Empowering girls and women

Conkling, Winifred  Votes for Women!: American Suffragists and the Battle for the Ballot
Middle school, high school    310 pp.    Algonquin

This fascinating chronological account of the bumpy road to women's suffrage in the U.S. begins with the 1848 Women's Rights Convention and culminates with ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment. Over half the book focuses on Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony; coverage of the movement's "second wave of suffragists" is more diffuse but no less compelling. Well-chosen archival reproductions and photographs ably support the text. Timeline, websites. Bib., ind.
Subjects: Government, Economics/, and Education; Women's rights; Women—Suffragists; Suffrage; Women—History; Stanton, Elizabeth Cady; Anthony, Susan B.; History, American; Voting; Social reformers; Women—Social reformers

Fitzgerald, Juniper  How Mamas Love Their Babies
Gr. K–3   
48 pp.    Feminist

Illustrated by Elise Peterson. A gorgeous docu-collage of colorized black-and-white photographs shapes a radical vision of racially and economically diverse motherhood. The text riffs on how "mamas use their bodies to care for their babies in so many ways" as images show working women throughout the twentieth century: stay-at-home moms, feminist activists, business executives, house cleaners, and even erotic dancers. The message is powerful but may be more for mamas than babies.
Subjects: Families, Children, and Sexuality; Feminism; Occupations and careers; Work; Family—Mother and child; Women; Parenting

Hannigan, Kate  A Lady Has the Floor: Belva Lockwood Speaks Out for Women’s Rights
Gr. K–3, 4–6   
32 pp.    Boyds/Calkins

Illustrated by Alison Jay. Hannigan's lively picture-book biography of Belva Lockwood (1830–1917) focuses on Lockwood's lifelong fight against injustice, especially toward women. She became the first woman to argue before the Supreme Court and run for president, even before women had the right to vote. Hannigan's liberal quoting of her subject brings Lockwood's story to life, as do Jay's period-reminiscent crackled oil-paint illustrations. Timeline. Bib.
Subjects: Individual Biographies; Lockwood, Belva Ann; Women’s rights; Suffrage; Lawyers; Women—Lawyers; Women—Politicians; Politics; Women—Biographies; Gender roles; Women—Suffragists

Karp, Ruby  Earth Hates Me: True Confessions from a Teenage Girl
Middle school, high school    277 pp.    Running/Teens

Sixteen-year-old comedian Ruby Karp pulls no punches with her unaffected discussions of issues relevant to teen girls today: feminism, social media, family life, and more. For example, she discusses FOMO, the "fear of missing out," and how it is linked to social media. This book is a valuable resource for teen girls and the adults in their lives to explore together.
Subjects: Adolescence; Online social networks; Friendship; Feminism; Schools—High schools; Self-esteem; Self-reliance; Women; Behavior—Peer pressure

Kay, Katty, and Claire Shipman  The Confidence Code for Girls: Taking Risks, Messing Up, and Becoming Your Amazingly Imperfect, Totally Powerful Self
Gr. 4–6, middle school   
309 pp.    HarperCollins/Harper

With JillEllyn Riley. Illustrated by Nan Lawson. A tween-focused version of the women's-empowerment adult bestseller The Confidence Code. The coauthors use interactive storytelling (such as quizzes and suggested activities) and comics sequences to supplement the useful and accessible (if somewhat effusively voiced) self-help content. "Girls of Action" segments profile real girls young readers can learn from and admire. Extensive resources lend additional value.
Subjects: Life Skills; Self-actualization; Women; Feminism; Self-confidence; Self-esteem

Prout, Chessy  I Have the Right To: A High School Survivor’s Story of Sexual Assault, Justice, and Hope
High school   
405 pp.    McElderry

With Jenn Abelson. The teen author details her life before and after she was raped by a classmate. Prout provides a captivating but troubling insider's view of the dangerous student culture at an elite boarding school as well as a sympathetic portrayal of the wide-ranging consequences of reporting assault. Although her emotional memoir is perhaps over-long, Prout's transformation from survivor to activist is powerful and moving.
Subjects: Individual Biographies; Schools—High schools; Sexual assault; Rape; Schools—boarding schools; Women—Biographies; Women—Autobiographies; Autobiographies; Sexuality, Teenage; Activism

From the October 2018 issue of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book.
Horn Book
Horn Book

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