Books to Celebrate Women’s History Month

This March, we’re celebrating Women’s History Month with a wonderful list of new and past titles. With great suggestions that celebrate women’s contributions, both big and small, to history and to contemporary society, you should have all the resources you need to start putting together your March bookshelf. Titles range from grades PreK-12 and cover a wide variety of topics, including pertinent historical nonfiction, that everyone should know about!

Gender Inequality in Sports: From Title IX to World Titles

Interest Level: Grade 8 – Grade 12

“We trained just as hard and we have just as much love for our sport. We deserve to play just as much as any other athlete. . . . I am sick and tired of being treated like I am second rate. I plan on standing up for what is right and fighting for equality.” —Sage Ohlensehlen, Women’s Swim Team Captain at the University of Iowa

The truth is that the road to equality in sports has been anything but straightforward, and there is still a long way to go. Schools, universities, and professional organizations continue to struggle with addressing unequal pay, discrimination, and sexism in their sports programming. Delve into the history and impact of Title IX, learn more about the athletes at the forefront of the struggle, and explore how additional changes could lead to equality in sports.


Interest Level: Grade 9 – Grade 12 

Andrea, a young Indigenous Colombian woman, has returned to the land she calls home. Only nineteen years old, she comes to mourn her lost child, carrying a box in her arms. And she comes with another mission. Andrea has hidden a camera upon herself. If she can capture evidence of the illegal mining that displaced her family, it will mark the first step toward reclaiming their land. This socially conscious thriller from graphic novelist Canizales examines the injustices of his home country in a stark, distinctive style.

How to Be a Difficult Bitch: Claim Your Power, Ditch the Haters, and Feel Good Doing It

Interest Level: Grade 9 – Grade 12

In the past, being a “difficult bitch” was bad. Girls weren’t supposed to call people out for their BS, stand up for themselves, or do their own thing. This book embraces the insult with irreverent humor, encouraging readers to be themselves no matter what, including an exploration of the ways this phrase can be interpreted differently among people of different backgrounds.

Being a powerhouse is a choice. It’s a lifestyle. It’s a code of ethics. It takes work, a thick skin, and perseverance. In this book, you’ll learn the ins and outs of being a Difficult Bitch, from school to friends to body to life.

♦️ “A thoughtful, engaging, bad-ass crash course in moxie, self-confidence, and self-love.”—starred, Kirkus Reviews

Quiet Fire: Emily Dickinson’s Life and Poetry

Interest Level: Grade 6 – Grade 12

When Emily Dickinson died at her home in Amherst, Massachusetts, in 1886, she left a locked chest with hand-sewn notebooks and papers filled with nearly 1,800 unpublished poems. Four years later, her first collection was published and became a singular success. Today Dickinson is revered as one of America’s greatest and most original poets. Using primary source materials, including the poet’s own letters and poems, Quiet Fire presents the life and art of Emily Dickinson to a new generation.

The Adventures of Dr. Sloth: Rebecca Cliffe and Her Quest to Protect Sloths

Interest Level: Grade 3 – Grade 6

True or false: Sloths are lazy. Answer: False! True or false: Sloths are mysterious. Answer: True! Scientists are only beginning to discover how sloths live in the wild.

Sloths spend most of their lives in trees, and until recently scientists didn’t know very much about them. But Dr. Rebecca Cliffe was determined to discover their secrets. To find out more, she fitted sloths with special backpacks containing a device to track their activity. She learned how to climb trees in the Costa Rican jungle so she could take sloth hair samples and test their DNA. And she’s helped create sloth crossings and plant trees to ensure the sloths aren’t trapped in shrinking territories. Along the way, she earned the nickname Dr. Sloth.

Discover the story of how an animal-loving kid in England grew up to become one of the world’s leading sloth scientists, and learn how Dr. Sloth is using her discoveries to help keep sloths safe. Author and professional wildlife photographer Suzi Eszterhas brings readers up close to the action with engaging text and fantastic photos. Scan QR codes throughout the book to see her videos of sloths in the wild!

Call Me Miss Hamilton: One Woman’s Case for Equality and Respect

Interest Level: Grade 2 – Grade 5

Mary Hamilton grew up knowing right from wrong. She was proud to be Black, and when the chance came along to join the Civil Rights Movement and become a Freedom Rider, she was eager to fight for what she believed in. Mary was arrested again and again—and she did not back down when faced with insults or disrespect. In an Alabama court, a white prosecutor called her by her first name, but she refused to answer unless he called her “Miss Hamilton.” The judge charged her with contempt of court, but that wasn’t the end of it. Miss Mary Hamilton fought the contempt charge all the way to the Supreme Court.

Powerful free verse from Carole Boston Weatherford and striking scratchboard illustrations by Jeffery Boston Weatherford, accompanied by archival photographs, honor this unsung heroine who took a stand for respect—and won.

