13 Children’s Books That Embrace the Power of Female Expression

Did you know that March is Women’s History Month and March 8th is International Women’s Day? Also called the Day for Women’s Rights, it’s a global day that celebrates women’s achievements throughout history and around the world. Pretty cool, right? Whether you have boys or girls, it’s the perfect excuse to read some stories featuring smart, strong ladies. Here are a few books about awesome women, both real and imagined:

Fancy Nancy

Fancy Nancy is a young girl with a larger-than-life personality. She’s a sassy fashionista who loves rising above the ordinary, and she never hesitates to make a statement. She is unabashadley girly with her love of heels and all things purple and pink, and she’s a model to young girls everywhere to just be themselves.

I Am Enough

I Am Enough is a picture book that everyone needs. It’s a gorgeous ode to loving who you are, respecting others, and being kind to one another. Beautifully illustrated, rhyming pictures detail what one little girl (with an impressive afro) appreciates about herself. The underlying message is: We are all here for a purpose. We are more than enough. We just need to believe it.

Shaking Things Up: 14 Young Women Who Changed the World

Last, but not least, is this new book that’s hot off the press. Fresh, accessible, and inspiring, Shaking Things Up introduces fourteen revolutionary young women — each paired with a noteworthy female artist — to the next generation of activists, trail-blazers, and rabble-rousers. This is a poetic and visual celebration of persistent women throughout history.

Chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemum is a funny and honest story about teasing, self-esteem, and acceptance. Perhaps most importantly, it’s about a young girl who learns to have confidence in who she is. Chrysanthemum thinks her name is absolutely perfect — until her first day of school. “You’re named after a flower!” teases Victoria. “Let’s smell her,” says Jo. Fortunately, Chrysanthemum learns to love her name again and regains her confidence in this relatable story.

Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman: Conductor on the Underground Railroad was praised by the New Yorker as “an evocative portrait,” and by the Chicago Tribune as “superb.It is a gripping and accessible portrait of the heroic woman who guided more than 300 slaves to freedom and who is expected to be the face of the new $20 bill.

Dear Girl

This is a love letter written for the special girl in your life. It’s a gentle reminder that she’s powerful, strong, and holds a valuable place in the world. Any girl reading this book will feel that she’s great just the way she is, whether she enjoys jumping in a muddy puddle, has a face full of freckles, or dances on table tops. Dear Girl encourages girls to always be themselves and to love who they are — inside and out.

Brave Girl

This is the true story of a young immigrant who led the largest strike of women workers in U.S. history. Clara never quit, and she never accepted that girls should be treated poorly and paid little. From her short time in America, Clara learned that everyone deserves a fair chance — and that you had to stand together and fight for what you wanted. And, most importantly, that you could do anything you put your mind to.

No Truth Without Ruth

Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a powerhouse and may be one of the most respected women in the United States. Everyone should know her story. For years before becoming a justice of the Supreme Court, Ruth fought for equality as a lawyer and changed the way the law dealt with women’s rights. She also showed people that unfairness to women wasn’t just a female problem — that it negatively affected men and children too. This is an empowering picture book biography that tells the story of the second female justice of the Supreme Court.

Free As a Bird: The Story of Malala

Children everywhere should know about Malala. She’s a human rights activist and the youngest ever winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. In Pakistan, people said girls should not be educated. But Malala and her father were not afraid. She secretly went to school and spoke up for education in her country. Free as a Bird is the inspiring true story of a fearless girl and the father who taught her to soar.

Ramona Quimby

We can’t leave out this mischevious girl next door. Ramona Quimby is a girl who knows her mind, and every generation should read Beverly Cleary’s books about her. In Ramona Quimby, Age 8, Ramona likes that she’s old enough to be counted on, but must everything depend on her? Mrs. Quimby has gone back to work so that Mr. Quimby can return to school, and Ramona is expected to be good for Mrs. Kemp while her parents are away, to be brave enough to ride the school bus by herself, and to put up with being teased by Danny the Yard Ape. In Ramona’s world, being eight isn’t easy, but it’s never dull!

In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson

Do you remember this classic? Shirley Temple Wong is an immigrant girl who is inspired by the sport she loves to find her own team — and to break down any barriers that stand in her way. She has sailed from China to America with a heart full of dreams. Her new home is Brooklyn, New York. America is indeed a land full of wonders, but Shirley doesn’t know any English, so it’s hard to make friends. Then a miracle happens — baseball! It’s 1947, and Jackie Robinson, star of the Brooklyn Dodgers, is everyone’s hero. He proves that a black man can make a difference in America. By watching Jackie, Shirley begins to truly feel at home in her new country, and that America really is the land of opportunity — both on and off the field.

Hidden Figures: Young Readers Edition

Kids may be too young for the film, but this book details the amazing true story of four African-American female mathematicians at NASA who helped achieve some of the greatest moments in our space program. This book brings to life the stories of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden — four women whose work forever changed the face of NASA and the country.

P.S. There’s also a picture book for the younger set!

Remember the Ladies: 100 Great American Women

If you are looking for real-life heroes for kids to aspire to, this book spans the ages. In a 1776 letter cautioning her husband to “remember the ladies,” Abigail Adams made one of the earliest pleas for women’s rights in America. How could she have known, in the years to follow, just how many strong and independent women would step forward to forge new paths in their fight for equality? Remember the Ladies spans the centuries to provide an engaging look at one hundred outstanding women who have helped shape our great nation.


What books would you add to this list? Tell us below!

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