A Mighty Girl Blog

  • Dangerous Words: Challenged and Banned Mighty Girl Books

    In honor of Banned Books Week, we're showcasing a selection of high quality books for children and teens that have been challenged or banned.

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    The Diary of A Young Girl is a classic Mighty Girl book that beautifully captures the emotional life of its author, Anne Frank, as her family and friends attempted to hide from the Nazi regime. It has been translated into 67 languages and sold over 30 million copies, and is often used by schools for units on the Holocaust or to discuss the feelings and physical changes that come with adolescence.

    And yet, as recently as 2015 year, parents have challenged the use of the book in classrooms due to a reference to Anne's sexual awakening. In fact, since 1952, when the diary was first published in the US, it has been challenged dozens of times for reasons ranging from Anne’s discussion of her sexuality, to concerns about introducing the Holocaust to middle-school students, to disapproval of Anne’s unflattering descriptions of her mother. As the history of challenges to this book makes clear, one person’s bad influence is another person’s literary classic.

    tempSeptember 25 to October 1 is Banned Books Week, “an annual event celebrating the freedom to read…[and] to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.” During this week, The American Library Association and others in the book community come together to expose the dangers of restricting access to books. The banning of books, at least in the US, occurs on a local level, generally by local school districts which decide to pull a book from school libraries or classrooms. Often a book that is banned in one school district is a core part of the curriculum in many others.

    Banned Books Week celebrates that the majority of the books that have been challenged are still available on shelves, a testament to “the efforts of librarians, teachers, students, and community members who stand up and speak out for the freedom to read.”

    At A Mighty Girl, we believe that children — and their parents — should be free to explore difficult ideas and concepts. While parents should be aware of potential concerns with a title, removing a book from the shelves limits choice and sends the message to children that they aren’t competent to handle challenging topics. With that in mind, we have gathered a selection of Mighty Girl books that have been challenged or banned. Many of these books are considered classics, and many have received literary awards. Yet for reasons ranging from racism to violence to religious objections, people have had to fight to keep these books accessible to readers. A Mighty Girl is proud to have each one as part of our collection of empowering titles. Continue reading

  • Protecting “The Books That Will Never Be Written”: Judy Blume’s Fight Against Censorship

    judy-blume1For decades, Mighty Girls have devoured the works of Judy Blume, from Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret to Forever... to Just As Long As We’re Together. Her characters are compelling to readers because they face real issues — issues like puberty, struggles with friends, sexuality, divorce, and bullying. There’s even a book, Everything I Needed To Know About Being A Girl I Learned from Judy Blume, which features a collection of essays by twenty-four notable women authors about the impact Judy Blume’s novels have had on their lives and writing.

    But what many Mighty Girl readers may not know is that the very topics that made Blume’s work speak so powerfully to them also made them the subject of frequent challenges and bans. Blume has the dubious distinction of being one of the most banned writers in America. In fact, challenges and bans to her books still happen frequently; as a result, in some towns, it is actually harder for kids to get access to her books now than when they were written.

    In the process of defending her books, Blume has emerged as a determined defender of authors’ rights to address controversial issues, even in children’s and young adult literature — and of children's rights to read them. In honor of Banned Books Week, which runs from September 25 to October 1, A Mighty Girl is proud to present this tribute to Blume’s efforts to ensure that authors, both present and future, don’t have to face censorship as they write for children. Continue reading

  • A Historical Halloween: History-Inspired Mighty Girl Costumes

    Our top picks of history-inspired Mighty Girl costumes from our own Halloween costume collection and photos of Mighty Girls in costume shared by our community!

    historical-costumes-blog-webHalloween provides a chance to imagine yourself as a different person — and for young history buffs, that can mean dressing up as a favorite figure from history! She might be imagining herself as a specific person, like Amelia Earhart or Cleopatra, or she be intrigued by the culture of a time and place, from Ancient Rome to the prairies of the pioneers. Whatever she chooses, history can provide a tremendous amount of inspiration!

