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Author Archives: A Mighty Girl Staff

  • These powerful stories for tweens and teens explore the grim realities of life under dictatorships, and why protecting our democracy by becoming an informed and engaged citizen is more important than ever.

    There are many rights we take for granted in a democracy, from freedom of speech to the opportunity to vote, from the freedom to criticize the government to the peaceful transition of power after free and fair elections. Tragically, throughout history, many people have discovered how fragile their rights — and their democracies — can be when extreme polarization leads to mob rule and the erosion of democratic norms. Time after time, in countries around the world, would-be autocrats and authoritarian regimes have used these fractures in weakened democracies to assert absolute control, often violently suppressing any opposition. Continue reading Continue reading

  • The Lovings' landmark civil rights case overturned bans against interracial marriage in 16 states.

    One morning in 1958, the county sheriff and two deputies burst into Mildred and Richard Loving's bedroom in Central Point, Virginia. Their crime? Mildred was Black and Richard was White; the couple had broken Virginia's anti-miscegenation law, which criminalized interracial marriages. The couple decided to fight the ban, becoming plaintiffs in a milestone civil rights case that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. When the court sided with the Lovings in their unanimous decision on June 12, 1967 after a nine-year legal battle, the historic ruling overturned bans on interracial marriage in 16 states. Fifty years after the historic change they brought about, the Lovings' granddaughter, Eugenia Cosby, succinctly summed up the lesson they taught the world: "If it's genuine love, color doesn't matter." Continue reading Continue reading

  • Dr. Helen Taussig envisioned and helped develop a life-saving operation for the nearly always fatal "blue baby syndrome," saving the lives of tens of thousands of babies.

    Dr. Helen Taussig overcame severe dyslexia, partial deafness, and sexism to earn a medical degree and, in the 1940s, she helped develop a life-saving operation for "blue baby syndrome," a birth defect of the heart that had a very high morality rate. Now recognized as the founder of the field of pediatric cardiology, her unique insights on previously incurable babies would go on to change the field of neonatal medicine forever. "To be a leader, you have to recognize where the gaps are," observed Dr. Anne Murphy, a pediatric cardiologist at Johns Hopkins Children's Center. "[Dr. Taussig] recognized there was a gap in caring for these patients with heart defects... and she made the effort to work with others to make a difference."

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  • "I look for traits such as perseverance, creativity, empathy, and courage in the people I write about. But most importantly, I look for people who have never given up on their dreams."

    Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara celebrated the birth of her twin nieces with an extra special gift: the very first volume in the Little People, BIG DREAMS picture book biography series! The series, with its stylish artwork, intriguing subjects, and empowering stories, quickly became a bestseller. Today, more than 7.5 million copies of her books have been sold and the series is about to reach an enormous milestone: Sánchez Vegara has just released her 100th volume, telling the story of Ugandan climate activist Vanessa Nakate! Continue reading Continue reading

  • The 23-year-old secret agent hid her codes in knitting to avoid detection by the Nazis.

    In May 1944, a 23-year-old British secret agent named Phyllis Latour Doyle parachuted into occupied Normandy to gather intelligence on Nazi positions in preparation for D-Day. As an agent for the British Special Operations Executive (SOE), Doyle – who passed away in 2023 at the age of 102 – secretly relayed 135 coded messages to the British military before France's liberation in August. She took advantage of the fact that the Nazi occupiers and their French collaborators were generally less suspicious of women, using the knitting she carried as a way to hide her codes. For seventy years, Doyle's contributions to the war effort were largely unheralded, but she was finally given her due in 2014 when she was awarded France's highest honor, the Chevalier of the Legion of Honour. Continue reading Continue reading

  • The courageous teenager rode 40 miles on horseback to muster local militia troops in response to a British attack on the town of Danbury during the U.S. Revolutionary War.

    On the night of April 26, 1777, 16-year-old Sybil Ludington climbed onto her horse and set off on a mission: a 40-mile ride to muster local militia troops in response to a British attack on the town of Danbury, Connecticut. Riding all night through rain — and traveling twice the distance that Paul Revere rode during his famous midnight ride — Sybil returned home at dawn having given nearly the entire regiment of 400 Colonial troops the order to assemble. Following the battle, General George Washington personally thanked Sybil for her service and bravery. Although every American school child knows the story of Paul Revere — largely thanks to the famous poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow — unfortunately few are taught about Sybil Ludington's courageous feat. Continue reading Continue reading

  • "Emphasize that since catcalling itself is the opposite of polite, there’s no need to smile, laugh, or engage in conversation with the harasser."


    Catcalling and other forms of sexual harassment start much earlier than many people think: a recent study found that 1 in 10 girls have been catcalled before their 11th birthday and a recent study has found that 1 in 6 girls in elementary and secondary school have experienced sexual harassment. And while some people say that girls should just ignore catcalling, Dr. Andrea Bastiani Archibald, the Girl Scouts’ Developmental Psychologist, explains that it has detrimental effects on girls, often making them feel unsafe and ashamed of their bodies in public. Continue reading Continue reading

  • 14-Year-Old Leanne Fan Named America's Top Young Scientist For Inventing Headphones That Treat Ear Infections.

    In 2019, Leanne Fan watched her older sister claim the top prize at the 3M Young Scientist Challenge — the premier science competition in the U.S. for middle school kids — and it inspired her to want to compete too. This fall, the eighth grader from Westview High School in San Diego was named America's Top Young Scientist! She won the prize for her innovative, inexpensive pair of blue-light therapy headphones that could be used to both identify and treat mid-ear infections, potentially preventing millions of children from experiencing hearing loss. The victory comes with a $25,000 prize, a special destination trip, and the chance to get her device, the Finsen Headphones, in front of investors. "I was in shock. I started crying," Leanne says. "I was really excited. I was not expecting it." Continue reading Continue reading

  • A photo collection of Mighty Girls who honored the suffragists who fought for women's right to vote this Halloween!

    On Halloween, many Mighty Girls took the opportunity to honor their heroes — and encourage adults to exercise their hard-earned right to vote this Election Day! These Mighty Girls dressed up as suffragists, or suffragettes as they were often called in Britain, paying tribute to the bold women who fought for women's right to vote. In America, the fight for the vote lasted for over 70 years, and countless women struggled, protested, and were imprisoned for the cause. As suffrage leader Lucy Burns, who served more jail time than any other American suffragist, once observed: "I think we have done all this for women, and we have sacrificed everything we possessed for them, and now let them fight for it now."
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  • Five Recommended Non-Profit Organizations Helping Ukrainian Refugees

    Europe is in the midst of its biggest refugee crisis since World War II with over 1.5 million Ukrainians fleeing their country in the ten days since the Russian invasion. People around the world have looked on in horror as mothers and children have flooded out of the country with only what they can carry in their arms. In the face of the shocking stories and images being broadcast worldwide, many people are eager to help the innocent people whose lives have been devastated by the invasion and destruction of their country. Continue reading Continue reading

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