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A Mighty Girl's 2020 Books of the Year

60 items
  1. Suffrage: Women's Long Battle for the Vote

    Follow the long and dramatic 72-year fight for women's right to vote with this thrilling and deeply-researched account of the Women's Suffrage Movement by distinguished historian Carol DuBois! Beginning with the Women's Rights Movement's early years, and bold activists like Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Sojourner Truth, DuBois explores how the movement rose and fell; how the crushing disappointment of women being denied the vote with the 15th Amendment led to a schism between many people who had long worked shoulder to shoulder as abolitionists against slavery; and then introduces a new generation of champions like Carrie Chapman Catt and Alice Paul who helped make the 19th Amendment a reality fifty years later. This authoritative history, released for the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment's ratification, is a stirring account of one of the most important movements in American history.

    Ages: Adults
  2. Notes on a Silencing: A Memoir

    Author: Lacy Crawford

    When Lacy Crawford was 15, she was sexually assaulted by two senior athletes at St. Paul's School — but she was told that there was nothing that could be done. Years later, when St. Paul's came under state investigation for reports of sexual abuse, she finally got to look at her criminal case file, and found proof that her case had been deliberately silenced. In this heartrending memoir, Crawford explores how institutions — including, but certainly not limited to, St. Paul's — sacrifice the safety of girls for the reputation of the powerful and privileged. Her searing account asks readers what it will take before we finally help survivors overcome shame and silencing — and demand they be given justice.

    Ages: Adults
  3. Eleanor

    The story of Eleanor Roosevelt is more complex than most people know. After a childhood of insecurity, denial, and loneliness, her marriage to Franklin D. Roosevelt took her into the halls of power — but left her feeling more alone than ever as he pursued affairs with other women. Instead of collapsing, she decided to explore her own self and devoted herself to being a voice for the voiceless, first in the White House, and then around the world. Drawing on new research, acclaimed biographer David Michaelis creates the first single-volume cradle-to-grave portrait of this remarkable woman and how her life changed the world.

    Ages: Adults
  4. All The Young Men

    Ruth Coker Burks was 26 years old when she saw a hospital room that none of the nurses wanted to enter: the room of an AIDS patient. It was 1986, and stigma against both homosexuality and the disease itself was raging. As she sat with the man as he died, calling out for her mother, she found a new calling. Over years, she would nurse thousands of men, sometimes burying them herself when she couldn't find a funeral home willing to take their bodies. The gay community rallied around her, helping fundraise and spreading the word: there is a woman who will help when everyone else abandons you. This deeply moving memoir is a tribute to Burks' compassion and to the lives she fought for when no one else would.

    Ages: Adults
  5. The Women with Silver Wings

    The Inspiring True Story of the Women Airforce Service Pilots of World War II

    In the midst of World War II, a little over 1,100 women made their way through the U.S. Army's selection process — and became part of a landmark in aviation history. The Women Airforce Service Pilots, or WASP, program drew female pilots from across the country, eager to prove their mettle. Led by trailblazing pilots Nancy Love and Jacqueline Cochran, these women were never authorized to serve in combat, but they performed other critical (and dangerous) missions, from delivering planes to training male pilots. And then, just as quickly, the program was disbanded, leaving the women fighting for recognition for their military service. Author Katherine Sharp Landdeck's soaring account of the WASP program is a fitting tribute to these bold women, their dedication to their country, and their determination to make their place in history.

    Ages: Adults
  6. Being Heumann: An Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights Activist

    Judy Heumann fought polio at 18 months of age — but her bigger battle would be against a world that didn't want to allow her in. As a child, her family had to argue for her right to go to grade school, where one objection was that she might be a "fire hazard." She had to take the New York City school system to court because they wouldn't give her a teacher's license because she was paralyzed. These experiences convinced her that Americans with disabilities deserved better: they deserved legislation that would explicitly protect them. In this stirring memoir, Heumann describes her leadership for the Section 504 Sit-In, the longest takeover of a government building in American history, and of her lobbying for the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act. Heumann's story is also available in a young reader's edition, Rolling Warrior: The Incredible, Sometimes Awkward, True Story of a Rebel Girl on Wheels Who Helped Spark a Revolution for ages 10 to 14.

    Ages: Adults
  7. Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics

    For decades, Dolly Parton has delighted audiences with her music, becoming a beloved icon and a pop culture legend. Now, in her own words, she lets her fans in on the stories behind the songs! In this book, Parton uses 175 of her songs to reveal both her own life story and the specific stories behind each song, including favorites like "Jolene," "9 to 5," "I Will Always Love You," and many more. Packed with previously unpublished images from Parton's personal and business archives, this book is a unique peek into Parton's witty, funny, and insightful thought process and a delight for music lovers everywhere.

    Ages: Adults
  8. Memorial Drive: A Daughter's Memoir

    Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Natasha Trethewey was 19 when her former stepfather shot her mother; the trauma helped shape her writing as she struggled to understand grief and hope in the aftermath. Now, in this stunning memoir, she explores the "before": her mother's childhood in the segregated South, her own experiences as a "child of miscegenation" in Mississippi, and the struggles with domestic violence that would eventually explode on Memorial Drive in Atlanta in 1985. Both harrowing and compelling, this powerful book encourages readers to understand how racism, abuse, and violence ripple outward, creating both the tragic and the sublime.

