Rebels in dresses



Six books to read with your kids during Women’s History Month

March is Women’s History Month, and while your kids may encounter activities about famous women from history at school or your local library, this month is also a good time to open a conversation at home.

You can easily do that by reading a book with your child about a famous woman from history. Since this month is also National Reading Month, books can help you talk about ways that women pushed the boundaries in the work they sought to do, the rights they held in society — like the right to vote and the right to own property — and more.

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Here are a few ideas for great books to read with your daughter or son this month. Check with your local librarian for even more suggestions.

Nonfiction

“Rebel in a Dress: Cowgirls” and “Rebel in a Dress: Adventurers”

Written by Sylvia Branzei, illustrated by Melissa Sweet

Ages 8 to 12

Showcases women who pushed the boundaries of their times to achieve what they wanted. Includes quotes from the women featured and those who knew them, as well as notes about other events going on in the world during the times in which they lived. Girls now are mostly told they can do and be anything they want, and these books show just how far society has come for that to happen.

 




“In Disguise! Undercover with Real Women Spies”

By Ryan Ann Hunter

Ages 9 to 12

Highlights the stories of women who acted as spies during the American Revolution, the Civil War, World War I, World War II, and other conflicts. Readers will also learn about some of the techniques used in spying over the years and learn how to try a few of them out.

 

“The Heroine’s Bookshelf: Life Lessons from Jane Austen to Laura Ingalls Wilder”

By Erin Blakemore

Ages 13 and up

Pairs favorite heroines in literary history with their female authors and analyzes both the similarities and differences in their lives. In the past, women faced multiple barriers in bringing their stories to print, and many of them, even those we think of as successful, struggled with poverty their entire lives.

 




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Fiction

“My Name is Not Isabella: Just How Big Can a Little Girl Dream”

Written by Jennifer Fosberry, illustrated by Mike Litwin

Ages 5 to 8

Focuses on some of the strongest females in history, like Sally Ride and Rosa Parks, as seen through the eyes of a little girl who looks up to them. Brief biographies in the back of the book offer more information and can lead to further exploration.

 





“Promise the Night”

By Michaela MacColl

Ages 9 to 12

Introduces young readers to Beryl Markham, an Englishwoman who grew up in the wilds of Africa and became an aviatrix and the first woman to fly solo from Europe to North America.

 





“Caddie Woodlawn”

By Carol Ryrie Brink

Ages 9 to 12

Depiction of American pioneer life and the role women were expected to play in it. Caddie has no interest in being a “lady,” preferring to run in the woods with her brothers. Based on the real-life stories of the author’s grandmother.

 






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Cindy Hudson writes about books for children and their parents at MotherDaughterBookClub.com. She is the author of “Book by Book: The Complete Guide to Creating Mother-Daughter Book Clubs.”