Recommended Books for Women's History Month
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–12
A wide range of fascinating books are now available on the topic of women's history. A few are listed below. You can check for them at your library. Some can be ordered from the National Women's History Project (7738 Bell Road, Box P, Windsor, CA 95492. 707/838-6000).
Books for Children
Mothers of Invention: From The Bra to the Bomb, Forgotten Women and their Unforgettable Ideas, by Ethlie Ann Vare and Greg Ptacek. Nuclear fission, pink champagne, drip coffee, the ice cream cone — all were invented by women. Grades 9–adult.
Scholastic Encyclopedia of Women in the United States, by Sheila Keenan. Meet more than 200 notable women from the 1500s to today. Grades 4 and up.
Women Who Dared, by Valjean McLenighan. Biographies of six women who found adventure and satisfaction in unusual accomplishments make exciting reading. Grades 4–8.
Tatterhood and Other Tales, edited by Ethel Johnston Phelps, 25 international folk tales with spirited females as central characters and positive, pertinent themes. Grades 1–6.
The Keeping Quilt, by Patricia Polacco. Four generations have passed down family history through a quilt in this heartwarming, well-illustrated story. Preschool-Grade 3.
The Women of Our Time series is excellent, each brief book featuring a contemporary, notable woman and focusing on childhood experiences which set her path. Grades 3–6.
The Invisible Thread, by Yoshiko Uchida. Insightful, sensitive autobiography by the author of Journey to Topaz and Journey Home, childhood classics about the Japanese-American internment during World War II. Grades 5–9.
Books for Students of Junior High Age and Older
Hall, Marjory, Quite Contrary: Dr. Mary Edwards Walker (New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1970). Biography of a pioneer female physician, the first woman to serve as a U.S. Army surgeon (during the Civil War) and to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor.
Snyder, Charles McCool, Dr. Mary Edwards Walker: The Little Little Lady in Pants (Salem, NH: Ayers Co. Pubs., Inc., 1974).
Hine, Darlene Clark, Black Women in America: An Historical Encyclopedia (Brooklyn, NY: Carlson Publishing Inc., 1993). Brief biographies of African-American women throughout the nation's history. This reference work includes useful bibliographies, a chronology/time line, and a index by accomplishments or job categories.
Hymowitz, Carol, and Michaele Weissman, A History of Women in America (New York: Bantam Books, 1984). From the "Founding Mothers" to "The New Feminism."
Luchetti, Cathy, and Carol Olwell, Women of the West (New York: Orion Books, 1982). Includes many photos and first-hand accounts of women and girls on the western frontier.
Books For Adult Readers
Born for Liberty, by Sara Evans. The diversity of women's experiences and their changing social and political influence is well presented in this highly readable, multicultural volume.
Black Women in White America, edited by Gerda Lerner. The distinct history of black women unfolds through excerpts from their speeches, diaries, letters and ephemera.
Race Across Alaska: First Woman to Win the Iditarod Tells Her Story, by Libby Riddles. It's exciting to read this champion's day-by-day account of the grueling 1200-mile sled dog race when you're warm and snug at home.
The Sacred Hoop: Recovering the Feminine in American Indian Traditions, by Paula Gunn Allen. Topics range from tribal myths to women chiefs and warriors, to gender and power, violence against women, and contemporary prose and poetry.
Chinese Women of America: A Pictorial History, by Judy Yung. Oral histories from 250 women and 130 photographs combine for true-to-life portrayals of a wide range of Chinese-American women.
Books by Topic
Biographies, Collective Biographies, and Overviews
All For the Better: A Story of El Barrio. Nicholasa Mohr. Story of Evelina Lopez Antonetty, who founded the activist group, Bronx United Parents. 56 p. Grades 3–8. Steck-Vaughn, 1993.
Citizen 13660. Mine Okubo. Brings to life the author's internment as a young Japanese American in two relocation centers during WWII. 209 p. Grades 5–12. University of Washington Press, 1946.
The Day the Women Got the Vote: A Photo History of the Women's Rights Movement. George Sullivan. 96 p. Grades 5–Adult. Scholastic Inc., 1994.
