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Find more Amelia Bloomer List
Each year the Amelia Bloomer Project, sponsored by the Feminist Task Force of the Social Responsibilities Round Table of ALA, selects a list of recommended feminist fiction and nonfiction for young readers from preschool through age 18. The criteria include feminist content, quality of writing, and appeal to young readers. Titles published in 2008 are noted; all others were published in 2009. Titles without grade levels were published as adult books. For further discussion and more information about the project, visit the Amelia Bloomer Web site.
Bea Rocks the Flock. By Victoria Jamieson. Illus. by the author. Bloomsbury, $16.99 (9781599902609). PreS–K.
Needing to express her “ewe-niqueness,” Bea leaves the flock and strikes out on her own, returning to inspire her flock to rock.
A Book. By Mordicai Gerstein. Illus. by the author. Roaring Brook, $16.95 (9781596432512). K–Gr. 3.
A young girl sets out to discover her own story: it’s neither a nursery rhyme nor a fairy tale, but what is it?
Imogene’s Last Stand. By Candace Fleming. Illus. by Nancy Carpenter. Random/Schwartz & Wade, $16.99 (9780375836077). K–Gr. 2.
When her local historical society building is scheduled for demolition, Imogene takes dramatic action to mobilize the townspeople to save the building and preserve the history of their town.
Louise, the Adventures of a Chicken. By Kate DiCamillo. Illus. by Harry Bliss. 2008. HarperCollins/Joanna Cotler, $17.99 (9780060755546). PreS–Gr. 2.
Louise, a courageous hen longing for adventure, leaves her home to sail the high seas, joins the circus, and saves herself and others along the way.
My Name Is Not Isabella. By Jennifer Fosberry. Illus. by Mike Litwin. 2008. Monkey Barrel, $19.99 (9780980200072). K–Gr. 2.
In the course of an ordinary day, Isabella imagines herself in the roles of extraordinary women such as Sally Ride, Rosa Parks, Annie Oakley, and others.
Sparrow Girl. By Sara Pennypacker. Illus. by Yoko Tanaka. Hyperion, $16.99 (9781423111870). K–Gr. 3.
When Mao Tse-tung orders Chinese farmers to kill sparrows to increase the wheat crop, Ming-Li rescues a few of the frightened birds, releasing them when the locusts come to eat the crops and saving the village from famine.
Tough Chicks. By Cece Meng. Illus. by Melissa Suber. Clarion, $16 (9780618824151). PreS–Gr. 2.
Tough chicks Molly, Polly, and Peep wrestle worms, rope roosters, work on tractor engines, and love mud. Watch out—peep, peep, zoom, zip, cheep!
Amelia Earhart: The Legend of the Lost Aviator. By Shelley Tanaka. Illus. by David Craig. 2008. Abrams, $18.95 (9780810970953). Gr. 1–4.
Forever searching for the next adventure, Amelia Earhart took to the skies and captured America’s heart, imagination, and curiosity.
The Daring Miss Quimby. By Suzanne George Whitaker. Illus. by Catherine Stock. Holiday, $16.95 (9780823419968). Gr. 1–4.
Harriet Quimby blazed a trail for future women fliers and astronauts when she became the first woman to get her pilot’s license and the first woman to fly across the English Channel.
Eleanor, Quiet No More. By Doreen Rappaport. Illus. by Gary Kelley. Hyperion, $16.99 (9780786851416). Gr. 2–5.
In this picture-biography, stunning illustrations combine with Eleanor Roosevelt’s own words to bring to life a woman who overcame a lonely childhood to become one of the world’s most beloved and effective humanitarians.
Mermaid Queen: The Spectacular True Story of Annette Kellerman, Who Swam Her Way to Fame, Fortune, and Swimsuit History. By Shana Corey. Illus. by Edwin Fotheringham. Scholastic, $17.99 (9780439698351). Gr. 2–5.
In the late 1800s, Australian swimmer Annette Kellerman splashed and made waves while breaking down gender barriers and showing exactly what girls could do in the water.
Nasreen’s Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan. By Jeanette Winter. Illus. by the author. Simon & Schuster, $16.99 (9781416994374). Gr. 2–4.
In war-torn Afghanistan, a secret school brings girls together to gain an education forbidden them by the Taliban government.
Rachel Carson: Fighting Pesticides and Other Chemical Pollutants. By Patricia Lantier. illus. Crabtree, $29.27 (9780778746638). Gr. 2–5.
Through her books and articles, naturalist-author Rachel Carson introduced the science of the natural world to the general public and exposed the threat of DDT and other pesticides, bringing the ecology movement into being.