    In this blog post, we share some of our favorite costumes inspired by history. In the first section, we showcase a number of history-themed costumes from A Mighty Girl's costume guide. Of course, many Mighty Girls enjoy the challenge of creating their own costume, so in the second section, we highlight a few of our favorite costumes inspired by historical figures that community members have shared with us in previous years! Between the two, your Mighty Girl is sure to find lots of ideas for a Halloween costume that deserves a place in your family’s history books.

    For even more costume inspiration on themes ranging from superheroes to animals, you'll find hundreds of costumes for all ages from infants through adults in our Girl Empowerment Halloween Costume Guide. Continue reading

  • Witches, Monsters, and Spooky Tales: 30 Mighty Girl Books for Halloween

    Our favorite fun and spooky Mighty Girl stories to bewitch kids of all ages this Halloween season!

    halloween-books-webHalloween is coming fast, and most kids’ eyes gleam at the thought: the costumes, the candy, the fun, and, of course, the chance to enjoy some spooky and fun stories! So that you can stock your bookshelf with some great Mighty Girl books to enjoy this Halloween, we’ve highlighted 30 of our seasonal favorites in three sections: Good Witches, Monster Stories, and Spooky Mighty Girl Tales. There's a spooky (or not-so-spooky) story for every young Halloween lover in our collection!

    To discover even more girl-empowering Halloween tales, as well as films for a Halloween movie night, check out our special feature on the Top Halloween Mighty Girl Books and Films. Witch lovers can also find more Mighty Girl books about witches in our blog post, With Broomstick in Hand: Favorite Stories Starring Mighty Girl Witches.

    And, if you're on the lookout for a costume for your Mighty Girl, check out the hundreds of options in our Halloween Costume Guide. Continue reading

  • Love Through the Generations: 40 Books About Mighty Girls & Their Grandparents

    A Mighty Girl's top picks of books about the love between girls and their grandparents.

    grandparents-day-blog-webMany Mighty Girls know how special a relationship with grandparents can be: from special treats to family traditions, grandparents can offer a unique family connection to girls of all ages. And while these relationships can't always be physically close — and sometimes face obstacles, from different languages to a different perspective on the world — grandparents play an important role in the lives of many Mighty Girls.

    In this blog post, we're paying tribute to that special relationship with 35 books about Mighty Girls and their grandparents. From picture books to young adult novels, these stories explore the many forms the unique grandparent/granddaughter relationship can take. Moreover, for the grandparents in our community, we've also featured several keepsake journals that you can use to share even more of your memories with the special Mighty Girl in your life.

    For more books about Mighty Girls and beloved family members, check out our blog post, To My Mighty Girl With Love: 40 Stories About Parents, Grandparents, and Siblings. Continue reading

  • Celebrating a Love of Reading: 20 Mighty Girl Stories about Books, Libraries, and Literacy

    Our top picks of books for children and teens starring Mighty Girls who love to read!

    books-library-blog-webFor 50 years, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization has celebrated International Literacy Day. On their Literacy Day web page UNESCO emphasizes why literacy is so important: it is “the foundation of all learning... a human right, a tool of personal empowerment and a means for social and human development.”

    To mark International Literacy Day, A Mighty Girl has put together a collection of our favorite books about reading and literacy featuring Mighty Girl characters. These books celebrate the love of reading, the value that books bring to our lives, and the incredible joy and pride that comes with learning this critical skill. Along with numerous recommendations for children and teens, we also highlight a number of books for parents offering tips and strategies to help foster your children's love of reading and information on how to support those children that might be struggling.

    Continue reading

  • Many Ways To Be Mighty: 20 Books Starring Mighty Girls with Disabilities

    Our top picks of books for children and teens starring Mighty Girls with disabilities.

    disability-blog-webEvery child wants to see herself represented in the pages of her books — but if your Mighty Girl has a disability or special need, books featuring characters like her are few and far between. And when characters with disabilities do appear, they are often marginalized, only existing so that the main character of the book can show compassion towards them. In fact, from 1940 to 1970, of the tens of thousands of children's books published, only about 300 featured characters with any sort of disability — a far cry from the actual 10% of the population with some form of cognitive, physical, or mental disability.