Eleanor Roosevelt: A Life of Discovery. Russell Freedman. 198 p. Grades 6–Adult. Clarion Books, 1993.
Faith Ringgold. Robyn Montana Turner. Influential, contemporary African-American artist. 32 p. Grades 2–6. Little, Brown, 1993.
Fannie Lou Hamer and the Fight for the Vote. Penny Colman. Dynamic civil rights leader. 32 p. Grades 3–6. Millbrook Press, 1993.
Female Leaders: Profiles of Great Black Americans. Richard Rennert, ed. Eight contemporary and historic African-Americans whose lives have been dedicated to human equality. 64 p. Grades 5–8. Chelsea House, 1994.
First-Start Biographies: Young Helen Keller: Woman of Courage. Anne Benjamin. (32 p. each. Grades K–2. Troll, 1992.)
First-Start Biographies: Young Amelia Earhart: A Dream to Fly. Susan Alcott. (32 p. each. Grades K–2. Troll, 1992.)
First-Start Biographies: Young Harriet Tubman: Freedom Fighter. Anne Benjamin. (32 p. each. Grades K–2. Troll, 1992.)
Great Women in the Struggle. Toyomi Igus, ed. Eighty-four African-American women of achievement are profiled with one-page biographies and photographs. 107 p. Grades 4–8. Just Us Books, 1991.
Harriet Tubman: Slavery and the Underground Railroad. Megan McClard. 133 p. Grades 5–12. Silver Burdett, 1991.
Hillary Rodham Clinton. Suzanne Levert. 48 p. Grades 2–4. Millbrook Press, 1994.
Inspirations: Stories About Women Artists. Leslie Sills. Includes Georgia O'Keeffe, Frida Kahlo, Alice Neel, and Faith Ringgold. 51 p. Grades 4–10. Albert Whitman and Co., 1989.
Jackie Joyner-Kersee: Superwoman. Stellar heptathlon champion. 54 p. Grades 3–6. Lerner Publications, 1994.
Julia Morgan: Architect of Dreams. Ginger Wadsworth. 128 p. Grades 5–12. Lerner Publications, 1990.
Kristi Yamaguchi: Artist on Ice. Shiobhan Donohue. In 1992 Yamaguchi won the National, Olympic, and world championship titles in figure skating. 64 p. Grades 3–6. Lerner Publications, 1994.
Las Mujeres: Mexican American/ Chicana Women. National Women's History Project. Photographs and bilingual biographies of 17 women from the 1700s to the present. 40 p. Grades 6–Adult. NWHP, 1991.
Leaders. Cecilia Fannon. This book takes a look at 24 contemporary women leaders. 64 p. Grades 3–7. Rourke Corporation, 1991.
Madam C.J. Walker: Building a Business Empire. Penny Colman. Walker developed a huge network manufacturing and selling beauty products made especially for African-Americans. 48 p. Grades 2–4. Millbrook Press, 1994.
Mary McLeod Bethune. Patricia and Fred McKissack. African-American role model who worked steadfastly for Blacks' equality in education and political rights. 32 p. Grades 3–5. Children's Press, 1992.
Mother Jones and the March of the Mill Children. Penny Colman. Labor leader. 48 p. Grades 3–6. Millbrook Press, 1994.
Native American Doctor: The Story of Susan LaFlesche Picotte. Jeri Ferris. First Native American woman to earn a medical degree (1889). 88 p. Grades 4–6. Carolrhoda Press, 1991.
Peace and Bread: The Story of Jane Addams. Stephanie Sammartino McPherson. Addams founded Hull House in Chicago, and received the Nobel Prize. 96 p. Grades 3–8. Carolrhoda Books, 1993.
A Picture Book of Harriet Tubman. David A. Adler. 30 p. Grades K–3. Holiday House, 1992.
A Picture Book of Rosa Parks. David A. Adler. 30 p. Grades K–3. Holiday House, 1993.
A Picture Book of Sojourner Truth. David A. Adler. Outspoken abolitionist and crusader for the rights of all women and African Americans. 30 p. Grades K–3. Holiday House, 1992.
Rosa Parks: My Story. Rosa Parks. 192 p. Grades 4–8. Penguin, 1992.