Sky High: The True Story of Maggie Gee. By Marissa Moss. Illus. by Carl Angel. Tricycle, $16.99 (9781582462806). Gr. 1–4.
Maggie Gee’s dream of being a pilot comes true when she becomes one of two Chinese American women to join the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots during WWII.
The Case of the Cryptic Crinoline. By Nancy Springer. Philomel, $14.99 (9780399247811). Gr. 4–7.
When her landlady is kidnapped, Enola Holmes takes the case only to learn that the kidnappers have mistaken Mrs. Tuppet for one of Florence Nightingale’s spy birds. Enola must enlist the help of the famous nurse/spy in order to effect a rescue while avoiding her brother Sherlock, who wishes to send her to finishing school.
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate. By Jacqueline Kelly. Holt, $16.95 (9780805088410). Gr. 4–7.
At the end of the nineteenth century, Calpurnia Tate, the only girl in her large East Texas family, discovers science, Darwin, and evolution, winning the support of her naturalist grandfather in her rebellion against her destiny as a proper young lady.
The Extra-Ordinary Princess. By Carolyn Q. Ebbitt. Bloomsbury, $16.99 (9781599903408). Gr. 5–8.
Princess Amelia has always felt entirely ordinary compared with her talented older sisters, but when her parents die of plague and an evil sorcerer transforms her sisters, this lowly fourth daughter takes the lead to free her siblings and save the kingdom.
The Girl Who Threw Butterflies. By Mick Cochrane. Knopf, $16.99 (9780375856822). Gr. 5–8.
For Molly, baseball helps her feel close to her dead father, but only boys play on the school baseball team. Is she good enough to play? And what will her friends say if she makes the team?
Rapunzel’s Revenge. By Shannon Hale and Dean Hale. Illus. by Nathan Hale. 2008. Bloomsbury, $18.99 (9781599900704). Gr. 5–8.
No longer merely a passive fairy-tale heroine, Rapunzel escapes her towering prison using only her long red braids. Accompanied by a young man named Jack and his pet goose, she heads out on a swashbuckling Wild West adventure to defeat the witch and free the downtrodden.
The Shepherd’s Granddaughter. By Anne Laurel Carter. 2008. Groundwood, $17.95 (9780888999023). Gr. 5–8.
Amani defies family tradition and cultural expectations to become a shepherd, but when Israeli settlers threaten to take over her family’s land, she must choose between violent reaction and peaceful resistance.
Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream. By Tanya Lee Stone. illus. Candlewick, $24.99 (9780763636111). Gr. 5–8.
Women pilots saw an opportunity to serve their country when the U.S. joined the space race, but despite proving themselves superior to the male candidates in many ways, the “Mercury 13” were never allowed to participate in the space program.
Bylines: A Photobiography of Nellie Bly. By Sue Macy. illus. National Geographic, $28.90 (9781426305146). Gr. 5–8.
Dateline: The late 1800s . . . Fearless woman reporter Nellie Bly cracks open the male-dominated field of journalism with her astute articles, scandalous exposés, and record-breaking trip around the world.
Claudette Colvin: Twice toward Justice. By Phillip Hoose. illus. Farrar/Melanie Kroupa, $19.95 (9780374313227). Gr. 6–up.
Nine months before Rosa Parks’ stand for equality, 15-year-old Claudette Colvin refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus to a white passenger. The unexpected consequences of her decision to take a stand against the injustice of segregation and her perseverance make her an unsung heroine in the civil rights movement.
I’ll Pass for Your Comrade: Women Soldiers in the Civil War. By Anita Silvey. 2008. illus. Clarion, $17 (9780618574919). Gr. 5–8.
Amazing photographs and contemporary accounts commemorate the bravery of women soldiers in both the Union and Confederate forces during the Civil War.
Profiles in Mathematics: Women Mathematicians. By Padma Venkatraman. 2008. illus. Morgan Reynolds, $28.95 (9781599350912). Gr. 4–6.
Between the early 1700s and the mid-1930s, often when women expected to receive only a minimal education, six fascinating women transformed the field of mathematics, paving the way for women mathematicians and scientists of the future.
Sophie Germain. By Stephen Ornes. 2008. illus. Morgan Reynolds, $28.95 (9781599350622). Gr. 4–6.
Sophie Germain changed the course of mathematics and scientific thinking in the early 1880s through her insight, intellect, and unflagging determination regardless of opposition and ridicule.
Susan B. Anthony: Activist. By Anne M. Todd. illus. Chelsea House, $30 (9781604130874). Gr. 4–6.