♦️ “Weatherford introduces young readers to this lesser-known changemaker who challenged the court system for due respect. . . . Lending to this powerful story is mixed-media artwork that blends expressive black-and-white scratchboard illustrations with tinted photos from the time period.” —starred, Booklist

Stacey Abrams: Champion of Democracy

From the Series Gateway Biographies

Interest Level: Grade 4 – Grade 8

When they piled into cars and drove through Durham, North Stacey Abrams is a lawyer, entrepreneur, and voting rights activist. After working in government, she founded Fair Fight Action to improve voting access. Learn about Abrams’s early life and what she plans to do next.

Amanda Gorman: Inspiring Hope with Poetry

From the Series Gateway Biographies

Interest Level: Grade 4 – Grade 8

Poet Amanda Gorman delivered her poem “The Hill We Climb” at the 2021 presidential inauguration, winning wide acclaim. Read about Gorman’s early life, her children’s and poetry books, and what she plans to do next.

The Deep Blue Between

Interest Level: Grade 7 – Grade 12

Twin sisters Hassana and Husseina have always shared their lives.

But after a raid on their village in 1892, the twins are torn apart. Taken in different directions, far from their home in rural West Africa, each sister finds freedom and a new start. Hassana settles in in the city of Accra, where she throws herself into working for political and social change. Husseina travels to Salvador, Brazil, where she becomes immersed in faith, worshipping spirits that bridge the motherland and the new world. Separated by an ocean, they forge new families, ward off dangers, and begin to truly know themselves.

As the twins pursue their separate paths, they remain connected through their shared dreams. But will they ever manage to find each other again?

“Uplifting . . . sizzles with sister-love and magic. What an incredible storyteller!”—Yaba Badoe, author of A Jigsaw of Fire and Stars

♦️ “This sweeping story is rich in detail, and the settings are vividly evoked. . . . A successful exploration of rich cultural experiences and enduring familial connections.”—starred, Kirkus Reviews

Sue Bird

From the Series Sports All-Stars (Lerner ™ Sports)

Interest Level: Grade 2 – Grade 5

Four-time WNBA champion Sue Bird of the Seattle Storm is a basketball legend. She is also a vocal social justice advocate and a community leader. Read about her life and career on and off the court.

Suni Lee

From the Series Sports All-Stars (Lerner ™ Sports)

Interest Level: Grade 2 – Grade 5

Suni Lee won the gymnastics individual all-around gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021. Learn how this US gymnast achieves her remarkable routines and explore what her life is like outside of gymnastics.

Harriet Tubman: Abolitionist and American Hero

From the Series Boss Lady Bios (Alternator Books ®)

Interest Level: Grade 3 – Grade 6

Harriet Tubman dreamed of freedom from a young age. After suffering enslavement in her early life, Tubman escaped to freedom through the secret network of the Underground Railroad. From then on, she devoted herself to freeing and helping others. She led daring escapes along the Railroad, traveling by night and wearing clever disguises so she and her “passengers” could avoid capture. During the Civil War, she served as a nurse and spy for the Union Army and even led a raid. Learn about Tubman’s extraordinary life and how she kept fighting for freedom and justice.

She Represents: 44 Women Who Are Changing Politics . . . and the World

Interest Level: Grade 8 – Grade 12  

Whichever side of the political aisle you lean toward, it can seem like the only people in power are white men. But the balance is beginning to tip. 

Women are being elected at record rates and government is beginning to more accurately reflect the people it represents.

Read these profiles of forty-four women in leadership from both sides of the US political spectrum and from around the world to learn about their paths to power, their achievements and missteps, and their lasting legacies. Their stories teach us about the segments of society they represent through both their biographies and their actions in voting and policy decisions.

The Women’s Rights Movement

Interest Level: Grade 3 – Grade 6

Women have come a long way since the first women’s rights convention took place in Seneca Falls, New York, in 1848—but women’s rights activists are still working to expand rights today. What are the main concerns of women’s rights activists today? And what challenges have women faced in the 1800s, 1900s, and 2000s in their fight for equality? Find out how Susan B. Anthony, Betty Friedan, and other groundbreaking activists paved the way for the women’s rights movement today. And learn how activists are working with groups that speak out for the rights of racial minorities and members of the LGBTQ+ community to expand rights for all.

US Women’s National Team: Soccer Champions

From the Series Champion Soccer Clubs

Interest Level: Grade 2 – Grade 5

The US Women’s National Team has won more Olympic gold medals and Women’s World Cup titles than any other team. Learn how the team got started and meet some of the biggest superstars in soccer history in this thrilling title! Discover more through photos and engaging storylines with famous and beloved athletes.

