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Category: history
  • Our top picks of history-inspired Mighty Girl costumes from our own Halloween costume collection and photos of Mighty Girls in costume shared by our community!

    Halloween provides a chance to imagine yourself as a different person — and for young history buffs, that can mean dressing up as a favorite figure from history! She might be imagining herself as a specific person, like Amelia Earhart or Cleopatra, or she be intrigued by the culture of a time and place, from Ancient Rome to the prairies of the pioneers. Whatever she chooses, history can provide a tremendous amount of inspiration!

    In this blog post, we share some of our favorite costumes inspired by history. In the first section, we showcase a number of history-themed costumes from A Mighty Girl's costume guide. Of course, many Mighty Girls enjoy the challenge of creating their own costume, so in the second section, we highlight a few of our favorite costumes inspired by historical figures that community members have shared with us in previous years! Between the two, your Mighty Girl is sure to find lots of ideas for a Halloween costume that deserves a place in your family’s history books.

    For even more costume inspiration on themes ranging from superheroes to animals, you'll find hundreds of costumes for all ages from infants through adults in our Girl Empowerment Halloween Costume Guide. 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

  • Our top picks of books about trailblazing African-American girls and women for Black History Month!

    During February's Black History Month, we recognize the many contributions that African-American people have made throughout history. Telling these often unsung stories provides a chance to help right the scales of history by bringing attention to people whose contributions have too often been ignored. It's especially important to focus on the history of African-American women, who historically faced both racial and gender discrimination, and whose stories are therefore even more hidden from many mainstream histories.

    In this blog post, we've showcased our favorite books about African-American women and their diverse contributions to history. Among them are artists and adventurers, activists and entrepreneurs, and more — and each of them refused to be defined by others' conceptions of what a black woman was supposed to be and reached out to seek her own dream. Their stories are heroic, heartbreaking, and hopeful, and perfect for sharing during Black History Month and all year round! Continue reading Continue reading

  • 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.

    Continue reading Continue reading

  • 18775337[1]By Katherine Handcock, A Mighty Girl Communications Specialist

    When we share stories about famous women from history, adults in our community often comment that they’re amazed that they’ve never learned about these world-changing women. And, while people love the biographies we post for children and teens, many adults would also like to learn more about these inspiring women. To that end, in our first-ever post filled with reading recommendations for adults and older teen readers, we're sharing twenty books about incredible women of past and present.

    Our recommendations are all biographies with the exception of one remarkable work of historical fiction, The Invention of Wings. Moreover, to help you discover a few of the amazing new biographies which have been recently released, all of our recommended books have been published in the past two years and several are brand new releases.

    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 last-minute holiday gift for a friend, these women's stories are sure to inspire! Continue reading Continue reading

  • ugly-vegetablesBy Lili Sandler, A Mighty Girl Senior Research Intern

    Each May the United States celebrates the history and culture of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the U.S. during Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month. The month of May was selected to commemorate the diverse and important roles of Asian-Pacific Americans for two reasons. First, early Japanese immigrants arrived in the United States on May 7, 1843, and second, the transcontinental railroad -- built predominantly by Chinese immigrants -- was completed on May 10, 1869.

    Asian-Pacific heritage encompasses a broad and diverse array of cultures from an expansive geographic region. All of the Asian continent, as well as the Pacific islands of Polynesia, Micronesia, and Melanesia are included in this celebration. In honor of the essential role all of these cultures play in modern-day American culture, we’ve selected a dozen books which tell different stories of Asian-Pacific American girls. We’ve organized these selections by the age group for which they’re intended, and hope that you’ll enjoy our choices as much as we do! Continue reading Continue reading

  • francis-perkinsToday in Mighty Girl history, champion of the New Deal and labor rights pioneer, Frances Perkins was born in 1880. Perkins was the first woman U.S. Cabinet member and served as U.S. Secretary of Labor throughout President Franklin D. Roosevelt's long presidency.

    As one of the most trailblazing women in the history of the U.S. government, Perkins is largely responsible for many of the New Deal reforms including the creation of child labor laws, social security, unemployment insurance, and the federal minimum wage.

    After attending Mount Holyoke College and Columbia University, Perkins became head of the New York Consumers League in 1910 and sought better working conditions and hours during a time when labor rights and factory safety standards were nearly nonexistent. The following year, she personally witnessed the horrific Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in which 146 garment workers, most of them young girls and women, perished; many of whom jumped to their deaths out of windows because the doors and stairwells of the factory were locked. Continue reading Continue reading

  • doreen-rappaport2[1]By Jennifer de Beer, A Mighty Girl Senior Research Intern

    We are pleased to continue our new blog series, A Mighty Girl Creators, with our latest installment: a conversation with author Doreen Rappaport. An award-winning creator of nearly forty books for children and young adults, Ms. Rappaport often shares the true stories of remarkable individuals from over the course of history. In particular, she likes to feature those figures whom she calls “not-yet-celebrated.” She is an especially appropriate subject for Women’s History Month, as her writing so often celebrates the lives and contributions of women while making their stories accessible to young readers.

    On A Mighty Girl’s website, you will find multiple books from Ms. Rappaport’s pen, and the selections cover a wide range of non-fiction territory. There are picture books presenting engaging biographies of Eleanor Roosevelt and Helen Keller, and a gripping tale of female baseball legends. Older children will be invited to read stories of danger and bravery in Escape from Slavery: Five Journeys to Freedom, a collection of five true tales, four of which focus on girls or women. A young adult audience will discover fascinating historic content within the covers of The Flight of Red Bird: The Life of Zitkala-Ša and American Women: Their Lives in Their Words, two publications that heavily feature primary source material. Continue reading Continue reading

  • marian2By Lili Sandler, A Mighty Girl Senior Research Intern

    On this day in Mighty Girl history, acclaimed singer and civil rights pioneer Marian Anderson was born in Philadelphia in 1897. Her musical talent was evident from a young age, and her parents did everything they could to encourage her musical pursuits. Anderson was only 6 when she began performing with the Union Baptist Church, where she was often referred to as “baby contralto”.

    Her family was unable to afford piano lessons, so little Marian taught herself to play starting at the age of 8. Dedicated to her church choir, she would rehearse all of the parts to the every song, performing them for her family until they were just right. Her community was so impressed with her commitment that they raised enough money to pay for private lessons with a well-known vocal instructor. Continue reading Continue reading

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