March 8th is International Women’s Day which celebrates ‘the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.’ So many stories about inspirational women are being documented in children’s books and we have learnt about individual women’s achievements throughout history and around the globe.
It’s fascinating to read about girls and women who have influenced and are still influencing our lives today. These books show children how big a contribution women from history have made in all areas of society. The women’s stories can help foster self confidence, instil beliefs that girls can aspire to their dreams and help break down gender stereotypes.
We have many inspirational women on our bookcase including anthologies and individual biographies. It’s always fascinating to read their remarkable stories.
Like A Girl by LORI DEGMAN & Mara Penney
Twenty four different women are introduced in Like A Girl. Written in rhyme the book uses strong, inspirational language and encourages readers to stand up, prevail, create, soar, train and change the world.
Short biographies at the back of the book give more information about each woman, we were introduced to women that we had never heard of including Temple Grandin and Wangari Maathai.
Bold illustrations complement the strength of each woman and we absolutely love the spread at the end that inspires readers to be curious and ask questions.
Run like a Girl by Danielle Brown & Robin Shields
Run like a Girl: 50 Extraordinary and Inspiring Sportswomen tells the stories of women from around the globe who have achieved success in their chosen fields, often fighting discrimination, disability and doubts along the way. It’s an amazing celebration of girl power written by Danielle Brown, a paralympic gold medallist who won her first gold medal for archery at the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games.
Adventurers, sailors, horse riders and women from a wide range of sports are included in this book. But although the women are successful in different areas they all share a determination, a resilience and a passion to succeed in their chosen field despite any obstacles that they’ve had to overcome.
Rebel Girls Rock: 25 Tales of Women In Music
Rebel Girls Rock is a celebration of the achievements of 25 female musicians from all around the world. It includes rappers, singers, music executives and musicians who play a variety of instruments.
Each woman’s story, including their name and date of birth, is shown on the right of a double page spread and is accompanied by a vibrant illustration. The stories are short, easy to read and start with each protagonist as a little girl. A final double spread encourages the reader to write their own story and draw their portrait.
Fierce, Fearless and Free by Lari Don & Eilidh Muldoon
Fierce, Fearless and Free is a collection of traditional tales from around the world which features ‘amazing women and girls.’ The stories include myths and legends from China, Scotland, Ireland, Mexico and Nigeria which also give an insight into other cultures and historical periods.
The stories have feisty determined heroines who face magic, danger and adversity head on – no handsome princes needed!
Eilidh Muldoon’s fabulous illustrations introduce us to each woman or girl. Included at the end of the book are short descriptions about the background to each story and where Lari first discovered them.
The Spacesuit by Alison Donald & Ariel Landy
The Spacesuit takes a fascinating look at the team who designed the very first spacesuit. We found it really interesting learning about Eleanor ‘Ellie’ Foraker and her team of seamstresses who played an important role in the first moon walk.
Ellie and her team are inspirational female role models, they worked hard despite the fact that they weren’t expected to win the contract. When they made mistakes they went back to the drawing board and started from the beginning – they were truly dedicated to their work and showed a huge determination to succeed.
Away With Words, The Daring Story of Isabella Bird by Lori Mortensen & Kristy Caldwell
A fascinating biography about explorer Isabella Bird who travelled around the world and turned her experiences into bestselling books that captivated readers with her vibrant descriptions and impressive expeditions.
Isabella Bird showed the world that women could be persistent, independent, daring and successful.
Frida Kahlo – Great Lives In Graphics
Frida dreamt of being a doctor but after breaking her back in a bus crash when she was eighteen she became an artist instead. She became artist Diego Rivera’s muse in 1928.
Frida loved fashion and spent hours transforming herself into a work of art, she wanted people to focus on her and not on her disabilities.
She painted many self portraits and expressed her pain through painting. Many of her paintings include plants and animals, reflecting her love of nature. Her first exhibition took place months before her death, determined not to miss it she attended it in her bed.
All of these books would make fabulous additions to a school library and can be used to stimulate discussion with children, boys as well as girls, about inspirational women, past and present. We have learnt (and are still learning!) about brave, fearless women who have influenced our lives in ways that we were unaware of until now.
Have you read any books about inspirational women that you would recommend?
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