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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 books, fiction, and nonfiction for young readers from preschool through age 18. Titles published in 2007 are noted; all others were published in 2008. Titles without grade levels were published as adult books. The selection criteria include significant feminist content, excellence in writing, appealing format for nonfiction, and age appropriateness. Below is a sampling of the titles chosen. For the full list, further discussion, and more information about the project, visit the Amelia Bloomer Web site.
A Girl Named Dan. By Dandi Daley Mackall. Illus. by Renee Graef. Sleeping Bear, $16.95 (9781585363513). Gr. 2–4.
Dandi’s dreams are shattered when the people who awarded the prize for her winning essay on becoming a batboy for the Kansas City A’s baseball team discover that she is a girl and withdraw her prize.
Grace for President. By Kelly DiPucchio. Illus. by LeUyen Pham. Hyperion, $15.99 (9780786839193). K–Gr. 3.
Grace’s bid to be class president becomes a true contest when an opponent—the most popular boy in school—runs against her.
Running Shoes. By Frederick Lipp. Illus. by Jason Gaillard. Charlesbridge, $16.95 (9781580891752). PreS–Gr. 3.
With her new shoes, Sophy runs through the rice fields of Cambodia to the local school, where, as the only girl, she strives to achieve her dream of an education.
That Book Woman. By Heather Henson. Illus. by David Small. Atheneum, $16.99 (9781416908128). PreS–Gr. 3.
In all kinds of weather, “that book woman”—a librarian on horseback—delivers books to a skeptical Cal and his family in the Kentucky mountains during the Depression.
Violet the Pilot. By Steve Breen. Illus. by the author. Dial, $16.99 (9780803731257). PreS–Gr. 2.
Rejected by classmates for her love of science and mechanics, Violet’s wild invention saves the day when others need her help.
What Does Mrs. Claus Do? By Kate Wharton. Illus. by Christian Slade. Tricycle, $15.99 (9781582461649). PreS–Gr. 3.
Though Santa is well known, the actual manager of Claus Enterprises is Mrs. Claus, who can do anything to which she puts her mind and energy.
Ballots for Belva: The True Story of a Woman’s Race for the Presidency. By Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen. Illus. by Courtney A. Martin. Abrams, $16.95 (9780810971103). Gr. 2–5.
During the late 1800s, when only men could vote, Belva Lockwood earned a law degree, successfully argued cases before the Supreme Court, and ran for the office of U.S. president.
Elizabeth Leads the Way: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Right to Vote. By Tanya Lee Stone. Illus. by Rebecca Gibbon. Holt, $16.95 (9780805079036). PreS–Gr. 3.
Seeing the injustice of the limited opportunities of the women around her, Elizabeth Cady Stanton challenged her place in life and fought for her rights and the rights of all women.
Hillary Rodham Clinton: Dreams Taking Flight. By Kathleen Krull. Illus. by Amy June Bates. Simon & Schuster, $16.99 (9781416971290). PreS–Gr. 4.
Hillary Rodham Clinton used her energy, intelligence, and determination to follow her dreams and make a difference in the world around her.
Independent Dames: What You Never Knew About the Women and Girls of the American Revolution. By Laurie Halse Anderson. Illus. by Matt Faulkner. Simon & Schuster, $16.99 (9780689858086). Gr. 1–6.
As spies, cannoneers, poets, and protesters, the Founding Mothers of the American Revolution fought for freedom in their own patriotic ways.
Margaret Chase Smith: A Woman for President. By Lynn Plourde. Illus. by David McPhail. Charlesbridge, $16.95 (9781580892346). Gr. 1–4.
Although lacking a college education, Margaret Chase Smith used her many accomplishments as a congresswoman to support her candidacy for president in 1964.
Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai. By Claire A. Nivola. Illus. by the author. Farrar/Frances Foster, $16.95 (9780374399184). K–Gr. 3.
When she discovered that her native Kenya had lost most of its trees, Wangari Maathai launched a movement to replant them, bringing hope and new resources to the women of the country. A 2009 Notable Children’s Book.
The Secret World of Hildegard. By Jonah Winter. Illus. by Jeanette Winter. 2007. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine, $16.99 (9780439507394). Gr. 2–4.
During the Middle Ages, when most people were illiterate and women were seen as having little value, Hildegard transformed the world around her through her music, her scholarship, her preaching, and her visions of the face of a female God.
That’s Not Fair! / !No es justo! Emma Tenayuca’s Struggle for Justice / La lucha de Emma Tenayuca por la justicia. By Carmen Tafolla and Sharyll Teneyuca. Illus. by Terry Ybáñez. Wings, $17.95 (9780916727338). PreS–Gr. 4.
Growing up surrounded by the injustice migrant workers face, Emma Tenayuca led more than 12,000 pecan shellers in Texas to fight for better wages and living conditions.
