10 books about famous women throughout history

Women’s History Month: Settle Into a Good Book About a Fearless Female

March 7, 2023

At the turn of the 19th century, women gathered in the nation’s capital to represent themselves and their constitutional amendment guaranteeing their right to vote. In fact, on March 13, 1913 over 8,000 women gathered. On March 22, 1972, nearly 60 years later, the U.S. Senate passed the Equal Rights Amendment. Later in the 1980’s under President Jimmy Carter’s administration, a proclamation was signed declaring March 2-8 Women’s History Week. Now, over 110 years later, in the United States, Women’s History Month is celebrated the entire month of March.

Whether it is trailblazing in space, in the fields of science and discovery, in the arts, on the battlefield, or fighting for civil rights, women have been some of the most important history shapers in the United States. They have held an important and vibrant role in forming society and culture as well as bringing awareness and change to gender inequality, discrimination, and women’s rights.

During the month of March, consider having a female-focused family story time as you read any of these books by famous female history makers.

Brave Clara Barton
Clarissa “Clara” Barton was an American nurse who founded the American Red Cross. During the American Civil War, Barton was a teacher and a patent clerk. Barton gave “self-taught” nursing care since during her time, formal nursing education was not available.

Escape North: The Story of Harriet Tubman
Harriet Tubman was a social activist and American abolitionist. She is best known for her use of the Underground Railroad which provided safe passage for anti slavery activists. It is estimated that Tubman made more than 13 missions to rescue over 70 enslaved people.

I Am Helen Keller
Born in Alabama, Helen Keller lost her sight and her hearing after an illness when she was a toddler. Until the age of seven, Keller mostly used signs established at home until she met her teacher, Annie Sullivan. Through Sullivan’s help, Helen Keller went on to learn to read, write, and attend school. She became the first deaf and blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. Helen Keller Helen is remembered as an advocate for disability rights, a political activist, and an author.

I Am Marie Curie
Marie Curie, a naturalized-French physicist and chemist is best known for her research on radioactivity. Sources report that she was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the first person to win a Nobel Prize twice, and the only person to win a Nobel Prize in two scientific fields. Curie has a total of five Nobel Prizes to her credit, including one she and her husband won together. In 1906, Curie became the first woman named as professor at the University of Paris.

I Am Rosa Parks
Rosa Parks was an American activist in the civil rights movement best known for her iconic role in the Montgomery bus boycott. The U.S. Congress honored her as “the first lady of civil rights” and “the mother of the freedom movement.”

Me and the Sky: Captain Beverley Bass, Pioneering Pilot
Beverley Bass is an American aircraft pilot. In 1986, she became the first female captain of a commercial plane at American Airlines and later that year Bass captained the first all-female crew in the history of commercial jet aviation.

Midnight Teacher: Lilly Ann Ganderson and Her Secret School
Lily Ann Granderson was an American educator. She was born into slavery in 1816 in Virginia. Granderson is celebrated as a pioneering educator who taught other enslaved people how to read.

Reaching for the Moon: The Autobiography of Nasa Mathematician Katherine Johnson
Katherine Johnson was an American mathematician whose calculations of orbital mechanics as a NASA employee were critical to the success of the first and subsequent U.S. crewed spaceflights.

Tallchief: America’s Prima Ballerina
Elizabeth Marie “Tallchief” was an American ballerina. Considered America’s first major prima ballerina, Tallchief was the first Native American to hold this rank. She is said to have revolutionized ballet and began taking formal lessons at the age of three.

The Girl Who Could Fix Anything: Beatrice Shilling, World War II Engineer
Beatrice “Tilly” Shilling was a British aeronautical engineer, motorcycle racer, and sports car racer. She is best known for her work on carburetors during World War II at the Royal Aircraft Establishment. In 1949, Shilling was awarded an Order of the British Empire.

Who Is Jane Goodall?
Jane Goodall is an English anthropologist and primatologist. She is considered the world’s preeminent expert on chimpanzees. Goodall spent more than 60 years studying the social and family interactions of wild chimpanzees.

Who Is Malala Yousafzai?
Malala Yousafzai, is a Pakistani female education activist and the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize laureate. She is the world’s youngest Nobel Prize laureate, winning at the age of 17. Yousafzai is the second Pakistani and the first Pashtun to receive a Nobel Prize.

You Should Meet Mae Jemison
Mae Jemison is an American engineer, physician, and former NASA astronaut. She became the first black woman to travel into space when she served as a mission specialist aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour in 1992.