Monday, June 28, 2021

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 6.28.21

This weekly post comes from Jen at Teach Mentor Texts
 and Kellee and Ricki at Unleashing Readers.  
It's a great source to find new books to use with your students.

Last Week's Adventures

Thoughts on decodable readers

PIcture Books

Follow That Frog!
Follow That Frog!
written by Philip C. Stead
illustrated by Matthew Cordell
I hope you've read the other Sadie Adventure stories because they are quite delightful!  This one is a story told by Aunt Josephine, who is a hoot, too!  Aunt Josephine tells Sadie to story of how her travels came to by, all the while someone/thing is incessantly knocking at the door.  Could the story and the knocking be connected?  If you know these stories, you know it's going to be fun to see what happens!

What Happened to You?
What Happened to You?
written by James Catchpole
illustrated by Karen George
I've been waiting awhile to get my hands on this book.  As most of you know, my daughter has a physical disability so I'm always looking for books that she would see herself in.  But at the same time, they make me worried because I want to make sure it's a positive book.
I liked this one a lot.  It's about Joe who is playing make believe at the park.  And then kids come up to him and all they want to know is "what happened to your leg?"  Well, Joe is tired of THAT question and he doesn't really want to answer it.  The kids eventually move past it and play make believe with him and have a great time.  Eventually the little girl who started with the questions has a conversation with Joe, again, but agrees that it doesn't really matter if she knows about his leg or not.
I was very pleased to see that this book was written by an author with a physical disability.  Representation matters.  He also left some fantastic suggestions to parents in his end note.
Before I wrote this review, I gave it to my daughter to read.  She said she liked that he didn't want to talk about his leg because she said sometimes as a kid, not only do you get tired of always answering that question, as a kid you don't always have the words and you don't want to try. 
Then I went and searched for the book and author to see if there was more about how this book came about.  I found this video.  I thought it was very interesting that he said the same thing that my daughter said and it was his response to Sonia Sotomayor's book Just Ask.  While I enjoyed that book,  I also thought it was interesting to hear a different perspective that made me think about how I approach a disabled person.  Definitely one to watch, listen, and think about!

Your Mama
Your Mama
written by NoNieqa Ramos
illustrated by Jacqueline Alcántara
A take on the "your mama" line, but it twists it around to shine the light on powerful mamas and the love for their children.  Beautifully illustrated!

Sakamoto's Swim Club: How a Teacher Led an Unlikely Team to Victory
Sakamoto's Swim Club: How a Teacher Led an Unlikely Team to Victory
written by Julie Abery
illustrated by Chris Sasaki
Any picture books about swimming interest me!  This one is about Coach Sakamoto - a science teacher in Maui, who coached some Olympic greats!  When migrant sugar cane workers were in the fields, their children often cooled off from Maui's hot sun in the irrigation ditches.  Mr. Sakamoto would see from his school's windows, the children being threatened by local police, to get out of the ditches.  Mr. Sakamoto made a deal with the company that owned the ditches to coach the kids in the water and give them something productive to do.  This lead to kids working on their strokes and becoming competitive swimmers.  Eventually the sugar company built the swimmers a pool and they continued their training and dedication to one day making the Olympic Games.
The story is told in rhyming verse.  It flows, but I feel like it often misses information.  This story does have backmatter, which does fill in some missing holes.
I enjoy reading stories that are new and not as widely publicized.  They are often motivating and inspiring.

Middle Grade

Ahmed Aziz's Epic Year
Ahmed Aziz's Epic Year
by Nina Hamza
Ahmed is having quite a year.  Recently moved from Hawaii to Minnesota so his father can have treatments for his liver disease.  Now he's the new kid with a rough home life, and it doesn't make it easier when he draws the attention of fellow 7th grader bully, Jack.  
Ahmed's character development was fun to watch because while he might not have been able to see his own growth, it was evident to readers!  Great debut by Hamza!
Thank you to Harper Collins and Edelweiss for the advanced e-galley.

by Reem Faruqi
I love having another novel in verse to hand to readers.  
I think Nurah, the main character of this novel, and Reha, the main character of Rajani LaRocca's Red, White, and Whole, would be characters who got along.  Differences between the stories, but I think they would understand each other.
Unsettled is loosely based on Faruqi's life, which included a move to the United States.  I learned a lot from Nurah's voice and I think young readers will enjoy seeing things from her perspective, as well.

