In celebration of all the awesome things women and girls can do, here is a roundup of Lerner titles that feature notable women. 

The Remarkable Life of Dr. Mary Edwards Walker

Written by young adult author Sara Latta, I Could Not Do Otherwise teaches readers about Walker’s determination and strength of conviction, as well as her complete disregard of what others thought of her unconventional style. The slogan, “women’s rights are human rights” is a direct descendent of Walker’s words: “The recognition of the individuality of woman, is simply an acknowledgement of human rights, which all human beings have guaranteed them, by the fact of their having an existence.” 

“[A] fascinating introduction . . . Latta utilizes primary sources, from contemporary newspaper articles to photographs, to make Walker’s remarkable life come alive for readers.”—starred, School Library Journal

School Library Journal Best Book of 2022, Winner, 2022

Wonderful Hair: The Beauty of Annie Malone

Annie Turnbo Malone was an influential Black business leader in the early 20th century.

She turned her personally developed hair care products into a successful industry, including schools that taught the Poro method in her Poro Colleges. One of her students was the much more famous Madame C.J. Walker. She not only encouraged Black women to feel good about their hair, she showed them how to be entrepreneurs.

Annie Turnbo Malone is an inspiring model and an important part of women’s history and Black history who deserves to be better known.

“Gorgeous paintings of industry and determination, set to a story of a practical young woman who wanted people to feel good about themselves and was a pioneer of natural Black hair care products, this is a good choice for the elementary biography section.”—starred, School Library Journal

Eureka! Children’s Book Award, Winner, 2022

The Lady and the Octopus: How Jeanne Villepreux-Power Invented Aquariums and Revolutionized Marine Biology

Jeanne Villepreux-Power was never expected to be a scientist. Born in 1794 in a French village more than 100 miles from the ocean, she pursued an improbable path that brought her to the island of Sicily. There, she took up natural history and solved the two-thousand-year-old mystery of how of the argonaut octopus gets its shell.

In an era when most research focused on dead specimens, Jeanne was determined to experiment on living animals. And to keep sea creatures alive for her studies, she had to invent a contraption to hold them—the aquarium. Her remarkable life story is told by author, marine biologist, and octopus enthusiast Danna Staaf.

“This author is as resourceful and ingenious in relating the story of her subject as Jeanne Villepreux-Power was in her scholarly endeavors. . . . This life story of an important female pioneer in the sciences is highly recommended.”—starred, School Library Journal

“An illuminating work on a scientist in the same league as Maria Sibylla Merian and Mary Anning.”—starred, Booklist

Focus on the Women’s Suffrage Movement

From the Series History in Pictures (Read Woke ™ Books)

Since the beginning of the US, women have fought for gender equality. Many women additionally fought for racial equality. Through current and historical photographs, learn about the women who fought for equality, such as Ida B. Wells, Shirley Chisholm, and Adelina Otero-Warren, and learn about major events of the movement, including the Night of Terror and the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment. Then discover the movement’s connection to modern issues and see how women continue fighting for change.

READ WOKE™ BOOKS are created in partnership with Cicely Lewis, the Read Woke librarian. Inspired by a belief that knowledge is power.

“An excellent purchase for those looking to offer previously overlooked perspectives on historical events.”—School Library Journal

Deb Haaland: First Native American Cabinet Secretary

From the Series Gateway Biographies

In 2021, Deb Haaland made history as the first Indigenous cabinet secretary. Serving as Secretary of the Interior, Haaland has championed climate and the rights of Native peoples. Discover Haaland’s early life, her political career, and more.

“All of these titles portray their subjects in a positive light as the focus is on their achievements and motivation.”—School Library Journal

Gender Inequality in Sports: From Title IX to World Titles

Kirstin Cronn-Mills explores the history of Title IX and how the law set into motion a massive boom in girls and women’s sports teams, from kindergarten to the collegiate level. Professional women’s sports grew in turn. Title IX became a massive touchstone in the fight for gender equality. So why do girls and women—including trans and intersex women—continue to face sexist attitudes and unfair rules and regulations in sports?

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.

“Necessary reading, particularly for those who think the battle is won and done.”—Kirkus Reviews

Activista ambiental Wangari Maathai (Environmental Activist Wangari Maathai)

From the Series Biografías de pioneros STEM (STEM Trailblazer Bios)

Now available in Spanish!

Have you ever tried to come up with ways to solve a problem in your community? Wangari Maathai worked to solve an environmental crisis and help people at the same time.

When Maathai was young, it was unusual for girls in Kenya to go to school, but she was determined to learn more about science and nature. As an adult, she noticed that people were cutting down too many trees. Maathai knew that forest loss was bad for the health of the environment and people. She started the Green Belt Movement, which educated women in rural villages and paid them for every tree they planted. The program helped plant millions of trees and brought money to the villages. For her environmental and human rights work, Maathai became the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

Elizabeth Blackwell: Trailblazing Woman Doctor

From the Series Gateway Biographies

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.

What books are your reading about remarkable women? Share your recommendations in the comments below!

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