Wangari’s Trees of Peace: A True Story from Africa. By Jeanette Winter. Illus. by the author. Harcourt, $17 (9780152065454). PreS–Gr. 3.
Beginning with just nine seedlings, Wangari Maathai, a Kenyan woman who loved her country, fulfilled her dream of bringing peace and prosperity to her land by organizing the women to plant trees.
You Can’t Do That, Amelia! By Kimberly Wagner Klier. Illus. by Kathleen Kemly. Boyds Mills/Calkins Creek, $16.95 (9781590784679). PreS–Gr. 3.
Young Amelia Earhart, who refused to be discouraged by the protests of her family, dreamed of flying airplanes and worked to bring her dreams to life.
Yours for Justice, Ida B. Wells: The Daring Life of a Crusading Journalist. By Philip Dray. Illus. by Stephen Alcorn. Peachtree, $18.95 (9781561454174). Gr. 1–4.
Born into slavery, Ida B. Wells became an educator, author, and renowned civil rights activist who was instrumental in stopping the practice of lynching in the South.
Beneath My Mother’s Feet. By Amjed Qamar. Atheneum, $16.99 (9781416947288). Gr. 5–8.
In contemporary Pakistan, Nazia drops out of school to help provide for her family, sacrificing her dreams and jeopardizing her future.
The Case of the Peculiar Pink Fan. By Nancy Springer. Philomel, $14.99 (9780399247804). Gr. 6–11.
Surviving on her own in Victorian London, Enola Holmes—Sherlock’s younger sister—receives a mysterious pink fan from a friend who needs her help to escape an arranged marriage.
The Hope Chest. By Karen Schwabach. Random, $16.99 (9780375840951). Gr. 4–8.
Eleven-year-old Violet follows her older sister to Nashville, Tennessee, where she works with the suffragists, who are trying to persuade an all-male legislature to ratify the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution, guaranteeing women the right to vote.
Keeping Corner. By Kashmira Sheth. 2007. Hyperion, $15.99 (9780786838592). Gr. 4–9.
Widowed before she has even moved into her husband’s house, 12-year-old child-bride Leela is forced into “keeping corner”—an entire year of confinement and mourning in isolation. Through the visits of her teacher, Leela begins to learn about the outside world, gaining an interest in philosophy, sciences, and the news of Gandhi and the Great War as it affects India in 1918.
The Wild Girls. By Pat Murphy. 2007. Viking, $16.99 (9780670062263). Gr. 6–9.
Joan and Fox (aka Newt and Sarah) write stories that tell the truths of their lives, win a writing contest, and learn that even as girls, their descriptions can open the world not only for themselves but for others.
Fantastic Female Filmmakers. By Suzanne Simoni. Second Story, paper, $10.95 (9781897187364). Gr. 6–up.
From pioneers of the early 1900s through today’s innovators, women filmmakers have broken boundaries to create important stories and explore new filmmaking techniques.
Hypatia: Mathematician, Inventor, and Philosopher. By Sandy Donovan. Compass Point, $25.99 (9780756537609). Gr. 4–up.
Hypatia’s death at the hands of a Christian mob in Alexandria, Egypt, robbed the ancient world of a brilliant philosopher and mathematician, whose theories and discoveries still inform the ways in which we view the world.
Nobel’s Women of Peace. By Michelle Benjamin and Maggie Mooney. Second Story, paper, $10.95 (9781897187388). Gr. 5–8.
In the history of the Nobel Peace Prize, only 12 women have won, from Bertha von Suttner, one of the first peace activists in the twentieth century, to Wangari Maathai, winner of the prize in 2004.
Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire. By Donna Getzinger. Morgan Reynolds, $27.95 (9781599350998). Gr. 5–up.
The fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in 1911 killed 146 people, bringing together the women’s suffrage and labor movements and emphasizing the need for laws guaranteeing worker safety. This title is from the American Workers series.
You’re Amazing: A No-Pressure Guide to Being Your Best Self. By Claire Mysko. Adams Media, paper, $8.95 (9781598697131). Gr. 5–up.
A workbook celebrating girls’ lives presents strategies to deal with the pressure to be perfect, which abounds in today’s society.
Big Fat Manifesto. By Susan Vaught. Bloomsbury, $16.95 (9781599902067). Gr. 8–12.
Senior Jamie Carcaterra, aka “Fat Girl,” uses her high-school newspaper column to expose discrimination against fat people; the controversy that ensues spills over into the community, attracting national attention.
Climbing the Stairs. By Padma Venkatraman. Putnam, $16.99 (9780399247460). Gr. 7–12.
Against the backdrop of India’s independence movement from British rule, Vidya is determined to gain her own independence from her family and continue her education. A 2009 Best Book for Young Adults.
