By Mandi Janikowski, Editor
Today is International Women’s Day! In celebration of all the awesome things women and girls can do, here is a roundup of Lerner titles that feature notable women.
Books for young readers
Astronaut Ellen Ochoa by Heather E. Schwartz
When Ellen Ochoa was young, girls were not allowed to be astronauts. But Ochoa didn’t let that stop her. She eventually became the first female Hispanic American astronaut and logged 1,000 hours in space. Learn about Ochoa’s inspiring perseverance.
Environmental Activist Wangari Maathai by Jennifer Swanson
Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai started the Green Belt Movement, which educated women in villages in Kenya and paid them for every tree they planted. The program helped plant millions of trees and brought money to the villages.
One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia, written by Miranda Paul and illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon
In Njau, Gambia, discarded plastic bags littered the roads. Water pooled in them, bringing mosquitoes and disease. But Isatou Ceesay found a way to recycle the bags and transform her community. An inspirational true story.
Strange Fruit: Billie Holiday and the Power of a Protest Song, written by Gary Golio and illustrated by Charlotte Riley-Webb
Discover how two outsiders—singer Billie Holiday, a young black woman, and Abel Meeropol, the son of Jewish immigrants—created “Strange Fruit,” a song that challenged racism and paved the way for the Civil Rights movement.
Sybil Ludington’s Revolutionary War Story by Katie Marsico
One night in 1777, sixteen-year-old Sybil Ludington and her horse raced through the woods. Americans were fighting the Revolutionary War, and it was up to her to stop an attack from British soldiers. Ride along with Sybil on her mission.
Books for middle-school and teen readers
Auma’s Long Run by Eucabeth Odhiambo
As a strange new sickness called AIDS ravages her village in Kenya, thirteen-year-old Auma must decide whether to pursue a track scholarship that will let her attend high school or stay home to help her struggling family.
For a guest post from Eucabeth, click here.
Lily Renée, Escape Artist: From Holocaust Survivor to Comic Book Pioneer, written by Trina Robbins and illustrated by Annie Timmons and Mo Oh
In 1938, Lily Renée Wilheim is a 14-year-old Jewish girl living in Vienna. Her days are filled with art and ballet. Then the Nazis march into Austria, and Lily’s life is shattered overnight.
Feminism: Reinventing the F-Word by Nadia Abushanab Higgins
Explore the history of US feminism and learn what it means to be a feminist.
Gal Gadot: Soldier, Model, Wonder Woman by Jill Sherman
In 2017, Israeli actor Gal Gadot starred in the record-breaking movie Wonder Woman. Before that, she served in the military, won pageants, and studied to be a lawyer. Follow Gadot’s story from her childhood in Israel to the role of a lifetime.
Sixteen-year-old Malala Yousafzai is an international advocate for the right for education for all, especially girls. At age 15, the Pakistani youth survived being shot by the Taliban on her way home from school.
Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor’s Story by Caren Stelson
Read the true story of a young girl who survived the Nagasaki atomic bomb and her long journey to find peace. This compelling, well-researched narrative offers readers a remarkable new perspective on the final moments of World War II and their aftermath.
Simone Biles by Jon M. Fishman
Simone Biles joined the US women’s gymnastics team to compete at the Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 2016. She won multiple gold medals and a bronze medal. Learn more about this superstar gymnast!
Tillie Pierce: Teen Eyewitness to the Battle of Gettysburg by Tanya Anderson
In July 1863, fifteen-year-old Tillie Pierce became an unlikely Civil War heroine. In gripping prose—and through Tillie’s own words—learn how she helped save the lives of countless wounded soldiers during the bloody Battle of Gettysburg.
What are you reading this International Women’s Day?
What book will you read in honor of International Women’s Day? Share your recommendations in the comments below!