A Mighty Girl Blog

  • Celebrating Mighty Girl Heroes: Ten Women You Might Not Know, But Should

    British suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst being arrested by police outside Buckingham Palace in 1914 British suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst being arrested by police outside Buckingham Palace in 1914

    By Jennifer de Beer, A Mighty Girl Senior Research Intern

    Do you know the name of the Polish social worker who rescued 2,500 Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto during WWII? How about the name of America’s first female self-made millionaire? Can you name a British suffrage movement leader who Time Magazine declared to be one of the most important people of the 20th century? Or the name of a real-life woman pirate?

    While we always delight in hearing about the achievements of women in history, there are some names that get much more attention than others. Children and adults of today are likely to be very familiar with the experiences of Rosa Parks, Amelia Earhart, and Helen Keller -- and rightly so. However, there are many other talented, courageous, and remarkable women who also deserve to have their stories told, but whose names are far less familiar.

    We have gathered together a list of ten of these women, whom you may not recognize, but whose journeys are more than worthy of your attention. Sometimes these women have been relegated to the footnotes of history books, their experiences almost entirely glossed over. Yet, each woman made significant contributions or noteworthy strides in her lifetime.

    In addition to the descriptions listed below, you will find their stories within our collection of over 400 biographies of remarkable girls and women. We also share many stories of Mighty Girl heroes of yesteryear and today on our Facebook page.

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  • Celebrating Women's History in Pictures: Picture Books for Women's History Month

    ?????By Katherine Handcock, A Mighty Girl Communications Specialist

    Few things are as fascinating to a child as realizing that the amazing “character” and “story” she just read are true — that these things really happened, and that the person who did them was real. Not only is it a great way for kids to learn about historical figures, both famous and obscure, but it’s tremendously inspiring to know that they, too, could grow up to change the world.

    So what better way to celebrate Women’s History Month with your child than with some great picture book biographies? We’ve put together a list of great picture books about figures in women’s history, which we selected based on the high quality of their writing and illustrations. We’ve also included quite a few new releases: books that you may not have discovered yet, but are sure to become a cherished part of your picture book library.

    Of course, great biographies are available for readers of all ages! You can always go to our biography section and then use the menu on the left to sort by age to find the perfect biography for your Mighty Girl.

    Just Being Audrey, by Margaret Cardillo, illustrated by Julia Denos: She was a child in Nazi-occupied Europe, then a movie star and a fashion icon. But most importantly, she had a spirit of kindness and compassion that shone through everything she did. This biography of Audrey Hepburn explores how a little girl growing up through a war would become a beloved celebrity and humanitarian. Continue reading

  • Broadening the Story: Twenty Picture Books Starring African-American Mighty Girls

    i-can-do-it-tooBy Lili Sandler, A Mighty Girl Research Intern, and Katherine Handcock, A Mighty Girl Communications Specialist

    For many Mighty Girls, especially for girls of color, it can be challenging to find stories starring characters that look like them. A study by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison determined that only 3.3% of children’s and young adult books featured African-American characters. Greater diversity in books not only gives children of color an opportunity to see themselves in stories but also helps broaden the perspective of all children by fostering children's sense of empathy and connection with characters who might look different from themselves.

    As part of our celebration of February's Black History Month, we're sharing our favorite stories of everyday life starring African-American Mighty Girls for toddlers, preschoolers, and younger elementary school readers. Whether these Mighty Girls are at work or at play, they exude confidence and happiness — and with the support of devoted friends and family, they know there’s nothing they can’t do!

    For more books for all ages starring African-American Mighty Girls, visit our African American Fiction and our African American History sections. And, to discover more Mighty Girl stories starring girls of many ethnicities and races, visit our Multicultural Fiction section. Continue reading

  • A President's Day Tribute to Women in Politics: Remember the First Ladies

    By Lili Sandler, A Mighty Girl Senior Research Intern

    Each year on the third Monday in February in the United States, we celebrate American presidents and their legacies. At A Mighty Girl, we have a slightly different take on the holiday: we like to celebrate the First Ladies and the role that women have played in molding and supporting the office of the president, from Martha Washington to Michelle Obama. We look forward to the day when we can switch our President’s Day focus to celebrating the first woman elected as Commander in Chief, and we are confident that that day is not too far off!

    The selections highlighted in this post are just a small number of our books about women in politics -- to learn about more options for children and teen readers, visit A Mighty Girl's Government & Politics section.