Young Adult

Rule of Wolves (King of Scars, #2)
Rule of Wolves
by Leigh Bardugo
Part of the GrishaVerse, this may have been my favorite one so far.  I'm really not going to say much more than that because there were so many fun parts to this book I want to leave it up to you to discover them.
If you are new to the GrishaVerse, I highly recommend it.  There is a series on Netflix.  It is very fun to see the characters come to life, but I'm a book-to-movie purist.  Meaning, I really prefer when they stick to the book.  I know some things need to change.  But I got so tired of saying "that's not what happened in the book"... and that's not even the referrals between the crossover parts.  So I would suggest starting with the books.  Definitely read the Shadow and Bone trilogy and the Six of Crows duology first.  I would recommend continuing on with the King of Scars duology, but you could watch the Netflix series after reading the first two sets of books mentioned.
I really really hope Bardugo has more GrishaVerse stories for us... and sooner than later!

Currently Reading

Something to Say
Something to Say
by Lisa Moore Ramee
This one is from my June #mustread list!

Happy reading!

Thursday, June 24, 2021

#road2reading - thoughts on decodable readers 6.24.21

I'm back with some thoughts on books for kids who are starting to read independently.  Kids who:
  • are sight word readers
  • need decodable text
  • read about 1-3 sentences on a page
  • need supports to help them figure out unknown words
Books for these readers are evolving quickly and we have some great stories.  In the past, these stories were dry because they stuck to some very formulaic writing due to the decodable nature of the text.  However, now we have authors that are infusing plots into their decodable text and the stories have become interesting!  Authors are making us laugh with some fantastic humor!  And readers are loving the characters they are finding in decodable text series!  This is a great time to be learning how to read.

Now that we have these books, how do we shelve them?  Some ideas for that too!

In a classroom, you have a bit more flexibility.
Lower grade level teachers may:
  • want to put series together, just like you do for picture books and chapter books
  • combine books into bins.  Some ideas:  books that make you LOL, friendship stories, animal characters, books about sports, outer space stories
  • combine your decodable text stories with their counterpart picture books.  A decodable text story about friendship can go with your picture books about the same topic.
School libraries may:
  • shelve them with the picture books
  • put them together in an area together BUT please think about how this area is labeled.  For a child with reading challenges, picking a book from the "easy readers" is degrading.  Don't do this.

Here's the big thing.  When placing these books in your library, they SHOULD NEVER BE LABELED.  Not with a guided reading level, not with a lexile level, not with a level one, two, three, etc.  
But what about how the publisher labels them?
  • put a sticker over the publisher label.  The circular garage stickers work well.  I use them for all of the books in my classroom library which makes it easier for me to reshelve books.
  • If you're mixing books together whether they are decodable, leveled, or just a trade picture book, readers will see all of the books mixed together which sends the message that the level is not important.
Don't forget to book talk these books too!  Every time we talk about a book we're telling young readers this book is important, this book is worthy of reading.  Know your readers and if you have readers who need these books, talk about them.  Not just to those readers, but to all of the readers in your room.

Looking for some suggestions?  Here are three of my absolute favorite series for newly independent readers:

Training Day
El Toro and Friends series
by Raúl the Third
colored by Elaine Bay

Ty's Travels: Zip, Zoom!
Ty's Travels series
written by Kelly Starling Lyons
illustrated by Nina Mata

Fox the Tiger
Fox the Tiger series
by Corey Tabor

Some other notables:

We Need More Nuts! (Penguin Young Readers, Level 2)         A Pig, a Fox, and Stinky Socks     I Will Race You Through This Book!     The Bug in the Bog: Ready-to-Read Pre-Level 1
anything by Jonathan Fenske!