    Ages: Adults
  9. The Smallest Lights in the Universe: A Memoir

    Author: Sara Seager

    Sara Seager is an MIT astrophysicist who was used to scanning the sky for exoplanets — tiny, distant worlds that might offer the promise of life. But when her husband died unexpectedly, leaving her a single mother with two young boys, she felt alone for the first time. She found comfort in her work, focusing on the challenges of identifying tiny hints of a planet's presence, and on Earth, where she received support from both expected and unexpected quarters. This is a stunning look at grief and life after loss, as well as the one-in-a-billion chances that happen in every life.

    Ages: Adults
  10. A Delayed Life: The True Story of the Librarian of Auschwitz

    Author: Dita Kraus

    Dita Kraus grew up in Prague in a middle class Jewish family, where she felt like any other Czech — until the Holocaust began. Forcibly marched out of the only home she had ever known, she and her family were sent first to the Terezí­n ghetto, then to Auschwitz. Within the camp, Dita was selected for a dangerous but important responsibility: guarding the few precious books that had been smuggled into the camp by prisoners. It was a task that would give her the hope and purpose she needed to survive. This unflinching memoir by the woman who inspired the best-selling book The Librarian of Auschwitz is a powerful story of hope, determination, and a life delayed by hate.

    Ages: Adults
  11. Rust: A Memoir of Steel and Grit

    Eliese Colette Goldbach never dreamed of life working in a steel mill, but in the Rust Belt, jobs offer financial security are few and far between. Work at the mill is dangerous and dirty, but she also finds surprising camaraderie and support from her coworkers — unexpected from gruff, hard-laboring men. In this touching book, Goldbach explores her childhood, her desire to escape her hometown, and the factors — both financial and emotional — that drew her back to the steel mill. Along the way, she discovers true hope for her nation in the people who keep America running. This clear-eyed and optimistic book is perfect for fans of Hillbilly Elegy and Educated.

    Ages: Adults
  12. She Come By It Natural: Dolly Parton and the Women Who Lived Her Songs

    Author: Sarah Smarsh

    During her childhood in America's heartland of Kansas, Sarah Smarsh saw the women around her — women who struggled with poverty, early pregnancy, and stigma of being "trailer trash" — as the strength that held their community together. And country songs by female artists paid tribute to those ignored women — especially songs by Dolly Parton. In this book, which is part biography and part examination of how our culture dismisses the contributions of those from the "wrong" gender and class, the best-selling author of Heartland pays tribute to Parton's remarkable life, her philanthropy, and the spirit of feminism that she embodies in both her actions and her music.

    Ages: Adults
  13. No Man's Land

    The Trailblazing Women Who Ran Britain's Most Extraordinary Military Hospital During World War I

    Author: Wendy Moore

    In the early 1900s, women doctors in Britain were only permitted to treat women and children — they certainly weren't allowed to operate on men. But two of them — Flora Murray and Louisa Garrett Anderson — were determined to prove they were just as capable as their male colleagues, and World War I gave them the chance to do it. A month after the war began, Murray and Anderson were in Paris, opening a hospital in a former luxury hotel where they treated thousands of war wounded. They were so successful that the British Army asked them to set up a hospital on Endell Street in London. This lively telling of the women who founded the "Suffragettes' Hospital," and how they proved women doctors deserved equality, is an exciting reminder of how women's wartime service changed the world.

    Ages: Adults
  14. Our House Is On Fire: Scenes of a Family and a Planet in Crisis

    Before Greta Thunberg became a household name for her fiery environmental activism, her family was facing a crisis on a smaller scale. At the age of 11, she had stopped eating and speaking; her parents Malena and Svante and her younger sister, Beata, found their lives turned upside down. It wasn't until they learned that Greta was deeply affected by the growing climate crisis — and what it meant for her future — that they figured out a way forward. In this stunning book, Greta and her family tell their own story, exploring the link between their family's challenges and the dangers facing our environment, and how understanding that link helped Greta become the leader of a worldwide movement for change.

    Ages: Adults
  15. The Daughters of Yalta: The Churchills, Roosevelts, and Harrimans: A Story of Love and War

    In February 1945, the Yalta Conference was perhaps the last hope for the strained alliance between America, England, and the USSR. Politicians and world leaders hoped to save the alliance and the victory in World War II that it promised — and three of them brought their daughters. Kathleen Harriman, daughter of the U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union, was a champion skier and war correspondent; Sarah Churchill, daughter of Winston Churchill, was an RAF officer and a savvy politician in her own right; and Franklin Roosevelt controversially chose to bring his daughter Anna Roosevelt instead of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, trusting her to keep political secrets as she'd kept his personal ones. Author Catherine Grace Katz explores the story of these three remarkable young woman, their relationships with their fathers, and how this historic gathering resonated through the 20th century.

