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18 Picture Books that Celebrate Women's History

March is Women’s History Month

Read • Honor • Celebrate • Learn

March is Women’s History Month and we are so excited to share the little-known stories of American women all month long. Each book on this list tells an inspiring story and contains extra resources, timelines, author’s notes, and so much more. From inventors and firefighters, to politicians, musicians, and artists, young readers will learn all about innovative women who paved the way so kids today can follow their passions and change the world.

Click through to learn more about each title and scroll down for a description of each book!

Wood, Wire, Wings

EMMA LILIAN TODD INVENTS AN AIRPLANE

Wood, Wire, Wings - Emma Lilian Todd, Women's History Picture Books

By KIRSTEN W. LARSON
Illustrated by TRACY SUBISAK

A NCSS/CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Book • NSTA Best STEM Book list 2021 • This riveting nonfiction picture book biography explores both the failures and successes of self-taught engineer Emma Lilian Todd as she tackles one of the greatest challenges of the early 1900s: designing an airplane.


The Leaf Detective

HOW MARGARET LOWMAN UNCOVERED SECRETS IN THE RAINFOREST

The Leaf Detective, Margaret Meg Lowman, Women's History Picture Books

By HEATHER LANG
Illustrated by JANA CHRISTY

Meg Lowman was determined to investigate the marvelous, undiscovered world of the rainforest treetops. Meg’s perseverance and creativity allowed her to achieve this goal, but when this fantastic ecosystem started to disappear, Meg needed to act quickly.


Rosa’s Bus

THE RIDE TO CIVIL RIGHTS

Rosa's Bus, Civil Rights - Women's History Picture Books

By JO S. KITTINGER
Illustrated by STEVEN WALKER

Like all buses in Montgomery, Alabama in the 1950’s, Bus #2857 was segregated: white passengers sat in the front and black passengers sat in the back—until Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white passenger. Her arrest sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott, a major event in the Civil Rights movement led by a young minister, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. For 382 days, black passengers chose to walk rather than ride the buses in Montgomery.


Fearless Flyer

RUTH LAW AND HER FLYING MACHINE

Fearless Flyer, Ruth Law - Women's History Picture Books

By HEATHER LANG
Illustrated by RAUL COLÓN

A National Science Teachers Association Best STEM Book • Discover a thrilling moment in history when pioneering aviator Ruth Law attempted to do what no other aviator had done before: fly nonstop from Chicago to New York.


Girl with Brush and Canvas

GEORGIA O’KEEFFE, AMERICAN ARTIST

Girl with Brush and Canvas, Women's History Picture Books
By CAROLYN MEYER

The life of artist Georgia O’Keeffe is revealed in this biographical novel — from her childhood when she decided to be an artist, through her art education in Chicago and New York, to her eventual rise to fame in the American Southwest.


Born to Swing

LIL HARDIN ARMSTRONG’S LIFE IN JAZZ

Born to Swing, Lil Hardin Armstrong Jazz, Women's History Picture Books
By MARA ROCKLIFF
Illustrated by MICHELE WOOD

Here is the story of “Hot Miss Lil” Hardin Armstrong, legendary jazz pianist, composer, and bandleader–and a female pioneer on the music stage.


Fight of the Century

ALICE PAUL BATTLES WOODROW WILSON FOR THE VOTE

Fight of the Century: Alice Paul Voting Rights, Women's History Picture Books

By BARB ROSENSTOCK
Illustrated by SARAH GREEN

The fight for women’s suffrage between women’s rights leader Alice Paul and President Woodrow Wilson is creatively presented as a four-round boxing match in this energetic nonfiction picture book.


Grace Banker and Her Hello Girls Answer the Call

THE HEROIC STORY OF WWI TELEPHONE OPERATORS

Grace Banker and Her Hello Girls, Women's History Picture Books

By CLAUDIA FRIDDELL
Illustrated by ELIZABETH BADDELEY

Led by twenty-five-year-old Grace Banker, thirty-two telephone operators — affectionately called “Hello Girls” back in the US — became the first female combatants in World War I.


Lizzie Demands a Seat!

