Even as the number of diverse children’s books increases substantially, the number of books written by people of color still has not kept pace. In 2018, the number of diverse books being published was reported at 31%, but just 7% of Black, Latinx, and Native authored the stories. School-aged children are members of the most diverse generation to date, yet representation in their literature is lacking. This Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day (March 8), it’s more vital than ever to seek books that empower and amply the voices of young Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and LGBTQ women whose descendants have historically been overlooked. Christine Michel Carter, the #1 Global Voice for Working Moms and best-selling author of the children’s book Can Mommy Go to Work? recommends the following books to read during Women’s History Month:
Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Real-Life Tales of Black Girl Magic (Rebel Girls) tells the stories of 100 barrier-breaking Black women from over 30 countries ranging from athlete Naomi Osaka and poet Amanda Gorman to singer Rosetta Tharpe and journalist Ida B. Wells. An omnichannel platform that stands for diversity, representation, sisterhood, and authenticity in publishing, digital content, products, and experiences, Rebel Girls have historically showcased Black women in their books, but this latest volume in their New York Times bestselling series is an entire anthology on the global contributions Black women have made to society.
Amelia to Zora: Twenty-Six Women Who Changed the World by Cynthia Chin- Lee (Author) and Megan Halsey (Illustrator) honors the stories of twenty-six amazing women from all walks of life. From writers to scientists, sports figures to politicians, this diverse collection highlights women who changed the world. Celebrating twenty-six unique voices, visions, and victories, this incredible book introduces children to the scope of both the struggles and the achievements of women historically and globally.
Buffalo Bird Girl: A Hidatsa Story (Scholastic) by S. D. Nelson is a stunning picture book biography of a 19th century Native American woman known as Buffalo Bird Girl (ca. 1839-1932). A member of the Hidatsa who lived in permanent villages along the Missouri River on the Great Plains. Like other girls her age, Buffalo Bird Girl learned the ways of her people through watching and listening, and then by doing. She helped plant crops in the spring, tended the fields through the summer, and in autumn joined in the harvest. She learned to prepare animal skins, dry meat, and perform other duties, all while playing games with friends and training her dog. When her family visited the nearby trading post, Buffalo Bird Girl is introduced to the white man’s settlements in the East.
Queer As All Get Out: 10 People Who’ve Inspired Me (Street Noise Books) by Shelby Criswell follows the daily life of one queer artist from Texas as they introduce us to the lives of ten extraordinary people. In the beautifully illustrated book, the author shares their life as a genderqueer person, living in the American South, revealing their own personal struggle for acceptance and how they were inspired by these historical LGBTQIA+ people to live their own truth. Featuring biographies of Mary Jones, We’wha, Magnus Hirschfeld, Dr. Pauli Murray, Wilmer “Little Axe” M. Broadnax, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Carlett Brown, Nancy Cardenas, Ifti Nasim, and Simon Nkoli.
Sonia Sotomayor: A Judge Grows in the Bronx/La juez que creció en el Bronx (Simon & Schuster) by Jonah Winter and Edel Rodriguez (Illustrator) is an inspiring story of Sonia Sotomayor, who rose up from a childhood of poverty and prejudice to become the first Latino to be nominated to the US Supreme Court. Before Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor took her seat in our nation’s highest court, she was just a little girl in the South Bronx. Justice Sotomayor didn’t have a lot growing up, but she had what she needed — her mother’s love, a will to learn, and her own determination. With bravery she became the person she wanted to be. With hard work she succeeded. With little sunlight and only a modest plot from which to grow, Justice Sotomayor bloomed for the whole world to see.
Hopefully you enjoyed this list of books to read during Women’s History Month!