Saturday, March 30, 2013

a good book.

I realize this post should have come at the beginning of the month but it's been stewing in my drafts folder for weeks, unforgotten until now.  So, apologies for tardiness but better late than never (and there should never really be a timeline for celebrating women, right?)

March is Women's History month so I've pulled a few of my favorite biographies (all picture book versions this time around) of women. Many of these are the unsung/relatively unknown variety which is one of the reasons I love picture book so much.  You can get a great glimpse of someone's life in just a few pages and be introduced to people and concepts you might never have discovered had they been buried within mass volumes or hundreds of pages. If you need a bit of inspiration or a new hero to admire, look no further than these tales of courage and strength.

Red Bird Sings

The story of an 1800s Native American renaissance woman who was caught between cultures and grew up to advocate for equal rights.

The Librarian of Basra

When war comes to Iraq, one librarian will stand against all odds to save the books in her care and use them to provide opportunities for other women and children in her community.

Mrs. Harkness and the Panda

It's 1934 and Mrs. Harkness is on her way to explore China with her husband. When he passes away she is determined to carry on his expedition and bring back a rarely seen panda to inspire generations of wildlife conservationists.

The Daring Miss Quimby

Before Amelia Earhart there was Harriet Quimby, the first woman in the United States to earn her pilot's license.

Art From Her Heart

In the 1950s, artist Clementine Hunter wasn't allowed to attend her own art shows because of segregation laws.

Vinnie and Abraham

A teenage sculptor is given a commission to carve Lincoln's likeness after his assassination.  Her work still stands in the Capital rotunda.

Fearless: the Story of Racing Legend Louise Smith

Back when most women weren't even allowed to drive Louise threw caution to the wind and became the first female race car driver inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame.

Here are a few others, some familiar names and some lesser known:

Harlem's Little Blackbird (Florence Mills)
Ballet for Martha (Martha Graham)
Talkin' About Bessie (Bessie Coleman)
Sarah Emma Edmonds Was a Great Pretender (Sarah Emma Edmonds)
Bon Appetit! (Julia Child)
Ballots For Belva (Belva Lockwood)
Who Says Women Can't Be Doctors? (Elizabeth Blackwell)
Amelia to Zora: Twenty-Six Women Who Changed the World (various)
Lives of Extraordinary Women (various)
Women Daredevils (various)
Women Explorers (various)

Who are some of your favorite female characters throughout history?  Who should I discover next?

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