Posted by Cassandra
For every well-known woman who has made her mark on history, there are countless other women who were just as significant and indispensable to the past but whose names aren’t always as familiar.
In celebration of Women’s History Month, here are summaries of Children’s Biographies detailing the lives of three fascinating, intelligent, and brave women whose names and contributions aren’t always as recognizable (particularly to children) but whose stories are powerful and must be shared.
Margaret and the Moon: How Margaret Hamilton Saved the First Lunar Landing by Dean Robbins, illustrated by Lucy Knisley
Margaret Hamilton was a curious and clever little girl (with a particular interest in mathematics) who grew up to invent the term “software engineer” because the computer programming she was doing needed an official title. Margaret was inquisitive, intelligent, and inventive and is best known for the detailed computer code she wrote that allowed Apollo 11 to land on the moon even though it was experiencing several computer errors at the time. With simple yet endearing illustrations and an educational Author’s Note in the back to elaborate on Margaret’s life story, this book is a great option for the curious and clever little girls (and boys!) in your life.
The daughter of an artist and a poet, Maya Lin grew up learning to use both her hands, her heart, and her head in equal measure. As a young adult, lines and interesting architecture fascinated her and Maya knew she wanted to create interesting structures as well. It was during her senior year of college when Maya submitted an entry into the contest which would choose the design of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial; she was shocked to find out she had won! However, not everyone was thrilled with the news of her accomplishment and Maya had to fight for her vision. This book provides a glimpse into not only the life of Maya Lin but into the conviction behind the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and that is surely worth a read for young and older alike.
Adults can check out Maya Lin: Thinking with Her Handsby Susan Rubin, available through inter-library loan.
Wangari Maathai: The Woman Who Planted Millions of Trees by Franck Prevot, illustrated by Aurelia Fronty
Wangari Maathai was an environmental activist who bravely fought against the deforestation of her beloved country, Kenya. She planted trees, united the Kenyan people, and battled against powerful government officials who had her imprisoned numerous times. Wangari Maathai: The Woman who Planted Millions of Trees is the fascinating story of her life, her struggles, and her victories.
Adults can check out Wangari Maathai’s autobiography Unbowed:A Memoir for an even closer look at Wangari’s captivating life.
For even more children’s books highlighting the lives of strong, courageous, and intelligent women, visit the Women’s History Month book display in the Children’s Library or check out these additional titles:
· JB BLACKWELL Who Says Women Can’t be Doctors? The Story of Elizabeth Blackwell by Tanya Lee Stone, Illustrated by Marjorie Priceman
· JB COMSTOCK Out of School and Into Nature: The Anna Comstock Story by Suzanne Slade, Illustrated by Jessica Lanan
· JB GARBER Miss Mary Reporting: The True Story of Sportswriter Mary Garber by Sue Macy, Illustrated by C.F. Payne
· JB GINSBURG I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark by Debbie Levy, Illustrated by Elizabeth Baddeley
· J BIOS HIDDEN Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly, Illustrated by LauraFreeman
· JB MOORE Miss Moore Thought Otherwise: How Anne Carroll Moore Created Libraries for Children by Jan Pinborough, Illustratedby Debby Atwell