Mighty Girls & Women

  • 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

  • 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

  • True North: 10 Amazing Canadian Women

    Whether they challenged racial segregation or broke new ground for women in sports, these Canadian women trailblazers are truly a reason to be proud.

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    Happy Canada Day! Canada has come a long way since the Dominion of Canada was formed 149 years ago. It’s gone from the four original provinces to ten provinces and three territories that truly fulfill the national motto, “From sea to shining sea.” A diverse nation of peoples from all over the world, Canada is looking towards a bright future.

    And unsurprisingly, throughout Canada’s history, brave women have been there to leave their mark. From the earliest colonial settlements to today, women have helped shape the history and culture of Canada. To celebrate Canada Day, A Mighty Girl is paying tribute to ten of these amazing women. From activists to scientists, authors to engineers, and athletes to doctors, these women have shown that Canadian pride is universal.

    So let’s take a trip through Canada’s past and present to recognize these ten women who have helped make this country a place so many people are proud to call home. Continue reading

  • Sisters in Innovation: 20 Women Inventors You Should Know

    How Many of These 20 Pioneering Female Inventors Did You Know?

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    Around the world and across history, innovative women have imagined, developed, tested, and perfected their creations, and yet most of us would be hard pressed to name even a single woman inventor. In fact, women inventors are behind many of the products and technologies used every day! From life rafts to disposable diapers to rocket fuel, women have invented amazing things — but they're also responsible for some of the things we use for day to day life. In fact, if you use GPS on your cell phone, turn on windshield wipers when you drive in the rain, or eat a chocolate chip cookie, you can thank the woman behind them!

    In honor of the remarkable women whose breakthroughs have advanced technology and the ease of our day to day lives, we're sharing the stories of twenty ingenious women whose inventions have changed the world. Whether they were scribbling designs two centuries ago or are still working today, these clever creators deserve to have their stories told. We've also included a few stories of modern-day Mighty Girls who have taken up the challenge of becoming the inventors of today — and tomorrow.

    If you'd like to learn more about any of the featured women or introduce them to children and teens, where possible we're also sharing reading recommendations for both children and adults, as well as other resources that celebrate these innovative women. Continue reading

  • Spies, Medics, Soldiers, & Peacemakers: 15 Women Wartime Heroes You Should Know

    15 Trailblazing Female Wartime Heroes Who Belong in the History Books

    women-in-wartime-blog-websiteOften, the popular image of women in wartime is worried wives, girlfriends, sisters, and daughters, pining at home for the men they love who are risking their lives on the battlefield. The reality, though, is much different! Women have always made significant contributions to war efforts -- both on the homefront and on the front lines. While women's contributions at home, especially during WWII, have become more widely known, the stories of their heroism on the battlefield are rarely told. In every war there have been women who dared to spy across enemy lines; treat wounded soldiers in the midst of the fighting; report from the front as journalists, and fight shoulder to shoulder with their male peers. And although we don't hear of them often, women also fought for an equally important cause: peace.

    In this blog post, we're sharing stories of remarkable women from the Hundred Years' War to World War II. These women were spies, resisters, rescuers, medics, journalists, soldiers, and peacemakers; they risked as much and acted as bravely as their more renowned male counterparts. While a few of these figures were famous in their own times, their stories have faded in the years since, and most were little known or disregarded, even as they committed remarkable acts of heroism. Today, we can finally give them their due -- and marvel at their incredible stories, which prove that truth is often far more exciting than fiction!

    If you'd like to learn more about any of the featured women or introduce them to children and teens, after each profile we've shared several reading recommendations for both children and adults, as well as other resources that celebrate these remarkable women.

    For more stories of inspiring women, check out the other two blog posts in our Mighty Girl Heroes blog series, Guardians of the Planet: 10 Women Environmentalists You Should Know and Those Who Dared to Discover: 15 Women Scientists You Should Know. Continue reading

  • Guardians of the Planet: 10 Women Environmentalists You Should Know

    10 Trailblazing Female Environmentalists Who Have Changed the World.

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    During April's Earth Month, we're celebrating the incredible women who are working to protect the environment and all of the creatures which share our planet. From groundbreaking primatologists to deep-sea explorers to determined activists, each of them has changed the way that we see the world — and our role in protecting it. Equally importantly, these women have shown all of us that we have an effect on the health of our plant: from the smallest decisions of our day-to-day lives to international policy — each of us can make a difference.

    Below we share the stories of ten women and explore their contributions to making a greener and healthier world. And, if you'd like to learn more about any of the featured women or introduce them to children and teens, after each profile we've shared several reading recommendations for different age groups, as well as other resources that celebrate these remarkable women.

    To discover fictional stories that show young readers how everyone can make a difference in making the world a little greener, check out our blog post, Mighty Girls Go Green: 20 Girl-Empowering Books for Earth Month. Continue reading

  • Stories of Mighty Women: 2015 Biographies for Adult Readers

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    By Katherine Handcock, A Mighty Girl Communications Specialist

    On A Mighty Girl, we feature thousands of books for children and teens about smart, confident, and courageous girls and women, but we are also often asked for reading recommendations for adults about inspiring women of the past and present. To that end, we're sharing thirty of our favorite books for adults about Mighty Women that were published in 2015.

