Reading Recommendations: Women’s History Month Reads 2017

Hello everyone! In celebration of Women’s History Month I decided to compile yet another list of reading recommendations. You can see the previous year here. This list is a compilation of novels from Children to Adult books that feature diverse, strong, admirable female protagonists in order to celebrate this month and women’s accomplishments from the past to the present. Here are some recommendations of female empowered books to add to your reading list!

For The Right To Learn: Malala Yousafzai’s Story by Rebecca Langston-George ( Author), Janna Bock (Illustrator)

Synopsis: She grew up in a world where women were supposed to be quiet. But Malala Yousafzai refused to be silent. She defied the Taliban’s rules, spoke out for education for every girl, and was almost killed for her beliefs. This powerful true story of how one brave girl named Malala changed the world proves that one person really can make a difference.

This picture book is not only gorgeously illustrated, but powerful too! For The Right To Learn teaches children about Malala Yousafzai’s story and how her fight to have equal education has made such a huge difference. It makes a great teaching tool, whether kids are in the classroom or at home and the detailed artwork makes the story come to life.

Firebird by Misty Copeland (Author), Christopher Myers (Illustrator)

Synopsis: In her debut picture book, Misty Copeland tells the story of a young girl–an every girl–whose confidence is fragile and who is questioning her own ability to reach the heights that Misty has reached. Misty encourages this young girl’s faith in herself and shows her exactly how, through hard work and dedication, she too can become Firebird.

Mistly Copeland’s book is a beautiful story about her own struggles with becoming a dancer. The story not only focuses on her own journey, but is also framed to encourage young girls to believe in their dreams. The writing is written in a somewhat verse style making the words feel poetic. I also admired the art styles and vibrant use of colors.

Rad Women Worldwide by Kate Schatz (Author), Miriam Klein Stahl (Illustrator)

Synopsis: In Rad Women Worldwide, writer Kate Schatz and artist Miriam Klein Stahl tell fresh, engaging, and inspiring tales of perseverance and radical success by pairing well researched and riveting biographies with powerful and expressive cut-paper portraits. Featuring an array of diverse figures from Hatshepsut (the great female king who ruled Egypt peacefully for two decades) and Malala Yousafzi (the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize) to Poly Styrene (legendary teenage punk and lead singer of X-Ray Spex) and Liv Arnesen and Ann Bancroft (polar explorers and the first women to cross Antarctica), this progressive and visually arresting book is a compelling addition to women’s history.

If you want to brush up on your women’s history, Rad Women Worldwide is a good place to start. It features a variety of women from around the globe and shares their personal backgrounds as well as their contributions to women’s history. I found myself introduced to many women I was unfamiliar with and I gained so much knowledge from reading this book.

You Can’t Touch My Hair (And Other Things I Still Have to Explain) by Phoebe Robinson

Synopsis: Phoebe Robinson is a stand-up comic, which means that, often, her everyday experiences become points of comedic fodder. And as a black woman in America, she maintains, sometimes you need to have a sense of humor to deal with the absurdity you are handed on the daily. Robinson has experienced her fair share over the years: she’s been unceremoniously relegated to the role of “the black friend,” as if she is somehow the authority on all things racial; she’s been questioned about her love of U2 and Billy Joel (“isn t that . . . white people music?”); she’s been called “uppity” for having an opinion in the workplace; she’s been followed around stores by security guards; and yes, people do ask her whether they can touch her hair all. the. time. Now, she’s ready to take these topics to the page and she s going to make you laugh as she’s doing it.

You Can’t Touch My Hair is a fun, laugh out loud essay in which stand-up comic Phoebe Robinson shares her experiences of being a black woman in American. Though the book’s tone is comedic it manages to discuss some serious topics such as race relations and racial profiling. Her voice feels very authentic and real which makes this book so engaging to read.

Gabi, A Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero

Synopsis: Gabi Hernandez chronicles her last year in high school in her diary: college applications, Cindy’s pregnancy, Sebastian’s coming out, the cute boys, her father’s meth habit, and the food she craves. And best of all, the poetry that helps forge her identity.

One of my favorite reads in 2016 was Gabi, A Girl in Pieces. One of the reasons this book is so entertaining is that the narrator, Gabi has a witty, quick banter style of dialogue that makes her funny and relatable to her readers. It’s a solid coming of age story, and Gabi reminds if we try our hardest to overcome the trials life throws at us we can become a more confident person.

Graceling (Graceling Realm #1) by Kristen Cashore

Synopsis: Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight – she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug.

When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change. She never expects to become Po’s friend. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace – or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away.

I know I’ve recommended this book about a thousand time on this blog, but I’m doing it once again. If you looking for a fantasy book with a kick ass heroine, Graceling is definitely up your ally. The book definitely has strong themes that surprised me in its initial read though compared to most YA fantasy novels. But that only made it even more enjoyable.

 That concludes this year’s reading recommendations for Women’s History Month! What books do you recommend or what are your favorites? Comment below!

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4 thoughts on “Reading Recommendations: Women’s History Month Reads 2017

  1. I haven’t read any of these, but most of them are on my TBR. Great choices! And, wow, what striking and colourful covers taken all together.

    I’m planning to reread Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings this month; I’ve read it twice but never continued with the series of her autobiographical writings so, this time I hope to reread and continue. She would be a top pick for my Women’s Herstory picks. I also just finished Toni Morrison’s Beloved (which it took me 16 years to finish – talk about getting stuck in a book) and it was pretty amazing too.

    1. Thank you! I actually haven’t read Maya Angelou’s “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings” (I feel horrible about it too). There are so many Herstory reads out there, and I keep discovering new ones everyday.

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