This March, we remind ourselves of the incredible accomplishments, resilience, and fortitude that women throughout history have shown the world. We’re celebrating women who’ve made their mark on the world—from Harriet Tubman, to Marie Curie, to Malala Yousafzai—and the women who are doing incredible work to make our society a more just, equitable, and welcoming place for all.
We’d like to highlight a few books that spotlight women’s stories for every age. Whether you’re working through an activity book of brilliant mathematicians, diving into the stories of women who’ve fought for their rights and communities, or striving to best support women leaders, we’ve got a handful of good reads to satisfy all of those needs.
Early Elementary School:
- Women Who Count: Honoring African American Women Mathematicians by Shelly M. Jones. This activity book engages its audience with sketches, biographies, word searches, and match activities that highlight 29 accomplished Black mathematicians, including the women of Hidden Figures: Dr. Christine Darden, Mary Jackson, and Dorothy Vaughan, and Katherine Johnson.
- That’s Not Fair! Emma Tenayuca’s Struggle for Justice/¡No Es Justo!: La lucha de Emma Tenayuca por la justicia by Carmen Tafolla and Sharyll Teneyca, illustrated by Terry Ybáñez. This bilingual picture book tells the story of labor rights activist Emma Tenayca and her role in a strike of 12,000 pecan shellers who demanded better working conditions.
- Queen of Physics: How Wu Chien Shiung Helped Unlock the Secrets of the Atom by Teresa Robeson, illustrated by Rebecca Huang. This biography of Wu Chien Shiung, a woman born at a time where most girls in her community did not attend school, celebrates her life as she battles sexism and becomes the first hired female instructor at Princeton University, first female elected President of the American Physical Society, and her vast accomplishments in the scientific field.
Upper Elementary and Middle School:
- Rad American Women A-Z: Rebels, Trailblazers, and Visionaries who Shaped Our History.. and Our Future! by Kate Schatz, illustrated by Mirian Klein Stahl. This illustrative A-Z book gives readers a portrait of American women activists, leaders, artists, athletes, and more.
- Classified: The Secret Career of Mary Golda Ross, Cherokee Aerospace Engineer by Traci Sorell, illustrated by Natasha Donovan. This book follows Mary Golda Ross’s journey from being the only girl in her high school’s math class to an accomplished engineer, inspiring Native Americans and young women to pursue engineering and find equal footing on their educational journeys.
- Hedy Lamarr’s Double Life: Hollywood Legend and Brilliant Inventor by Laurie Wallmark, illustrated by Katy Wu. This book highlights the famous movie star’s accomplishments in the computer science field, and her inventions which impact communications and technological security in today’s world.
- I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai. Malala’s autobiography recounts her educational journey, surviving the Taliban’s attempted murder, and the strength that led her to become the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize at just sixteen years old.
- Audacity by Melanie Crowder. This novel recounts the story of Clara Lemlich, a Jewish immigrant from Russia to New York who organized the biggest strike by women in American history.
- Call Us What We Carry by Amanda Gorman. This collection of poetry from presidential inaugural poet Amanda Gorman explores the past, present, and future with its themes of identity, marginalization, and hope. Its final poem, “The Hill We Climb,” is the 2020 inaugural poem exploring racial justice, healing, and unity.
For Educators and Leaders:
- Leading While Female: A Culturally Proficient Response for Gender Equity by Trudy T. Arriaga, Stacie L. Stanley, and Delores B. Lindsey. These Corwin authors take the gender equity gap head-on in this personal and group discussion guide for actions to address the gender inequality that women leaders in education face.
- Educated by Tara Westover. This memoir recount’s Tara Westover’s story—a girl who, at the age of seventeen, stepped into a classroom for the first time. She would go on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University, an inspiring reminder of the power of education.
- Being 10% Braver by Keziah Featherstone and Vivienne Porritt. This Corwin title draws from the real stories of women leaders in education to tackle imposter syndrome and raising your voice.
What books would you add to this list? Who are the women leaders, in your own life or around the globe, who inspire you?