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24 Picture Books that Celebrate Women’s History

March is Women’s History Month

We are very excited to share the little-known stories of heroic women all month long and beyond. Each book on this list tells an inspiring story and contains extra resources, timelines, author’s notes, and so much more. From human rights activists, inventors, and firefighters to politicians, musicians, and artists, young readers will learn all about innovative women who paved the way so kids today can follow their passions and change the world.

Exciting New Books that Celebrate Women’s History

Astra Books for Young Readers publishes beautiful picture books written, illustrated, and translated by our brilliant creators. Explore these new 2022 titles by and about amazing women.

Born Hungry: Julia Child Becomes “the French Chef”

By Alex Prud’homme, illustrated by Sarah Green. How did Julia Child become one of America’s most celebrated and beloved chefs? Her grandnephew reveals her story in this picture book that Jacques Pepin calls a “vivid portrait . . . an enjoyable read.” Julia’s kid-friendly recipe for Oeufs Brouillés (Scrambled Eggs) is included!

Loujain Dreams of Sunflowers

By Lina Al-Hathloul and Uma Mishra-Newbery, illustrated by Rebecca Green. A courageous girl follows her dream of learning to fly in this beautifully illustrated story inspired by formerly imprisoned human rights activist Loujain AlHathloul, perfect for Malala’s Magic Pencil fans.

Nellie vs. Elizabeth: Two Daredevil Journalists’ Breakneck Race around the World

By Kate Hannigan, illustrated by Rebecca Gibbon. In this real-life adventure, daredevil and groundbreaking journalists Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland race against each other–and the clock–as they circle the globe by ship, train, and foot. Join these two stereotype-shattering reporters as they prove that not only is traveling around the world possible, but that women are just as curious, capable, and courageous as any man.

To the Front! Clara Barton Braves the Battle of Antietam

By Claudia Friddell, illustrated by Christopher Cyr. This powerful tribute to Civil War nurse Clara Barton and her heroic efforts during the Battle of Antietam reveals how she earned the name “The Angel of the Battlefield,” and shows the beginnings of her journey as one of our country’s greatest humanitarians and the founder of the American Red Cross.

Revolutionary Prudence Wright: Leading the Minute Women in the Fight for Independence

By Beth Anderson, illustrated by Susan Reagan. Here is the first-ever picture book about female Revolutionary War activist Prudence Wright, who rallied the first and only group of “minute women” to fight the British, changing history in the process.

Blast Off! How Mary Sherman Morgan Fueled America into Space

By Suzanne Slade, illustrated by Sally W. Comport. The inspirational story of Mary Sherman, the world’s first female rocket scientist, who overcame gender barriers and many failures to succeed.

Evergreen Stories about Women and Girls Who Changed the World

Wood, Wire, Wings by Kirsten W. Larson, illustrated by Tracy Subisak

Named a NCSS/CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Book and NSTA Best STEM Book list 2021, this riveting nonfiction picture book biography explores both the failures and successes of self-taught engineer Emma Lilian Todd as she tackles one of the greatest challenges of the early 1900s: designing an airplane.

The Leaf Detective by Heather Lang, illustrated by Jana Christy 

Meg Lowman was determined to investigate the marvelous, undiscovered world of the rainforest treetops. Meg’s perseverance and creativity allowed her to achieve this goal, but when this fantastic ecosystem started to disappear, Meg needed to act quickly.

Rosa’s Bus by Jo S. Kittinger, illustrated by Steve Walker

Rosa’s Bus by Jo S. Kittinger, illustrated by Steve Walker

Like all buses in Montgomery, Alabama in the 1950s, Bus #2857 was segregated: white passengers sat in the front and Black passengers sat in the back—until Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white passenger. Her arrest sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott, a major event in the Civil Rights movement led by a young minister, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. For 382 days, black passengers chose to walk rather than ride the buses in Montgomery.

