Books, Learning, Lists, Reviews

6 More Powerful Women To Read About

Today I bring you six more powerful women to read about as I continue my reading for the Cybils awards. This post includes books about 6 great reads about super women across the oceans, and they’re super women in the US across the ages – from the unknown heroine that won the vote for us to the one who won our votes today!

And here is my previous post that includes more super women you can be inspired by.

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6 More Powerful Women To Read About

The Voice that Won the Vote: How One Woman’s Words Made History

Book Info

Title: The Voice that Won the Vote: How One Woman’s Words Made History
Author: Elisa Boxer
Illustrator: Vivien Mildenberger
Length: 32 pages
Genre: Children’s Nonfiction/American History, Government (7 – 10 years)
Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press (March 15, 2020)

My Thoughts

What It Is

The story of the letter Febb Burn wrote to her son Harry, that gave all American women a voice – the voice to vote.

The How (I Felt)

These are the stories that we need to hear – those of the unknown heroes. This one is of one of the heroes of the women’s suffrage movement who, with the power of what is right, helped clinch that all important last vote that would let women vote.

The amendment to let women vote was before the states, and Tennessee was the state whose ‘yae’ would pass the amendment. And Harry Burns was one of the lawmakers with a vote that would matter. His initial vote had been a ‘no’ but a tie forced Tennessee lawmakers to vote again.

And the second time around, Burns changed his vote to a yes; this cinched the deal and won women the right to vote all through the nation. Burns did so because of a letter from his mother who urged him to make the right choice – to regard women as people with equal rights as men.

I loved the simple and straightforward way the story is told, as well as the whimsical and colorful illustrations that set the mood for the period perfectly and realistically. Backmatter provides additional details around Harry Burn’s vote as well as a timeline with information for the curious reader.

Below is one page from the book so you can see for yourself the whimsy and the emotion and realism, all in one, I talk about.

Perfect Pairing

Women Win the Vote! 19 for the 19th Amendment is perfect, and it sounds so too, right?

In Summary

A book that makes for interesting reading while informing the reader of an important part of history.

Get It Here

Amazon || Book Depository ||  IndieBound || Bookshop

The Power of Her Pen: The Story of Groundbreaking Journalist Ethel L. Payne

Book Info

Title: The Power of Her Pen: The Story of Groundbreaking Journalist Ethel L. Payne
Author: Lesa Cline-Ransome 
Illustrator: John Parra 
Length: 48 pages
Genre: Children’s Nonfiction/History, Women’s Biographies (4 – 8 years)
Publisher: Simon Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books (January 14th 2020)

My Thoughts

What It Is

The story of how Ethel L. Payne came to be known as the “First Lady of the Press.”

The How (I Felt)

Another person that I had absolutely no idea about, and should have. Ethel Payne certainly inspires the writer in me. She used “the power of the pen,” (pardon me as I use the words from the title), to fight for the rights of women, and people of color, at a time, when neither were given importance.

It was truly fascinating to note her career spanned so many presidents, and that she interviewed all of them as a White House correspondent, often on important topics that others glossed over.

It was heartwarming to note that she used the medium of the Chicago Defender — the same newspaper her father distributed for years as a Pullman porter — to bring to light the issues close to her heart, and those ignored by mainstream media at the time. This included how African-Americans were treated in the military, civil rights for women and people of color (she marched with Dr. King to Selma), for the right to education, and more.

The colorful acrylic paint illustrations complement the narrative well. I felt that it might be a little long for the youngest in the intended audience, but is wonderful to take time reading it. Included below is a sample page:

Backmatter includes an author’s note with more details, a bibliography, sources, and further reading.

I loved how the author cleverly began and ended the story with a twist of the same phrase – Ethel L Payne’s “ear for stories” – and it is sure to inspire young readers to develop such an ear as well!

Perfect Pairing

There is a book about Nellie Bly and another about Ida B (both of which I am yet to read); and then there are also these fiction books: Don’t Check Out This Book by Kate Klise, as well as Andrew Clements’ The Landry News!

In Summary

Truly inspirational and brave, Ethel M Payne was a pioneer in her own right, and in her own words, “an instrument of change.”

Get It Here

Amazon || Book Depository ||  IndieBound || Bookshop

Thanks to Frances Perkins: Fighter for Workers’ Rights

Book Info

Title: Thanks to Frances Perkins: Fighter for Workers’ Rights
Author: Deborah Hopkinson
Illustrator: Kristy Caldwell 
Length: 36 pages
Genre: Children’s Nonfiction/Biographies, Goverment, History (6 – 10 years)
Publisher: Peachtree Publishing Company (August 1, 2020)

My Thoughts

What It Is

A story highlighting a very important woman in the history of the US government – Frances Perkins. She was the first woman in the cabinet, and the one to hold a cabinet position for the longest period ever as well.

The How (I Felt)

Granted, this is the second book I am reading in as many weeks about Perkins. Nevertheless, this book takes a different approach in both narration and graphics to make it worth a read as well – a must-read again.

The book starts off with a question to its young readers – How many years will it be until you turn sixty-two? What year will that be?

What prompted Perkins to fight for workers rights was witnessing the tragic fire at the Triangle Waist Factory in 1911, which killed many women and girls. And once she got started, she did not rest; and her biggest achievement – Social Security, as part of President Roosevelt’s New Deal.

Deborah Hopkinson manages to explain these complex concepts in a way that will appeal to its young audiences; and Kristy Caldwell’s illustrations are a delight indeed. I loved the little “image-thought” bubbles across the pages that add so much to the story, and make the reading more appealing to its readers. Here is a part of one page from the book

Back matter starts off with answers to those questions asked at the beginning, and includes more information about Frances Perkins and Social Security; as well as additional related resources.

