WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH
32 books every little girl should read during Women’s History Month
From the women who wanted to go to the stars, to women who wanted to save the earth. From women who wanted to vote, to women who wanted to judge. From women who wanted to be doctors, to women who wanted to take the stage. This list is filled with fun stories that are sure to leave a lasting impression on your little one’s imagination even beyond Women’s History Month.
The struggle for women’s rights and other lessons for young readers
Many young readers might rightfully wonder: How could it possibly have taken until 1920 for women to win the right to vote? Two new books make clear how fierce the struggle was, exploring how generations of female activists challenged women’s inferior status and faced derision, physical attacks and (in the 1910s) lengthy imprisonment.
Young adult lit roundup: ‘Votes for Women!’ and two novels-in-verse reviewed
Still, it gives hope that, no matter how broken the system, no matter much our beliefs seem to divide us, change can happen.
10 Amazing Facts About Suffrage to Remember on International Women’s Day
Author Winifred Conkling details many inequalities women faced before the 20th century, and the long fight for women’s suffrage in Votes for Women! American Suffragists and the Battle for the Ballot (Algonquin).
Sylvia & Aki by Winifred Conkling 2012 Awardee
Children’s Literature Community Rallies Around #Kidlitwomen
According to the initiative’s organizers, author-illustrator Grace Lin and author Karen Blumenthal, who set up the Kidlitwomen Facebook page, and the Twitter hashtag, #kidlitwomen, the goal is to “call attention to the gender inequalities of the children’s literature community, uplifting those who have not received their due, and finding solutions to reach equality for all.”
Let Me Play: The Story of Title IX, the Law that Changed the Future of Girls in America by Karen Blumenthal 2006 Awardee
BOOKS INTO MOVIES
‘A Wrinkle in Time’ and Black girls at the center of the universe
When it was announced that Ava Duvernay’s movie version of A Wrinkle in Time would star a little Black girl, I thought about myself as a child. I thought about my Little and I thought about all the little Black girls who’ll get to see this movie, and who will live and breathe the fantasy of it all. What will it mean for their creative journeys to always have stories that are centered on women that look like themselves? I can’t wait to find out.
8 books by people of color that are currently being adapted for TV and film
(Walter Dean) Myers, who published more than 100 books, spent his career focusing on humanizing youth with troubled backgrounds. His desire to give these teens an opportunity to see themselves in literature was fueled by his time in the foster care system growing up in Morningside Heights, Manhattan. Myers said these youth “want to read these stories, because they want to know they’re going to be OK,” he told Christian Science Monitor in 2012.
Now Is Your Time! The African-American Struggle for Freedom by Walter Dean Myers 1992 Awardee
Patrol: An American Soldier in Vietnam by Walter Dean Myers 2003 Awardee
20 Kid and Teen Books Hollywood Should Adapt After ‘A Wrinkle in Time’
Though much darker than some other stories featured on this list, “Esperanza” still has something to offer young readers; it’s an exercise in resilience and seeing the silver lining of any misfortune.
Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan 2001 Awardee
NAOMI SHIHAB NYE
Poetry that explores love and aggression, baseball and the natural world
Voices in the Air (Greenwillow Books) presents nearly 100 new poems by Naomi Shihab Nye, a finalist for the National Book Award in 2002 for “19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East.”
Together, the poems create a vivid illustration of how to write and live fearlessly. As Nye notes in one of the final poems, sunsets, trouble and full moons are for everyone: “We’re all poets rippling with/ layers of memories,/ mostly what we might forget./ Let it belong. Every pocket,/ satchel, hand.”
Stellfox Scholar Speaks of Diplomacy, Food
“I really believe in diplomacy,” Nye said of her the political nature of some of her poems. “I like embassies… secret diplomats are what we must be.” She added that “Poets never assume that people will read their poems, we just hope that now and then it will happen.” On the purpose of poetry, Nye said the question of “Where are you?” is integral because “This is what poetry tries to help us answer every day.”
Habibi by Naomi Shihab Nye 1998 Awardee
Sitti’s Secrets by Naomi Shihab Nye, illustrated by Nancy Carpenter 1995 Awardee
Standout New Picture Books
This warm trip through the wonderland of Grandma Mimi’s purse is really a tribute to the steadying force of grandparental love in a child’s life. It also brims with adorable small stuff to look at. No illustrator does clothes, décor and style better than Brantley-Newton (“The Youngest Marcher”).
We Shall Overcome: The Story of a Song written by Debbie Levy, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton 2014 Awardee
Black Kids Don’t Want to Read About Harriet Tubman All the Time
I eventually discovered the treasure trove that is Just Us Books, and works by Andrea Davis Pinkney and Eloise Greenfield. Still, the pickings were slim.
Real diversity would celebrate the mundane – like a little kid going out after a snowstorm – rather than the exceptional.
Paul Robeson by Eloise Greenfield 1976 Awardee
Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down by Andrea Davis Pinkney, illustrated by Brian Pinkney 2011 Awardee
Sojourner Truth’s Step-Stomp Stride, by Andrea Davis Pinkney & Brian Pinkney 2010 Awardee
33rd Texas Storytelling Festival unites speakers and listeners with words
Tingle currently has 17 published works. Although he enjoys writing, he also appreciates the unique experience of oral storytelling because of the impact of tone and silent pauses.
“You can’t do silence on the page because everything is silent,” Tingle said
Crossing Bok Chitto: told in written form by nationally recognized Choctaw storyteller Tim Tingle 2007 Awardee
BC Artist George Littlechild Encourages Individual Exploration of Truth and Reconciliation
Littlechild uses his work as a way to learn from and work through the collective wounds we as Canadians must all understand in order to heal, rather than dwell only upon the past. As an example of this, Littlechild’s next project focuses on his mother and her lost potential, passing away in her 30s. But rather than focusing only the sadness of her death, the series will show the beauty of her spirit and its gravity.
This Land Is My Land written by George Littlechild 1994 Awardee
The Jane Addams Children’s Book Award annually recognizes children’s books of literary and aesthetic excellence that effectively engage children in thinking about peace, social justice, global community, and equity for all people.