Scholastic Encyclopedia of Women in the United States, by Sheila Keenan. Meet more than 200 notable women from the 1500s to today. Grades 4 and up.
A Separate Battle: Women and the Civil War. Ina Chang. Covers both Union and Confederate women's experiences. 102 p. Grades 5–12. Dutton, 1991.
Shirley Chisholm: Teacher and Congresswoman. Catherine Scheader. First Black woman to run for president of the U.S. 128 p. Grades 5–12. Enslow, 1990.
Sor Juana Ines De la Cruz. Kathleen Thompson. Mexico's greatest poet. 32 p. Grades 3–5. Steck-Vaughn, 1991.
The Story of Women Who Shaped the West. Mary Virginia Fox. European-American women who worked in a variety of fields in the early West. 32 p. Grades 3–5. Children's Press, 1991.
Susan Butcher: Sled Dog Racer. Ginger Wadsworth. Winner of Iditarod race. 64 p. Grades 3–6. Lerner Publications, 1994.
They Shall Be Heard: Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Kate Connell. Anthony and Stanton led the 19th-century movement for women's equality. 85 p. Grades 3–8. Steck-Vaughn, 1993.
Troll Series Biographies. Set of ten biographies, including Louisa May Alcott, Clara Barton, Elizabeth Blackwell, Marie Curie, Amelia Earhart, Helen Keller, Sacajawea, Harriet Tubman, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Rosa Parks. 48 p. each. Grades 3–6. Troll, 1979–1993.
Vilma Martinez. Corinn Codye. Former director of the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund. 32 p. Grades 3–8. Steck-Vaughn, 1993.
Waheenee: An Indian Girl's Story Told by Herself. Gilbert L. Wilson, compiler. Hidatsa Indian woman born in 1839 weaves the story of her life and the lives of the women in her tribe. 189 p. Grades 5–Adult. University of Nebraska Press, 1981.
Wilma Mankiller: Chief of the Cherokee Nation. Bruce Glassman. Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma. 64 p. Grades 3–7. Blackbirch Press, 1991.
A Woman Unafraid: The Achievements of Frances Perkins. Penny Colman. Secretary of Labor; first woman in the U.S. Cabinet. 129 p. Grades 4–8. Macmillan Publishing, 1993.
Women at Work: 153 Photographs by Lewis W. Hine. Jonathan L. Doherty, ed. 118 p. Grades 6–Adult. Dover Publications, 1981.
Women of Our Time Biographies. Series including women such as Dorothea Lange, Grandma Moses, Mary McLeod Bethune, and Rachel Carson. 52–64 p. each. Grades 3–6. Penguin, 1984–1988.
Women of the U.S. Congress. Isobel V. Morin. Seven influential women. 160 p. Grades 5–10. Oliver Press, 1994.
Women Win the Vote. Betsy Covington Smith. History of U.S. women from 1620 to the present. 64 p. Grades 5–8. Silver Burdett, 1989.
Family Pictures/Cuadros de Familia. Carmen Lomas Garza. Bilingual picture book depicting the experiences of a young girl in a traditional Hispanic community in the Southwest. 32 p. Grades 1–6. Children's Book Press, 1990.
The Great Ancestor Hunt: The Fun of Finding Out Who You Are. Lila Perl. Handbook that makes delving into one's roots an intriguing project. 112 p. Grades 4–8. Clarion Books, 1989.
The Josefina Story Quilt. Eleanor Coerr. Fictional account of a young girl traveling west with her family in 1850. 64 p. Grades K–3. HarperCollins, 1986.
The Keeping Quilt. Patricia Polacco. Fictional account of the central role of an old family quilt. 32 p. Read-to-me grades pre-K–3. Simon and Schuster, 1988.
Angel Island Prisoner 1922. Helen Chetin. Angel Island in California was where Asian immigrants were held while their health and official papers were checked. Through the eyes of a young girl waiting there, readers share the immigrant women's experience. 55 p. Grades 4–8. New Seed Press, 1982.
Bloomers! Rhoda Blumberg. How bloomers helped spread the word about women's rights. 30 p. Grades K–4. Simon and Schuster, 1993.
