Regular readers of The Jenny Evolution know how much I love using books as a way to broaden my sons’ understanding of the world. And these non-fiction books about women for kids is an awesome way to demonstrate to my kids that women, despite tough obstacles, have changed the course of history. Strong women rock!
You can find these non-fiction books about women for kids at your local library or purchase them through the affiliate links provided for your convenience.
This is the second reading list about amazing women here on The Jenny Evolution for Women’s History Month! Read my first book list about amazing, rock-star women.
Non-Fiction Books about Women for Kids
Independent Dames: What You Never Knew About the Women and Girls of the American Revolution: Listen up! You’ve all heard about the great men who led and fought during the American Revolution; but did you know that the guys only make up part of the story? What about the women? The girls? The dames? Didn’t they play a part?
Of course they did, and with page after page of superbly researched information and thoughtfully detailed illustrations, acclaimed novelist and picture-book author Laurie Halse Anderson and charismatic illustrator Matt Faulkner prove the case in this entertaining, informative, and long overdue homage to those independent dames!
Rad American Women A-Z: Rebels, Trailblazers, and Visionaries who Shaped Our History . . . and Our Future!: Like all A-Z books, this one illustrates the alphabet—but instead of “A is for Apple”, A is for Angela—as in Angela Davis, the iconic political activist. B is for Billie Jean King, who shattered the glass ceiling of sports; C is for Carol Burnett, who defied assumptions about women in comedy; D is for Dolores Huerta, who organized farmworkers; and E is for Ella Baker, who mentored Dr. Martin Luther King and helped shape the Civil Rights Movement.
And the list of great women continues, spanning several centuries, multiple professions, and 26 diverse individuals. There are artists and abolitionists, scientists and suffragettes, rock stars and rabble-rousers, and agents of change of all kinds. The book includes an introduction that discusses what it means to be “rad” and “radical,” an afterword with 26 suggestions for how you can be “rad,” and a Resource Guide with ideas for further learning and reading.
Elizabeth Leads the Way: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Right to Vote: Elizabeth Cady Stanton stood up and fought for what she believed in. From an early age, she knew that women were not given rights equal to men. But rather than accept her lesser status, Elizabeth went to college and later gathered other like-minded women to challenge the right to vote.Here is the inspiring story of an extraordinary woman who changed America forever because she wouldn’t take “no” for an answer.
Let It Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters: Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus and sparked a boycott that changed America. Harriet Tubman helped more than three hundred slaves escape the South on the Underground Railroad. Shirley Chisholm became the first black woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
The lives these women led are part of an incredible story about courage in the face of oppression; about the challenges and triumphs of the battle for civil rights; and about speaking out for what you believe in–even when it feels like no one is listening. Andrea Davis Pinkney’s moving text and Stephen Alcorn’s glorious portraits celebrate the lives of ten bold women who lit the path to freedom for generations. Includes biographies of Sojournor Truth, Biddy Mason, Harriet Tubman, Ida B.Wells-Barnett, Mary McLeod Bethune, Ella Josephine Baker, Dorothy Irene Height, Rosa Parks, Fannie Lou Hamer, and Shirley Chisholm.
Who Was Anne Frank?: In her amazing diary, Anne Frank revealed the challenges and dreams common for any young girl. But Hitler brought her childhood to an end and forced her and her family into hiding. Who Was Anne Frank?looks closely at Anne’s life before the secret annex, what life was like in hiding, and the legacy of her diary. Black-and-white illustrations including maps and diagrams provide historical and visual reference in an easy-to-read biography written in a way that is appropriate and accessible for younger readers.
Mary Walker Wears the Pants: The True Story of the Doctor, Reformer, and Civil War Hero: Mary Edwards Walker was unconventional for her time: She was one of the first women doctors in the country, she was a suffragist, and she wore pants! And when the Civil War struck, she took to the battlefields in a modified Union uniform as a commissioned doctor. For her service she became the only woman ever to earn the Medal of Honor. This picture book biography tells the story of a remarkable woman who challenged traditional roles and lived life on her own terms.
Founding Mothers: Remembering the Ladies: Beautifully illustrated by Caldecott Honor–winning artist Diane Goode, Founding Mothers: Remembering the Ladies reveals the incredible accomplishments of the women who orchestrated the American Revolution behind the scenes. Roberts traces the stories of heroic, patriotic women such as Abigail Adams, Martha Washington, Phillis Wheatley, Mercy Otis Warren, Sarah Livingston Jay, and others. Details are gleaned from their letters, private journals, lists, and ledgers. The bravery of these women’s courageous acts contributed to the founding of America and spurred the founding fathers to make this a country that “remembered the ladies.”