I also love that Disney-Hyperion has a collection specifically for the Marvels fans.  Kids love the superheroes and it's nice having books that they can carry around and read!  Some new ones (This Is Ms. Marvel publishes July 13th):
World of Reading by Marvel Press Book Group     World of Reading This is Ms. Marvel

If you are looking for more early reading books, check out my goodreads shelf.

Looking for early chapter books?  Check out that goodreads shelf.

Please note there are also nonfiction titles on both shelves!

I hope this gives you some ideas for books and organization of these fantastic books for your readers.

And don't forget, starting next week....

Monday, June 21, 2021

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 6.21.21

This weekly post comes from Jen at Teach Mentor Texts
 and Kellee and Ricki at Unleashing Readers.  
It's a great source to find new books to use with your students.

Last Week's Adventures

Meet Someone New!  Use these picture book biographies to introduce your readers to someone new!

Some new graphic novels and chapter books for readers who are starting to read independently.

Did you see the cover reveal for the first two books in the upcoming Make Way for Fenway series?  Check them out here.

Picture Books

We Wait for the Sun
We Wait for the Sun
written by Dovey Johnson Roundtree and Katie McCabe
illustrated by Raissa Figueroa
A small moments story about young Dovey Johnson Roundtree and her grandmother, Rachel Bryant Graham.  The story is about a special memory that Roundtree has with her grandmother, a pre-dawn visit to a berry patch.  What may seem ordinary was actually a cherished memory by Roundtree.  The real information about Roundtree and her important contributions to the civil rights movement come in the backmatter.

Bracelets For Bina's Brothers
Bracelets for Bina's Brothers
written by Rajani LaRocca
illustrated by Chaaya Prabhat
A story about young Bina who is making bracelets for her brothers in honor of the Indian celebration Raksha Bandhan, which honors sisters and brothers.  She makes individualized bracelets for each of her brothers.  Hidden inside the story is a math lesson about patterns.

An Equal Shot: How the Law Title IX Changed America
An Equal Shot: How the Law Title IX Changed America
written by Helaine Becker
illustrated by Dob Phumiruk
This book gives a very basic introduction to what Title IX is.  
I know a lot of reviewers have praised its less is more approach, but I felt like too much was left unsaid.  Reading the extensive backmatter is a must for additional information.  To me it felt like the simplistic approach left so much unsaid as far as how far women still have to go for equality compared to their male counterparts.  The subtitle says "how... changed America".  Again, there wasn't much information included to show a real change.
So, a good intro, but I would definitely encourage anyone sharing this book to find more resources to add to young readers' knowledge and understanding.

I'm On It! (Elephant  Piggie Like Reading!)
I'm ON It!
by Andrea Tsurumi
The next in the "Elephant and Piggie Like Reading!" series, this book is a perfect concept book for prepositional words.  Definitely a fun one to use with young readers because it is teaching them understanding of the words in a fun and silly way.


The Hill We Climb: An Inaugural Poem for the Country
The Hill We Climb: An Inaugural Poem for the Country
by Amanda Gorman
This is the poem that was delivered by the poet at the Presidential Inauguration of Joe Biden this January.  A trim book that divides the poem into pages by its stanzas, its words printed on white pages without illustrations.  It does make the reader focus on the words and come up with their own images.  It made me more reflective of the message.  
This poem will be included in an anthology with other poems by Gorman this fall.

Middle Grade

Bea Is for Blended
Bea is for Blended
by Lindsey Stoddard
I love Stoddard's books and this one is another favorite.  Bea is a character that readers will relate to because she has so much going on in her life.  Even if you don't relate to her exact experiences, being pulled in a million directions, is a familiar feeling to almost everyone!  I love that she is a strong character who stands up to everyone - classmates and even an authority figure at school - when she knows what they are doing is wrong.

