Each March we celebrate Women’s History Month by looking back and honoring women’s contributions throughout American history. Did you know that Women’s History Month actually started as just a weeklong celebration? Yep! In February of 1980, women’s groups and historians lobbied for President Jimmy Carter to issue a Presidential Proclamation declaring the Week of March 8th, 1980, as National Women’s History Week. Seven years later it would become the month-long celebration that we have today!
As with many other historical holidays, the best way to celebrate Women’s History Month is by educating yourself. Here at Scott County Public Library, we have hundreds, if not thousands, of books focusing on amazing women and their contributions to society through history. Whether you are looking for something for yourself or looking for a teaching tool, you’re sure to find something here at the library. Below is a list of some of our favorite books by age group to get you started!
Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich: You may have heard the quote, “Well behaved women seldom make history.” But do you know where it comes from? Today these words appear on t-shirts, mugs, bumper stickers, greeting cards, and all sorts of Web sites and blogs. But the writer of the quote, Laurel Ulrich, explains how the quote came about and what it truly means. Throughout her book she explores various women through history and analyzes how their choice to go against the grain and stand to out from societal norms, changed history.
Cranky Ladies of History by Various Authors: Warriors, pirates, assassins and queens… This book is a fictional take on historical women from all walks of life who had good reasons to be cranky. Paralleling the previous book on this list, this novel of short stories shares how some of our most memorable historical figures were outspoken, feisty, rebellious, and sometimes downright ornery. Cranky Ladies of History is a celebration of 22 women who challenged conventional wisdom about appropriate female behavior. The short stories are by various authors and will educate you on women all the way from ancient times to the twentieth century.
A Few Good Women: America’s Military Women from World War II to the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan by Evelyn Monahan: If you’re a military history buff, you’ll enjoy this unique look into the women who served in America’s military throughout the twentieth century. Inspiring and educational, A Few Good Women tells the stories of modern women warriors through interviews, military correspondence, and diaries. “Here are the stories of the battles these women fought in order to march beside their brothers; their tales of courage and fortitude; the indignities they’ve endured; the injustices they’ve overcome; the blood they’ve shed; the comrades they’ve lost; and the challenges they still face in the twenty-first century.” –Knopf, publisher.
Wonder Women by Sam Maggs: A fun and aesthetically pleasing look at 25 impactful women throughout history. This book encourages its reader to be inspired by the innovators, inventors and trailblazers within its pages who many people have likely never heard of. Did you know that 80 percent of code breakers during WWII were women? It’s true! This book is full of fascinating and little-known facts! While this book focuses on history, it never forgets to address the present; featuring interviews with women currently in male dominated fields. This book is worthy of being every young woman’s guide to the future!
Modern Herstory by Blair Imani: This colorful and uniquely illustrated book features overlooked and under-celebrated women and non-binary champions of social change throughout history. Throughout its pages featuring diverse faces, the message is clear, never be afraid to be who you are. This book aims to inspire young readers and encourages them to make the future that they want to be a part of, even when it means going against societal norms (much like the women on its pages). This book is also unique in its goal to showcase women of the LGBTQ+ community.
A is for Awesome by Eva Chen: Starting with our pick for the littlest of readers, this board book follows Juno as she discovers a wide world of “Sheroes” through the alphabet. This book’s colorful cutout style by Derek Desierto is sure to be enjoyed by your little one during your next storytime. Plus, you may just learn something too!
Remember the Ladies: 100 Great American Women by Cheryl Harness: This picture book follows the timeline of history from 1607 to 1945 through the lives of 100 inspirational women. It’s a perfect choice for children ages 7 to 10 who would prefer a more colorful version of their classroom history book. It even comes with a glossary for the book’s more challenging words, as well as a parent’s guide to recommended readings.
Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison: This bestselling and adorably illustrated book features 18 trailblazing black women in American history. A great pick for older children who may be finishing elementary school, this book’s pages are full of heroes, role models, and everyday women who did extraordinary things. “Whether they were putting pen to paper, soaring through the air, or speaking up for the rights of others, the women profiled in these pages were all taking a stand against a world that didn’t always accept them.” – Little, Brown and Company, publisher.
All these books and more can be found here at Scott County Public Library! We wish you a wonderful and educational Women’s History Month!