Fearless Flyer by Heather Lang, illustrated by Raúl Colón

Discover a thrilling moment in history in this National Science Teachers Association Best STEM Book. In 1916 pioneering aviator Ruth Law attempted to do what no other aviator had done before: fly nonstop from Chicago to New York.

Girl with Brush and Canvas by Carolyn Meyer

The life of artist Georgia O’Keeffe is revealed in this biographical novel—from her childhood when she decided to be an artist, through her art education in Chicago and New York, to her eventual rise to fame in the American Southwest.

Born to Swing by Mara Rockliff, illustrated by Michele Wood

Here is the story of “Hot Miss Lil” Hardin Armstrong, legendary jazz pianist, composer, and bandleader–and a female pioneer on the music stage.

Fight of the Century by Barb Rosenstock, illustrated by Sarah Green

The fight for women’s suffrage between women’s rights leader Alice Paul and President Woodrow Wilson is creatively presented as a four-round boxing match in this energetic nonfiction picture book.

Grace Banker and Her Hello Girls Answer the Call by Claudia Friddell, illustrated by Elizabeth Baddeley

Led by twenty-five-year-old Grace Banker, thirty-two telephone operators — affectionately called “Hello Girls” back in the US — became the first female combatants in World War I.

Lizzie Demands a Seat! By Beth Anderson, illustrated by E. B. Lewis

Lizzie Demands a Seat! By Beth Anderson, illustrated by E. B. Lewis

In 1854, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Jennings, an African American schoolteacher, fought back when she was unjustly denied entry to a New York City streetcar, sparking the beginnings of the long struggle to gain equal rights on public transportation.

A Lady Has the Floor by Kate Hannigan, illustrated by Alison Jay

Written in the same vein as the recent best-selling titles I Dissent and She Persisted, here is a nonfiction picture book biography of Belva Lockwood, a lawyer, activist, and presidential candidate who devoted her life to overcoming obstacles and demanding equality for women.

Babe Conquers the World by Rich Wallace and Sandra Neil Wallace

Famous female athlete Babe Didrikson Zaharias had one driving goal: to become the greatest athlete who ever lived. But there was more to Babe than just sports.

Alice Paul and the Fight for Women’s Rights by Deborah Kops

Perfect for honoring and celebrating Women’s History Month, here is the story of the extraordinary Alice Paul, a leader in the long struggle for votes for women.

Dorothea’s Eyes by Barb Rosenstock, illustrated by Gerard Dubois

Called “an excellent beginner’s resource for biography, U.S. history, and women’s studies,” by Kirkus Reviews, here is the powerful and inspiring biography of Dorothea Lange, one of the founders of documentary photography.

Freedom’s Price by Michaela Maccoll and Rosemary Nichols

Eliza Scott isn’t quite a slave, but she’s not free either. She’s not a prisoner, but her family lives in a jail. Eliza, who attends a secret floating school on the Mississippi River because it’s illegal for her to read, says she understands how dangerous her situation is—but her parents know she’s not afraid enough.

The Poppy Lady by Barbara E. Walsh, illustrated by Layne Johnson

The Poppy Lady by Barbara E. Walsh, illustrated by Layne Johnson

Here is the inspiring story behind the Veterans Day red poppy, a symbol that honors the service and sacrifices of our veterans.

Molly, by Golly! By Dianne Ochiltree, illustrated by Kathleen Kemly

Here is the story of Molly Williams, an African American cook for New York City’s Fire Company 11 who is considered to be the first known female firefighter in U.S. history.

Rory’s Promise by Michaela Maccoll and Rosemary Nichols

This uplifting novel about the power of faith and the true meaning of family launches the Hidden Histories series, spotlighting little-known tales from America’s past, and the children behind those stories. Includes authors’ notes and further resources.

Queen of the Track by Heather Lang, illustrated by Floyd Cooper

Here is a story of perseverance and unwavering ambition that follows Alice Coachman on her journey from rural Georgia, where she overcame adversity both as a woman and as a black athlete, to her triumph in Wembly Stadium in the 1948 London Olympics.

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