Wednesday, March 18, 2020

15 Children's Biographies Celebrating Women


Since now is a great time to just spend reading as a family, I want to devote my next few posts to sharing books that I think you will enjoy. Some are new. Some aren't. But they're all fantastic reads. All of them will be available in print versions (hardback or paperback), but some of them are also available digitally. Which is awesome because you just buy it (or not! See below.) and read it instantly without it touching anyone else's hands.

This post contains affiliate links. 

First, do you know about Kindle Unlimited? It's part of Amazon's digital reading service. If you get Kindle Unlimited, you can choose from more than 1 million titles to read, or choose from thousands of audiobooks to listen to. You can also browse through this month's popular magazines. And, no, you don't have to have a Kindle to use this service. Just use the app!

I prefer print books, but I know a lot of you already use Kindle, so I'm going to try and remember to tell you when the book is also available that way.

Let's read!


First, I want to focus on books that celebrate women...because it is Women's History Month! Many of these will be about Latinas. Your kids can use these books when researching the remarkable accomplishments and contributions that women have had in world history. Then they can use these free writing pages to write down what they've learned.


Be Bold! Be Brave!¡Sé audaz, sé valiente!
11 Latinas who made U.S. History
by Naibe Reynoso
(**FREE on Kindle Unlimited)

A bilingual book that highlights 11 Latinas who excelled in various fields including medicine, science, sports, art and politics. By presenting the true biographical stories of these outstanding Latinas in rhyming verses, young readers will easily follow their journey to success. Some of the women highlighted include Antonia Novello (first female Surgeon General in the U.S.), Ellen Ochoa (first Latina to go to space), Sonia Sotomayor (first Latina Supreme Court Justice,) Rita Moreno (first Latina to win an Oscar), Selena, and Pura Belpre (first Latina to incorporate and promote bilingual literacy in Public Libraries).



(**FREE on Kindle Unlimited)

Psst! It's also available in a bilingual board book version.



by Monica Brown
(**FREE on Kindle Unlimited)

This bilingual book allows young readers to enter Celia Cruz's life as she becomes a well-known singer in her homeland of Cuba, then moves to New York City and Miami where she and others create a new type of music called salsa.



by Jonah Winter
Before Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor took her seat in our nation's highest court, she was just a little girl in the South Bronx. Justice Sotomayor didn't have a lot growing up, but she had what she needed -- her mother's love, a will to learn, and her own determination. With bravery she became the person she wanted to be. With hard work she succeeded. With little sunlight and only a modest plot from which to grow, Justice Sotomayor bloomed for the whole world to see.



by Susan B. Katz 
(**FREE on Kindle Unlimited)

In this chapter book for kids ages 6-8, you’ll learn about how Ruth Bader Ginsburg became the second woman ever to serve as a judge on the Supreme Court of the United States. Before she fought for equal rights and made history, Ruth was a curious kid who loved to read about strong women who were making important changes. You can get inspired, too, with this unique standout among Ruth Bader Ginsburg children’s books for grades 1-2.

In school, Ruth wished girls could have as many opportunities as boys. She soon learned that by studying and working hard, she could change her life―and the world. Of all the Ruth Bader Ginsburg children’s books, this one really lets you explore how she went from a Jewish girl during World War II to one of the most celebrated leaders in America.



by Margarita Engle

Girls cannot be drummers. Long ago on an island filled with music, no one questioned that rule—until the drum dream girl. In her city of drumbeats, she dreamed of pounding tall congas and tapping small bongós. She had to keep quiet. She had to practice in secret. But when at last her dream-bright music was heard, everyone sang and danced and decided that both girls and boys should be free to drum and dream.

Inspired by the childhood of Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, a Chinese-African-Cuban girl who broke Cuba's traditional taboo against female drummers, Drum Dream Girl tells an inspiring true story for dreamers everywhere.



by Eva Chen

Why stick with plain old A, B, C when you can have Amelia (Earhart), Malala, Tina (Turner), Ruth (Bader Ginsburg), all the way to eXtraordinary You―and the Zillion of adventures you will go on?

