Women's History

  • Dissent Is Patriotic: 40 Books About Women Who Fought for Change

    A Mighty Girl's top picks of books for children and teens about real-life girls and women who fought for a more just, equal, and peaceful world.

    When people think about what it means to love their country, some assume patriotism requires unwavering support, and that questioning or disagreeing with their government's choices is unpatriotic, disruptive, and even dangerous. But the truth is that dissent makes countries stronger: when citizens demand the best from their leaders and their countries — justice, accountability in government, and equal rights for all — everyone benefits. In fact, throughout history, progress for every country has come from people's willingness to stand up for what they believe in and insist on being heard, even if their beliefs counter those of the people in power. In other words, dissent isn't distracting or divisive: it's patriotic!

    To explore this topic with children and teens, we've showcased 40 of our favorite books about girls and women who dared to stand up against the laws and social norms of their day to fight for societies that were more just, tolerant, and equal. These people, from all walks of life, fought hard for causes they believed in, including women's suffrage, labor rights, civil rights, environmental protection, and more. They argued, they disagreed, and they protested — and today, we hail them as heroes whose courage and determination led to positive change and helped create a better future for everyone. Continue reading

  • Telling Her Story: 60 New Books for Women's History Month

    A Mighty Girl's top picks of the best new biographies for children and teens about incredible women from around the world.

    womens-history-roundup-blog-webIf you flip through a typical history book, you might think, as historian Gerda Lerner once wrote, that "ostensibly one-half the human race is doing everything significant and the other half doesn’t exist." Far too often, women's contributions have been neglected in history books and school curriculums — fortunately, there are growing numbers of wonderful books being published for young readers about girls and women who made their mark on history. And, there's no better time to share these stories and make sure that the next generation — girls and boys alike — appreciates the important and diverse roles that women have played in history than during Women's History Month!

    With that in mind, in this blog post, we've collected the best biographies on remarkable women that have been published in the past 12 months, since the last Women's History Month. These books for children and teens feature girls and women who excelled in science, politics, the arts, athletics, and other fields. And, they serve as an excellent reminder that women's stories deserve to be told, not just during Women's History Month, but all year long.

    For more books of inspiring girls and women from around the world, check out the hundreds of biographies and works of historical fiction in A Mighty Girl's History & Biography Collection. Continue reading

  • How Women Won The Vote: Teaching Kids About The U.S. Suffrage Movement

    20 Books & Films About the Fight for Women's Suffrage in the United States

    us-suffrage-blog-webFor children today, it's hard to imagine a time when women couldn't vote; realizing that they've had that right for less than 100 years is astounding. It's equally shocking when they learn that women had to fight for 72 years before the 19th Amendment — which stated that no citizen could be denied the right to vote on account of sex — became law. So it's imperative that we teach today's children about the struggle for women's suffrage, not just to honor the dedication and sacrifices of the women who led the Women's Suffrage Movement, but also to ensure that future generations don't take the right to vote for granted.

    In this blog post, we're highlighting books and films about women's suffrage in the United States: the history of the movement, the women who led it forward, and the tremendous challenges that they faced in their quest to ensure that women's voices could be heard at the ballot. These stories will both educate kids about a critical moment in women's history and inspire them to see the power of determined activists and political leaders to make big changes in the world.

    For more books about suffrage in both the US and around the world, visit the Suffrage section of our Women's History Collection. For books about the voting rights struggles which continued during the Civil Rights Movement, visit our special feature on the Top Mighty Girl Books on Civil Rights History. Continue reading

  • 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

  • A Mighty Girl Celebrates Black History Month!

    ?????By Lili Sandler, A Mighty Girl Senior Research Intern

    Sojourner Truth and Harriet Tubman. Rosa Parks and Coretta Scott King. We are all familiar with the names of these famous and remarkable women. But what of the lesser known queens of black history? If only we were all as familiar with names such as Claudette Colvin, Wilma Rudolph, Viola Desmond, Effa Manley, or Molly Williams.

    February is well known as Black History Month in the United States and Canada. Schools, libraries, organizations, and individuals across the continent take time to honor black Americans and Canadians and their essential role in our nations’ stories throughout the second month of the year.

    At A Mighty Girl, our take on this important celebration will be to focus on Black Herstory -- the too-often forgotten female half of black history -- by sharing the stories of both contemporary and historical tales of girls and women of African descent through our Facebook page and blog posts.

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  • A Mighty Girl's 2013 Halloween Highlights

    mg-halloween-cat-hat3This year, we've received a huge number of photo submissions for our Halloween album and we're awed by the creativity and variety of these Mighty Girls' amazing costumes. As we've always said, Mighty Girls know that their costume possibilities are limited only by their imaginations and, with costumes ranging from ones based on favorite superheroes to ones inspired by historic role models, these Mighty Girls clearly know no bounds!

