- ISBN-13: 9780375811227
- ISBN-10: 0375811222
- Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
- Publish Date: February 2002
- Page Count: 240
- Reading Level: Ages 8-12
- Dimensions: 9.04 x 7.14 x 0.73 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.93 pounds
Writing women into history
Much has been written about the conspicuous absence of women in accounts of modern history. March - Women's History Month - is the time to rectify the situation and celebrate the achievements of females around the globe. Three recently published books for children will help fill in some of the gaps in their (and our) knowledge of women's contributions to the world.
Catherine Thimmesh and Melissa Sweet, authors of last year's wonderful Girls Think of Everything, have teamed up again for The Sky's the Limit: Stories of Discovery by Women and Girls (Houghton Mifflin, $16, 80 pages, ISBN 0618076980). Thimmesh's storytelling style, peppered with Sweet's mixed-media collages, bring history and science to life in a way that only the best nonfiction books can. Many of the illustrations resemble those found in scientific observation journals. One can imagine what Jane Goodall's loving notebooks might have included, and Sweet's version of them is a delight. From Vera Rubin, the astronomer who discovered the existence of dark matter in space, to archaeologist Mary Anning to fossil hunter Sue Hendrickson, Thimmesh celebrates the power of curiosity and perseverance. An informative timeline is included that could serve as a jumping-off point for further research.
For added inspiration, the book's final chapter looks at the achievements of girls in science. Thimmesh highlights the work of 10 young girls who have posed questions, investigated problems and made remarkable discoveries. Maybe one of your daughter's science fair projects will lead to a life of discovery . . . or a cure for a societal ill. Surely these young scientists will inspire other girls! (For ages 9-14)
The Girl Scouts of the USA - which is celebrating its 90th anniversary this month - has teamed up with documentary filmmaker Carolyn Jones for a different kind of book for girls. Inspirational, easy-to-read and beautifully designed, Every Girl Tells a Story (Simon & Schuster, $21.95, 132 pages, ISBN 0689848722) is a gift book that will do more than look pretty on a coffee table. The 60 pieces included in the book are moving, inspirational stories of modern teenage girls. Told in their own voices, each selection highlights young women who have "done something achievable." The stories range from a girl who dreams of setting up a hospital in her father's native Iran to a high school student who is caregiver to both her mother and father. Some of these young women have started remarkable volunteer programs, and others have overcome learning disabilities, illness and family tragedy.
Sensitively photographed by Jones, the girls are pictured in clothing of their own choosing. They are Everygirl - the young women we see at high schools around the country. Their words are passionate without being cloying, heartfelt without being manipulative. In a year when we have all looked for heroes, this lovely book gives us 60 unexpected ones. (For all ages)
Tonya Bolden has edited another accessible book in her 33 Things Series, 33 Things Every Girl Should Know About Women's History: From Suffragettes to Skirt Lengths to the E.R.A.. Backwards and forwards, this is an intriguing book. Flip to the final section to learn about the contributing writers - poets, first ladies, authors, historians, librarians and professors, each of whom has given of her time to write about some part of the larger picture of women's history. And the pieces themselves serve as a reminder of the amazing history of activism that women of all races and religions and social classes can claim.
The entries in the book roughly follow the chronological history of women in America, from Abigail Adams' impassioned plea to "Remember the Ladies" to Natasha Tarpley's look at Anglo-American, Cherokee and African-American women during westward expansion. Some of the entries are lists - lists of big events, famous feminists and books about women. The resources this book contains could keep an inquisitive learner researching for a long time!
And that brings the circle to a close. A curious reader will be drawn to these three volumes, which commemorate brave, persevering women of all ages. Whether you're a girl, a boy or even an adult, these books will pique your curiosity about women's history. Each would be a welcome addition to any library.