When it comes to the history of children’s books, studies have shown that the genre has been dominated by books with male protagonists. Not only that, but it has also been proven that books featuring female protagonists are less likely to win literary prizes. Fortunately, a new wave of children’s books is getting ready to flip this gender imbalance on its head. A new era of bedtime stories is emerging, ones in which the heroines are not only female but real. Here is a list of some inspirational titles aimed at children that put real women in the spotlight:
1. Fantastically Great Women Who Changed The World by Kate Pankhurst
Kate Pankhurst, a descendant of famous suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst, has created an accessible book about women who have changed the world. Fantastically Great Women Who Changed The World presents fascinating facts about these inspiring women, like Amelia Earhart, Mary Seacole, Jane Austen, Frida Kahlo, Rosa Parks and many, many more. To date, this book has sold more than 52,000 copies.
The Amazing Series sheds light on inspirational lives of lesser-known scientists. The Girl Who Thought In Pictures tells the real life story of Temple Grandin, who was diagnosed with autism at a young age and was told that she’d never had the ability to speak. She was determined to overcome this and used her unique mind to connect with animals in a special way, which helped her invent groundbreaking improvements for farms around the globe and made her one of the most powerful voices in modern science! Features a note from Dr. Grandin herself!
3. Girls Think Of Everything: Stories Of Ingenious Inventions By Women by Catherine Thimmish and illustrated by Melissa Sweet
Girls Think Of Everything puts the spotlight on famous female inventors like Ruth Wakefield, Patsy O. Sherman, Ann Moore, Stephanie Kwolek and more as well as young investors, like ten-year-old Becky Schroeder and eleven-year-old Alexia Abernathy. This book serves as an illustrated guide to how these women’s creations have made our lives simpler and better, and a look into how they turned their ideas into realities.
4. Good Night Stories For Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo
Launched on Kickstarter by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo, Good Night Stories For Rebel Girls became the most-funded publishing campaign on the site—surpassing the goal of $40,000 and raising over $1 million. The self-published book has since sold more than 500,000 copies around the world and tells the stories of 100 “extraordinary” women from the past and present, illustrated by 60 female artists from all over the world.
5. It Takes A Village: Picture Book by Hillary Rodham Clinton and illustrated by Marla Frazee
Former Secretary of State and Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton’s It Takes A Village quickly became a classic after its 1996 release. Now Clinton will be releasing her first-ever book for young readers, inspired by the themes of her New York Times bestselling book, illustrated by two-time Caldecott Honor recipient Marla Frazee. In it, Clinton asks an important question… “What does it take to change the world?” This heartwarming story of a diverse community coming together to make a difference will resonate with children and families and inspire young readers to look for the different ways they can make a difference in their communities.
6. Malala’s Magic Pencil by Malala Yousafzai and illustrated by
This upcoming picture book from Nobel Peace Prize winner and New York Times bestselling author Malala Yousafzai seeks to inspire young readers to find the magic all around them. Inspired by her childhood in Pakistan, Malala tells the story of her wish for a magic pencil and how she learned to wish for more important things as she grew older. This beautifully illustrated picture book shows young readers the worldview that allowed Malala to hold on to hope even in the most difficult of times.
7. Rad American Women A-Z: Rebels, Trailblazers, and Visionaries who Shaped Our History . . . and Our Future! by
New York Times bestseller Rad American Women A-Z illustrates the alphabet with a list of great women over several centuries and multiples professions who have shaped the world for the better; from artists to abolitionists, scientists to suffragettes. The book, which is Common Core aligned for students grades 3 – 8 but can be appreciated by preschoolers and high school students alike, includes an introduction that discusses what it means to be “rad” and “radical,” an afterword with over twenty suggestions for how you can be “rad,” and a Resource Guide with ideas for further learning and reading.
8. She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World by Chelsea Clinton and illustrated by
Like her mother before her, Chelsea Clinton has also teamed up with an illustrator to craft an inspirational book for young readers. She Persisted spotlights thirteen inspirational women throughout American history who never took no for an answer and who always, without fail, persisted. Some of the historical figures featured include Harriet Tubman, Helen Keller, Sally Ride, Florence Griffith Joyner, Oprah Winfrey, Sonia Sotomayor and more!
New York Times best-seller Women In Science highlights the contributions of fifty notable women in the fields of science, engineering, technology, and mathematics (STEM) throughout history. In addition to bios on each woman included, Women In Science also includes infographics on lab equipment, rates of women currently working in STEM fields and an illustrated scientific glossary. A few of the women included are well-known figures like primatologist Jane Goodall, as well as lesser-known pioneers such as Katherine Johnson, the African-American physicist, and mathematician who calculated the trajectory of the 1969 Apollo 11 mission to the moon.
Chosen by the Children’s Book Council as the best STEM book of 2017, Women Who Launched The Computer Age tells the fantastic true story of the six young women who programmed the first all-electronic, programmable computer, the ENIAC, part of a secret World War II project. When the ENIAC was presented to the press and public, the women were never introduced or given credit for their work—now this inspiring book, (part of a new series of biographies about people “you should meet!”) teaches young readers about who they are, what they did and how their invention still matters today. Plus, Women Who Launched The Computer Age also includes a special section at the back of the book with trivia facts and more!
If you’re a parent, caretaker or teacher, these books should become required reading for young children. It’s important that both young men and women become aware of the radically awesome and groundbreaking women that paved the way for future generations!
If you love our article, make sure you send us some love by pinning on Pinterest. 🙂
YouTube Channel: Timbuktu Labs
Featured Image via Pexels
h/t The Guardian