26 of the Best Women’s History Month Books for Kids
March marks Women’s History Month, a time to celebrate and recognize the achievements of women past and present in a variety of fields. This is a great time to teach children about the many female trailblazers.
There are countless children’s books to teach about women of all backgrounds and how they have contributed to society. Learn what books will help you celebrate International Women’s Day 2023 with your kids, and use these great stories to teach kids more about the meaning of Women’s History Month.
Why Teach Children About Women’s History Month
Throughout history, women have played an important role in innovation, government, and several other areas. They may not have received the credit they deserved which is why it’s important to designate a time to give them the spotlight they have earned.
Many children, and adults, may not have realized several contributions women have made. As you work to educate your children about Women’s History Month, you’ll likely learn some information along the way that you never knew.
Celebrating International Women’s Day 2023
International Women’s Day on March 8th is one effort in place to help spark that change. It is a time to promote women’s rights and celebrate the achievements of women past and present. It is a global day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements women have made in the world. It is also a time to recognize the need to accelerate women’s equality.
The theme for International Women's Day 2023 is #EmbraceEquity. Equity means creating an inclusive world. There is a challenge this year for collective activism to help drive change.
International Women’s Day started in the early 20th century to promote women’s rights, especially suffrage. In 1909, The Socialist Party of America held the first National Women’s Day. This day was observed until 1913.
During this time, the International Socialist Congress agreed to create an international version of the U.S. holiday. On March 19, 1911, the first International Women’s Day was held in Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland. In 1921, International Women's Day was officially changed to March 8th and has stayed that way ever since.
26 Best Books to Teach Kids about Women’s History Month
Books are a great teaching tool when it comes to Women’s History Month. From preschoolers to teens, there is something for everyone to learn. Here are 26 of the best books to teach kids about Women’s History Month.
Books for Ages 3 and Up
- “This Little Trail Blazer” by Joan Holub
“This Little Trail Blazer” teaches young children about influential and trailblazing women in history. Done through a board book style, it is an age-appropriate book for children ages 3 and up. It is also part of the “This Little” series.
- “She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World” by Chelsea Clinton
“She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World” celebrates thirteen American women who helped to shape our country. It features Senator Elizabeth Warren, Harriet Tubman, Clara Lemlich, Sonia Sotomayor, and several other notable women.
- “A Is for Awesome: 13 Iconic Women Who Changed the World” by Eva Chen
“A Is for Awesome: 13 Iconic Women Who Changed the World” not only teaches your child about women’s history but is also an alphabet lesson. For each letter of the alphabet, your child will learn about a notable woman in history.
- “I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark” by Debbie Levy
In this picture book, young girls are inspired to stand up for themselves and others. In “I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark”, girls are taught that disagreement makes them strong and principled, but rude. It focuses on the value of expressing opinions and disagreements when we see inequalities in the world.
- “Sonia Sotomayor: A Judge Grows in the Bronx” by Jonah Winter
This book tells the story of Sonia Sotomayor, the first Latina Supreme Court Justice. It chronicles how her determination and curiosity led her on the path to her success. “Sonia Sotomayor: A Judge Grows in the Bronx” aims to teach children that they can succeed even when the path is difficult.
6. “My Name Is Not Isabella: Just How Big Can a Little Girl Dream?” by Jennifer Fosberry
This picture book follows the popular character Isabella as she pretends to be famous women throughout American history like Rosa Parks and Sally Ride. “My Name is Not Isabella: Just How Big Can a Little Dream?” is a great tool to teach preschoolers about influential women at a young age.
- “Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos” by Monica Brown
In this book, children will learn about one of the world's most influential painters, Frida Kahlo, and the animals that inspired her art and life. “Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos” chronicles Kahlo’s works which are known for their bold and vibrant colors.
- “Gloria Takes a Stand: How Gloria Steinem Listened, Wrote, and Changed the World” by Jessica M. Rinker
The story of Gloria Steinem aims to inspire young girls today. It tells how she defied the status quo and set her own path as she learned about government, traveled to India, and wrote stories for newspapers and magazines. “Gloria Takes a Stand: How Gloria Steinem Listened, Wrote, and Changed the World” is a colorful picture book that also tells a valuable story.
Books for Ages 5 and Up
- “Brave Ballerina: The Story of Janet Collins” by Michelle Meadows
“Brave Ballerina: The Story of Janet Collins” is the inspiring story of Janet Collins, the first African American prima ballerina in the Metropolitan Opera House. Children will learn about her commitment and perseverance although several ballet schools did not accept black students during her time.
- “She Persisted in Science” by Chelsea Clinton
Written by the daughter of former President Bill Clinton, Chelsea Clinton aims to teach children about women scientists who were told “no” but persisted nevertheless in the book “She Persisted in Science". It is part of the “She Persisted” series of books. This book features Florence Nightingale, Rebecca Lee Crumpler, Jane Goodall, and many other well-known women.
