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6 Great Reads About Super Women

Today I bring you six more non-fiction reads as I continue like a true bookworm, working my way across the pages of all these wonderful books. This post includes 6 great reads about super women across the oceans, and they inspire us through the ages as well.

Read on

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6 Great Reads About Super Women

Girl on a Motorcycle

Title: Girl on a Motorcycle
Author: Amy Novesky
Illustrator: Julie Morstad 
Length: 48 pages
Genre: Children’s Biographies ( 5- 9 years)
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers (Sept 8th, 2020)

My Thoughts

What It Is

About a women who dared to ride across the world on a motorcycle when it was unheard of, or as the book’s description says: A picture book biography by an award-winning team about the first woman to ride a motorcycle around the world

The How (I Felt)

This true story wowed me; like the author herself, learning about this gorgeous and gutsy girl inspired me and I know it will inspire many a little (and big) girl everywhere. And the illustrations are breathtakingly beautiful. The colors and the style convey both the girl’s as well as the emotions of people she meets along her travels, and capture the essence of the culture and place perfectly.

If she could travel around the world on a motorcycle in a time when people thought women could not do it, then the possibilities are limitless today. Well, there are still stereotypes, biases, and societal limitations placed upon different people based on who they are, but we can borrow the gutsiness from this girl on a motorcycle, and follow our dreams, can’t we? And I truly loved to hear how strangers around the world were quick to help her.

Reading about her visit to the giant Buddha statues at Kandahar saddened me as I recalled their destruction at the hand of terrorists a few years ago; But the book does convey the beauty of our world, the diversity of our cultures, and the willingness to be kind to others — to be simply human; and this gives hope for a better world.

Perfect Pairing

Read about Bessie Springfield – another daring woman who rode across the nation on a motorcycle.

In Summary

Perfect for these times – to be inspired, to have hope, to be human, and to armchair-travel! It is true what they say after all – not all who wander are lost.

Get It Here

 Book Depository ||  IndieBound || Bookshop

Madame Saqui

Title: Madame Saqui: Revolutionary Rope Dancer
Author: Lisa Robinson
Illustrator: Rebecca Green 
Length: 44 pages
Genre: Children’s Biographies (4 – 8 years)
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade Books (March 24th 2020)

My Thoughts

What It Is

A charmingly illustrated biography of a daredevil on a tightrope! Madame Saqui dazzled Paris with her skills during the French Revolution.

The How (I Felt)

I love the whimsical illustrations in this book. The story of a young girl determined to follow her dreams come what may is inspirational. And learning to continue to do so while inspiring your loved ones by your passion and drive — no matter your age (whether 9 or 70) — makes it all the more so.

Her acts of courage, rebellion, passion, and the follow-your-dreams attitude make this book one to read; and can inspire many little ones (and even older people) to do what they love, pursue their dreams with courage, and to learn that practice makes perfect.

Backmatter includes more historical information and context.

Perfect Pairing

Set up a circus performance at home – with safety precations of course; and keeping in mind that oft-repeated warning you hear – do not attempt at home! Read other circus related books – fiction or non-fiction. One example is Dr. Seuss’ If I Ran the Circus.

In Summary

A reverent ode to an inspiring historical figure.

Get It Here

 Book Depository ||  IndieBound || Bookshop

Lizzie Demands a Seat!

Title: Lizzie Demands a Seat!: Elizabeth Jennings Fights for Streetcar Rights
Author: Beth Anderson
Illustrator: E.B. Lewis 
Length: 32 pages
Genre: Children’s Biographies (7 – 10 years)
Publisher: Calkins Creek (January 7th 2020)

My Thoughts

What It Is

This story takes the reader on Lizzie Elizabeth Jennings journey to justice as she sued, and won against, the third avenue streetcar company for discrimination.

The How (I Felt)

A century before Rosa Parks, there was Lizzie Jennings! Loved the artwork in this as well as the backmatter; on our next trip to NY, I will be sure to check out her statue.

Beth Andersen’s writing style is appealing and engaging, while the stunning watercolor illustrations perfectly and wonderfully convey both motion and emotion throughout the story.

Jenning’s determination and strength shine through the pages – through the words used to tell her story, as well as the artists renderings. She spoke up and won – causing a chain reaction of positive revolution. It was truly heartening to see the support of family and community; as well as that of a well-intentioned stranger whose random act of kindness – handing her a card and saying he would be a witness if needed for the injustice meted out to her – set the whole thing in motion.

Don’t miss the author’s note and the backmatter which includes more interesting background about Jennings as well as an extensive bibliography, and suggestions for further reading.

Perfect Pairing

Pick up a Rosa Parks biography or one about Ruby Bridges. Or read Kid Activists.

In Summary

A wonderful must-read about a pioneer for equal rights for people of color.

Get It Here

 Book Depository ||  IndieBound || Bookshop

Ocean Speaks: Marie Tharp and the Map That Moved the Earth

Title: Ocean Speaks: Marie Tharp and the Map That Moved the Earth
Author: Jess Keating 
Illustrator: Katie Hickey
Length: 34 pages
Genre: Children’s Biographies (4 – 8 years)
Publisher: Tundra Books (June 30, 2020)

My Thoughts

What It Is

This book introduces readers to Marie Tharp, who was the first person to map the Earth’s underwater mountain ridge. Her work led to important discoveries about tectonic plates, and help us understand our earth much better.

