Were you aware March is both Women’s History Month and National Reading Month? What a great opportunity to combine those two themes for some compelling reading about impressive women! We’ve rounded up a collection of fiction and non-fiction books, written by and about women, for students of all ages.
While these stories are based on Laura Ingalls Wilder’s childhood, most librarians classify them as fiction, rather than autobiography. But what stories they are! They’ll transport young readers to the Midwest for a glimpse into what life was like for 19th century settlers. Young Laura and her family’s perseverance in the face of adversity is an inspiration for any kids who want to explore new frontiers.
You’ve probably never heard of the ten explorers in this book, which is a shame because the bravery and curiosity of these women helped shape our understanding of the world. From Louise Arner Boyd, who ventured to unexplored Arctic seas, to Delia Akeley, who crossed Africa from coast to coast and lived with a pygmy tribe, this book introduces kids (and adults!) to forgotten explorers through a mix of stories and illustrations of their lives.
The first in a series, this tale chronicles the adventures of Enola Holmes, the much younger sister of Sherlock Holmes. When her mother disappears on her birthday, Enola knows that she alone can solve the case. Not only does she have to escape villains and find a kidnapped Marquess, but she also has to elude her interfering older brother, all while searching for her mother.
Anne Frank’s diary from her time spent in hiding during World War II shows the beauty of the human spirit even amidst the darkness of war. Thirteen-year-old Anne and her family faced incredible difficulties, including isolation, cramped quarters, and the constant fear of discovery, and Anne’s records of her experiences reveal both her deepest thoughts and her courage.
Written in response to a friend’s challenge to create a “ghost story” when she was just 18 years old, Shelley’s classic tale is a forerunner to the modern horror genre. This suspenseful tale, told in haunting, beautiful language, will push teens to examine questions of innocence and guilt and explore themes of isolation and the nature of life. Plus, students will finally discover that Frankenstein is the name of the doctor, not the monster!
Marie Curie was impressive by all counts; she won not just one, but two Nobel Prizes for Physics and Chemistry, and she brought mobile X-ray units to soldiers on the front lines during World War I. Then, one of her daughters went on to become a scientist as well (also winning a Nobel Prize for Chemistry!), and the other became a humanitarian and writer, penning this biography of her mother. Spanning Marie’s childhood in Poland to her marriage to fellow scientist Pierre Curie to her scientific achievements in the study of radioactivity to her untimely death from the radium she studied, this is a great look at an extraordinary woman.
What books by or about women would you add to this list?