All You Knead Is Love
All You Knead is Love
by Tanya Guerrero
I did not know much about this one before I began it, and I quickly fell in love with it!  Alba was a wonderful character to watch her grow into her own identity and understand who she is.  Some tough moments as this is a story of a family recovering from abuse, but very well written.  Loved the Barcelona setting and now I'm ready to visit!  Recommended for grades 5 and up.

Young Adult

The Gilded Ones (Deathless, #1)
The Gilded Ones
by Namina Forna
Whatever you are doing stop and go find this book.  Especially if you like fantasy.  Or books about strong females.  Or amazing world building.  Or fantastic writing.  
I did not know much about this one before starting it but once I fell into it I couldn't stop reading.  There are books that almost seem like copies of others.  This one was so original, it really just blew me away.
That's all I'm going to say.  Now go find it.

Adult Novel

The Kindest Lie
The Kindest Lie
by Nancy Johnson
This is a novel you have to sit with for awhile.  It explores class, racism, and chasing the American dream.  It also is about adoption and parenting.  Some of this part of the story made me think about both sides of adoption - being the birth parent who gives up the baby as well as the parent who raises the child.  This part of the story didn't always sit right with me and it's one I wish had been fleshed out a bit more.  I found it to be an interesting contrast having some chapters from the perspective of the Black woman who rose up from her poor town and other chapters from the perspective of a young white teen who is growing up in an unstable, poor home.
Quick read for summer! 

Currently Reading

Super Fake Love Song
Super Fake Love Song
by David Yoon
This was one of my May #mustread books, I'm a bit behind!

Getting this up late today.  Our daughter competed in the Paralympic Swimming Trials last week and we found out yesterday she was selected for the Tokyo team!  She'll be representing the United States in Tokyo later this summer!  Still recovering from the craziness!

Friday, June 11, 2021

Cover Reveal for Make Way for Fenway series - 6.11.21

Have you ever finished a book and it brings a smile to your face because you know you're going to have a long list of readers who will want to read it?  That's what happened to me when I finished Victoria Coe's Fenway and Hattie book... and consequently all of the books in the series!  A story told from the perspective of a dog - a dog that is fun and easy to love, which makes it even more enjoyable to read!  Fenway has a limitless love for his girl, Hattie, and protects her from all evil, including those pesky squirrels!  Readers love learning his names for objects and people and love seeing the world through his eyes.  Every book in the series has been a hit for readers and it's a series I even encourage grownups to read to their younger readers because everyone falls for Fenway!

Fenway and Hattie (Fenway and Hattie, #1)   Fenway and Hattie and the Evil Bunny Gang (Fenway and Hattie, #2)  Fenway and Hattie Up to New Tricks (Fenway and Hattie #3)  Fenway and Hattie in the Wild (Fenway and Hattie #4)

Now we have another reason to fall in love with Fenway because readers are going to grow up with Fenway!  A few months ago, Victoria announced that we would be getting more Fenway stories, but this time in a different format - in a chapter book series called Make Way for Fenway.  There are already four books planned, the first two releasing on March 22, 2022.

What is the difference between the two series?  The Make Way for Fenway series is considered a "chapter book", which usually means it's shorter than its middle grade counterpart.  The Fenway chapter book series will have 5,000 words in a book and feature 10 chapters and about 85 pages.  There will be full page illustrations featured throughout the book.  In comparison, the middle grade (original) series, has about 30,000-35,000 words in a book, about 20-22 chapters, and double the page amount!  What is so exciting is readers will be able to grow with Fenway.  They can first fall in love with him in the chapter books and eventually grow to reading more adventures in the middle grade stories.  The best thing about series is readers become familiar with a character and setting and it's not something new to figure out each time.  This gives readers a sense of security and they can focus on other parts of the story.  It's so important for growing readers to have series that support them.  I am so happy that Fenway is going to be a character and series that can provide that stability for readers!

Even more exciting is I have the first two covers to share with you!  But before we get to the covers, here's a little more about the first two books.

Book one: Fenway and the Bone Thieves

There's nothing better than a brand-new bone!
And nothing worse than sneaky squirrels trying to steal it!  But Fenway is smarter than those squirrels and he finds the perfect place to hide his bone.
The only problem is, the hiding place might be too hard for Fenway to find, too!

