Women Who Changed the World

Women Who Changed the World

Get inspired by women whose work and lives made the world different.  Read these stories for Women's History Month or anytime of year.


Compiled by:
Ellen A.
Becoming Emily

Krystyna Poray Goddu
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 921 Dickinson God)

A middle-grade introduction to the life of the celebrated poet challenges popular misconceptions about her reclusive nature to explore her unusually high level of education, her close ties to friends and family members, and the poems she shared through her prolific correspondence. Suggested for ages 9-12.


Before She Was Harriet: The Story of Harriet Tubman

Lesa Cline-Ransome
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 921 Tubman Cli)

A lyrical biography of Harriet Tubman honors the woman of humble origins whose courage and compassion make her larger than life, discussing her roles as a slave, a conductor on the Underground Railroad, a nurse, a Union spy, and a suffragist. Suggested for ages 6-9.


A Computer Called Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Helped Put America on the Moon

Suzanne Slade
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 921 Johnson Sla)

Shares the story of the pioneering African American mathematician, Katherine Johnson, who helped calculate America's first manned flight into space, its first manned orbit of Earth, and the world's first trip to the moon. Suggested for ages 6-9.


Dorothea Lange: The Photographer Who Found the Faces of the Depression

Carole Boston Weatherford
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 770.92 Lange Wea)

Describes the life and career of the famous photographer, from her childhood struggles with polio to her iconic photographs of the Great Depression. Suggested for ages 9-12.


Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl's Courage Changed Music

Margarita Engle
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Eng)

Inspired by the childhood of Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, a Chinese-African-Cuban girl who broke Cuba's traditional taboo against female drummers, Drum Dream Girl tells an inspiring true story for dreamers everywhere. Suggested for ages 6-9.


Florence Nightingale

Demi
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 921 Nightingale Dem)

A picture book introduction to the female pioneer in medicine chronicles how Florence Nightingale revolutionized health care by promoting cleanliness, nutrition and organization in hospitals. Suggested for ages 6-9.


Girls Think of Everything: Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women

Catherine Thimmesh
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 609.2 Thi)

An updated edition of the best-selling guide features seven new chapters that reflect today's diverse and increasingly technological world. Suggested for ages 9-12.


Herstory: Women Who Changed the World

Ruth Ashby, Deborah Gore Ohrn
- Editors
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 920 He)

A very special collection of short biographies offers insightful sketches of the lives and accomplishments of 150 of history's most influential and brilliant women, including Clara Barton, the legendary Trung Sisters of medieval Vietnam, and many others. Suggested for ages 9-12.


Ida B. Wells: Fighter for Justice

Diane Bailey
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 921 Wells-Barnett Bai)
Series: Discovering History's Heroes

A portrait of African American journalist and activist Ida B. Wells describes the experiences that inspired her work fighting against racial inequality, political discrimination and lynching in the late 19th-century South. Suggested for ages 9-12.


Little Dreamers: Visionary Women Around the World

Vashti Harrison
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 920.72 Har)

Presents the lives of women creators throughout history, including profiles of Ada Lovelace, Bessie Blount Griffin, Yayoi Kosama, and Calypso Rose. Suggested for ages 9-12+


Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History

Vashti Harrison
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 920 Har)

Based on her popular Instagram posts, debut author/illustrator Vashti Harrison shares the stories of 40 bold African American women who shaped history. Suggested for ages 9-12+


Malala Yousafzai: Warrior with Words

Karen Leggett Abouraya
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 921 Yousafzai Abo)

The inspiring true story of Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl who has become an international activist for universal education, with beautiful collage illustrations by award-winning artist Susan L. Roth. Suggested for ages 9-12.


Noise Makers: 25 Women Who Raised Their Voices & Changed The World
(Juvenile Graphic Novels - J-GN 920.72 Noi)

Did anyone ever get anywhere by being quiet? To change anything, you have to make some noise! From the creators of the award-winning Kazoo magazine comes a look at the lives of 25 extraordinary women through the eyes of 25 extraordinary comic artists. Suggested for ages 9-12+.


Queen of Physics: How Wu Chien Shiung Helped Unlock the Secrets of the Atom

Teresa Robeson
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 921 Wu Rob)

When Wu Chien Shiung was born in China 100 years ago, girls did not attend school. But her parents named their daughter "Courageous Hero" and encouraged her love of science. This biography follows Wu as she battles sexism at home and racism in the United States of America to become what Newsweek magazine called the "Queen of Physics" for her work on how beta decay. Suggested for ages 9-12+


Rise: From Caged Bird to Poet of the People, Maya Angelou

Bethany Hegedus
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 921 Angelou Heg)

A biography of African American writer, performer, and activist Maya Angelou, who rose above a childhood of trauma and emotional pain to become one of the most inspiring voices of our lifetime. Includes afterword, author's note, and sources. Suggested for ages 9-12.


Shaking Things Up: 14 Young Women Who Changed the World

Susan Hood
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 305.4 Hoo)

An ensemble of leading women picture book creators join together to promote education and celebrate the Women's March through tributes to 14 of history's young female revolutionaries, including Malala Yousafzai, Molly Williams and Nelly Bly. Suggested for ages 9-12.


She Persisted Around the World: 13 Women Who Changed the World

Chelsea Clinton
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 920 Cli)

Profiles the lives of thirteen women who have left their mark on world history, including Caroline Herschel, Marie Curie, Mary Verghese, and Malala Yousafzai. Suggested for ages 6-9.


Viva Frida

Yuyi Morales
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 750.92 Kahlo Mor)

Bilingual text, accompanied by colorful photographs, explores the famous artist's life, and illuminates the laughter, love, and tragedy that influenced her work. Suggested for ages 3-6.


Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement

Carole Boston Weatherford
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 323.092 Wea)

Presents a collage-illustrated treasury of poems and spirituals inspired by the life and work of civil rights advocate Fannie Lou Hamer. Suggested for ages 9-12.


A Voice Named Aretha

Katheryn Russell-Brown
(Juvenile Nonfiction -J 780.92 Franklin Rus)

In this stirring biography of a true artistic and social icon, young readers learn how Aretha Franklin's talent, intelligence, and perseverance made her a star who will shine on for generations to come. Suggested for ages 6-9.


Wilma's Way Home: The Life of Wilma Mankiller

Doreen Rappaport
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 921 Mankiller Rap)
Series: Big Words

Wilma's courageous dedication to serving her people led to her election as the first female chief of the Cherokee Nation. As leader and advocate, she reinvigorated her constituency by empowering them to identify and solve community problems. Suggested for ages 9-12.