Perfect Pairing

The other book about Frances Perkins – The Only Woman in the Photo – would work easily.

In Summary

An engaging, educational read about a trailblazing woman – for readers of all ages.

Get It Here

Amazon || Book Depository ||  IndieBound || Bookshop

Ruth Objects: The Life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Book Info

Title: Ruth Objects: The Life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Author: Doreen Rappaport
Illustrator: Eric Velásquez 
Length: 48 pages
Genre: Children’s Nonfiction/Government, Biographies ( 4 – 8 years, and up)
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (February 11, 2020)

My Thoughts

What It Is

A stunning and brilliant biography of a trailblazer…

The How (I Felt)

Eric Velasquez’s powerful, moving, and detailed illustrations are simply put, stunning! The cover featuring just the striking portrait of Ginsburg without a title is testament to this fact.

Doreen Rappaport writes about Ginsburg’s challenges and her achievements, interspersing her narrative with RBG’s quotes. This makes for inspiring reading. While the text is lengthy, Rappaport writes it in a way that makes it accessible to its young audience, yet appealing to older readers too.

The back matter includes a timeline of important dates, an author’s note, an illustrator’s note, a bibliography, and further resources.

Perfect Pairing

Turning Pages: My Life Story by Sonia Sotomayor sounds like an ideal pairing for this; and one that I have now added to my reading list (so expect to see a review of this one too soon!)

In Summary

Yes, of course, a must-read and must-see book as well!!

Get It Here

Amazon || Book Depository ||  IndieBound || Bookshop

Elizabeth Warren’s Big, Bold Plans

Book Info

Title: Elizabeth Warren’s Big, Bold Plans
Author: Laurie Ann Thompson 
Illustrator: Susanna Chapman
Length: 40 pages
Genre: Children’s Nonfiction/Biographies (4 – 8 years, and up)
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers(May 5, 2020)

My Thoughts

What It Is

An inspiring and accessible biography of Senator Elizabeth Warren that highlights her perseverance and commitment to hard work.

The How (I Felt)

Reading Warren’s story showed how having the passion to follow your dreams and working hard for them can help face and overcome challenges, even those that keep coming at you one after the other. The book’s focus on Warren’s sheer determination from an early age is truly inspirational, and something readers of all ages can work towards.

Laurie Thompson’s narrative is clear and easy to follow, while ensuring Warren’s voice shines through as well. Chapman’s watercolor illustrations are energetic and bring Warren to life across the years and the pages of this book. I also enjoyed the use of different fonts and colors for the text; they throw attention on Warren’s strength to adapt and persist despite obstacles.

Below is a part of one page of the book so you can see for yourself.

Perfect Pairing

Somehow, this biography reminded me of The Little Engine That Could!

In Summary

A book that brings to life a strong female role model for young readers everywhere.

Get It Here

Amazon || Book Depository ||  IndieBound || Bookshop

Kamala Harris: Rooted in Justice

Book Info

Title: Kamala Harris: Rooted in Justice
Author: Nikki Grimes
Illustrator: Laura Freeman
Length: 40 pages
Genre: Children’s Nonfiction/Biographies (4 – 8 years, and up)
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (August 25, 2020)

My Thoughts

What It Is

An inspiring picture book biography about Kamala Harris, one that is sure to inspire young people everywhere to dream big, and to learn that we can achieve great things if we stand together.

The How (I Felt)

I adore Nikki Grimes, and reading about inspirational women is always a wonderful thing. And this was about Kamala Harris, a woman who is making history as we speak. So I would have read this anyways (in spite of the Cybils Awards reading)!

Grimes versed rhyme is brilliant as always, and conveys Harris’ life story, her influences (family, and more) in an easy to understand for younger readers yet not-talking-down-to the older readers way; and the accompanying artwork is frame worthy – Harris is recognizable at every stage (which is important in books like this, where the person is in the public eye so much at the current moment). Added to it the interspersed conversation between the little girl and her mother (which is how this book is laid out) is adorable, cute, and incorporates teaching lessons from Harris’ life as well as from a parent to a child effortlessly.

Again, part of a page from the book

I enjoyed how Grimes left the book open ended (seeing as it was written before Harris even became a possible VP candidate); and now we await Kamala Harris to assume her role as the VP a couple of months from today!

Perfect Pairing

Pick up the story of our President-elect titled Joey: The Story of Joe Biden to read along with this book! Perfect, isn’t it? I will review this soon as well on my blog, and I promise you it is a delight to read, and see as well.

In Summary

Of course, go get it now! Totally timely and totally inspirational while being totally gorgeous in both the narrative and visuals.

Get It Here

Amazon || Book Depository ||  IndieBound || Bookshop

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6 More Powerful Women To Read About

And Now, the End of This Post

Dear reader, have you read any of these books? If yes, your thoughts on them? And if not, which one do you plan to read first? Any similar recommendations for me? Do let me know.

18 thoughts on “6 More Powerful Women To Read About

  1. I think it’s fantastic that they have these books for our young readers- letting them learn early on in the development of the paths that folks have opened up for the masses.
    Thanks for sharing. Now, I have gifts for those little ‘tinoks’ (young ones) that pass through my life.

  2. Wow, it’s amazing that there are children’s books about powerful women who made an impact in the history because this will help the kids learn at a young age the importance of speaking up and being kind to other people. Thanks for these recommendations!

  3. These look like incredible books for young girls especially. Empowering young women to be strong, independent, and fearless is what this world needs more of. I was very proud to read about the women in these stories, especially Ethel L Payne & RBG. Love the illustrations too.

    Thank you for sharing your reviews of these wonderful books, I had no idea that they existed.

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