Written by Cara Ward
Looking for a way to celebrate Women’s History Month with your little reader? Consider celebrating the many contributions women have made by reading a few stories that highlight women’s accomplishments, breaking stereotypes, and building self-esteem together! Not sure where to start? Check out this list of ten books that feature important women in history and strong, unique female characters.
1. Grace For President by Kelly DiPucchio
Ages: 5-9 years
After Grace learns that the United States has never had a female president, she decides to take matters into her own hands and run for class president. In addition to a fun narrative, this book provides an introduction to how elections work, and highlights the opportunities for girls and women to get involved in the American political system. This informative, entertaining read teaches girls the importance of never giving up on their dreams.
2. The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch
This is not your typical damsel in distress princess story! Follow the fiercely independent Princess Elizabeth as she searches for her husband-to-be, Prince Ronald, after he is seen being taken by a dragon. A self-empowered, fearless role model for young girls, this princess shows her readers that they can be the heroes in their own stories.
3. Hidden Figures Young Readers’ Edition by Margot Lee Shetterly
Ages: 8-12 years
This book—which you probably recognize as a major motion picture—tells the story of four Black female mathematicians at NASA who helped achieve some of the greatest moments in the space program. This story of women in a STEM field fighting for their dreams will serve as an inspiration for readers of all ages.
4. I’m a Girl! By Yasmeen Ismail
Ages: 3-6 years
This picture book is all about being unapologetically, a girl! It’s a great book to read with any young child to teach them that they can be whoever they want and they should be proud of whoever that is.
5. Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World by Kate Pankhurst
Ages: 5-9 years
This book covers all kinds of amazing feats achieved by females throughout time ranging from pilot Amelia Earhart to fashion designer Coco Chanel all the way to writer Jane Austen. Reading this novel with your kids will both be an informative and fun way to talk about all the amazing things women have achieved.
6. Princess Smartypants by Babette Cole
Ages: 4-8 years
Princess Smartypants isn’t your typical princess. She’d rather live with her pets than a prince, rides a motorcycle, and scares off every suitor that comes her way by giving them impossible tasks to complete. This book tips the princess stereotype on its head and gives young readers an independent female character (who doesn’t need a man to make her happy) with whom they can relate.
7. Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty
Ages: 5-7 years
Rosie dreams of being an engineer and spends all her times building gizmos and gadgets. When her great-great-aunt Rose (also known as Rosie the Riveter) comes to town with a dream of building something that will make her fly, Rosie gets to work on a special contraption with her. This story not only inspires girls to follow their dreams but also to never give up if things don’t go right the first time.
8. Malala Yousafzai: Warrior with Words by Karen Leggett Abouraya
Ages: 5-8 years
This is the story of an inspiring young Pakistani girl who fought for girls’ right to education. Her work eventually led her to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014. This is an important story for all people to read but this specific edition makes the subject matter accessible for younger readers. This novel documents an extremely recent and relevant piece of women’s history that will connect kids to the world events going on around them.
9. Seeds of Change : Wangari’s Gift to the World by Jen Cullerton Johnson
Ages: 6-9 years
This beautifully illustrated book shares the empowering story of Wangari Maathai, the first African woman, and environmentalist, to win the Nobel Peace Prize. From her youth in Kenya where she learned to respect nature and appreciate the land, plants, and animals that surrounded her, to her fight to promote the rights of her countrywoman and help save the land, her story is one that will inspire readers of all ages.
10. Beautiful by Stacy McAnulty
Ages: 4-8 years
This book empowers girls to define themselves by who they are not by what they look like. It breaks barriers by showing girls to be themselves whether that’s splashing in mud, conducting science experiments, or reading books under a flashlight with friends. This book will encourage all girls to embrace who they are and realize their inner potential.