Book two:  Fenway and the Frisbee Trick

Fenway is ready to learn a new trick!
When Fenway sees a dog leap into the air and catch a Frisbee, he wants to do it, too.
But catching a Frisbee is harder than it looks.
Good thing Fenway is willing to keep trying, and that he can impress everyone with a special trick of his own!

Are you ready to see the covers?  Well, actually, before I share them, I want to share a conversation I recently had with Victoria and the illustrator of the chapter book series, Joanne Lew-Vriethoff.

VJC: Thank you for hosting us, Mrs. Knott! As you know, I’m a faithful reader of your blog. I love your passion for championing new books, especially chapter books and the #road2reading challenge.


JL-V: Thank you for inviting me to your blog. I look forward to sharing the new Fenway books with everyone. 


MK: What was the idea behind these new stories, Victoria?


VJC: The core of the stories is Fenway and the squirrels. In each book, Fenway wants something and then blames the squirrels when things go wrong (spoiler alert: lots of things go wrong!). I had a lot of fun coming up with the different scenarios. Squirrels really can be sneaky!


MK: Victoria, how did you react when you heard that Joanne was chosen as the illustrator for this series?


VJC: I was over the moon! I follow her on Instagram and I love her work. I knew she’d bring a lively spirit to the characters and stories. I literally couldn’t wait to see what she’d come up with. And boy, her illustrations were definitely worth the wait!


MK: Joanne, what about this character and these stories captured your imagination?


JL-V: Victoria’s stories are hilarious, fun and fresh. I love that it was from a dog’s point of view which made it easy to fall in love with Fenway’s feisty temperament but cute personality. I’ve always wanted to illustrate a dog book and the day the publishers told me I would be the illustrator, it was like an early birthday gift for me. 


MK: They say you can't judge a book by its cover, but we all know that people do - especially kids. What was the cover illustration process like, Joanne? How did you decide what to depict on these covers? How did you zero in on just the right images, feelings, and energy?


JL-V: I based the cover on the personality of a young puppy. Just like my kids at that age,  he is innocent, carefree, very focused especially when he wants something yet unaware of all the havoc it may cause or the evil villains waiting for him around the corner.  


MK: What was your favorite thing about illustrating Fenway, Joanne? Which parts of his personality can you most relate to?


JL-V: I love illustrating Fenway’s expressions especially when he is being overly dramatic.  I can definitely relate to his wild imagination, persistence, and also fierce loyalty to those he loves. I also love illustrating the squirrels as well.  They are a bunch of rambunctious rascals who keep Fenway on his toes which makes it very funny to illustrate. 


MK: The Fenway and Hattie middle grade series is more than five years old. Victoria, I’m wondering what’s it like to see your characters illustrated after all that time?


VJC: It's hard to describe. When I was a kid, I distinctly remember reading chapter books and feeling that exhilaration whenever I came to an illustration. Those images were like magic to me. Seeing my own scenes come to life through Joanne’s art brings me right back to those feelings. Her illustrations make me fall in love with my own characters all over again.


MK: Joanne, how do you determine which bits of each chapter to illustrate? How do you imagine young readers reacting to the pictures?


JL-V:  Together with the editor and art director, we share our ideas and thoughts from each chapter.  Sometimes I have too many ideas from one scenario and will sketch them out and share them with the publisher.  It helps to have another person look at them from a distance since I tend to get attached to the illustrations and want to do them all.  There are different moments in the story where I would find myself laughing out loud or cheering Fenway on when he is feeling a little down or upset.  These are the moments when I want to illustrate how I feel when I’m reading from Fenway’s point of view. 


MK: What’s next for each of you?


VJC: I’m waiting for revision notes for Book 3 in this series (Coming Oct 2022), and I hope to finish writing the 4th book (Spring 2023) this summer. 