    Ages: Adults
  16. One Life

    Megan Rapinoe started playing soccer at the age of 4, but she was also raised to work for justice and give back to her community. She became a soccer star, and her international platform gave her the chance to speak up about the issues that mattered to her, including advocating for LGBTQ rights and, in 2016, taking a knee during the national anthem in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick's protest of racially based police brutality — the first high-profile white athlete to do so. In this powerful memoir, Rapinoe reflects on her life and her ongoing fight for justice, including the gender discrimination lawsuit against the United States Soccer Federation, and urges her readers to follow her lead and "Be more. Be better. Be bigger than you've ever been before."

    Ages: Adults
  17. Paper Bullets: Two Artists Who Risked Their Lives to Defy the Nazis

    In the midst of occupied Paris during World War II, two women took a bold step: creating their own subversive anti-Nazi campaign. Lucy Schwob and Suzanne Malherbe — better known by their artist names, Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore — were lesbian partners; Lucy was half-Jewish, and they had communist affiliations. In other words, they were everything the Nazis labeled "degenerate." They created "paper bullets": insults against Hitler, calls to rebel, and demoralizing fiction, which they quietly slipped into the pockets of soldiers and hid inside magazines in newsstands. Even when they were imprisoned by the German police, they continued to spread a message of hope to their fellow prisoners. This remarkable, previously untold World War II story is a celebration of the power of art and the importance of resistance.

    Ages: Adults
  18. The Dragons, the Giant, the Women: A Memoir

    Author: Wayétu Moore

    Wayétu Moore celebrated her 5th birthday in Liberia without her mother, who was studying in New York. She was looking forward to a happy reunion — and then civil war broke out. After being forced to flee her home with her father and grandfather, and getting smuggled across the border to Sierra Leone, she got the reunion she wanted, but also found herself a new immigrant in the US. In this moving memoir about her journey away from, and then back to, her home country, Moore explores both her emotional life as she adjusted to life in Texas and the political forces that affect millions of migrants around the world.

    Ages: Adults
  19. A House in the Mountains: The Women Who Liberated Italy from Fascism

    In 1943, Italy was fracturing. Catastrophic military losses — and two decades of brutal Fascist rule under Mussolini — had battered the country, and a Partisan resistance began to emerge.... one which included many Italian women. Told through the eyes of four Piedmontese women, Ada, Frida, Silvia and Bianca, who lived in secret in the mountains near Turin as they risked their lives for the Partisan, this powerful account explores Italy's civil war and the part that women played in it. Historian Caroline Moorehead, the acclaimed author of A Train in Winter, drew on previously untranslated sources to create this stunning account of this little-known story of women resisters in the midst of the war.

    Ages: Adults
  20. Teacher in Space: Christa McAuliffe and the Challenger Legacy

    Author: Colin Burgess

    When Christa McAuliffe was selected to be NASA's first teacher in space, she became a hero to millions of people across the country. She was going to perform science projects in orbit to be telecast to students across America, encouraging an interest in STEM and their dreams of the stars. Then, 73 seconds after the space shuttle Challenger lifted off on January 28, 1986, it exploded, killing McAuliffe and the other six astronauts on board. McAuliffe's legacy, however, survived, with people around the world creating their own programs in her honor. This compelling book, revised and updated in 2020, celebrates McAuliffe's ongoing influence in education — one which still touches today's students.

    Ages: Adults
  21. Hill Women: Finding Family and a Way Forward in the Appalachian Mountains

    The stereotype of women from the Appalachians is one of poverty and struggle — but Cassie Chambers knows hill women are so much more. Chambers' Granny was a child bride in Owsley County, one of the poorest in Kentucky. Her oldest daughter, Ruth, stayed on the farm; her sixth child, Wilma, was determined to go to college — even when she ended up pregnant with Cassie at 19. Her mother's big dreams and her aunt and grandmothers' determination combined in Cassie, and she went on to get a degree from Harvard Law. Now, she provides free legal services to hill women in need of help. This heartfelt examination of the guts and grit of Appalachian women is a reminder that, if we help them remove the obstacles they face, they can change their communities for the better.

    Ages: Adults
  22. This Time Next Year We'll Be Laughing

    Today, Jacqueline Winspear is the author of the best-selling Maisie Dobbs series — but before she was a writer, she was the child of a family struggling with secrets, poverty, and finding their place in post-war England. In this personal memoir, she explores family stories, from her paternal grandfather's shellshock and its influence on the family, to her parents' struggles during World War II, to her own childhood helping pick hops and fruit in Kent. And yet, despite the aftereffects of the war and a constant battle to have enough money to survive, her family was full of love. This poignant and evocative book is an intriguing look at the childhood behind the artist and how a family's resilience can mean everything.

    Ages: Adults
  23. Fighting For Space

    Two Pilots and Their Historic Battle for Female Spaceflight

    As the space age dawned, two bold female pilots wrestled with how best to push forward the idea of women in the space program. Jackie Cochran held fistfuls of flying records and had led the Women's Auxiliary Service Pilots during World War II. Jerrie Cobb, 25 years Cochran's junior, took the same medical tests as the Mercury astronauts but was ultimately rejected along with the other women of the Mercury 13 program. Each woman had plans for women in space — plans that didn't necessarily agree. In this exciting dual biography, spaceflight historian Amy Shira Teitel explores the lives of two daring women, each of whom dreamed of being the first woman in space.

