March is Women’s History Month, and there are so many wonderful books about amazing women in history. Women’s History Month is an excellent time to celebrate important women in history and inspire students to impact the world. It is also a great opportunity to incorporate diversity by sharing the stories of women from various backgrounds, races, and nationalities. Here are some of my favorite books to share with students to learn about and celebrate women in history.
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My Top 6 Women’s History Books for Lower Elementary
1. Brave Ballerina the Story of Janet Collins by Michelle Meadows
- This is a beautiful story, written as a poem, about Janet Collins. The story is about her following her dreams to become a ballerina while overcoming racial challenges. Young students will be intrigued by the rhyme and rhythm, but still understand the message of persistence.
2. Summer Birds: The Butterflies of Maria Merian by Margarita Engle
- This is the story of a woman from the Middle Ages who pursued science in studying caterpillars, despite the commonly held belief that insects were evil. This story is told in a simple way to help students understand how Maria followed her passion, despite the opinions of others.
3. Malala’s Magic Pencil by Malala Yousafzai
- This is the story of one of today’s most inspiring women, Malala Yousafazi. When Malala lived in Pakistan, she wished for a magic pencil. Her world quickly changed around her, and her wishes changed too. She wanted to fight for the right to an education for her self and other women in her country.
4. The Girl Who Thought in Pictures by Julia Finley Mosca
- This is the story of Temple Grandin, a scientist who did not let her diagnosis of Autism get in her way. She finds a passion in inventing improvements for animals in farms around the world. This story is written as a poem, so the rhyme and rhythm are sure to grab your student’s attention.
5. Mary Wears What She Wants by Keith Negley
- This is the story of Mary Edwards Walker, who was a doctor that got arrested many times for wearing pants. This story tells the story through her childhood, showing how Mary challenged gender norms, despite the judgment she received from others. It is an inspiring story to encouraging children to think for themselves.
6. Mae Among the Stars by Roda Ahmed
- The story of Mae Jemison’s childhood, the first African American woman in space. This story tells of Mae’s dreams and persistence despite the cards being stacked against her since she as an African American female.
My Top 6 Women’s History Books for Upper Elementary
1. Hidden Figures The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly
- This is the true story of four African American women who made history when they were hired by NASA to do the math that would send the USA to space. These women used their persistence and intelligence to succeed, despite the challenges they faced due to racism and sexism.
2. Turning Pages My Life Story by Sonia Sotomayor
- This is the true story of the first Latina Supreme Court Justice. Books inspired Sotomayor to follow her dreams. Books helped her see the world and connect with others throughout her life.
3. Gloria’s Voice by Aura Lewis
- Gloria Steinem was an activist feminist, and leader who dedicated her life to equality and helping others.
4. Miep and the Most Famous Diary by Meeg Pincus
- This story is about a brave woman named Miep Gies who risked everything to help her neighbors. Her story of courage and compassion and standing up for what she believes is right will inspire your students to learn more.
5. She Persisted by Chelsea Clinton
- She Persisted is a compilation of 13 stories of American women who changed the world. Stories include Helen Keller, Claudette, Colvin, and Oprah Winfrey.
6. She Persisted Around the World by Chelsea Clinton
- This is a compilation of 13 stories of women around the world who changed history. Women heroes include J.K. Rowling, Marie Curie, and Mary Verghese.
I hope these amazing stories encourage your students to learn more about the inspiring women who have changed the world.
Looking for More?
For printable passages and questions, you can check out my Women’s History Close Reading Packets for 2nd & 3rd grade, 4th & 5th grade, and my differentiated bundle.
You can also check out my Virtual Field Trip to Women’s History. Students will learn about the work, monuments, and hometowns of historically important women: Maria Tallchief, Dolores Huerta, Grace Lee Boggs, and Althea Gibson.
Have favorite books of your own? Drop a comment below to share!