Every day is a good day to dig into women’s history, and luckily for us, there are tons of recent books, for folks of all ages, that shine a bright and beautiful spotlight on women’s history. Here are seven picks to kick-start a youngster’s interest in women’s history, STEM, and sports—or to keep the fire burning for a grown-up!
1. Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World—Rachel Ignotofsky
Each page of this book is illustrated and full of mini biographies and information about amazing women in science. The book features the tales of Greek mathematician Hypatia, astrophysicist Vera Rubin, Marie Curie, Jane Goodall, Katherine Johnson, Hedy Lamarr, and many more sciencey women plus infographics and an illustrated scientific glossary. It’s perfect for inspiring someone to pursue a passion in STEM or to remind yourself of all the (often-forgotten) accomplishments of women in math and science.
2. Dust Bowl Girls: A Team’s Quest for Basketball Glory—Lydia Reeder
In the 1930s, while critics denounced women’s sports as unhealthy and unladylike, the Cardinals, a women’s basketball team made up of the daughters of Oklahoma Dust Bowl farmers, were kicking ass across the United States. This book is the perfect pick for sports fans or fans of A League of Their Own.
3. Rad Women Worldwide—Kate Schatz, Miriam Klein Stahl
This book tells stories about artists, athletes, pirates, punks, and revolutionaries who shaped history from every continent on the planet! My favorites are Hatshepsut and Josephine Baker.
4. Girls Think of Everything: Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women—Melissa Sweet
This collective biography of women and girls who changed the world is best for readers aged 10 to 12. The book profiles inventors like Becky Schroeder, who was 10 when she invented Glo-sheet paper and became the youngest female to receive a U.S. patent. Girls Think of Everything tells the tales behind the inventions of white-out, windshield wipers, chocolate chip cookies, and more to show us what inspired these inventions and how they became realities.
5. Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race—Margot Lee Shetterly
In Hidden Figures, author Margot Lee Shetterly brings to light the stories of the women who worked as NASA’s first computers, crunching numbers long before the invention of the hardware we call computers today. The book would be a great companion to the Oscar-nominated film.
6. Malala: Activist for Girls Education—Raphaelle Frier, Aurelia Fronty
This illustrated biography of Malala Yousafzai is just right for readers aged 6 to 9. Malala follows the life of the youngest Nobel Peace Prize recipient and her activism to ensure education for girls in Pakistan. In her own words, she reminds us: “One child, one teacher, one pen, and one book can change the world.”
7. Dead Feminists: Historic Heroines in Living Color—Chandler O’Leary, Jessica Spring
This book began as a series of hand-drawn letterpress broadsides featuring quotes from, well, dead feminists. Those images are collected in this beautiful book that also features biographies and artifacts from the lives of trailblazers like Emma Goldman, Harriet Tubman, and Shirley Chisholm. Dead Feminists is also a sponsor of our podcasts!
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