A tireless worker, Susan B. Anthony strove to achieve equality under the law for women and African Americans.
Sweethearts of Rhythm: The Story of the Greatest All-Girl Swing Band in the World. By Marilyn Nelson. Illus. by Jerry Pinkney. Dial, $21.99 (9780803731875). Gr. 4–up.
Connected through their passion for music, the all-girl African American swing band laid down a rhythm that overcame sexism and racism to swing the hearts and tap the toes of those who heard them.
Because I Am Furniture. By Thalia Chaltas. Viking, $16.99 (9780670062980). Gr. 9–12.
Anke’s family is terrorized into silence by their father’s sexual and emotional abuses. Can she find the courage to speak out and save them all?
Bloodhound. By Tamora Pierce. Random, $18.99 (9780375814693). Gr. 7–up.
Beka Cooper, now a full-fledged Dog in the Provost’s Guard, teams with her seasoned partner, Clary, to uncover a counterfeiting ring that threatens to bring down the kingdom.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer, v.3: Wolves at the Gate. By Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon. Illus. by Georges Jeanty and Jo Chen. 2008. Dark Horse, $15.95 (9781595821652). Gr. 9–up.
Lured to Japan, Buffy and her sisterhood of newly activated slayers, along with old and new allies, face off against a group of shape-shifting vampires threatening to take over the world.
The Chosen One. By Carol Lynch Williams. St. Martin’s/Griffin, $16.95 (9780312555115). Gr. 8–up.
In an isolated polygamist community, 14-year-old Kyra must choose between love for her family and her desire for freedom when she is chosen to be the seventh wife of Prophet Childs, her father’s 60-year-old brother.
Crossing Stones. By Helen Frost. Farrar/Frances Foster, $16.99 (9780374316532). Gr. 6–10.
In a small farming community in the tumultuous year of 1917, the Great War and the influenza epidemic complicate Muriel’s life. On a trip to Washington, DC, to care for her suffragist aunt Vera, recently released from prison and weak from a hunger strike, Muriel discovers what she wants to do with her life.
Eon: Dragoneye Reborn. By Alison Goodman. 2008. Viking, $19.99 (9780670062270). Gr. 8–up.
Disguised as a boy in a world ruled by male Dragoneyes, Eon must embrace her true identity before she can gain the power to stop a despot from destroying her country and the entire balance of magic.
The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For. By Alison Bechdel. 2008. illus. Houghton, $25 (9780618968800).
Challenge, wonder, love, and live with the women of Madwimmin Books as they find their way through everyday life.
Flygirl. By Sherri L. Smith. Putnam, $16.99 (9780399247095). Gr. 6–10.
In the Jim Crow South, Ida Mae Jones joins the Women’s Airforce Service Pilot Program, hiding behind her light skin and “good hair” to pass as a white woman, gaining her pilot’s license, and making her own contribution to the war effort.
The Help. By Kathryn Stockett. Putnam/Amy Einhorn, $24.95 (9780399155345).
In the 1950s South, black women are trusted to raise white children but are never allowed to forget their place. In an act of courage and desperation, three women—two black and one white—come together to fight the racism and sexism deeply embedded in their small Mississippi town.
In a Gilded Cage. By Rhys Bowen. St. Martin’s/Minotaur, $24.95 (9780312385347).
Private investigator Molly Murphy becomes involved with the women’s suffrage movement while balancing her attraction to New York City police captain Daniel Sullivan with the knowledge that marriage may well mean the end of both her freedom and her own business.
Mare’s War. By Tanita S. Davis. Knopf, $16.99 (9780375857140). Gr. 7–10.
Forced to join their grandmother on a cross-country journey, Tali and Octavia become absorbed in her life story. From a childhood of domestic service and fighting to protect herself and her sister from her mother’s boyfriend to enlisting as a member of the African American 6888th Battalion of the Women’s Army Corp in WWII, Mare’s stories help the sisters understand the importance of finding your own way.
The Orange Houses. By Paul Griffin. Dial, $16.99 (9780803733466). Gr. 10–12.
In the housing projects of New York, three outsiders form unlikely friendships to face the harsh and violent world around them, struggling to save themselves and each other.
Secret Keeper. By Mitali Perkins. Delacorte, $16.99 (9780385733403). Gr. 7–10.
Amid the social and political turmoil of 1970s India, traditional views and familial expectations threaten Asha’s dreams of attending university and pursuing a career.
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. By Alan Bradley. Delacorte, $23 (9780385342308).
Eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce spends her time studying chemistry, creating poisons, and spying on her family and neighbors. When a dead snipe with a postage stamp clutched in its beak appears just before Flavia discovers a man dying in the kitchen garden, she uses her skills to solve the mystery and save her family.
This Full House. By Virginia Euwer Wolff. HarperCollins, $17.99 (9780061583049). Gr. 8–12.
Hit with new discoveries that turn her world and her friendships upside-down, LaVaughn must decide whether to risk her place in the Women in Science program and her chance at college to do the right thing.
Wintergirls. By Laurie Halse Anderson. Viking, $17.99 (9780670011100). Gr. 9–12.
Once friends, Lia and Cassie become the wintergirls, locked in a contest to see who can be skinniest, but Cassie is dead and Lia did not pick up her calls the night she died. Will Lia continue the contest or are there other choices for her?
Zoe’s Tale. By John Scalzi. 2008. Tor, $24.95 (9780765316981).
When Zoe joins her parents to lead the new space colony of Roanoke, she finds herself stranded on a deadly pioneer world where who she is and the choices she makes are central not only to her family’s and the colony’s survival but also to preserving intergalactic peace.
Cleavage: Breakaway Fiction for Real Girls. Ed. by Deb Loughead and Jocelyn Shipley. Sumach, paper, $12.95 (9781894549769). Gr. 8–12.
In these 15 short stories, teenage girls’ relationships with their mothers and with their changing bodies each give a new take on the meaning of “cleavage.”
Equal: Women Reshape American Law. By Fred Strebeigh. Norton, $35 (9780393065558).
Stories of lawyers, litigants, and judges bring to life the people and issues behind the major legal cases affirming women’s constitutional rights to equality, making most discrimination on the basis of sex illegal under U.S. law.
The Girls’ Guide to Rocking: How to Start a Band, Book Gigs, and Get Rolling to Rock Stardom. By Jessica Hopper. illus. Workman, paper, $13.95 (9780761151418). Gr. 7–up.
Everything a girl musician needs to know, from shopping for an instrument and learning to play to putting together a band, dealing with the music industry, and recording a demo, with sidebars featuring famous female musicians and a detailed time line of women in rock.
Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide. By Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. illus. Knopf, $25.95 (9780307267146).
Sexism in the developing world devalues girls and women through rape, culturally sanctioned violence, sex trafficking, forced prostitution, inadequate health care, and lack of education. Interviews with women from around the world highlight their courage and determination to overcome this oppression, showing that the economic emancipation of women in the developing world is crucial to ending poverty.
The Lonely Soldier: The Private War of Women Serving in Iraq. By Helen Benedict. Beacon, $25.95 (9780807061473).
Although more women than ever before are serving in the U.S. military in the war in Iraq, the most horrifying attacks they face may be from soldiers in their own units. Candid interviews with active and retired female soldiers document widespread incidents of rape, harassment, abuse, and discrimination.
The Road of Lost Innocence. By Somaly Mam. 2008. Spiegel & Grau, $22.95 (9780385526210).
Sold as a child-slave into the brutal life of a Cambodian brothel, Somaly Mam escaped to create an organization that rescues other girls from prostitution in Southeast Asia.
The Supergirls: Fashion, Feminism, Fantasy, and the History of Comic Book Heroines. By Mike Madrid. illus. Exterminating Angel, paper, $16.95 (9781935259039).
From the superheroines of today to the goddesses of tomorrow, Madrid questions the position of women in the world of superhero fantasy, showing the parallels between society’s expectations and the depiction of American women in comic fiction.
Women and the Civil War. By Louise Chipley Slavicek. illus. Chelsea House, $35 (9781604130409). Gr. 6–9.
Some fought for country, some sought adventure, and some couldn’t bear to part with husbands or sweethearts. No matter the reason, women from both the North and South took part in the Civil War as scouts, soldiers, nurses, and spies.
Women Making America. By Heidi Hemming and Julie Hemming Savage. illus. Clotho, $45.95 (9780982127100).
The untold history of women’s work throughout the history of the U.S. includes stories of doctors, lawyers, stagecoach drivers, Apache warriors, and outlaws—women of all races and classes—along with photos, graphics, and pop culture. If you’ve ever wondered what wasn’t included in your U.S. history classes, this book is for you.
Yes Means Yes! Visions of Female Sexual Power and a World without Rape. By Jaclyn Friedman and Jessica Valenti. Seal, paper, $15.95 (9781580052573).
Twenty-seven essays present a proactive look at feminism, sex, and learning to love oneself before saying yes to someone else.
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