    In this post, we've showcased a small sample of these incredible costumes -- to browse the over 700 photos submitted, visit the 2013 A Mighty Girl Halloween Album. And, to help you and your Mighty Girl learn more about the wonderful characters and historic figures depicted, we've also linked to our character collection and biography section where relevant.

    If you missed our earlier post highlighting creative Mighty Girl costumes from 2012, check out our blog post, A Mighty Girl Halloween: 50 Mighty Girls in Costume.

    And, if you're seeking girl-empowering dress-up clothing or costumes anytime of year, visit our extensive costume collection with options for all ages from infants through adults in A Mighty Girl's Halloween Costume Guide. You can also find Mighty Girl stories for many of the upcoming holidays, including Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas, in our Holidays & Celebrations collection.
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  • A Mighty Girl Halloween: 50 Mighty Girls in Costume

    Last Halloween, we received a huge number of fantastic photos of Mighty Girls in costume. In this post, we've highlighted just a small sample that show the breadth and creativity of the amazing costumes that were shared with us. From costumes based on women role models to favorite book characters, these Mighty Girls know that their costume possibilities are limited only by their imaginations! And, to help you and your Mighty Girl learn more about the wonderful characters and historic figures depicted, we've also linked to our character collection and biography section where relevant.

    Thanks to everyone who sent in photos of their Mighty Girls in costume! We could only highlight a small number in this post but you can find many more in our Halloween album on Facebook. If you'd like to send in a picture of this year's costume, we'll be sending out information on how to send them in later this month via Facebook and Twitter.

    If you're still looking for a costume for this year, we feature a selection of nearly 300 girl-empowering costumes with options for all ages from infants through adults in our Costume & Dress-up section.

    And, if you'd like to find a few Mighty Girl stories or films to get your kids in the Halloween spirit, check out our special feature on Top Halloween Mighty Girl Books & Films.
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  • Irena Sendler: The Forgotten Hero of the Warsaw Ghetto

    irena-sendler

    By Carolyn Danckaert, A Mighty Girl Founder

    One of the great heroes of WWII led a secret operation to successfully smuggle 2,500 Jewish children out of the Warsaw Ghetto, saving them from almost certain death, yet few people know the name of this largely unsung hero or have heard Irena Sendler's incredible story. Born in 1910, Sendler was a Polish Catholic nurse and social worker who began aiding Jews as early as 1939 after the Germans invaded Poland. At first, she helped to create false documents for over 3,000 Jewish families and later joined the Zegota, the underground Polish resistance organization created to aid the country's Jewish population.

    In 1943, Sendler became head of Zegota's children's division and used her special access to the Warsaw Ghetto, granted to Social Welfare Department employees to conduct inspections for typhus, to set up a smuggling operation. She and her colleagues began secretly transporting babies and children out of the Ghetto by hiding them in an ambulance with a false bottom or in baskets, coffins, and even potato sacks. The children were then given false identities and placed with Polish families or in orphanages. To allow the children to be reunited with any surviving relatives following the war, Sendler buried lists containing the identities and locations of the children in jars. Continue reading

  • Flying Solo: A Mighty Girl Salutes Amelia Earhart

    amelia_photo-smallBy Lili Sandler, A Mighty Girl Senior Research Intern

    Amelia Earhart, the aviation pioneer, equal rights activist, and all around courageous heroine for generations of girls and women was born on this day in 1897. An icon of twentieth century bravery — but also that of mystery — Earhart is most well-known as the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, and to disappear during her attempted flight around the world.

    As a child, Amelia Earhart had little to no interest in airplanes, but filled her days by exploring her neighborhood with her younger sister, reading voraciously, or following and collecting various critters found in her explorations. As a teen, Amelia kept a scrapbook filled with stories of women who were successful in careers dominated by men at the time.

    After working as a nurse’s aide during World War I, Earhart went for her first ride in an airplane in 1920. It was that very flight — only ten minutes long, but that was all it took to change her life — that made Amelia Earhart say: “By the time I got two or three hundred feet off the ground, I knew I had to fly.”

    On January 3, 1921, Amelia Earhart started flying lessons, and six months later, she owned her very own airplane, nicknamed “The Canary”. It was with that plane that she set a world record for female pilots in 1922, being the first to reach an altitude of 14,000 feet. On May 15, 1923, she became the 16th woman to receive a pilot’s license from the Fédération Aèronatique Internationale.

    In April of 1928, Earhart received a phone call asking her if she’d like to be the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean. While she was a passenger and not the the pilot of this June 1928 flight, its news coverage helped to promote her to a level of celebrity, leading to her nicknames of “Lady Lindy” or the “Queen of the Air”. Continue reading

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