JL-V: Currently I’m working out the sketches for Book 2 and have two more Fenway Books after. I really can’t wait to read Books 3 and 4 and see what’s in store. If they’re as good as the first two, it’s going to be a total blast illustrating them. I’m having such a great time with Fenway and his friends, I feel like I’m part of his life thanks to Victoria and Putnam Young Readers.

Ok, I suppose I've lead you on for enough time!  If you made it this far, you definitely deserve to see these covers!  Without further ado.......


From the publisher:
This new series, starring the rambunctious Jack Russell terrier from Victoria J. Coe’s Fenway and Hattie middle grade books, will debut in Spring 2022 from Putnam Young Readers. With an easy reading level and lively illustrations, emerging readers will be eager to get their paws on the Make Way for Fenway! chapter books.

Aren't you in love with the books already?  Huge thank you to Victoria and Joanne for stopping by.  I'm honored Victoria allowed me to do this cover reveal.  I can't wait to have the actual books in my hands!  March 2022 isn't too far away, right??

More about author, Victoria Coe:
Victoria J. Coe’s books for middle grade readers include the Global Read Aloud, Amazon Teacher’s Pick, and One School, One Book favorite Fenway and Hattie as well as three Fenway and Hattie sequels and the historical adventure Ezra and the Mouse: The Search for Lafayette (September 2021). Make Way for Fenway! is her first chapter book series. Connect with her online at and on twitter and Instagram @victoriajcoe.

More about illustrator, Joanne Lew-Vriethoff:
Joanne Lew Vriethoff is an award-winning illustrator of over 50 picture, chapter and middle grade books. Some of her latest books include How To Wear A Sari, You’ll Find Me, Too Sticky, The Invisible Web (Invisible String Series), and You are Never Alone. She has also illustrated middle grade books such as The Dancing Pancake, Another Day as Emily by Eileen Spinelli. Make Way for Fenway! is her first dog chapter book series. You can find her on and on twitter and Instagram @joannelewvriethoff.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

#road2reading - new graphic novel/chapter books for newly independent readers - 6.10.21

It is so exciting for a young reader to be holding a chapter book in their hands.  It's a right of passage, a new step, in their journey as a reader.  I am so glad to see publishers paying attention to these readers and making sure there are chapter books that are just for them.  Chapters with engaging stories that support the readers but give them a longer story to hold on to and enjoy.  Here are some newly published books you'll want for your readers.

Fitz and Cleo by Jonathan Stutzman
Fitz and Cleo
written by Jonathan Stutzman 
illustrated by Heather Fox
This new graphic novel/early chapter book series is going to be a hit with readers.  In this first book, brother and sister ghosts, Fitz and Cleo, meet their newly adopted/found cat, Mister Boo.  While Cleo loves their new cat, Fitz and Mister Boo have a love/hate relationship, which of course ends up making us laugh.  Quick chapters that make you laugh will keep readers coming back for more!

Baloney and Friends by Greg Pizzoli
Baloney and Friends: Going Up!
by Greg Pizzoli
I forgot about how much Baloney and friends make me laugh.  This one did too.  Told in quick chapters that make you laugh, fans of Elephant and Piggie and Narwhal and Jelly will love this series.  
I love how Pizzoli colors his talk bubbles to correspond with the character's color.  It makes it so easy for young readers to follow who is doing the talking.

Extraordinary Warren's World by Sarah Dillard
Extraordinary Warren's World
by Sarah Dillard
Simon and Schuster have combined some books into a long graphic novel/chapter book series.  Warren is a chick who decides ordinary routines are not for him, he wants more than that.  But when he does to explore, he ends up meeting Millard the rat (who is waiting on his next meal) and Egg (literally an egg).  Between dodging and escaping his new enemy and helping Egg learn the ways of the world, Warren ends up being a bit extraordinary.

Snail's Silly Adventures by Mary Peterson
Snail's Silly Adventures
by Mary Peterson
Another combo of books, this one is about Snail and his adventures with his best pal, Ladybug.  I have found these stories to make kids giggle because there is some bodily function (throwing up) that always gets a laugh or an "ewwww"... both keep kids reading!