Elizabeth Blackwell: Trailblazing Woman Doctor

From the Series Gateway Biographies

Interest Level: Grade 4 – Grade 8

Elizabeth Blackwell shattered the glass ceiling in medicine as the first woman doctor. After her father’s death, she used her unusually high level of education to earn a living. Blackwell began working as a teacher while saving up for medical school. The rejection letters piled up, but she persisted until she was admitted to Geneva University. Life still wasn’t easy once she had her diploma. She had to fight sexism and challenge stereotypes about women in the medical field.

Hoping to break down barriers for other aspiring women physicians, Blackwell opened the Women’s Medical College of the New York Infirmary and the London School of Medicine for Women. These schools were specifically for women and offered extensive training to help them in the medical field. Read about Blackwell’s life and her lasting legacy in medicine.

Theodosia Burr: Teen Eyewitness to the Founding of the New Nation

Interest Level: Grade 6 – Grade 12

Theodosia Burr, daughter of Vice President Aaron Burr, came of age in New York City when the New Nation was growing up. She attended the inauguration of President George Washington in 1789, was at her father’s side on the campaign trail and at his inauguration in 1801, attended presidential addresses to Congress, and hosted the most prominent politicians and thinkers of her time.

The Burrs’ ideas about educating young women were revolutionary. Theodosia was an experiment in the equal treatment of women—regardless of social status—in education, family life, society, and the law. The family believed that women had an important role to play in the New Nation, and Theodosia was fully prepared.

Based on research at libraries and archives, and from the rich body of letters Theodosia and her family left behind, this historical narrative introduces readers to a most unusual girl who pursued a radical new path for women.

More March Holidays

Much like it is host to Women’s History Month, March is also host to a number of other wonderful holidays and commemorations. Read ahead to find title suggestions that will get you thinking about Deaf History Month, Gender Equality Month, National Craft Month, World Day of Muslim Culture, and St. Patrick’s Day!

Deaf History Month

Silent Journey

Interest Level: Grade 4 – Grade 8

Scott Schroeder dreams of a day when he and his father can have a home of their own. Following an accident that took his mother’s life eight years before, doctors discovered Scott was suddenly deaf. Blessed with being an accomplished gymnast and skilled at signing and reading lips, Scott’s biggest challenge is convincing others he is able to do all the same things as those in the hearing world. Picking up on conversations he observes along the way, Scott figures out a big family secret concerning his father and uncle and makes his mind up to play a part in their reconciliation.

Gender Equality Month

LGBTQ+ Athletes Claim the Field: Striving for Equality

Interest Level: Grade 6 – Grade 12

In 2015, the world watched as soccer star Abby Wambach kissed her wife after the US women’s World Cup victory. Milwaukee Brewers’ minor league first baseman David Denson came out as gay. And Caitlyn Jenner, an Olympic decathlete, came out as transgender.

It hasn’t always been this way. Many great athletes have stayed in the closet their whole lives, or at least until retirement. Social attitudes, institutional policies, and laws are slow to change, but they are catching up. Together, athletes, families, educators, allies, and fans are pushing for competitive equity so that every athlete, regardless of identity, can have the opportunity to play at their very best.

♦️ “[A] valuable survey of the status of LGBTQ+ athletes. . . . Happily, [Cronn-Mills] humanizes these issues. . . . [H]ers is an important contribution to the blossoming field of LGBTQ literature.”—starred, Booklist

National Craft Month

Hack Your Kitchen: Discover a World of Food Fun with Science Buddies ®

Interest Level: Grade 2 – Grade 5

Young scientists will learn all about many different scientific principles and properties using everyday tools and ingredients from their own kitchens! Make a lemon volcano, flour craters, edible paper, and more with these hands-on science projects.

World Day of Muslim Culture, March 11th

A Game for Swallows: To Die, To Leave, To Return

Interest Level: Grade 7 – Grade 12

In 1963, more than 30 African-American girls ages 11 to 16 were When Zeina was born, the civil war in Lebanon had been going on for six years, so it’s just a normal part of life for her and her parents and little brother. The city of Beirut is cut in two, separated by bricks and sandbags and threatened by snipers and shelling. East Beirut is for Christians, and West Beirut is for Muslims. When Zeina’s parents don’t return one afternoon from a visit to the other half of the city and the bombing grows ever closer, the neighbors in her apartment house create a world indoors for Zeina and her brother where it’s comfy and safe, where they can share cooking lessons and games and gossip. Together they try to make it through a dramatic day in the one place they hoped they would always be safe—home.

♦️ “Bold, graphic, black-and-white images are visually and emotionally striking…. This superb memoir is destined to become a classic.” —starred, School Library Journal

St. Patrick’s Day, March 17th

Let’s Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

From the Series Let’s Celebrate

Interest Level: Grade 3 – Grade 6

In a question and answer format, this book gives a history of this holiday from its beginnings all the way up to how it is celebrated around the world today. Interspersed are fun facts and riddles. At the end of the book readers are invited to make a St. Patrick’s Day banquet with a special shamrock cake (enough to feed a classroom) and other green goodies.

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