    Ages: Adults
  24. Everything Beautiful in Its Time: Seasons of Love and Loss

    Jenna Bush grew up with four grandparents who left indelible marks on her life. George H.W. and Barbara Bush were Gampy and Ganny, who taught her her about respect, kindness, and service. Harold and Jenna Welch were Pa and Grammee, who taught her to see beauty in simple and small things. In this collection of personal essays, Bush, the co-author of Sisters First, reflects on the difficult year in which her family lost three of these four inspiring people, and tells family stories with humor and love. For anyone who has been shaped by the wisdom and grace of grandparents, this book is a volume to treasure.

    Ages: Adults
  25. Red Comet: The Short Life and Blazing Art of Sylvia Plath

    Author: Heather Clark

    Sylvia Plath's remarkable writing changed poetry in English — but her literary contributions have almost been overshadowed by her personal life and tragic death. Now, author and historian Heather Clark draws on previously unaccessed materials, including unpublished letters, court and psychiatric records, and new interviews, to create a new portrait of Plath: one that refuses to view her whole life through the lens of her death. Defying long-held myths and creating a more nuanced picture of Plath's childhood in the shadow of World War II, her relationship with Ted Hughes, and her art itself. This is a complex and intriguing biography of an equally complex and intriguing figure.

    Ages: Adults
  26. The Beauty in Breaking: A Memoir

    Michele Harper faced professional obstacles as an African American woman ER physician — and when she started her career, she also faced personal obstacles as her marriage ended. As she dove into treating patients, and as she wrestled with the systemic problems they faced, she also learned more than how to mend a body. Her patients taught her how to let go of her fears, how to tell difficult truths, and how making peace with her past would help her make the most of the present. This profound and hopeful memoir is a reminder that we are all broken — and we can all find ways to recovery.

    Ages: Adults
  27. The Indomitable Florence Finch

    The Untold Story of a War Widow Turned Resistance Fighter and Savior of American POWs

    As a 7-year-old mestiza — the multiracial daughter of an American serviceman and a Filipina woman — Florence Finch had to rely on her own wits and courage to survive alone. She would depend on them again in the midst of World War II, when the man she loved, American naval intelligence agent Charles "Bing" Smith, was killed in battle — and she joined the resistance against the Japanese occupiers. Finch's plan was as dangerous as it was bold: divert fuel from the Japanese military, sell it on the black market, and use the money to provide food and medicine for hundreds of American POWs. And yet, when she died in Ithaca, New York at the age of 101, only her children knew her story. In this action-packed account by award-winning military historian Robert J. Mrazek, Florence Finch's heroism gets lifted from obscurity so she can take her rightful place as one of America's wartime heroes.

    Ages: Adults
  28. Our Lady of Perpetual Hunger: A Memoir

    Author: Lisa Donovan

    Lisa Donovan is a brilliant chef, but for years she struggled to break into the male-dominated industry — one where men often built their careers on the recipes created by women. Donovan herself had a family legacy of women who used food to build a sense of strength and pride; now it was time for her to claim it. In this memoir, she explores how her experiences shaped her belief that she was lesser, and how she used her talents in the kitchen — and drew on the support of other women in the culinary industry — to build a sense of self-reliance and confidence. This delicious memoir is a fascinating exploration of what it takes to establish your own place in the world, even when you've been told you don't have one.

    Ages: Adults
  29. We the Women: The Unstoppable Mothers of the Equal Rights Amendment

    Author: Julie C. Suk

    When the Nineteenth Amendment was ratified in 1920, many women who had fought for it knew their work wasn't done. They wanted more than their right to vote enshrined in the Constitution; they wanted a provision that prevented all discrimination on the basis of sex. But the Equal Rights Amendment, or ERA, wasn't adopted by Congress until 1972 — and the final state necessary for ratification only approved it in January of 2020. Why did it take so long, and what would it mean for American women if it finally went through? In this powerful book, renowned legal scholar Julie Suk explores the past of the ERA and highlights what it means for the future.

    Ages: Adults
  30. Sisters and Rebels: A Struggle for the Soul of America

    Elizabeth, Grace, and Katharine Lumpkin were sisters who grew up steeped in the white supremacy of the South — but only one of them would remain there. Grace and Katharine left their home, traveling north and devoting themselves to race and labor issues, as well as to exploring the divide between North and South. Meanwhile, Elizabeth extolled Confederate veterans and remained "an eternal loyalist." In this fascinating book, award-winning historian Jacquelyn Dowd Hall traces the paths of all three sisters, exploring the revolutionary zeal that drove so many Southerners away from home — and the difficult experiences of sisters with diverging beliefs. Epic in scope and nuanced in presentation, this is a unique look at America's struggles through the eyes of three sisters.

