Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Women's History Month, part 2 - 3.09.22

It's Women's History Month!  What stories are you sharing with readers?
Last week I shared the book Breaking Through the Clouds which features the first woman meteorologist, Joanne Simpson.  It's a great book to share this month.  Here are 5 more picture book biographies featuring some amazing women in history.

Revolutionary Prudence Wright: Leading the Minute Women in the Fight for Independence
Revolutionary Prudence Wright: 
Leading the Minute Women in the Fight for Independence
written by Beth Anderson
illustrated by Susan Reagan
A story I had not heard and I absolutely stood up and cheered for this brave woman!  Talk about cheering on a mighty woman, everyone needs to hear the story of Prudence Wright.  A woman who helped on all fronts - by doing work that was expected of a woman during the time of the Revolutionary War and rising up and doing whatever was needed - whether it was considered gender appropriate or not - to help fight for the independence our country needed.
Great research information in the backmatter.  Don't miss it.

To the Front! by Claudia Friddell
To the Front! Clara Barton  Braves the Battle of Antietam
written by Claudia Friddell
illustrated by Christopher Cyr
I've read books about Clara Barton, but I think most of them focus on her starting the American Red Cross.  This particular book focuses on how she helped the wounded at the Battle of Antietam during the Civil War.
Something that stands out about this book is how it was written.  Friddell writes half of the narrative in repetitive lines poetry.  The other half is Barton's own words.  Friddell tells us at the beginning that Barton's own words are written in specific colors and are italicized.  This is important because so many picture book biographies that have spoken lines that are fabricated or imagined, which really makes the book historical fiction.
Backmatter that gives even more information about the life of Barton.

Ida B. Wells, Voice of Truth: Educator, Feminist, and Anti-Lynching Civil Rights Leader
Ida B. Wells, Voice of Truth
written by Michelle Duster
illustrated by Laura Freeman
I was fortunate to listen to author Michelle Duster talk about her great-grandmother, Ida B. Wells.  This story is a fantastic picture book biography that shows the reader that there are many ways to use your voice to affect change.  Ida B. Wells used spoken word and written word.  She also acted and always tried to create change for equality for all.

Nellie vs. Elizabeth: Two Daredevil Journalists' Breakneck Race Around the World
Nellie vs. Elizabeth: Two Daredevil Journalists' Breakneck Race Around the World
written by Kate Hannigan
illustrated by Rebecca Gibbon
I am sure I've heard this story before but it played out with more suspense in this fun picture book!  I loved how Hannigan really laid out the difference in the two women's personalities and how they took on this race.  It's a great compare and contrast story!

Because Claudette
Because Claudette
written by Tracey Baptiste
illustrated by Tonya Engel
When we think about the bus boycott in Montgomery, AL, we usually think about Rosa Parks.  However, before Rosa refused to give up her seat, there were others who did it first, including Claudette Colvin, who was only 15 years old.  Ms. Colvin, as young as she was, ended up having a big part of the boycott.  Not only did she help it begin, but she participated in it, and even participated in court proceedings about it.  
I really liked the cause-effect structure of this book.

When the Schools Shut Down: A Young Girl's Story of Virginia's Lost Generation and the Brown V. Board of Education of Topeka Decision
When the Schools Shut Down:
A Young Girl's Story of Virginia's "Lost Generation" and the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka Decision
written by Yolanda Gladden, as told to Dr. Tamara Pizzoli
illustrated by Keisha Morris
This is Yolanda Gladden's account of her family's history that leads up to the Brown v. Board of Education decision and how it ended up affecting her once she was school-aged.  For five years, the public schools in her county, Prince Edward County in Virginia, closed down rather than integrate the schools.  Yolanda continued learning in church basements, people's homes, and other community-created Black schools.  Finally, the Supreme Court determined the shutdown was unconstitutional and ordered all schools to reopen.

All of these picture book biographies would be perfect to use this month!  

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