Nora/ March 1, 2019/ Walker's Bookshelf

if I am ever less than a mountain
for your definite brothers and sisters
let the rivers pour over my head
— Lucille Clifton

This March marks the 33rd Women’s History Month in the United States. Women’s History Month has been celebrated since a public law was passed by Congress in 1986 to expand the preceding traditions of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Week to a full month in order to honor the story of women in America. Characteristic of women’s history, the law resulted after nearly a decade of grassroots lobbying to officially recognize the struggle and accomplishments of women.

The Women’s Suffrage Movement of the early 20th century granted women the right to vote, but when President Kennedy initiated a Commission on the Status of Women in 1961, results demonstrated that women continued to face discrimination in nearly every aspect of life. The second wave of the Women’s Movement in the 1960s proved to be a landmark in women’s struggle for civil rights, with legal coups like the Equal Pay Act and the continued attempt for women to gain equal footing in society. While these iconic moments of activism are part of America’s history, women continue to advocate for rights in a variety of spheres. From congressional seats to the Nobel Peace Prize, women’s history is marked by milestones and refusals to be silent.

Often Women’s History is viewed as a series of events, political actions, and firsts: the first Bachelor’s degree awarded to a woman in 1840, the Women’s Rights Convention in 1848, the first International Women’s Day in 1909, the declaration of women’s right to vote in 1920, the first major party female presidential candidate in 1972, Roe v. Wade in 1973. These are moments to revisit, celebrate, and explore, but women’s history is ultimately a story that flows through dates and across boundaries. The theme for this year’s Women’s History Month is Visionary Women: Champions of Peace and Nonviolence. It serves as a reminder that women are visionaries who contribute to the larger narratives of our world, to all manner of struggles for peace, freedom, and equality. The changemaking capacity of women today and throughout history is not limited, but expansive, fusing vision to speech and action, and intersecting with a larger international and national story.

March is an opportunity to champion the women who have enriched America’s history, discuss what is meant by feminism, learn about the history of suffrage and the Women’s Movement, and celebrate the women who make powerful strides in today’s world. It provides a forum to explore how women have contributed to struggles for all manner of civil rights, how women have spoken out for better education and the environment, and how women have transformed art and literature and spoken up on behalf of others.

However Women’s History Month is celebrated, the ultimate goal is to combat erasure of women’s voices from America’s history, to continue to listen to the words penned and spoken, the visions crafted in artwork, the chords struck in music, that tell the story of women in the United States and on the world stage. Through the strong female protagonists of fiction, to biographies of women activists, these selections from our collection invite both children and adults to explore tales by and about women in their myriad roles, women who have been nothing less than mountains of courage and character.

LIST OF MATERIALS YOU CAN BORROW NOW

Fiction

  • Americanah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • The Power, Naomi Alderman
  • The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood
  • White Houses, Amy Bloom
  • Bloodchild and Other Stories, Octavia Butler
  • What We Lose, Zinzi Clemmons
  • The Girls, Emma Cline
  • Song of a Captive Bird, Jazmin Darznik
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston
  • Beloved, Toni Morrison
  • Runaway, Alice Munro
  • The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath
  • Lila, Marilynne Robinson
  • The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan
  • Sing, Unburied, Sing, Jesmyn Ward
  • Old New York, Edith Wharton
  • The Female Persuasion, Meg Wollitzer
  • Red Clocks, Leni Zumas