A Curse Dark as Gold. By Elizabeth C. Bunce. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine, $17.99 (9780439895767). Gr. 7–up.
When an eerie stranger offers to spin straw into gold, Charlotte must discover the benefactor’s name and history before the price of his generosity destroys her village. The 2009 William C. Morris Award winner and a 2009 Best Book for Young Adults.
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks. By E. Lockhart. Hyperion, $16.99 (9780786838189). Gr. 6–up.
When Frankie learns that she cannot join the all-male secret society at her exclusive prep school, she takes matters into her own hands. A 2009 Printz Honor Book and a 2009 Best Book for Young Adults.
Girl Overboard. By Justina Chen Headley. Little, Brown, $16.99 (9780316011303). Gr. 8–12.
After a debilitating accident derails her professional snowboarding dreams and costs her the only place she feels she can be herself, 16-year-old Syrah Cheng must reexamine who she is and where she wants to go.
Girlwood. By Claire Dean. Houghton, $16 (9780618883905). Gr. 6–12.
In this tale of ecology and magic, Polly Green tries to save her family and the wilderness she loves.
Graceling. By Kristin Cashore. Harcourt, $17 (9780152063962). Gr. 8–up.
The Lady Katsa’s Grace, identified early in her life, makes her a highly trained killing machine, but secretly she works to right wrongs and protect those in need. A 2009 Best Book for Young Adults.
The Hunger Games. By Suzanne Collins. Scholastic, $17.99 (9780439023481). Gr. 7–up.
When her little sister loses the lottery and becomes the tribute for the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death shown on government-sponsored reality television, 16-year-old hunter Katniss Everdeen volunteers to take her place, and challenges the system in the process. A 2009 Best Book for Young Adults and a 2009 Notable Children’s Book.
The Kayla Chronicles. By Sherri Winston. Little, Brown, $16.99 (9780316114301). Gr. 7–11.
Kayla and Rosalie’s plan to expose the sexist selection process for their high-school dance squad backfires when Kayla makes the team.
Living Dead Girl. By Elizabeth Scott. Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse, $16.99 (9781416960591). Gr. 10–up.
Kidnapped as a young child, and sexually and emotionally tortured for years, a girl who has lost everything—even her name—must find the inner strength not only to save herself but also to end the cycle of abuse and torture before the man who kidnapped her captures another girl. A 2009 Best Book for Young Adults.
The Shadow Speaker. By Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu. 2007. Hyperion/Jump at the Sun, $16.99 (9781423100331). Gr. 7–up.
Following the detonation of the peace bomb, worldwide civilizations collapsed. In sub-Saharan Africa, Ejii comes of age in a village where women have no value and no rights. With the example of a wandering woman warrior, Ejii works to claim her powers and uses her new abilities to prevent war between the peoples of the different worlds.
White Sands, Red Menace. By Ellen Klages. Viking, $16.99 (9780670062355). Gr. 5–10.
Just when Dewey Kerrigan is settling into a new life in Alamogordo with the Gordons, conflicts in the family over women’s limited career choices and involvement in the atomic-bomb control movement, as well as the arrival of Dewey’s long-lost mother, threaten Dewey’s dream of attending college.
Abortion & Life. By Jennifer Baumgardner. Akashic, paper, $16.95 (9781933354590). Gr. 9–up.
Fifteen women who made the choice to have abortions discuss their lives and the thorny issues surrounding the termination of pregnancies.
Astonishing Women Artists. By Heather Ball. 2007. Second Story, paper, $10.95 (9781897187234). Gr. 7–10.
These trailblazers overcame obstacles and took control of their own lives and art to share their unique visions and inspire others.
Belva Lockwood: Equal Rights Pioneer. By Jill Norgren. Twenty-First Century, $31.93 (9780822590682). Gr. 7–12.
Long before women were able to vote, Belva Lockwood became the first women to practice law and argue before the Supreme Court before she ran for the office of U.S. president on the Equal Rights Party ticket in 1884. This book is from the Trailblazer Biography Series.
Body Drama: Real Girls, Real Bodies, Real Issues, Real Answers. By Nancy Amanda Redd. Illus. by Kelly Kline. 2007. Gotham, paper, $20 (9781592403264). Gr. 7–up.
This maintenance manual for girls’ bodies provides answers for many of the questions teenage girls have, including what is “normal” and how to look and feel your best. A 2009 Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers.
A Dangerous Woman: The Graphic Biography of Emma Goldman. By Sharon Rudahl. Illus. by the author. 2007. New Press, paper, $17.95 (9781595580641). Gr. 10–up.
Explore the life and loves of labor activist and free-love advocate Emma Goldman as told in comic-book format.