And some chapter books :

Doggo and Pupper by Katherine Applegate
Doggo and Pupper
written by Katherine Applegate
illustrated by Charlie Alder
Cat and Dog fans will love meeting this threesome.  Doggo and Cat have their routine, but when Pupper comes, things start to change... or maybe it's Pupper who needs to change.  After being sent to charm school to learn some calming behaviors, Pupper returns as a new puppy!  It's up to Doggo to make sure Pupper remembers who he really is and make sure he's happy.

The Middle Kid by Steven  Weinberg
The Middle Kid
by Steven Weinberg
This is probably the longest in the round-up.  Partly autobiographical, this is the story of a day in the life of a middle kid.  While I'm not a middle kid, I think those that are will definitely relate to the story!  

It's summer and that means here at #road2reading it's time for Chapter Book Summer!  Get ready for the series to begin in July!

And ready for more summer fun?  Be sure to stop by tomorrow because I have an amazing cover reveal for you.  Here's a hint!

Fenway and Hattie (Fenway and Hattie, #1)

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday - meet someone new! - 6.09.21

I think picture book biographies are a great way to meet new people!  There are so many stories of people who are new to me.  Here are some new people I've recently "met"!

Grace Banker and Her Hello Girls Answer the Call by Claudia Friddell
Grace Banker and Her Hello Girls Answer the Call: The Heroic Story of WWI Telephone Operators
written by Claudia Friddell
illustrated by Elizabeth Baddeley
I've just recently been reading some books of women codebreakers in the two great wars, but this one focuses on the women who answered the call - the switchboard calls during WWI.  Grace Banker was at the forefront of this, manning the boards and organizing the ladies who took calls from soldiers - during the fight and just trying to make a call - as well as transfer secret codes!  All the while, being in a wartime environment with bombs and explosives going off around her!  
Lots of information is included in the backmatter about the important work Grace and her "Hello Girls" did to help during the War!

Headstrong Hallie! by Aimee Bissonette
Headstrong Hallie! The Story of Hallie Morse Daggett, the First Female "Fire Guard"
written by Aimée Bissonette
illustrated by David Hohn
I really enjoyed meeting Hallie. She was headstrong in that she knew what she wanted and didn't let the word "no" stop her.  She loved the forests that were all around her and it devastated her when forest fires ate up the trees and threatened the wildlife that lived within them.  After years of applying for jobs with the Forest Service, they finally said yes.  She became the first female fire lookout at the Eddy Gulch Lookout Station in California.  It was really interesting to see where she lived, how she lived, and how much she loved this job.

Try It! by Mara Rockliff
Try It! How Frieda Caplan Changed the Way We Eat
written by Mara Rockliff
illustrated by Giselle Potter
Tomatoes, potatoes, apples, bananas.  They have been staples of markets and stores for a long time.  And if it weren't for Frieda Caplan, that may still be our choices!  After working at a market as a bookkeeper, she moved into sales and decided to introduce some new produce.  Kiwis, baby carrots, spaghetti squash, sugar snap peas, and passion fruit might still be relatively unknown if not for Frieda.  In addition to carrying the new produce, she would even give customers ideas for how to use them in recipes!  

A Thousand Glass Flowers by Evan Turk
A Thousand Glass Flowers: Marietta Barovier and the Invention of the Rosetta Bead
by Evan Turk
Had we not had the mighty Marietta who pushed through gender barriers to become a master of glass, we would not have the beautiful and colorful rosetta beads that are often seen in necklaces.  Marietta lived in Italy during the Renaissance when women rarely left the home.  However her father saw her passion and taught her the fine art of glass blowing.  Her brothers and Marietta carried on their father's work after his passing and Marietta became known for her beautiful work.
I really enjoyed the backmatter where Turk includes information about how he tried glass blowing and some of the places he went to recreate the art and get the right feeling for his illustrations.

I hope you met someone new today! I bet you'll have a reader that wants to learn more about one of these amazing women!