Instagram superstar Eva Chen, author of Juno Valentine and the Magical Shoes, is back with an alphabet board book depicting feminist icons in A Is for Awesome: 23 Iconic Women Who Changed the World, featuring spirited illustrations by Derek Desierto.



by Duncan Tonatiuh
(**FREE on Kindle Unlimited)

Almost 10 years before Brown vs. Board of Education, Sylvia Mendez and her parents helped end school segregation in California. An American citizen of Mexican and Puerto Rican heritage who spoke and wrote perfect English, Mendez was denied enrollment to a “Whites only” school. Her parents took action by organizing the Hispanic community and filing a lawsuit in federal district court. Their success eventually brought an end to the era of segregated education in California.



by Anika Aldamuy Denise 

An inspiring picture book biography of storyteller, puppeteer, and New York City’s first Puerto Rican librarian, who championed bilingual literature.

When she came to America in 1921, Pura Belpré carried the cuentos folklóricos of her Puerto Rican homeland. Finding a new home at the New York Public Library as a bilingual assistant, she turned her popular retellings into libros and spread story seeds across the land. Today, these seeds have grown into a lush landscape as generations of children and storytellers continue to share her tales and celebrate Pura’s legacy.



by Teresa Robeson

When Wu Chien Shiung was born in China 100 years ago, most girls did not attend school; no one considered them as smart as boys. But her parents felt differently. Giving her a name meaning “Courageous Hero,” they encouraged her love of learning and science. This engaging biography follows Wu Chien Shiung as she battles sexism and racism to become what Newsweek magazine called the “Queen of Physics” for her work on beta decay. Along the way, she earned the admiration of famous scientists like Enrico Fermi and Robert Oppenheimer and became the first woman hired as an instructor by Princeton University, the first woman elected President of the American Physical Society, the first scientist to have an asteroid named after her when she was still alive, and many other honors.



by Rebecca Ann Langston-George 
(**FREE on Kindle Unlimited)

She grew up in a world where women were supposed to be quiet. But Malala Yousafzai refused to be silent. Discover Malala's story through this powerful narrative telling, and come to see how one brave girl named Malala changed the world.



by Sarah Warren

Dolores is a teacher, a mother, and a friend. She wants to know why her students are too hungry to listen, why they don't have shoes to wear to school. Dolores is a warrior, an organizer, and a peacemaker. When she finds out that the farm workers in her community are poorly paid and working under dangerous conditions, she stands up for their rights.

This is the story of Dolores Huerta and the extraordinary battle she waged to ensure fair and safe work places for migrant workers. The powerful text, paired with Robert Casilla's vibrant watercolor-and-pastel illustrations, brings Dolores's amazing journey to life. A timeline, additional reading, articles, websites, and resources for teachers are included.



by Jess Keating

Learning about sharks: Eugenie Clark fell in love with sharks from the first moment she saw them at the aquarium. She couldn't imagine anything more exciting than studying these graceful creatures. But Eugenie quickly discovered that many people believed sharks to be ugly and scary―and they didn't think women should be scientists.

Sharks are beautiful: Determined to prove them wrong, Eugenie devoted her life to learning about sharks. Like Jack and the Beanstalk but under the sea, Eugenie dove down to discover a world of wonder beneath the water's surface. She earned the name Shark Lady with her many discoveries about these beautiful creatures. Through her accomplishments, this star girl of the sea taught the world that sharks should be admired, not feared, and that women can do anything they set their minds to.



by H. Joseph Hopkins 

Katherine Olivia Sessions never thought she’d live in a place without trees. After all, Kate grew up among the towering pines and redwoods of Northern California. But after becoming the first woman to graduate from the University of California with a degree in science, she took a job as a teacher far south in the dry desert town of San Diego. Where there were almost no trees.

Kate decided that San Diego needed trees more than anything else. So this trailblazing young woman singlehandedly started a massive movement that transformed the town into the green, garden-filled oasis it is today. Now, more than 100 years after Kate first arrived in San Diego, her gorgeous gardens and parks can be found all over the city.



by Stephanie Warren Drimmer 

Everybody needs a role model! Discover true stories of superstars, war heroes, world leaders, gusty gals, and everyday women who changed the world. From Sacagawea to Mother Teresa, Annie Oakley to Malala Yousafzai, these famous women hiked up their pants and petticoats and charged full-speed ahead to prove girls are just as tough as boys...maybe even tougher. Complete with amazing images and a fun design, this is the book that every kid with a goal, hope, or dream will want to own.

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