Women’s History Month Reads: 6 Books for Readers 8 – 12 Years Old
Share Women’s History with your tweens! Here’s a list of 6 books that feature strong, real women to hold you over until you receive the March box. All the books in this list are designated for children 8-12 years old. Perfect for Nest readers!
Malala: My Story of Standing Up for Girls’ Rights by Malala Yousafzai, Sarah J. Robbins (Adapted by)
Malala’s memoir of a remarkable teenage girl who risked her life for the right to go to school is now abridged and adapted for chapter book readers. Raised in a changing Pakistan by an enlightened father from a poor background and a beautiful, illiterate mother, Malala was taught to stand up for what she believes. Her story of bravery and determination in the face of extremism is more timely than ever.
In this edition, Malala tells her story in clear, accessible language perfect for children who are too old for Malala’s Magic Pencil and too young for her middle-grade memoir. Featuring line art and simplified back matter, Malala teaches a new audience the value of speaking out against intolerance and hate: an inspiring message of hope in Malala’s own words.
March Forward, Girl: From Young Warrior to Little Rock Nine by Melba Pattillo Beals, Frank Morrison (Illustrator)
Long before she was one of the Little Rock Nine, Melba Pattillo Beals was a warrior. Frustrated by the laws that kept African-Americans separate but very much unequal to whites, she had questions. Why couldn’t she drink from a “whites only” fountain? Why couldn’t she feel safe beyond home—or even within the walls of church? Adults all told her: Hold your tongue. Be patient. Know your place. But Beals had the heart of a fighter—and the knowledge that her true place was a free one.
Combined with emotive drawings and photos, this memoir paints a vivid picture of Beals’ powerful early journey on the road to becoming a champion for equal rights, an acclaimed journalist, a best-selling author, and the recipient of this country’s highest recognition, the Congressional Gold Medal.
Red Bird Sings: The Story of Zitkala-Sa, Native American Author, Musician, and Activist by Gina Capaldi, Q. L. Pearce
“I remember the day I lost my spirit.” So begins the story of Gertrude Simmons, also known as Zitkala-Ša, which means Red Bird. Born in 1876 on the Yankton Sioux reservation in South Dakota, Zitkala-Ša willingly left her home at age eight to go to a boarding school in Indiana. But she soon found herself caught between two worlds—white and Native American.
At school she missed her mother and her traditional life, but Zitkala-Ša found joy in music classes. “My wounded spirit soared like a bird as I practiced the piano and violin,” she wrote. Her talent grew, and when she graduated, she became a music teacher, composer, and performer.
Zitkala-Ša found she could also “sing” to help her people by writing stories and giving speeches. As an adult, she worked as an activist for Native American rights, seeking to build a bridge between cultures
The coauthors tell Zitkala-Ša’s life by weaving together pieces from her own stories. The artist’s acrylic illustrations and collages of photos and primary source documents round out the vivid portrait of Zitkala-Ša, a frightened child whose spirit “would rise again, stronger and wiser for the wounds it had suffered.”
Path to the Stars: My Journey from Girl Scout to Rocket Scientist by Sylvia Acevedo
A meningitis outbreak in their underprivileged neighborhood left Sylvia Acevedo’s family forever altered. As she struggled in the aftermath of loss, young Sylvia’s life transformed when she joined the Brownies. The Girl Scouts taught her how to take control of her world and nourished her love of numbers and science.
With new confidence, Sylvia navigated shifting cultural expectations at school and at home, forging her own trail to become one of the first Latinx to graduate with a master’s in engineering from Stanford University and going on to become a rocket scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Retold for a younger audience, this exciting memoir shows how, even in a desperate situation, one boy’s brilliant idea can light up the world. Complete with photographs, illustrations, and an epilogue that will bring readers up to date on William’s story, this is the perfect edition to read and share with the whole family.
Dreams from Many Rivers: A Hispanic History of the United States Told in Poems by Margarita Engle, Beatriz Gutierrez Hernandez (Illustrator)
From Juana Briones and Juan Ponce de León, to eighteenth century slaves and modern-day sixth graders, the many and varied people depicted in this moving narrative speak to the experiences and contributions of Latinos throughout the history of the United States, from the earliest known stories up to present day. It’s a portrait of a great, enormously varied, and enduring heritage. A compelling treatment of an important topic.
Brave. Black. First.: 50+ African American Women Who Changed the World by Cheryl Hudson, Erin K. Robinson (Illustrator)
Harriet Tubman guided the way.
Rosa Parks sat for equality.
Aretha Franklin sang from the soul.
Serena Williams bested the competition.
Michelle Obama transformed the White House.
Black women everywhere have changed the world!
Published in partnership with curators from Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, this illustrated biography compilation captures the iconic moments of fifty African American women whose heroism and bravery rewrote the American story for the better.
They were fearless. They were bold. They were game changers.