Sewing Stories: Harriet Powers’ Journey from Slave to Artist: Harriet Powers learned to sew and quilt as a young slave girl on a Georgia plantation. She lived through the Civil War and Reconstruction, and eventually owned a cotton farm with her family, all the while relying on her skills with the needle to clothe and feed her children.
Later she began making pictorial quilts, using each square to illustrate Bible stories and local legends. She exhibited her quilts at local cotton fairs, and though she never traveled outside of Georgia, her quilts are now priceless examples of African American folk art.
Pocahontas: Princess of the New World: She was the favored daughter of the Chief of the Powhatan Indians, and a girl in motion; always laughing, teasing, and dancing. But from the moment John Smith and the colonists of Jamestown set foot into her world in 1607, her life would change forever. She soon became an ambassador and peace keeper between the Powhatan and the colonists. Because of her curiosity and courage, Pocahontas became the bridge between the two worlds.
My Name Is Truth: The Life of Sojourner Truth: Here is the remarkable true story of how former slave Isabella Baumfree transformed herself into the preacher and orator Sojourner Truth, as told by acclaimed author Ann Turner and award-winning illustrator James Ransome. An iconic figure of the abolitionist and women’s rights movements, Sojourner Truth famously spoke out for equal rights roughly one hundred years before the civil rights movement.
This beautifully illustrated and impeccably researched picture book biography underwent expert review by two historians of the period. My Name Is Truth includes a detailed historical note, an archival photo, and a list of suggested supplemental reading materials. Written in the fiery and eloquent voice of Sojourner Truth herself, this moving story will captivate readers just as Sojourner’s passionate words enthralled her listeners.
Coretta Scott: Walking many miles to school in the dusty road, young Coretta Scott knew the unfairness of life in the segregated south. A yearning for equality began to grow. Together with Martin Luther King, Jr., she gave birth to a vision of change through nonviolent protest. It was the beginning of a journey—with dreams of freedom for all.
Pioneer Girl: The Story of Laura Ingalls Wilder: This picture-book biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder tells the remarkable story of the pioneer girl who would one day immortalize her adventures in the beloved Little House books. Written in simple, glowing text by noted Little House scholar William Anderson, and illustrated with glorious paintings by artist Dan Andreasen, this wonderful first biography captures the very essence of the little girl called ‘Half-pint,’ whose classic books and pioneer adventures have made her one of the most popular literary figures in America.
Heart on Fire: Susan B. Anthony Votes for President: On November 5, 1872, Susan B. Anthony made history—and broke the law—when she voted in the US presidential election, a privilege that had been reserved for men. She was arrested, tried, and found guilty: “The greatest outrage History ever witnessed,” she wrote in her journal. It wasn’t until 1920 that women were granted the right to vote, but the civil rights victory would not have been possible without Susan B. Anthony’s leadership and passion to stand up for what was right.
Helen’s Big World: The Life of Helen Keller: This picturebook biography is an excellent and accessible introduction for young readers to learn about one of the world’s most influential luminaries. With her signature style of prose laced with stirring quotes, Doreen Rappaport brings to life Helen Keller’s poignant narrative. Acclaimed illustrator Matt Tavares beautifully captures the dynamism and verve of Helen Keller’s life and legacy, making Helen’s Big Worldan unforgettable portrait of a woman whose vision for innovation and progress changed America-and the world-forever.
Florence Nightingale: Florence Nightingale revolutionized the world of medicine by emphasizing cleanliness, food that was hot and nutritious, and organization in hospitals. What began as an attempt to make army hospitals safer and more effective became a lifelong mission, and remains relevant today. This new picture book biography of Florence Nightingale, from celebrated author and artist Demi, beautifully portrays the story of Florence’s life and explores the long-lasting effects of her career.
Sacagawea (Carter G Woodson Award Book (Awards)): A biography of the Shoshone girl, Sacagawea, from age eleven when she was kidnapped by the Hitdatsa to the end of her journey with Lewis and Clark, plus speculation about her later life.
Time For Kids: Harriet Tubman: A Woman of Courage: As a teenage slave, Harriet Tubman stood up to an overseer who was trying to harm another slave. From that time forward, Tubman (above left) fought against unfairness and for what she believed was right. She helped hundreds of African Americans escape on the Underground Railroad.