GirlSpoken: From Pen, Brush, and Tongue. Ed. by Jessica Hein and others. Second Story, paper, $18.95 (9781897187302). Gr. 7–12.
Share the challenges and celebrations of being a girl in today’s world through this collection of artwork, stories, and poetry.
The Great Swim. By Gavin Mortimer. Walker, $24.95 (9780802715951). Gr. 10–up.
In 1926 four female American swimmers faced both physical and mental challenges in the contest to be the first woman to swim the English Channel.
Her Story: A Timeline of the Women Who Changed America. By Charlotte S. Waisman and Jill S. Tietjen. HarperCollins, $29.95 (9780061246517).
This time line illuminates the ways in which hundreds of women changed America through their often-unrecognized contributions in science, education, arts, politics, and social activism, from the 1500s to the present.
He’s a Stud, She’s a Slut and 49 Other Double Standards Every Woman Should Know. By Jessica Valenti. Seal, paper, $13.95 (9781580052450). Gr. 9–12.
This catalogue of the 50 most common double standards that women deal with daily includes tips and solutions about how to respond to them and challenge underlying sexist perceptions.
Images and Issues of Women in the Twentieth Century. By Catherine Gourley. illus. Lerner/Twenty-First Century. Individual titles, $38.60. Gr. 6–up.
This engaging series traces the political and cultural roles of women throughout the twentieth century, including media representations, landmark accomplishments, and social movements. The five-volume series includes Gibson Girls and Suffragists: Perceptions of Women from 1900 to 1918; Flappers and the New American Woman: Perceptions of Women from 1918 through the 1920s; Rosie and Mrs. America: Perceptions of Women in the 1930s and 1940s; Gidgets and Women Warriors: Perceptions of Women in the 1950s and 1960s; and Ms. and the Material Girls: Perceptions of Women from the 1970s through the 1990s.
Inside Out: Portrait of an Eating Disorder. By Nadia Shivack. Illus. by the author. 2007. Atheneum, $17.99 (9780689852169). Gr. 9–up.
While hospitalized for treatment of bulimia, Shivack uses an illustrated journal to document her battle with Ed, her eating disorder.
Pressure Is a Privilege: Lessons I’ve Learned from Life and the Battle of the Sexes. By Billie Jean King and Christine Brennan. Life Time Media, $19.95 (9780981636801). Gr. 8–up.
Tennis great Billie Jean King writes about her victory in the 1973 Battle of the Sexes, shares strategies of putting her beliefs into action, and gives tips and advice for the next generation.
Rape at College: How to Help a Friend. By Gillian Greensite. Teal Ribbon, paper, $2.99 (9780979270130). Gr. 10–up.
Rape, a crime that crosses gender and age boundaries, can happen to anyone, and everyone—especially students—needs to know how to help when someone he or she knows becomes a victim.
Rock ’n’ Roll Camp for Girls: How to Start a Band, Write Songs, Record an Album, and Rock Out! Edited by Marisa Anderson. Illus. by Nicole Georges and others. Chronicle, paper, $14.95 (9780811852227). Gr. 8–up.
Learn the nuts, bolts, and business of creating a rock band—an introduction especially for girls who want to push the boundaries—and play some awesome rock ’n’ roll!
The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba’s Struggle for Freedom. By Margarita Engle. Holt, $16.95 (9780805086744). Gr. 7–up.
Through three wars for Cuban independence, Rosa, called a witch by her enemies, heals sickness with herbal medicines and helps all, regardless of race or nationality. A 2009 Newbery Honor Book, the 2009 Pura Belpré Author Award Book, a 2009 Notable Children’s Book, and a 2009 Best Book for Young Adults.
Women Astronomers: Reaching for the Stars. By Mabel Armstrong. illus. Stone Pine, $16.95 (9780972892957). Gr. 5–up.
From Babylonian priestess En Heduanna to Sally Ride and Carolyn Shoemaker, women astronomers faced obstacles and prejudices, as this title in the Discovering Women in Science series shows.
Women of Courage: Intimate Stories from Afghanistan. By Katherine Kiviat and Scott Heidler. 2007. Gibbs-Smith, $19.95 (9781423602538). Gr. 8–up.
Portraits and intimate interviews of Afghani women show the courage required for them to survive—and possibly thrive—in the sexist culture of their war-torn country.
Committee members: Jane Cothron, cochair, Lincoln County Library District (OR); Christie Gibrich, cochair, Bowles Life Center Branch Library (TX); Beth Bolshewsky, San Marino Unified School District (CA); Francesca Burgess, Brooklyn Public Library (NY); Dana Campbell, Corvallis-Benton County Public Library (OR); Maureen McCoy, Brooklyn Public Library (NY); Angela Semifero, Marshall District Library (MI); Barbara Ward, Washington State University (WA); Laurene Zaporozhetz, Murry State University (KY).
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