    Ages: Adults
  31. The Biggest Bluff: How I Learned to Pay Attention, Master Myself, and Win

    Maria Konnikova had never played poker, and she wanted to learn from the best: Erik Seidel, Poker Hall of Fame inductee. But she wasn't interested in million-dollar wins or attracting sponsors on the poker tour; the Ph.D. in psychology wanted to understand what lessons poker had to teach her about life, luck, and how humans respond when they can't control the outcome. To her surprise, though, she did win — hundreds of thousands of dollars — even as she was learning remarkable things about how humans make choices, why some people make it through dark times, and how to hold out until luck falls in you favor again. This is a fascinating look at both the world of high-stakes poker and the workings of the human mind.

    Ages: Adults
  32. Lady in Waiting: My Extraordinary Life in the Shadow of the Crown

    Anne Glenconner was born into court life and privilege — but as a daughter, she couldn't inherit her father's estate, and he considered her "the greatest disappointment." She befriended the future Queen Elizabeth II and her sister, Princess Margaret, as a child, and she became lady in waiting to Princess Margaret until she died in 2002. Her first engagement was broken off; her husband was unfaithful and changed his will to leave his entire estate to a former servant; and two of her sons died in adulthood, while the third barely survived an accident. And through it all, she carried on. In this unprecedented book, Glenconner tells her own story and gives readers a peek into royal life with both wit and candor. This memoir about life in a golden cage is perfect for fans of The Crown.

    Ages: Adults
  33. The Power of Adrienne Rich: A Biography

    Adrienne Rich was an award-winning poet whose powerful writing is still meaningful today — and she was also a woman who repeatedly transformed herself, along the way becoming a trailblazer for and critic of the feminist movement. As a Radcliffe-educated poet and married mother, she realized that she wasn't being authentic to herself, and broke from that life to become an openly lesbian feminist writer. But she was always ready to examine the evolving feminist movement, including herself, for mistakes that needed to be corrected. In the first comprehensive biography of Rich, author Hilary Holladay draws on her correspondence and in-depth interviews to depict this pioneering woman in all of her complexity.

    Ages: Adults
  34. Jailed for Freedom: A First-Person Account of the Militant Fight for Women's Rights

    Author: Doris Stevens

    To win the vote, women had to put their bodies and lives on the line — and one of them was Doris Stevens. In this stunning first person account, Stevens lays out the political backdrop — an administration refusing to consider women's suffrage no matter what argument was laid before them — and then describes the courage of women like her who demanded to have their voices heard. Stevens herself was arrested for "obstructing the sidewalk" and jailed; her colleagues and friends suffered worse, including beatings and force-feeding. This 100th anniversary edition of her book, with a new introduction from suffrage historian Angela P. Dodson, is a powerful reminder of what the suffragists had to do to win the rights we take for granted today.

    Ages: Adults
  35. Wine Girl: The Obstacles, Humiliations, and Triumphs of America's Youngest Sommelier

    Victoria James got her first restaurant job at age 13 — a necessity to provide for herself and her siblings, since she couldn't rely on her neglectful father. She endured all the abuse that is common in the restaurant industry, but she also discovered a love of wine, and at the age of 21, she became the country's youngest sommelier at a Michelin-starred restaurant. Still, behind the media acclaim and the thousand-dollar bottles, there was plenty of ugliness — and when Victoria hit bottom, she knew she had to rediscover herself and her passion. This clear-eyed memoir explores the truth behind the fancy facades at America's best restaurants, and the power of a passion to rejuvenate your life.

    Ages: Adults
  36. The Growing Season: How I Built a New Life – and Saved an American Farm

    Author: Sarah Frey

    As a child, Sarah Frey was determined to get off the family farm — to the point where she moved out of her family home at the age of 15 to start her own produce delivery business. But two years later, with the farm facing foreclosure, she came back, took over, and started changing the rules. Frey became famous for her savvy negotiation, even being used as a case study for Harvard Business School, and today Frey Farms is one of America's largest fresh produce growers. In The Growing Season, Frey reflects on how her rural childhood gave her the resilience and determination she needed to save the farm... and how she found her place in the world she thought she wanted to escape.

    Ages: Adults
  37. Olive the Lionheart: Lost Love, Imperial Spies, and One Woman's Journey into the Heart of Africa

    Author: Brad Ricca

    In 1910, 30-year-old Olive MacLeod learned that her fiance, naturalist Boyd Alexander, had disappeared in Africa. The Scottish aristocrat made a bold decision: she would go and find him. With two companions by her side, MacLeod dared dangerous wildlife, met local chiefs and leaders, and even adopted a pair of lion cubs. She also discovered the forces that were trying to win control over Africa, including colonial governments and a warlord who might know what had happened to Boyd. Using MacLeod's letters and diaries, this book explores MacLeod's journey, as well as her inner life as she is forced to ask herself why she really came to African after all.

    Ages: Adults
  38. Yellow Bird: Oil, Murder, and a Woman's Search for Justice in Indian Country

    Lissa Yellow Bird returned to the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in North Dakota after she was released from prison — and found her home irrevocably changed. The Bakken oil boom had promised prosperity but also brought corporate control, violence, and addiction to her community. Then, in 2012, a young white oil worker named Kristopher "KC" Clarke disappeared — and nobody but Lissa seemed to care that he was missing. In this stunning book, Sierra Crane Murdoch explores a gripping true story of a man's murder and a woman's obsession with finding justice, one which forced us to confront the systematic damage done to tribal nations... and the possibility of redemption and healing.