Non-Fiction Biography

  • The Invisible Sex: Uncovering the True Roles of Women in Prehistory, J.M. Adovasio
  • Lighting the Fires of Freedom: African American Women in the Civil Rights Movement, Janet Dewart Bell
  • The Queen of Heartbreak Trail: The Life and Times of Harriet Pullen, Pioneering Woman, Eleanor Phillips Brackbill
  • Compassionate Journey: Honoring Our Mother’s Stories, ed. Maggie Butler
  • Hard Choices, Hillary Rodham Clinton
  • When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present, Gail Collins
  • Eleanor Roosevelt: Her Impact on the Civil Rights Movement, the White House, and the World, Ilene Cooper
  • Why I Am Not a Feminist, Jessa Crispin
  • Women in the Material World, Faith D’Aluisio & Peter Menzel
  • Sharp: The Women Who Made an Art of Having an Opinion, Michelle Dean
  • The Feminine Mystique, Betty Friedan
  • Women’s Words, Women’s Stories: An American Daybook, ed. Lois Stiles Edgerly
  • My Own Words, Ruth Bader Ginsburg
  • In Praise of Difficult Women: Life Lessons from 29 Heroines Who Dared to Break the Rules, Karen Karbo
  • More Than Petticoats: Remarkable Maine Women, Kate Kennedy
  • I Dream a World: Portraits of Black Women Who Changed America, Brian Lanker
  • Lost Woods: The Discovered Writing of Rachel Carson, ed. Linda Lear
  • The Secret History of Wonder Woman, Jill Lepore
  • Every Day is a Good Day: Reflections By Contemporary Indigenous Women, Wilma P. Mankiller
  • Becoming, Michelle Obama
  • What She Ate: Six Remarkable Women and the Food That Tells Their Stories, Laura Shapiro
  • Women of the Sea, Edward Rowe Snow
  • My Life on the Road, Gloria Steinem
  • The Woman’s Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote, Elaine Weiss

Poetry

  • The Complete Poetry, Maya Angelou
  • Poetry From the Women’s Movement, ed. Honor Moore
  • Diving into the Wreck, Adrienne Rich

Films

  • Hidden Figures
  • Jackie
  • A League of Their Own
  • Not For Ourselves Alone: The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton & Susan B. Anthony
  • She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry
  • Suffragette

Periodicals

  • Bitch
  • Bust
  • Ms.

Graphic Novels

  • Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World, Penelope Bagieu
  • Femme Magnifique: 50 Magnificent Women Who Changed the World, Shelly Bond, Kristy Miller, & Brian Miller
  • Woman World, Aminder Dhaliwal

Children’s

  • Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
  • Rosie Revere, Engineer, Andrea Beatty
  • Counting on Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Saved Apollo 13, Helaine Becker
  • Eleanor, Barbara Cooney
  • Girls Can Do Anything, Caitlin Doyle
  • Stella By Starlight, Sharon M. Draper
  • Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Tales of Extraordinary Women, Elena Favilli & Francesca Cavallo
  • You Want Women to Vote, Lizzie Stanton?, Jean Fritz
  • Amina’s Voice, Hena Khan
  • A Lady Has the Floor: Belva Lockwood Speaks Out for Women’s Rights, Kate Hannigan
  • A Time For Courage: The Suffragette Diary of Kathleen Bowen, Kathryn Lasky
  • Gloria’s Voice: The Story of Gloria Steinem—Feminist, Activist, Leader, Aura Lewis
  • Rad American Women A-Z, Kate Schatz
  • Madam President, Lane Smith
  • Who Says Women Can’t Be Computer Programmers?: The Story of Ada Lovelace, Tanya Lee Stone
  • Madam President: The Extraordinary, True (and Evolving) Story of Women in Politics, Catherine Thimmesh
  • Limitless: 24 Remarkable American Women of Vision, Grit, and Guts, Leah Tinari
  • Brown Girl Dreaming, Jacqueline Woodson

Young Adult

  • Feminism: Reinventing the F-Word, Nadia Abushanab Higgins
  • Here We Are: Feminism For the Real World, ed. Kelly Jensen
  • Girl Squads: 20 Female Friendships That Changed History, Sam Maggs
  • Moxie, Jennifer Mathieu
  • Our Stories, Our Voices: 21 YA Authors Speak Out About Injustice, Empowerment, and Growing Up Female in America, ed. Amy Reed
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