    Among these titles are gripping stories of survival, insightful introductions to oft-neglected female scientists, hilarious tales about life in the entertainment industry, and thoughtful reflections on the quest for women's rights. Our recommendations are all biographies with the exception of one remarkable work of historical fiction, The Nightingale, and a fascinating non-fiction guide, 100 Under $100: One Hundred Tools for Empowering Global Women. Since A Mighty Girl's website does not have a book section for adult readers, you won't find these recommendations on our site; however, we've included links below to Amazon so you can learn more or order individual titles.

    So whether you're looking for a good book to delve into or a holiday gift for a friend, these women's stories are sure to inspire! And, to learn about our recommended 2015 releases for children and teens, don't miss our new post, The Gift of Reading: 50 Newly Released Books Starring Mighty Girls.

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  • A Mighty Girl's 2015 Halloween Highlights

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    We received a record number of photo submissions for our 2015 Halloween Gallery 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 nearly 2,000 photos submitted, visit the 2015 A Mighty Girl Halloween Gallery. 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.

    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. Continue reading

  • 10 Mighty Girl Environmental Heroes for Earth Day

    By Katherine Handcock, A Mighty Girl Communications Specialist

    Happy Earth Day! Around the world today, people are taking action to help protect our environment. By demonstrating responsible, green practices today, we hope to inspire people to make environmentally friendly choices throughout the year.

    In honor of this day dedicated to awareness and action, A Mighty Girl is sharing the stories of ten female environmental heroes. These girls and women — scientists, activists, and innovators — have each done something that makes us see protecting the Earth a little differently. These heroes are from both past and present; some of them have acted locally, while others are influential around the world; but each of them has discovered a way that we can become better caretakers of our planet. By celebrating them, A Mighty Girl hopes that other Mighty Girls will consider ways that they can make a difference too.

    For resources about the environment to share with your children, check out our earlier blogs Mighty Girls Save the World: Environmental Films Starring Girls and Women and Mighty Girls Go Green: 15 Books for Earth Day.

    Jane Goodall: Groundbreaking Primatologist and Conservationist

    Jane Goodall with orphan chimpanzee Urahara (Michael Neugebauer/Jane Goodall Institute of Canada) Jane Goodall with orphan chimpanzee Urahara (Photo: Michael Neugebauer)

    Jane Goodall was remarkable enough for breaking into the male-dominated world of wildlife biology, and for her astonishing discoveries regarding chimpanzee behavior. However, her work to draw global attention to the protection of chimpanzee habitat, and to conservation in general, is just as remarkable! Today, just after her 81st birthday, Goodall still devotes the vast majority of her time to conservation efforts, traveling as many as 300 days a year to speak about environmental issues.

    The Jane Goodall Institute, which she founded in 1977, works to help individuals around the world make informed, environmentally responsible decisions as they engage in growth and development; the Institute’s Roots and Shoots youth program, founded in 1991, began with a group of 16 teenagers and now has 10,000 groups in over 100 countries. There is no doubt that Goodall has fulfilled her self-proclaimed mission “to create a world where we can live in harmony with nature.”

    If you'd like to introduce your children to Jane Goodall's incredible story, here are a few of our favorite books about this inspiring role model: The Watcher: Jane Goodall's Life with the Chimps (age 4 to 8), Me... Jane (age 3 to 8), Who is Jane Goodall (age 8 to 12), an autobiography by Goodall entitled My Life with the Chimpanzees (age 8 to 12), and a graphic novel Primates (age 12 and up).

    For more books, a documentary, and other resources, visit our Jane Goodall Collection. Continue reading

  • Hope in a Hidden Room: A Mighty Girl Salutes Anne Frank

    By Katherine Handcock, A Mighty Girl Communications Specialist

    diary-of-a-young-girl1“Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.” — Anne Frank

    Stories about the Holocaust can seem very distant to a child today: decades of time and, more importantly, vast differences in life experiences separate them from the life of a persecuted girl suffering from the Nazi regime. And then, at some point, she will read Anne Frank’s Diary of a Young Girl (which we recommend for ages 11 and up) and, suddenly, there is a face to this painful history: the face of a girl her age, whose dreams, thoughts, and emotions are like her own.

    When the facts and figures of Holocaust history — the vast numbers of displaced or dead — are inconceivable, the life of this one girl, hiding with her family in a desperate effort to save themselves, is strikingly real.

    And yet the inspiring thing about Anne Frank’s life and writing is that she was never beaten down by the hatred directed at her. Instead, she continued to see the best of humanity. As she wrote, “It’s really a wonder that I haven’t dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.” Her astounding optimism and resiliency have inspired girls — and the world — for generations, ever since the loose pages of her diary left Otto Frank’s hands to be published in 1947.

    To honor this amazing spirit, A Mighty Girl has put together this collection of our favorite resources for young people about Anne Frank. This selection features books, movies, and even a poster that make tribute to the girl whose optimism and hope lasted through it all.

    Of course, in addition to reading about Anne Frank, it is important that your child has an understanding of the Holocaust as a whole. You can find reading recommendations for children and teens about other aspects of Holocaust history in our first Holocaust Remembrance Week blog post, Yom HaShoah: A Mighty Girl Recognizes Holocaust Remembrance Week, and in our World War II / Holocaust section.

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