Cassie's Journey: Going West in the 1860s. Brett Harvey. 40 p. Grades 3–6. Holiday House, 1988.
The Trail on Which They Wept: The Story of a Cherokee Girl. Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler. The Trail of Tears journey, told from the viewpoint of a young girl. 57 p. Grades 3–4. Silver Burdett, 1992.
The Maid of the North: Feminist Folk Tales from Around the World. Ethel Johnston Phelps, ed. 176 p. Grades 4–Adult. Henry Holt and Co., 1981.
Tatterhood and Other Tales. Ethel Johnston Phelps, ed. International folk tales. 166 p. Grades 1–6. The Feminist Press, 1978.
Women and War: World War II. Fiona Reynoldson. International account told through first-person quotes, diary accounts, narrative text, and photos. 48 p. Grades 5–9. Thomson Learning, 1993.
Connie Chung: Broadcast Journalist. Mary Malone. Anchorperson on the CBS Evening News. 128 p. Grades 6–12. Enslow Publishers, 1992.
Female Writers: Profiles of Great Black Americans. Richard Rennert, ed. Eight writers who have provided profound insight into the African-American experience. 64 p. Grades 5–8. Chelsea House, 1994.
Gloria Estefan: Cuban-American Singing Star. Fernando Gonzales. Lead singer and songwriter of Miami Sound Machine. 32 p. Grades 3–5. Millbrook Press, 1993.
Maya Angelou. Nancy Shuker. Author, poet, musician, and actress. 128 p. Grades 9–12. Silver Burdett, 1990.
Maya Angelou: Greeting the Morning. Sarah E. King. Renowned African-American poet and actress. 48 p. Grades 4–8. Millbrook Press, 1994.
Zora Neale Hurston: A Storyteller's Life. Janelle Yates. Researcher, folklorist and author. 98 p. Grades 6–10. Ward Hill Press, 1991.
Science And Mathematics
American Women in Science Biographies, Set 1 and Set 2. Short biographies show how childhood interests led these women scientists to interesting careers. Set 1: 10 biographies plus teacher's guide. Set 2: 5 biographies (all of women who also have major disabilities). 31 p. each. Grades 1–4. The Equity Institute, 1985 (Set 1) and 1988 (Set 2).
Grace Hopper: Navy Admiral and Computer Pioneer. Charlene W. Billings. Developed COBOL business programming language. 128 p. Grades 5–12. Enslow Publications, 1989.
Jane Goodall: Living With the Chimps. Pioneered methods of studying chimpanzee behavior in the wild. 72 p. Grades 3–6. Henry Holt and Co., 1992.
Marie Curie and Her Daughter Irene. Rosalynd Pflaum. Marie Curie discovered radium, polonium, and natural radiation; Irene discovered artificial radiation. 144 p. Grades 5–9. Lerner Publications, 1993.
Rooftop Astronomer: A Story About Maria Mitchell. Discovered a comet in 1847. 64 p. Grades 3–6. CarolRhoda, 1990.
Rachel Carson: Voice for the Earth. Ginger Wadsworth. Early environmentalist who brought public attention to the danger of pesticides. 128 p. Grades 5–12. Lerner Publications, 1992.
Science is Women's Work: Photos and Biographies of American Women in the Sciences. NWHP-Nancy Gallop. 56 p. Grades 4–8. NWHP, 1993.
The Scientist Within You: Experiments and Biographies of Distinguished Women in Science. Rebecca Lowe Warren and Mary H. Thompson. 182 p. Grades 3–9. ACI Publishing, 1994.
Women and Numbers. Teri Perl. Activities based on the work of 13 outstanding mathematicians from the 19th and 20th centuries. 213 p. Grades 5–12. Wide World Publishing, 1993.
Women in Astronomy. Cobblestone Magazine. History magazine with articles and activity pages. 48 p. Grades 4–8. Cobblestone, March 1994.
Women Inventors. Cobblestone Magazine. History magazine with articles, activity ideas and quizzes. 48 p. Grades 4–8. Cobblestone, June 1994.
This bibliography was compiled by the National Women's History Project in spring 1995.
For more information about this organization, please contact the National Women's History Project, 7738 Bell Road, Windsor, CA 95492. (707) 838-6000.