    Women in Politics

    founding-mothers-300px-borderWomen have been active in presidential affairs in the United States since its infancy. While not always visible, and while still not having reached an equal role in running and maintaining our government, women have played and continue to play an essential role in the American presidency. In Madam President: The Extraordinary, True (and Evolving) Story of Women in Politics, author Catherine Thimmesh gives an overview of the history of women’s roles in American politics, and looks to the inevitable future -- the election of our first female president. Recommended for ages 9 to 12, this book is a hopeful, encouraging survey of the past, present, and future of women in politics in the U.S.

    Award-winning journalist Cokie Roberts' book, Founding Mothers: Remembering The Ladies, provides an excellent introduction to women's contribution to the American Revolution. Recommended for ages 7 to 12, the book features many profiles of heroic, patriotic women, including two early First Ladies Martha Washington and Abigail Adams. Continue reading

  • Mighty Girls & Women of the Civil Rights Movement in Film

    By Katherine Handcock, A Mighty Girl Communications Specialist

    51v4jk66mtl_1_[1]It can be hard for young people today to understand the obstacles and hardship faced by the activists of the Civil Rights Movement. The idea that a black child might have to be escorted into school by federal marshals, or that a white ally of the movement might spend months in jail for riding side by side with her friends on a bus, is entirely foreign to most kids.

    While there are many great books about the Civil Rights Movement to share, a well-crafted movie on the topic is a highly effective way of capturing the reality of civil rights struggles. As part of our celebration of Black History Month, we're showcasing our favorite films about the girls and women of the Civil Rights Movement. These stories will captivate and inspire your Mighty Girl, and remind her that, if you truly believe in something, it’s important to make a stand.

    Selma, Lord, Selma directed by Charles Burnett (age 8 and up)

    Sheyann Webb is a 12 year old girl in Selma, Alabama, whose life is changed when she hears Dr. Martin Luther King speak. She vows to do whatever she can to support Dr. King and his cause, and to resist the racism and degradation she now sees all around her. But as the historic march from Selma to Montgomery approaches, and the threats of violence increase, Sheyann has to decide if she dares to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the others in the march. This inspiring film captures the fear and danger that civil rights supporters faces, without becoming too graphic for younger Mighty Girls. Continue reading

  • To My Mighty Girl With Love: Stories about Parents, Grandparents, and Siblings

    how-do-i-love-youBy Katherine Handcock, A Mighty Girl Communications Specialist

    With Valentine’s Day around the corner, it’s a great time to talk to your Mighty Girl about love — not just romantic love, but the many other kinds of love she’ll encounter in her life. After all, while your Mighty Girl may be years away from experiencing romantic love, she’s sure to have family who love her!

    With that in mind, A Mighty Girl has assembled a selection of books about the love of family to share with your Mighty Girl this Valentine’s Day. There’s no better way to remind her how many people are there to support her, on Valentine’s Day and throughout her life!

    Of course, there’s lots of love outside families as well. To talk to your Mighty Girl about the love of friends, you can find resources in our blog Making and Keeping Friends: Mighty Girl Books about Friendship; or, to talk to your older Mighty Girl about romantic love, check out our blog Valentine’s Day Books for Tweens and Teens. Continue reading

  • Talking with Tweens and Teens about Eating Disorders

    By Katherine Handcock, A Mighty Girl Communications Specialist


    February is National Eating Disorder Awareness Month, which makes it the perfect time to begin a conversation with your Mighty Girl about body image, self-esteem, and unhealthy eating patterns. The most well-known of these disorders are anorexia (the severe restriction of calorie intake) and bulimia (binge eating and purging), but there are many other ways in which people can develop an unhealthy relationship with food and a distorted image of their body — and, at least at present, girls, especially teenaged girls, are the most prone to these disorders.

    If you've been looking to have this conversation with your tween or teen, this post will provide a variety of resources you can use to discuss eating disorders with your Mighty Girl and the real effects these unhealthy behaviors can have on the body.

    Please note that the fictional books and autobiographies featured below are not intended to be self-help books for youth with disordered eating problems. Such works are intended to provide fodder for discussion and exploration of this issue. They are best read under the guidance of a parent or teacher and are not recommended for those currently experiencing or predisposed to an eating disorder. You can read more about the merits and potential problems with books about eating disorders in a NY Times article on The Troubling Allure of Eating-Disorder Books.