The How (I Felt)

The most wonderful things about reading non-fiction is discoveries! Of people, places, events, things, and more that you did not know about earlier; as well as the discovery of things unknown about that whole list I mentioned earlier that you thought was familiar to you!

This book is an example of the first – I learned about Marie Tharp, someone I had no idea of before this book. And what an inspiration she was! She persevered in her chosen work despite and within the limitations placed on women during her time, and ended up changing how we view the world.

The whimsical illustrations show how we can travel while in place; and I loved how the artist subtly included the graphing lines across the pages in a nod to STEM and to Tharp’s work.

Perfect Pairing

Read this with the Dinosaur Lady or the Shark Lady. Or with a book about geography and/or cartography.

In Summary

An inspiring STEM read from history! A great addition to any home or classroom library.

Get It Here

 Book Depository ||  IndieBound || Bookshop

The Only Woman in the Photo

super women - first woman in the cabinet

Title: The Only Woman in the Photo: Frances Perkins & Her New Deal for America
Author: Kathleen Krull
Illustrator: Alexandra Bye
Length:
Genre: Children’s Biographies
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (February 4th 2020)

My Thoughts

What It Is

The Only Woman in the Photo refers to Frances Perkins, who was the mastermind behind Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. The first woman to serve in a presidential cabinet, Perkin’s story is powerfully inspiring.

The How (I Felt)

For someone who had never heard of Frances Perkins (having growing up in India), this book was a fount of fascinating information about a woman who made it in a man’s world.

She was the first woman on the cabinet, and the one to have held the position of labor secretary for the longest tenure ever. Her list of accomplishments is nothing to scoff at. Perkins’ life from a shy whisperer to a staunch public speaker speaking up for the for the welfare of all those who could not, from investigating restaurants for violating health codes to social security for the nation, is truly one of inspiration.

Perfect Pairing

Read about other leaders – Michelle Obama – for example; or develop skills needed to step into power with this book.

In Summary

History, women in power, and a great follow-your-dreams story all in one.

Get It Here

 Book Depository ||  IndieBound || Bookshop

Unbeatable Betty

super women - unbeatable betty - olympics history..

Title: Unbeatable Betty: Betty Robinson, the First Female Olympic Track Field Gold Medalist
Author: Allison Crotzer Kimmel
Illustrator: Joanie Stone 
Length: 40 pages
Genre: Children’s Biographies (4 – 8 years)
Publisher: HarperCollins (June 9th 2020)

My Thoughts

What It Is

This book introduces us to Betty Robinson, who became the first female gold medalist in track and field in the 1928 Olympics. What happened to her after, and how she overcame it to continue to succeed, is amazing indeed.

The How (I Felt)

Another truly inspirational story – doubly so – once because of young Betty Robinson becoming the first female Olympic track & field gold medalist – this was because 1928 was the first year track and field events were opened to women(as well as the youngest ever); and secondly because of how her sheer determination led her to return to the Olympics in 1936 after a plane accident in 1931 that crushed her left leg. The amazing thing was that she competed in the relay (the only race she could participate in because of her injuries) and led the US to winning the gold.

Perfect Pairing

Make it a Familympic!! Or pair it with stories about other wonderful female athletes. From Misty Copeland to Serena Williams to so many more.

In Summary

Oh so inspirational! Of course read it now..

Get It Here

Book Depository ||  IndieBound || Bookshop

Additional Reads

The below posts include a few more great reads about super women – other inspiring super women – for you.

Check out my BookShop List of Girl-Power Books

Thanks to Edelweiss for the digital review copies for Girl on a Motorcyle and Unbeatable Betty. All other books are library copies

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6 Great Reads About Super Women

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And Now, the End of This Post

Dear reader, have you read any of these books? Or about these super women? Any other super women reads you want to recommend? Do let me know. And which of these books are you going to pick up?

14 thoughts on “6 Great Reads About Super Women

  1. I am always looking for a new read – and since I like riding, I am going to look up your first choice! Yes, I understand that it is a children’s book – but sometimes some great lessons can be gotten from children’s books!

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. What a fantastic post! I especially like you sharing a good pairing for each book. I’ve been wanting to read Girl on a Motorcycle – can’t wait! And I just read Lizzie Demands a Seat a few weeks ago. I really need to read Jerry Mikorenda’s biography about her. It’s shocking that so few people know about this incident (and the fact that Chester A. Arthur represented here!). I also requested another picture book about Jennings this week (Streetcar to Justice: How Elizabeth Jennings Won the Right to Ride in New York), so hopefully I’ll get that one before Thanksgiving. Thanks for all these shares, Vidya!

    1. Thank you Kate.. Isn’t that the coolest pic? I found it on Canva and simply had to use it. We have been on a Star Wars movies-binge these past few days(while we waited for season 2 of Mandalorian to start – which is in an hour as I write this comment!!)

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