    Ages: Adults
  39. Shortlisted: Women in the Shadows of the Supreme Court

    Only four women have served as justices for the Supreme Court of the United States — but eight more were shortlisted. From Florence Allen, an Ohio judge named repeatedly in the 1930s, to Amalya Kearse, the first African American woman considered a potential SCOTUS nominee, these women achieved many milestones but never made the highest court in the nation. Award-winning scholars Renee Knake Jefferson and Hannah Brenner Johnson tell their stories and highlight the danger of shortlisting: creating the appearance of diversity without the substance. It's a unique history that provides a road map for everyone who wants to overturn the status quo.

    Ages: Adults
  40. Boots in the Ashes: Busting Bombers, Arsonists and Outlaws as a Trailblazing Female ATF Agent

    Author: Cynthia Beebe

    Cynthia Beebe was an independent girl who grew up to find herself in a groundbreaking role: one of the first female special agents for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF). As a young woman, she faced obstacles not just in the crimes she was attempting to solve, but also within the ultra-masculine, unwelcoming world of ATF agents. But she proved her mettle, and over 27 years, she investigated violent crimes, unearthed the evidence necessary to convict, and proved women belonged on the ATF front lines. Through the lens of six of her most important cases, and through riveting, never before revealed details, Beebe explores what humans are capable of — and what it takes to catch the people who commit these dreadful crimes.

    Ages: Adults
  41. Field Notes from an Unintentional Birder: A Memoir

    When Julia Zarankin became curious about stereotypical birdwatchers and their fervor for nature, she had no idea she would find meaning for her own life while hunting for birds through binoculars! She was recently divorced and under stress in her career, and she found a metaphor for her own life in the migratory patterns of birds. She also found an unexpected community and discovered a love of the outdoors that she couldn't have imagined as the child of Russian concert pianists. Thoughtful, witty, and full of moments of unexpected joy, this memoir is a tribute to finding your place — even when it's not where you thought it would be.

    Ages: Adults
  42. Sometimes You Have to Lie: The Life and Times of Louise Fitzhugh, Renegade Author of Harriet the Spy

    Author: Leslie Brody

    "Sometimes you have to lie" is one of the most stunning lines in Louise Fitzhugh's book Harriet the Spy — but it also speaks to Fitzhugh's own life. After a childhood in segregated Memphis, she traveled to New York and was thrilled by the diversity and potential there: lesbian bars in Greenwich Village, the postwar art scene, and avant-garde writers including Maurice Sendak and Lorraine Hansberry. Her writing for children defied everything children's literature "should" be, resisting conformity and authority, even as she felt pressures to conceal her own life and nature. This extraordinary biography is a compelling look at Fitzhugh, her creation Harriet, and the meaning of lies, truth, and individuality.

    Ages: Adults
  43. These Fevered Days: Ten Pivotal Moments in the Making of Emily Dickinson

    Emily Dickinson is an enigma, even though her poems are beloved today: she wrote 1,789 poems that she put in a dresser drawer; she wrestled with faith, self-doubt, and despair; and she defied her reputation for isolation by reaching out to a famous editor, writing to an unidentified "Master," and forming a friendship with fellow writer Helen Hunt Jackson. In this incisive look at Dickinson's life, Martha Ackmann explores ten key episodes in the poet's life as a way of examining her remarkable inner landscape and her startlingly original poetry. Drawing on archival letters and poems, and including 16 pages of never-before-seen photos, this is an intimate and revealing look at this enduring poet.

    Ages: Adults
  44. The Philosopher Queens: The Lives and Legacies of Philosophy's Unsung Women

    Philosophers change the way we think — so why do we only hear about male philosophers? It's time to meet the philosopher queens! In this important volume, you'll learn about twenty prominent women, past and present, whose ideas have changed our culture and the world. From Ban Zhao, writing the history of ancient China, to Hypatia, a rare woman teacher in Alexandria, to Angela Davis and the American Black Power Movement, these women's minds left their mark... even when we don't know their names. With vibrant, stylized illustrations that bring each women to life, this is an inspiring volume that's sure to pique your interest about the other untold stories of neglected thinkers.

    Ages: Adults
  45. The War Queens: Extraordinary Women Who Ruled the Battlefield

    When women rule, they often go to war — and prove themselves as able for the task as any king. In this intriguing book, father-daughter pair Jonathan W. and Emily Anne Jordan explore the stories of queens at war, both past and present. They evoke the stories of Elizabeth Tudor and Queen Nijinga of Angola, of Indira Gandhi and Golda Meir, and many more, exploring the moments that challenged their countries and how their decisions either saved or condemned their reigns — and their lives. Thrilling and terrifying in equal measure, these stories remind us that women leaders have always had their part to play.