    Fortunately, authors and publishers are starting to recognize the importance of representation and inclusion of people with disabilities, and in recent years more and more books have been featuring characters with disabilities. These books encourage children to be understanding and accepting of peers with special needs, while also providing children with disabilities all-too-rare role models who represent their struggles and triumphs. After all, a disability may change the way you live your life — but that doesn't make you any less Mighty!

    To help parents and educators find high-quality stories that include representation of a variety of disabilities, we've compiled a collection of books in modern settings starring characters with disabilities. While stories about historical figures like Helen Keller are important, these contemporary tales serve an equally critical purpose: showing all children that a disability is only a part of a person's story, not the whole. Continue reading

  • Fighting For Justice: 20 Books About Women and the Labor Movement

    Our top picks of books for children and teens about the girls and women who fought for workers' rights.

    labor-books-blog-webFor many children today, Labor Day is just a holiday marking the end of the summer; what they often don't know is that this special day commemorates the history of the struggle for workers' rights — one in which girls and women played important and too often forgotten roles. Held on the first Monday in September in the U.S. and Canada, Labor Day celebrates the contributions of workers and remembers the hardships they endured in their fight for justice.

    To introduce children and youth to the struggles and achievements of working girls and women, the fiction and non-fiction books recommended in this post will open their eyes to the tremendous efforts and sacrifices made by those in the early days of the labor movement who won workers the right to fair wages and safe working conditions. These stories will also give young readers a greater understanding of struggles that continue today, especially in countries where the fight continues for even the most basic worker rights.

    This post features twenty of our favorite books, from picture books to young adult novels, focused on the involvement of girls and women in labor movement struggles. For more books about labor issues, visit our collection of books about Work & Labor in our Social Issues book section. Continue reading

  • A Season of Change: 20 Mighty Girl Books Celebrating Fall

    Our top picks of girl-empowering books about the wonders and changes of fall.

    fall-books-blog2-webAutumn is here! The leaves are changing, the weather is getting cooler, and summer is becoming a memory. Every season brings with it the opportunity to share seasonal books with the Mighty Girl in your life, and this fall is no exception. So with that in mind, we've put together a selection of our favorite Mighty Girl books about fall. From celebrations of the changing weather to tales about growing pumpkins to autumn's metaphorical significance as a season of change, these books capture the many beauties of this contemplative season.

    And if your Mighty Girl loves fall because of Halloween, check out our special feature on the Top Halloween Mighty Girl Books & Films for some seasonal spooky favorites. Continue reading

  • Ada Twist, Scientist Pre-Release Giveaway!

    Ada Twist, Scientist Giveaway

    Win an autographed copy of the companion to "Rosie Revere, Engineer"

    For A Mighty Girl's first-ever book giveaway, we're thrilled to announce that we have three autographed copies of the new companion to the much beloved Rosie Revere, Engineer -- Ada Twist, Scientist! In this lighthearted soon-to-be-released picture book, Rosie's friend Ada is on a mission to use science to better understand the world around her. Ada Twist is sure to delight many fans of the bestselling Rosie Revere with its winning portrayal of a young girl filled with the curiosity and determination of a budding scientist.

    For our inaugural book giveaway, in addition to three books autographed by author Andrea Beaty, we also have three posters of original "Ada Twist, Scientist" artwork signed both by the author and illustrator David Roberts. The giveaway is free to enter and the six winners will be randomly selected. With apologies to our many non-US-based supporters, due to legal restrictions, the giveaway is only open to US residents.

    To sign up for the "Ada Twist, Scientist" pre-release giveaway, visit http://www.amightygirl.com/forms/giveaway.

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