10 Empowering Children’s Novels to Inspire Tomorrow’s Great Women

Books are an important vehicle to share information and ideas and start conversations with children, inspiring today’s youth for a better tomorrow. 


They are a great learning opportunity to gain knowledge about generations of influential female leaders and activists, while recognizing their contributions all over the world. 


La Porte County Public Library houses a plethora of children’s books featuring women and their many accomplishments, which can be checked out year-round. 

Sing, Aretha, Sing!: Aretha Franklin, “Respect” and the Civil Rights Movement by Hanif Abdurraqib 

A young Aretha Franklin captivates her community with the song “Respect” during the height of the Civil Rights Movement, in this striking picture book biography that will embolden today’s young readers to sing their own truth.  When Aretha Franklin sang, she did not just sing...she sparked a movement. As a performer and a civil rights activist, the Queen of Soul used her voice to uplift freedom fighters and the Black community during the height of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement. Her song “Respect” was an anthem of identity, survival, and joy. It gave hope to people trying to make a change. And when Aretha sang, the world sang.  


Girls Solve Everything: Stories of Women Entrepreneurs Building a Better World by Catherine Thimmesh 

Brave women from diverse backgrounds make the world a better place through their businesses in this inspiring companion to the best-selling Girls Think Everything by Sibert-winner Catherine Thimmesh and Caldecott Honor-winner Melissa Sweet.  


Women Invent: Two Centuries of Discoveries that Have Shaped our World by Susan Casey  

These inspiring stories of women inventors take the reader through the process of inventing – from coming up with an idea to having it manufactured and sold.  


She Persisted: 13 American Women who Changed the World by Chelsea Clinton 

Throughout United States history, there have always been women who have spoken out for what is right, even when they have to fight to be heard. In this book, Chelsea Clinton celebrates thirteen American women who helped shape our country through their tenacity, sometimes through speaking out, sometimes by staying seated, sometimes by captivating an audience. They all certainly persisted. 


Mae Among the Stars by Roda Ahmed  

A beautiful picture book for sharing and marking special occasions such as graduation, inspired by the life of the first African American woman to travel in space, Mae Jemison. An Amazon Best Book of the Month! A great classroom and bedtime read-aloud, Mae Among the Stars is the perfect book for young readers who have big dreams and even bigger hearts. When Little Mae was a child, she dreamed of dancing in space. She imagined herself surrounded by billions of stars, floating, gliding, and discovering. She wanted to be an astronaut. Her mom told her, "If you believe it, and work hard for it, anything is possible." Little Mae's curiosity, intelligence, and determination, matched with her parents' encouraging words, paved the way for her incredible success at NASA as the first African American woman to travel in space. This book will inspire other young girls to reach for the stars, to aspire for the impossible, and to persist with childlike imagination. 


She Persisted in Science: Brilliant Women who Made a Difference by Chelsea Clinton  

Throughout history, women have been told that science is not for them. They've been told that they're not smart enough, or that their brains just aren't able to handle it. In this book, Chelsea Clinton introduces readers to women scientists who did not listen to those who told them "no" and who used their smarts, their skills and their persistence to discover, invent, create and explain. 

Frida Kahlo and her Animalitos by Monica Brown  

Chronicles Frida's life -- from her childhood to her rise as one of the world's most influential painters -- capturing the beauty and strength of Frida's creative spirit, which carried her through tragedy and triumph, and the animals that inspired her along the way.  

Malala’s Magic Pencil by Malala Yousafzai  

As a child in Pakistan, Malala made a wish for a magic pencil. She would use it to make everyone happy, to erase the smell of garbage from her city, to sleep an extra hour in the morning. But as she grew older, Malala saw that there were more important things to wish for. She saw a world that needed fixing. And even if she never found a magic pencil, Malala realized that she could still work hard every day to make her wishes come true. 

This beautifully illustrated volume tells Malala's story for a younger audience and shows them the worldview that allowed Malala to hold on to hope even in the most difficult of times. 


Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison  

Featuring 40 trailblazing black women in history, this book educates and inspires as it relates true stories of women who broke boundaries and exceeded all expectations, including: Nurse Mary Seacole, Politician Diane Abbott, Mathematician Katherine Johnson and Singer Shirley Bassey 


Shining Star: Vera Rubin Discovers Dark Matter by Suzanne Slade  

Pioneering astronomer Vera Rubin discovers dark matter--the mysterious substance that makes up most of the universe--while confronting sexism and paves the way for future women scientists in this engaging STEM/STEAM picture book biography. 

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