ELIZABETH JENNINGS FIGHTS FOR STREETCAR RIGHTS

Lizzie Demands a Seat!, Women's History Picture Books

By BETH ANDERSON
Illustrated by E. B. LEWIS

A NCSS/CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Book • Winner of Bank Street College of Education’s Flora Stieglitz Straus Award for excellence in nonfiction • A Chicago Public Library Best Informational Book for Older Readers • Shortlist for inaugural Goddard Riverside CBC Youth Book Prize for Social Justice • Finalist, Jane Addams Children’s Book Award

In 1854, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Jennings, an African American schoolteacher, fought back when she was unjustly denied entry to a New York City streetcar, sparking the beginnings of the long struggle to gain equal rights on public transportation.


A Lady Has the Floor

BELVA LOCKWOOD SPEAKS OUT FOR WOMEN’S RIGHTS

A Lady Has the Floor, Activist Belva Lockwood, Women's History

By KATE HANNIGAN
Illustrated by ALISON JAY

Written in the same vein as the recent best-selling titles I DISSENT and SHE PERSISTED, here is a nonfiction picture book biography of Belva Lockwood, a lawyer, activist and presidential candidate who devoted her life to overcoming obstacles and demanding equality for women.


Babe Conquers the World

THE LEGENDARY LIFE OF BABE DIDRIKSON ZAHARIAS

Babe Conquers the World, Babe Didrikson Zaharias, Women's History

By RICH WALLACE and SANDRA NEIL WALLACE

Famous female athlete Babe Didrikson Zaharias had one driving goal: to become the greatest athlete who ever lived. But there was more to Babe than just sports.


Alice Paul and the Fight for Women’s Rights

FROM THE VOTE TO THE EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT

Alice Paul and the Fight for Women's Right - Women's History

By DEBORAH KOPS

Perfect for honoring and celebrating Women’s History Month, here is the story of the extraordinary Alice Paul, a leader in the long struggle for votes for women.


Dorothea’s Eyes

DOROTHEA LANGE PHOTOGRAPHS THE TRUTH

Dorthea's Eyes Dorothea Lange's Photography - Women's History

By BARB ROSENSTOCK
Illustrated by GERARD DUBOIS

“An excellent beginner’s resource for biography, U.S. history, and women’s studies.” – Kirkus Reviews • Here is the powerful and inspiring biography of Dorothea Lange, one of the founders of documentary photography.


Freedom’s Price

Freedom's Price - Women's History Picture Books

By MICHAELA MACCOLL and ROSEMARY NICHOLS

Eliza Scott isn’t quite a slave, but she’s not free either. She’s not a prisoner, but her family lives in a jail. Eliza, who attends a secret floating school on the Mississippi River because it’s illegal for her to read, says she understands how dangerous her situation is—but her parents know she’s not afraid enough.


The Poppy Lady

MOINA BELLE MICHAEL AND HER TRIBUTE TO VETERANS

The Poppy Lady: Moina Belle Michael, National Military Family Association’s Operation Purple - Women's History Picture Books

By BARBARA E. WALSH
Illustrated by LAYNE JOHNSON

Here is the inspiring story behind the Veterans Day red poppy, a symbol that honors the service and sacrifices of our veterans.


Molly, by Golly!

THE LEGEND OF MOLLY WILLIAMS, AMERICA’S FIRST FEMALE FIREFIGHTER

Molly, by Golly - The Legend of Molly Williams, America's First Female Firefighter - Women's History Picture Books

By DIANNE OCHILTREE
Illustrated by KATHLEEN KEMLY

Here is the story of Molly Williams, an African American cook for New York City’s Fire Company 11 who is considered to be the first known female firefighter in U.S. history.


Rory’s Promise

Rory's Promise - Women's History Picture Books

By MICHAELA MACCOLL and ROSEMARY NICHOLS

This uplifting novel about the power of faith and the true meaning of family launches the Hidden Histories series, spotlighting little-known tales from America’s past, and the children behind those stories. Includes authors’ note and further resources.


Queen of the Track

ALICE COACHMAN, OLYMPIC HIGH-JUMP CHAMPION

Queen of the Track, Alice Coachman, 1948 Olympics - Women's History Picture Books

By HEATHER LANG
Illustrated by FLOYD COOPER

Here is a story of perseverance and unwavering ambition that follows Alice Coachman on her journey from rural Georgia, where she overcame adversity both as a woman and as a black athlete, to her triumph in Wembly Stadium in the 1948 London Olympics.

Filed: News

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