Biographies about Women
for Women’s History Month
March is Women’s History Month. Here are biographies about some women who were important throughout history.
BOOKS ABOUT SEVERAL WOMEN
by Cheryl Harness
This book clearly shows the important influence women have had on American history. This would be a great book to start with in order to find women you’d like to know more about.
by Kathleen Krull, illustrated by Kathryn Hewitt
Twenty women from around the world are covered, each with 3 to 5 pages of text. Familiar names include Joan of Arc, Harriet Tubman, and Eleanor Roosevelt. Less familiar names include Nzingha (West African queen), Tz’u-his (Empress of China), and Aung San Suu Kyi (leader in Burma).
by Catherine Thimmesh, illustrated by Melissa Sweet
Windshield wipers, Scotchgard, paper bags, glow-in-the-dark paper—all invented by women. In fact, the last one was invented by a 10-year-old! There are 12 inventions covered, plus lots more listed on the end papers. The last pages encourage inventors with patent information, contests, and further reading suggestions.
BOOKS ABOUT ONE WOMAN
by Cheryl Harness, illustrated by Carlo Molinari
Mary Walker did lots of things few women were doing in the 1800s. She wore pants. She campaigned of equal civil rights for men and women and opposed slavery. She became a doctor. After much persistence, she became a doctor in the U.S. Army during the Civil War. I am glad to know about this woman.
by Andrea Davis Pinkney and Brian Pinkney
Sojourner Truth could not read or write but she could speak the truth and helped lead the struggle against injustice. As always, this team has written an amazing book. The text and illustrations sing and dance off the pages.
by Jen Cullerton Johnson, illustrated by Sonia Lynn Sadler
I have long admired Wangari Maathai. Winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004, she fought for the rights of Kenyan women and to save the environment of Kenya. She was sent to prison, but still she fought and went on to create the Green Belt Movement, which planted trees all over Kenya. The illustrations are outstanding.
by Tanya Lee Stone, illustrated by Marjorie Priceman
In 1849, Elizabeth Blackwell became the first woman doctor in America. This book tells her early story: being encouraged by a family friend, much opposition, rejections from medical schools, medical school, and graduation. The text and illustrations move the story along quickly and do it well.
by Michelle Markel, illustrated by Melissa Sweet
Clara Lemlich and her family came to the US in the early 1900s. Right away, Clara started working in a factory where she sewed dresses. Clara knew the horrible working conditions were wrong. She began to encourage her coworkers to strike. In the end, she led tens of thousands of women to strike. By the time the strike is over many bosses shorten the work week and give the women raises.
by Barb Rosenstock, illustrated by Scott Dawson
In the 1940s and 50s, many women didn’t drive, much less race cars for a living. But Louise Smith did just that. In fact, she became the first woman elected to the International Motorsports Hall of Fame The illustrations are exciting and really add to this fast-paced story.
by Jan Pinborough, illustrated by Debby Atwell
In the late 1800s, most public libraries did not have a room for children. In fact many libraries didn’t allow children in. Anne Carroll Moore worked to change all that.
by Erica Silverman, illustrated by Stacey Schuett
When Emma Lazarus was born in 1849, most people thought women shouldn’t think too much. But fortunately, this did not stop her. When Emma became a well-known poet, she used her fame to help the poor immigrants who came into New York City. She also wrote a poem about the Statue of Liberty when it first came to the US. This poem helped raise money to buy a pedestal, so the statue could be placed in New York Harbor to welcome immigrants.
This is just a start—I know I left out many important women. Please add women you consider important to the Comments box!