    Ages: Adults
  46. The Sediments of Time: My Lifelong Search for the Past

    As the daughter-in-law of renowned paleoanthropologists Louis and Mary Leakey, Meave Leakey had big shoes to fill — and she did so with gusto. Alongside her husband, Richard, Leakey faced all the challenges of an anthropologist in the field, including wild life, armed herders, and more, on her quest for a fossil that would change history. And when Richard's plane crashed, likely due to sabotage, he called on her to continue the field operations when he couldn't. Along the way she made astounding findings, including evidence of how climate change drove the evolution of pre-human species. This is the story not just of Leakey's life and discoveries, but also of how our species' past could help us define and understand our future.

    Ages: Adults
  47. Dr. Mary Walker's Civil War

    One Woman's Journey to the Medal of Honor and the Fight for Women's Rights

    From early on, Dr. Mary Edwards Walker was determined: "I will always be somebody." A pioneering female doctor — who dared to wear pants rather than a skirt — she was a famous (or some might say notorious) figure. During the Civil War, she served so courageously that President Andrew Johnson later granted her the Medal of Honor, making her the only American woman ever to receive it.... only for the Army to strip her of the medal for her relentless involvement in the women's suffrage movement. Author Theresa Kaminski takes readers into the tumultuous time during and after the Civil War, and looks at these historic events through the eyes of a woman who held unwavering belief in her ability to make a contribution equal to that of any man.

    Ages: Adults
  48. All Stirred Up: Suffrage Cookbooks, Food, and the Battle for Women's Right to Vote

    Author: Laura Kumin

    The vision we hold of suffragists is one of stern, marching faces, demanding their rights — but the suffragists also needed to win the hearts and minds of women across the country, and they did it through a familiar method: food. With the help of cookbooks and community meals, the suffragists reached out to women who weren't convinced to their cause. In All Stirred Up, Laura Kumin, the author of The Hamilton Cookbook, introduces readers to this less celebrated side of the movement. Using actual historic recipes to showcase the suffragists' humor and wit — “mix the crust with tact and velvet gloves, using no sarcasm, especially with the upper crust” — this unique book celebrates the power of food and fellowship to drive social change.

    Ages: Adults
  49. Lady Romeo: The Radical and Revolutionary Life of Charlotte Cushman, America's First Celebrity

    Author: Tana Wojczuk

    Charlotte Cushman was determined to live life her own way — even if that meant defying every norm of the 1800s! She left Boston for a career on the stage, performing in New Orleans, New York, and London and impressing luminaries like Walt Whitman, President Abraham Lincoln, and Louisa May Alcott, who even based a character on her in Jo's Boys. And she set gossips talking by rejecting marriage, living publicly as a queer woman, and supporting her family with her own income. In this vivacious biography, Tana Wojczuk draws on new research, including little seen letters and documents, to capture a portrait of this unique woman and her remarkable life.

    Ages: Adults
  50. Dressed for a Dance in the Snow: Women's Voices from the Gulag

    Across the Soviet Union, forced labor camps called gulags "corrected" everyone from petty thieves to political prisoners with brutal treatment and grinding hardship — and women were not exempt from incarceration there. Author Monika Zgustová inteviewed nine women who lived through the gulags, capturing not only a chronicle of survival, but also a stunning portrait of resilience and hope. In many of their stories, the arts helped to sustain them, from a girl born in the gulag who read a hand-stitched copy of Little Red Riding Hood, to a woman who sent poetry to the male prisoner she loved. Intimate and heart-rending, their stories are a reminder of both the viciousness of the Soviet regime and of the power of hope to sustain humanity at the worst of times.

    Ages: Adults
  51. Rebel Cinderella: From Rags to Riches to Radical, the Epic Journey of Rose Pastor Stokes

    When Rose Pastor arrived in New York in 1903, she was just one of many Russian Jewish refugees that most people thought were destined to a life of sweatshop labor. Instead, two years later, she married James Graham Phelps Stokes, the scion of a high society family, and catapulted herself into the elite. And then, she and her husband joined the Socialist Party and started gathering a group of activist and agitators. Rose led strikes and protests, campaigned to spread information bout birth control, and brought audiences to tears with her stories about the struggles of workers. And then, just as quickly, she fell into poverty, and died far too young. Written by a best-selling master of narrative nonfiction, this astonishing biography illuminates the story of a nearly forgotten agitator and radical.

    Ages: Adults
  52. Code Name Madeleine: A Sufi Spy in Nazi-Occupied Paris

    Noor Inayat Khan was raised by pacifists and devoted herself to music and writing — but when the Nazis invaded France, her childhood home, she was determined to act. She joined the British Special Operations Executive and trained as a wireless operator, but her instructors doubted if she had the mettle for the job. She proved them wrong, not only communicating critical information that set the stage for D-Day, but also fighting heroically when she was finally captured, attempting escape twice and enduring torture without revealing her secrets. This stunning, deeply researched tribute to an unlikely World War II hero celebrates the courage and faith that drove her to give her life for peace.