- “Like a Girl” by Lori Degman
Celebrating the women who made a difference, “Like a Girl” highlights the achievements of Maya Angelou, Sally Ride, Helen Keller, Simone Biles, and more. Besides celebrating women, this book strives to inspire children to make a difference as well.
- “Hedy Lamarr’s Double Life” by Laurie Wallmark
Movie star Hedy Lamarr was considered one of the most beautiful women in the world, but she was also an amazing inventor. “Hedy Lamarr’s Double Life” shares Lamarr’s life and teaches children how she developed a groundbreaking communications system during World War II that is still used today.
- “Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race” by Margot Lee Shetterly
Based on the bestselling book and popular movie, “Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race” is a picture book that tells the story of four black women who overcame obstacles in the 1960s. Their perseverance led them to succeed in math at NASA. This is an inspiring story for both boys and girls.
- “Kamala Harris: Rooted in Justice” by Nikki Grimes
“Kamala Harris: Rooted in Justice”, tells the story of Vice President Kamala Harris. It details how she went to civil rights marches with her parents as a young girl and went on to become Vice President of the United States.
- “She Loved Baseball: The Effa Manley Story” by Audrey Vernick and Don Tate
If your child is interested in baseball, they’ll love to hear the story of Effa Manley. She was a young woman who fought against the inequalities that African Americans faced. She and her husband started the Brooklyn Eagles baseball team in New York City, where she became their business manager.
Effa fought against those who didn’t believe that a woman belonged at the Negro League meetings. In “She Loved Baseball: The Effa Manley Story”, children will learn how she proved that she was knowledgeable and deserved to be there.
- “Elizabeth Leads the Way: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Right to Vote” by Tanya Lee Stone
“Elizabeth Leads the Way: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Right to Vote” describes Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s role in the suffragist movement. After hearing her story, children will learn the importance of voting.
Books for Ages 10 and Up
- “The Skylarks’ War” by Hilary McKay
In “The Skylarks’ War”, children will read about Clarry Penrose who longs for independence despite the fact that her father doesn’t believe that girls should be educated. War breaks out and her cousin goes missing, sending her on a mission and forcing her to step out of her shell.
- “Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World” by Rachel Ignotofsky
Young readers will learn about several remarkable women in STEM in “Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World”. If your child likes science, technology, engineering, and math, this is a must-read.
- “Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer: The Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement” by Carole Boston Weatherford
Through poems and collage illustrations, “Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer: The Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement” teaches about Fannie Lou Hamer, who Minister Malcolm X called, "the country's number one freedom-fighting woman." Children will learn about her role in black history and her efforts to efforts to march alongside Martin Luther King Jr.
- “Rad Women Worldwide, Rad American Women A-Z and Rad Girls Can” by Kate Schatz
The Rad Women series is a trilogy of books that tells the profiles of history and non-history-making women around the world. These “rad women” will teach and inspire young readers that anything is possible.
- “Marley Dias Gets It Done” by Marley Dias
“Marley Dias Gets It Done”, tells the story of none other than Marley Dias. This teen has an extensive resume that includes partnering with the Obama White House to launch a national literacy tour and serving as an editor-in-residence at Elle.com.
Books for Ages 12 and Up
- “I am Malala” by Malala Yousafzai
This is the story of Malala Yousafzai, a Nobel Peace Prize winner who was shot in the heady by the Taliban when she was 15. After her recovery, she advocated for girls’ education around the world and continues to do so today. “I am Malala” has become required reading in some schools.
- “The Diary of a Young Girl” by Anne Frank
“The Diary of a Young Girl” is a well-known book that tells the story of Anne Frank’s first-hand account of her life during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands.
- “Forever Our First Lady” by Michelle Obama
This is Michelle Obama’s newest version of her best-selling memoir “Becoming”. It takes the original tale of her book and adds a message to those who are still in the process of discovering themselves. “Forever Our First Lady” is a great way for children to learn about our former first lady.
- “Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen” by Jazz Jennings
“Being Jazz: My Life as a Transgender Teen” tells the story of trans activist Jazz Jennings who transitioned when she was 5. Since then, she has become an activist and has become vocal about discrimination against the trans community.
- “A Women in the House and Senate” by Ilene Cooper
“A Women in the House and Senate” gives a history of the female political trailblazers, beginning with Jeannette Rankin, who was elected to Congress in 1916. The book also highlights the 2018 election and highlights modern-day political icons.
While it’s important to highlight important women in history through these books, the effort is one that should be extended throughout the year. These books are good resources to teach about the impact women have had on history and to inspire children to want to pave a new path.
For even more inspiration on activities to teach your kids about Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, check out these 6 Fun Activities to Celebrate Women’s History Month with Your Child!