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Category: Women's History
  • The best books for kids, teens, and adults about women who dared to fly!

    From the earliest days of aviation, women have played a role — but few people know the stories of the daring women who opened the throttles, pulled back on the stick, and soared into history! Even when a name like Amelia Earhart or Bessie Coleman comes to mind, many kids don't know exactly how they made history, and few of them have heard of other groundbreaking women like Sophie Blanchard or Jerrie Mock. So it's time to celebrate these women who founds ways to take flight, even when the world told them they were reaching too high.

    In this blog post, we've featured our favorite books for all ages about trailblazing female pilots throughout history. Whether they were on the cutting edge of the development of flight, breaking records and testing the limits of what newer and better airplanes could do, or thrilling crowds with their daredevil maneuvers, these airwomen were bold and daring. And, for the Mighty Girls that read them, these books might just be the inspiration for their dreams of a life in the clouds! Continue reading Continue reading

  • 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 resisted —  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 Continue reading

  • Our top picks of books for children and teens about the girls and women who fought for workers' rights.

    For many children today, Labor Day is just a holiday marking the end of the summer; what they often don't know is that this special day commemorates the history of the struggle for workers' rights — one in which girls and women played important and too often forgotten roles. Held on the first Monday in September in the U.S. and Canada, Labor Day celebrates the contributions of workers and remembers the hardships they endured in their fight for justice.

    To introduce children and youth to the struggles and achievements of working girls and women, the fiction and non-fiction books recommended in this post will open their eyes to the tremendous efforts and sacrifices made by those in the early days of the labor movement who won workers the right to fair wages and safe working conditions. These stories will also give young readers a greater understanding of struggles that continue today, especially in countries where the fight continues for even the most basic worker rights.

    This post features twenty of our favorite books, from picture books to young adult novels to adult historical fiction, focused on the involvement of girls and women in labor movement struggles. For more books about labor issues, visit our collection of books about Work & Labor in our Social Issues book section. Continue reading Continue reading

  • The Trailblazing Mathematician Celebrated Her 100th Birthday This Week


    When President Barack Obama awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Katherine Johnson in 2015, few people had even heard her name — but today, thanks to the smash success of the book Hidden Figures and its movie adaptation, this groundbreaking mathematician has become an inspiration for girls everywhere!

    Johnson was one of NASA's "human computers," a group of female mathematicians who calculated critical equations for rocket design, launch trajectories, and more. During her 35-year career at NASA, during which she was forced to overcome both gender and racial barriers, Johnson's skills in celestial navigation were renowned. She calculated — by hand — the flight trajectories for a number of historic missions, including the Alan Shepard's space voyage aboard Freedom 7 in 1961 and the Apollo 11 flight to the Moon in 1969. Now, this inspiring woman's contributions to the history of crewed space flight is finally being celebrated by the nation and the world.

    In honor of Katherine Johnson's 100th birthday, we've showcased a variety of books for all ages about the life and work of this trailblazing mathematician. These books capture Johnson's incredible determination, intelligence, and drive, and provide a stellar example for the next generation of pioneers! Continue reading Continue reading

  • The Apollo 11 moon landing nearly ended in failure -- until Margaret Hamilton's flight software saved the day.

    In this iconic photograph, pioneering computer scientist Margaret Hamilton stands next to the computer code that she and her team wrote to guide the Apollo spacecraft to the moon! Hamilton was the lead software designer for NASA’s Apollo program, and her forward thinking saved the 1969 Apollo 11 mission when the flight software she designed prevented a last-minute abort of the famous landing which brought the first humans to the Moon. Over the course of her career, Hamilton developed the concepts of asynchronous software, priority scheduling, and Human-in-the-loop decision capability, which became the foundation of modern software design. She also fought for programming to be given the respect it deserved, coining the term "software engineering" ; after all, as her work showed, software could make the difference between failure and a groundbreaking success. Continue reading Continue reading

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

    For 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 Continue reading

  • 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 150 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 twelve 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 twelve women who have helped make this country a place so many people are proud to call home. Continue reading Continue reading

  • A Mighty Girl's reading recommendations and other resources for children and teens honoring the contributions of women to the founding of the United States.

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    The Fourth of July is celebrated across the United States in commemoration of the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. While no women were present to add their signatures to the declaration, their role in creating and preserving the freedom that all Americans cherish is equally important to our nation’s history. In this blog post, we strive to, as Abigail Adams famously directed her husband, John Adams, one of the authors of the Declaration of Independence, “remember the ladies” and their immense contributions to the nation's founding.

    As we look forward to a day of parades, barbecues, baseball, and fireworks, we also look forward to a day to celebrate our great nation; a day to remember the battles won and lost, the sacrifices made, and the remarkable women who helped to transform those original thirteen colonies of 1776 into the United States of today. Continue reading Continue reading

  • A Mighty Girl's top picks of picture books about trailblazing girls and women throughout history.

    If 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!

    In this blog post, we've collected the best picture book on remarkable girls and women throughout history, ranging from new releases to long-time favorites. These books feature girls and women who excelled in science, politics, the arts, athletics, and other fields. And, they serve as an excellent reminder that girls and women's stories deserve to be told — all year round. Continue reading Continue reading

  • "Such a fine, sunny day, and I have to go, but what does my death matter, if through us, thousands of people are awakened and stirred to action?"

    "Laws change. Conscience doesn't." — Sophie Scholl

    When Sophie Scholl was born to a German family in Forchtenberg on May 9, 1921, nobody could have expected that she would give her life at age 21 for her anti-Nazi resistance work. Scholl was a key member of the White Rose, a student resistance group in Munich, and remains one of Germany's great dissenting heroes of the World War II. Despite that, few people outside of Germany know of her name or of the courage that allowed her to face death rather than give up her belief in what was right.

    Today, we're sharing Sophie's story, as well as a selection of books for readers of all ages that explore her heroic story, the White Rose, and her impact on history in more depth. Her bravery and sacrifice is a powerful reminder of the importance of standing up against injustice, hatred, and tyranny, even at great personal cost. Continue reading Continue reading

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