    Ages: Adults
  53. Royal Witches: Witchcraft and the Nobility in Fifteenth-Century England

    Author: Gemma Hollman

    In 15th century England, seemingly out of nowhere, four royal women were all accused of witchcraft. Joan of Navarre, Eleanor Cobham, Jacquetta of Luxembourg and Elizabeth Woodville were alleged to have turned to dark arts to kill or influence the king... by people who wanted to use the accusations for their own political gain. In this fascinating book, historian Gemma Hollman explores the cases of these four "witches" — tried nearly two hundred years before witch hysteria swept through England — to highlight the blurring between science and magic and how gender plays a part in witch trials, in an intriguing and complex account of four women tied by family, court politics, and the envy of others.

    Ages: Adults
  54. A Silenced Voice: The Life of Journalist Kim Wall

    When 30-year-old Swedish journalist Kim Wall was pursuing a story in 2017, she thought it would be another article to add to her increasingly impressive portfolio. Instead, she ended up dead — killed by the Danish entrepreneur she planned on interviewing. In this powerful memoir, Wall's parents Ingrid and Joachim not only relate their personal struggles, coming to terms with the loss of their beloved daughter, but also capture a portrait of the woman whose voice was silenced: loving, clever, complicated, and determined to seek out truth. Now translated into English, this is a story not just about surviving loss, but also about the importance of remembering everything Wall stood for.

    Ages: Adults
  55. Uncrowned Queen: The Life of Margaret Beaufort, Mother of the Tudors

    Author: Nicola Tallis

    Lady Margaret Beaufort was not a queen — but that did not mean she had no power. She dreamed of seeing her son, Henry, on the throne, ending the War of the Roses and starting a new dynasty in England. Through savvy manipulation and political intrigue, she took decades to solidify their position, and when Henry VII became the first Tudor king of England in 1485, she was queen in all but name. Historian Nicola Tallis has captured a stunning portrait of a brilliant woman who successfully ensured that her family would hold an integral place in English history.

    Ages: Adults
  56. This Is All I Got: A New Mother's Search for Home

    When Camila was 22 years old, she gave birth to a son. With no family, no partner, and no home, she had no choice but to rely on New York City's shelter system — a system that madee it impossible for her to find the stability and safety she needed to achieve the life she dreamed of. In this stunning book, journalist Lauren Sandler follows Camila from her son's birth to his firth birthday, capturing her intelligence and resilience, but also the incredible obstacles that seem designed to prevent her from changing her life for the better. Both a celebration of Camila — and the many mothers like her — and a call to action to improve our social safety net, this is a book that will linger with you long after the last page.

    Ages: Adults
  57. The Woman Who Cracked the Anxiety Code: The Extraordinary Life of Dr. Claire Weekes

    Author: Judith Hoare

    For people suffering from anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses, nothing seemed to help — until, in 1962, a woman named Dr. Claire Weekes published a book, Hope and Help for Your Nerves. Considered a state-of-the-art method today, Weekes' book was denounced by the psychiatric establishment when it first appeared; she was "underqualified" and "populist." In this first biography of this trailblazing women, readers will learn about her eclectic life: the first woman to earn a Doctor of Science degree at Australia's oldest university, the author of globally celebrated research into evolution, and a former travel agent. This is the true story of an uncelebrated mental health pioneer whose work has transformed the lives of millions around the world.

    Ages: Adults
  58. Sylvia Pankhurst: Natural Born Rebel

    Author: Rachel Holmes

    Sylvia Pankhurst fought for women's right to vote by her mother's side, but when suffrage became law, she wasn't done. She wanted reproductive rights, freedom of sexual expression, equal pay, and more — for women and for other oppressed groups — ideas that made even her mother Emmeline Pankhurst think of her as radical. But her work would change lives around the globe, whether she was fighting against apartheid, working for Irish independence, arguing for rights for refugees, or combating racism. In this detailed and astonishing biography, author Rachel Holmes depicts Pankhurst's rebellious and visionary life, showing how this woman's ideas leave their mark on the world today.

    Ages: Adults
  59. Alice Adams: Portrait of a Writer

    Alice Adams was famous for her writing about women — stories that came from both her own experiences and the rapidly shifting culture around her. Raised during the Great Depression, coming of age in wartime, and then finding herself a divorcee and single mother, she worked as a secretary for two decades before she could support herself with her writing. Once she could, though, she became renowned for her compelling characters, her powerful love stories, and her independent girls and women. In the first full-scale biography of Adams, packed with analyses of her writing and interviews with Adams' family and friends, Carol Sklenicka creates a fascinating vision of both this prolific writer's life and the shifting American culture around her.

    Ages: Adults
  60. In Her Footsteps: Where Trailblazing Women Changed the World (Lonely Planet)

    Author: Lonely Planet

    History is full of inspiring women who are rarely celebrated — which means that our world is full of places where women made history! In this unique guidebook from Lonely Planet, readers learn about dozens of women who made their mark in activism, arts, politics, science, and more, and about the places where they lived, worked, and drew their inspiration. From Queen Hatshepsut of ancient Egypt to Jacinda Ardern's work today, these stories will inspire readers to learn more about these trailblazing women, and visit the secretly feminist sites around the world. For anyone with a yen to travel and a desire to learn more about women's history, this book is a must-have title!

    Ages: Adults
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