Special thanks to intern Spencer Hanson for the following post!
Read about the past and present achievements of women during March, Women’s History Month. From fighting for their political rights to breaking through the barriers that have barred women from institutions and careers dominated by men, the contributions of women throughout history can be explored with Lerner Digital’s catalog of eBooks.
Away She Goes! Riding into Women’s History co-authored by Wim Coleman & Pat Perrin
In the late 1800s, the bicycle first came to the United States from Europe. This new “steel horse” was wildly popular. But for many women, who either worked in factories or stayed at home, the bicycle liberated them like nothing ever has. Believe it or not, the introduction of the bicycle played an important role in changing women’s fashion and the public’s perceptions of the “weaker” gender. Elementary students will enjoy this story structured as a play with colorful illustrations by Valentina Belloni. They will discover that only a hundred years ago, physical activity and too much thinking were thought to be “unhealthy” for girls and women. These unfounded assumptions do not prevent Molly from convincing her brother to let her ride his bike. After crashing, Molly quickly discovers her dress and corset are not proper biking attire. Read the whole story to see how the two-wheeled invention changed fashion, opened doors, and led to a movement in women’s rights still felt today.
Healing Warrior: A Story about Sister Elizabeth Kenny by Emily Crofford
In 1942, polio epidemics raged out of control, and medical treatments were largely unsuccessful in fighting the disease. When Elizabeth Kenny, a self-taught nurse, boldly declared she had found an effective treatment, the desperate public took notice. The medical community, however, considered her to be a quack. After countless battles for recognition, Sister Kenny’s results proved her right, and Kenny’s methods were used to save thousands world-wide from life-long paralysis. From Elizabeth Kenny’s childhood in the Australian bushlands to her triumph against polio and skeptics, biographer Emily Crofford skillfully brings this memorable heroine to life. Also check out other titles from the Creative MindsBiographies series to learn about other women that have made an impact on history, such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Mary Church Terrell, and Sojourner Truth.
Reinventing the F-Wordby Nadia Higgins
While most people say they believe in equal rights, the word feminism—America’s new F-word—makes people uncomfortable. Explore the history of US feminism through pioneers such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Betty Friedan, Shirley Chisholm, and Gloria Steinem. Meet modern leaders such as Rebecca Walker and Julie Zeilinger, who are striving to empower women at work, in government, at home—and in cultural and personal arenas. Learn from interviews with movement leaders, scholars, pop stars, and average women, what it means to be a feminist—or to reject it altogether. After reading this book, readers will be able to respond to “Am I a feminist?” with a confident, informed voice.
Reproductive Rights: Who Decides?by Vicki Oransky Wittenstein
Did you know it was once illegal to use, distribute, or even talk about birth control in parts of the United States? Follow the struggle for reproductive rights across the centuries, starting with early history’s birth control practices. Examine turning points in the twentieth century, including the fight for legalizing access to birth control, the arrival of the Pill, and the US Supreme Court decision granting women the constitutional right to abortion. See how these historic events set the landscape for the current disputes over contraception, sex education, and abortion. As society changes—and as reproductive technologies expand—Americans will continue to debate reproductive rights.
by Diana Childress
Though the woman’s movement in the West has been successful, it must be remembered that most women in the world are still in the struggle for their most basic civil rights. On June 12, 2005, hundreds of women gathered outside Tehran University in Tehran, Iran. These women were protesting an issue that Iranian women have battled for more than one hundred years: gender inequality. Living in a conservative Muslim culture, Iranian women are subjected to discriminatory laws that serve the male-dominated society. In public, Iranian women must not be seen with men not related to them, and they must wear clothing completing covering their body and their hair. Many laws punish women harshly. If a woman is caught committing adultery, she can be sentenced to death by stoning. Yet men are free to have many wives and even enter temporary marriages. Read how Iranian women of all ages and viewpoints are organizing together with the help of the Internet and social media to stand up and raise their voice against the Iranian government.
Lerner Digital has so many more titles and series that document the history of women and the movement’s leaders. Be a participant and read during Women’s History Month and beyond!