Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Girls Rule!

I didn't originally plan on posting about NF books that promote strong women, but the topic has been on my mind a lot lately. Strong women and girls rule because:
a) My daughter, who is also my first born, turns 16 years old this week. I am proud to say that she won "Most Strong-Willed" award in her kindergarten class. I think they created the award just for her. She's somewhat shy and reserved BUT she definitely knows her mind.
b) At this point in our historic Presidential race, I still have no idea who I'm voting for. If there is a small chance that the US support of a woman Presidential candidate would make a difference in other countries where women have little or no rights, then I'm in full support of a woman President.
c) I am a woman.
d) With all the negative influences in the media (from rap music to the fashion industry... to even the toy industry), we should empower our daughters every way we can.

Here are some really cool books that show girls that they can do ANYTHING they set their minds to and the possibilities are endless:

Her Story: A Timeline of the Women
Who Changed America
Charlotte S. Waisman
Jill S. Tietjen
Collins April 2008

This beautiful book is shelved in the Adult NF but should definitely be located in the YA and Children's NF sections. Each page explains years of amazing accomplishments by women and the timeline format illustrates so well the role of women in US and world history. The professions index is fantastic because it groups the women by all the varied occupations; in all areas of arts, business, politics, sciences, and advocacy. Just think of all the inspiration in this book! Hundreds of biographies with wonderful photos illustrate the history very clearly... and will keep children (and adults) of all ages interested.

The Sky's the Limit: Stories of Discovery by Women and Girls
Catherine Thimmesh (author)
Melissa Sweet (illustrator)
Houghton Mifflin 2004 (paperback)

A sequel to the book below, this fun, informative book delves more into the discoveries of women in science: i.e. anthropology, astronomy, biology, medicine. Of course, don't forget the word Girls in the title. There is a fantastic chapter on young girls that made great discoveries.
Wanted to add: just returned from library with daughter. While we were there, she announced, "I need some books on influential women/current history/European for AP European History." I gave her this book and she was happy!

Girls Think of Everything: Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women
Catherine Thimmesh (author)
Melissa Sweet (illustrator)
Houghton Mifflin 2002 (paperback)

I fell in love with this book when I saw the cover. How great is this?
Women Inventors! Yes, to a toy inventor this book is golden.
When I entered industrial design school, I was one of just a handful of girls. (My roommates thought that was really cool but not for the reason I write this post.) I was lost in the shop room and no one was willing to help. Thankfully, girls now take shop class in school along with the boys. (Whoops, got a little off topic.)
Very importantly, there's even a chapter on how to produce and submit your inventions.
I have a few patents already... hum, maybe I can be in this book someday. Even grown-up girls can dream!

Cool Women, Hot Jobs: And How You Can Go for It, Too!
Tina Schwager
Michele Schuerger
Free Spirit Publishing 2002

A current complaint of parents today is that high school is too much like college. Students choose classes geared for their major/profession beginning their freshman year and occasionally in 7th and 8th grade. How can children possibly know what they want to be 'when they grow up' when they are that age? (Heck, I'm still asking that... but that's another issue.)
Cool Women, Hot Jobs wonderfully exposes a variety of professions through interviews with 22 fascinating women and then lays out the tools needed to discover your dreams and how to achieve them.


Dot said...

More awesome recs for books I haven't read yet! Thanks, Anna.

Jeannine Atkins said...

Great books, great post, and a really great daughter. Happy sixteenth birthday, and may she forever keep that strong-willed trophy.

Anonymous said...

Excellent recommendations! I'm kinda glad NOT to see Independent Dames here, because I'm thinking of posting on it when my turn comes 'round on May 29th. And I will link to your post, just to pull it together.

Must look for some of the books you featured!

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