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  • I Love My Hair: Picture Books about Mighty Girls and Their Hair

    51ipl2_3mfl_1_[1]By Katherine Handcock, A Mighty Girl Communications Specialist

    Long or short, straight or curly, in ponytails, locs, or a ballerina bun -- there are so many wonderful ways Mighty Girls wear their hair! But hair can also be the source of body image insecurity for many girls as they wonder if their hair is too thick or too flat, the wrong color or the wrong texture. And, of course, even if she loves her hair, there’s always the battle when it comes time to pull out the brush and comb.

    In our new blog post, we're sharing stories about Mighty Girls and their hair. Whether they're celebrating their unique hair, wrestling to keep it under control, or donating it to a worthy cause, these Mighty Girls love their hair -- even if they find it a little challenging at times. They also come to recognize that, in the end, it's not the hair that matters: it's the head underneath!

    Most kids will be familiar with the story of Rapunzel, but that’s not the only flight of fancy with amazing hair! In Dalia’s Wondrous Hair / El cabello maravilloso de Dalia by Laura Lacamara (age 3 - 8), Dalia wakes up one morning to discover that her hair has grown “tall and thick as a Cuban royal palm tree.” When her mother wonders what Dalia will do with her wondrous hair, Dalia has an idea and starts plastering her hair with mud and leaves. The next morning, when she carefully unwraps her towering hair, it turns out that her hair has been protecting something very special! This imaginative bilingual picture book is sure to charm nature-loving Mighty Girls. Continue reading

  • Top 2014 Mighty Girl Books for Tweens and Teens

    By Katherine Handcock, A Mighty Girl Communications Specialist, and Carolyn Danckaert, A Mighty Girl Co-Founder

    Earlier this month, we shared our top picks of 2014 Mighty Girl stories for toddlers and young children in our post, 2014 Mighty Girl Books for Younger Readers. Now, it’s time for the tweens and teens! This year’s releases range from fascinating stories of real-life women from history to thought-provoking realistic fiction to imaginative, daring fantasy and science fiction. No matter what your Mighty Girl enjoys reading, there’s a title here that will grab her attention!

    For our favorite picture books and early chapter books from 2014, visit our post on the Top 2014 Mighty Girl Books for Younger Readers. You can view our entire collection of recent Mighty Girl releases in our special feature 2014 Mighty Girl Books: A Year in Review.

    As with all of the books and other resources featured in our blog posts, you can click on any book link below to learn more about an individual title, read reviews, order a copy, or save a book to your wishlist to refer back to later.

    2014 Mighty Girl Fiction for Tweens and Teens

    619aqeropul_1_[1]The Return of Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke (age 7 - 12): Zita the Spacegirl is back in the exciting conclusion to this graphic novel trilogy. Wrongfully jailed on a prison planet, Zita discovers that the evil prison warden has a villainous plan! If she’s going to rescue the galaxy, though, she’ll have to plan a daring jailbreak — with friends old and new — first.

    The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer Holm (age 8 - 12): Ellie is shocked when she learns that her immortality-obsessed grandpa Melvin has reverse-aged himself to 13 and will be joining her at middle school! Ellie rather enjoys connecting with her grandfather about science and discovery, until she realizes that many of the greatest scientific advances had unforeseen negative consequences.

    A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd (age 8 - 12): 12-year-old Felicity sees words everywhere, but Midnight Gulch is the only place she’s ever seen words like “friend” and “home”. But if she wants to convince her wandering mother to stay there, she’ll have to bring the magic back to Midnight Gulch and figure out how to help heal her mother’s broken heart. Continue reading

  • Top 2014 Mighty Girl Books For Younger Readers

    Julias-House-for-Lost-Creatures-Ben-HatkeBy Katherine Handcock, A Mighty Girl Communications Specialist, and Carolyn Danckaert, A Mighty Girl Co-Founder

    Every year brings great new children’s and young adult book releases, and 2014 was no exception — especially when it comes to books starring Mighty Girls! From fun fantasty to fascinating biographies, from thought-provoking realistic fiction to beautiful works of poetry, there have been dozens of wonderful releases in the past year. In fact, our 2014 Year in Review collection has topped 150 titles!

    In this post, we showcase 35 of our favorite 2014 books for younger readers, including board books, picture books, and early chapter books. This wide assortment of titles feature diverse characters, engaging stories, and creative artwork that are sure to delight your Mighty Girl!

    To learn about our favorite 2014 releases for tweens and teens, check out our post, Top 2014 Mighty Girl Books for Tweens and Teens. You can view our entire collection of recent Mighty Girl releases in our special feature 2014 Mighty Girl Books: A Year in Review.

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