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Category: Front Page
Front page posts
  • 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 is celebrating her 99th birthday this week – 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

  • Virginia Hall was one of the greatest spies of World War II but her incredible story is largely unknown today.

    The Nazis considered Virginia Hall the "most dangerous of all Allied spies," yet the story of the "Limping Lady" is largely unknown today. Hall spent nearly the entire war in France, first as a spy for Britain's newly formed Special Operations Executive (SOE) and later for the U.S. Office of Strategic Services (OSS) Special Operations Branch. Even her cumbersome wooden prosthetic leg, which she nicknamed Cuthbert, proved no obstacle to Hall's courage and determination to defeat the Nazis. While undercover in France, she proved exceptionally adept at eluding the Gestapo as she organized resistance groups, masterminded jailbreaks for captured agents, mapped drop zones, reported on German troop movements, set up safe houses, and rescued escaped POWs and downed Allied pilots. Even years after the war, however, she rarely talked about her extraordinary career; a reticence she likely developed during her years as a spy since, as she once observed, "Many of my friends were killed for talking too much." Continue reading Continue reading

  • The social reformer's 40-year campaign sought to end the abuse of people with mental illness that she found "chained, naked, beaten with rods, and lashed into obedience."

    At a time when people with mental illness were often abused and kept in inhumane conditions, Dorothea Dix's 40-year-long crusade for the reform of mental asylums in the US, Canada, and Europe made her renowned worldwide as a beacon of compassion and advocate for the voiceless. To transform the care of the mentally ill, the American social reformer had to first confront the attitude that nothing could be done to help people with mental illness and that such brutal treatment was the only option available. "They say, 'nothing can be done here!'" Dix once declared. "I reply, 'I know no such word in the vocabulary I adopt!'" Continue reading Continue reading

  • "It feels like we've accidentally created a community of young people who just really wanted to help right now."

    It all started with a Facebook post. "Is there a way for an able-bodied 25-year-old to volunteer to help deliver groceries/supplies to elderly tenants around the city? Does anyone know of something like this?" Simone Policano, an actor and producer who lives in New York City, wrote on March 12 as the number of coronavirus cases were starting to rise.  When she couldn't find an organization already coordinating volunteers for at-home deliveries, Policano and her friend Liam Elkind created Invisible Hands, a "free, volunteer-based delivery service for those most impacted by and most at-risk for severe complications due to COVID-19." Only a few weeks later, over 10,000 predominantly young volunteers are now part of Policano's network, which covers the greater New York area and parts of New Jersey. "We completely did not expect this," Policano says. "In this time where we are stuck in our homes, it's amazing to see young people wanting to help." Continue reading Continue reading

  • A Mighty Girl's top picks of girl-empowering box sets and collections for children and teens!

    If there’s anything a reader loves more than a new book, it’s a captivating new series! A series is an excellent way to encourage kids' interest in reading as they get drawn into a story over several books — and, for those rabid readers, collections let them find out what happens to their favorite new character without having to wait for the next book to be released! Continue reading Continue reading

  • A Mighty Girl's top picks of books for children about trailblazing female environmentalists of the past and present.

    With April's Earth Month comes a special opportunity to teach kids about the people all around the world doing important work to care for our environment and the life within it! In addition to the day-to-day activities that we can all do to reduce our impact on the planet, it's important to recognize the scientists and activists, both past and present, who have encouraged us to see our planet in a new way: not as a set of resources for us to extract when we please, but as a precious and delicate system that sustains all life that we must strive to protect.

    In this blog post, we're sharing books for children and teens about twenty female environmentalists who changed the way that we think and act toward the Earth. These women made groundbreaking discoveries, fought for meaningful change to laws and policies, and shared their outlook — and their joy in nature — with the world. They're sure to inspire kids to look at the world outside their front door with newfound appreciation and think about ways they can help protect the planet!

    For more Mighty Girl books about environmental issues, including many fictional stories, visit our special feature on the Top Children's Books on the Environment. Continue reading Continue reading

  • A Mighty Girl's top picks of books starring autistic girls and guides for autistic girls and their parents.

    For the first time in a decade, the classic children's television show Sesame Street introduced a new Muppet on the air two years ago: an autistic Muppet named Julia. Even five years ago, it would have been almost unthinkable for a character with autism to appear on a mainstream children's television show, especially with the goal of inclusion and acceptance. But while Julia and other characters like her represent a major step forward, autism is still the subject of significant misunderstanding and prejudice. And the problems caused by lack of awareness are often magnified for girls, who are less frequently diagnosed and often show a different pattern of behaviors than autistic boys. Continue reading Continue reading

  • A Mighty Girl's top picks of science toys for curious Mighty Girls of all ages!

    With most kids at home for the foreseeable future, many parents are looking for fun ways to keep kids' minds and hands busy. One easy way is keep kids learning is with an all-in-one science kit that lets them incorporate their curiosity about how the world works into their play. Continue reading Continue reading

  • A Mighty Girl's favorite books for young readers about taking action for the environment during April's Earth Month and all year round!

    April's Earth Month provides a great opportunity to talk to your Mighty Girl about ways she can help protect the environment all year long! Small lifestyle changes in each household add up to big changes globally, and it’s inspiring for kids to know that they can make an impact. In this blog post, we've showcased a variety of environmentally-themed books for children that show young readers how everyone can make a difference in making the world a little greener.

    For more Mighty Girl books focused on inspiring a love of nature and the outdoors, check out our blog posts: Explore Your World: Mighty Girl Books About Outdoor Discovery and Mighty Girl Books Celebrating Springtime & Gardening.
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  • 16 Trailblazing Female Environmentalists Who Have Changed the World.

    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. Continue reading Continue reading

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