martin, Oge Mora, Julie Morstad, Sara Palacios, LeUyen Pham, Erin Robinson, Isabel Roxas, Shadra Strickland, and Melissa Sweet.
Activities and Other Ways to Celebrate Women in Our Lives Every Day
Activities and Other Ways to Celebrate Women in our LivesDr. Justine Green suggests that making personal connections is a great way for children to embrace the celebration and to fully understand the impact women have on our lives. Teach your child about women in your own family. They begin to understand the historical impact grandmothers, aunts, and even their own mothers make on their lives. You may also point out women who are contributing to children’s schools and community. Children have a network of women in their lives who support, guide, and set examples for them. Here are more fun activities to celebrate the women in our lives.
Lessons learned at school can be reinforced at home by emphasizing the importance of honoring and respecting women. Here are other ways to celebrate Women’s History Month at home.