Non-Fiction for Early Readers

Right from prehistoric times to the present, these books present strong, capable and creative women as mentors to children. These stories break female stereotypes, where even the sky is not the limit for them.
Miss Colfax's Light
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Miss Colfax's Light

by Aimee Bissonette

About the book:  In 1861, at the age of 37, Harriet Colfax took on the job of lighthouse keeper for the Michigan City lighthouse off Lake Michigan. It was a bold and determined endeavor, especially since there were very few female lighthouse keepers in the country at that time. For 43 years, until the age of 80, Harriet kept her light burning, through storms, harsh winters, and changes in technology. This true story focuses on Harriet's commitment and determination to fulfilling her charge and living life on her own terms. Excerpts from her actual log are included.

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Hillary Rodham Clinton: Some Girls Are Born to Lead
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Hillary Rodham Clinton: Some Girls Are Born to Lead

by Michelle Markel

About the book:  In the 1950s, it was a man's world. Girls weren't supposed to act smart, tough, or ambitious. Even though, deep inside, they may have felt that way. And then along came Hillary. Brave, brilliant, and unstoppable, she was out to change the world. They said a woman couldn't be a mother and a lawyer. Hillary was both. They said a woman shouldn't be too strong or too smart. Hillary was fearlessly. It didn't matter what people said, she was born to lead.

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Miss Mary Reporting
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Miss Mary Reporting

by Sue Macy

About the book:  “Macy introduces Garber as a person who followed her passion for sports despite her mother’s disapproval and did her job with purpose, integrity, and dignity. The narrative is swiftly paced, smoothly written, and filled with interesting details and quotes…A lively, memorable biography for younger readers.” —Booklist (starred review) “It’s an entertaining and accessible portrait of a generous-minded writer and a reminder of the value of telling people’s stories, whether pro player or soapbox racer.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review) “A heartfelt, informative, and thoroughly engaging picture book biography about groundbreaking sports reporter Mary Garber.” —School Library Journal (starred review) From beloved author Sue Macy comes an illustrated biography of Mary Garber, one of the first female sports journalists in American history!While sitting in the bleachers of a Soap Box Derby in the 1950s, Mary Garber overheard two African-American boys in the following exchange: “See that lady down there?” asked one boy. “That’s Mary Garber. She doesn’t care who you are, but if you do something good, she’ll write about you.” Mary Garber was a pioneering sports journalist in a time where women were rarely a part of the newspaper business. Women weren’t even allowed to sit in the press boxes at sporting events, so Mary was forced to sit with the coaches’ wives. But that didn’t stop her. In a time when African-American sports were not routinely covered, Mary went to the games and wrote about them. Garber was a sportswriter for fifty-six years and was the first woman to receive the Associated Press Sports Editors’ Red Smith Award, presented for major contributions in sports journalism. And now, every year the Association of Women in Sports Media presents the Mary Garber Pioneer Award in her honor to a role model for women in sports media. Sure to inspire future journalists, athletes, and any child who has a dream, this illustrated biography of Mary Garber captures her feisty and determined spirit and brings her story to life.

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As a Boy
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As a Boy

by Plan International

About the book:  Boys around the world are treated differently than girls just because of their gender. They are given an education and choices, but are also expected to be men, to work, to fight, to be brave. Amazing photographs of children are paired with simple text showing that these boys wish for the same choices and freedoms they have to be given to the girls and women in their lives. As a Boy is a valiant call for all children's voices to be heard. Plan International, founded in 1937, is one of the world’s oldest and largest international charities, working in partnership with millions of people around the world to end global poverty. Not for profit, independent and inclusive of all faiths and cultures, Plan has only one agenda: to improve the lives of children.

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Elizabeth Started All the Trouble
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Elizabeth Started All the Trouble

by Doreen Rappaport

About the book:  She couldn't go to college.She couldn't become a politician.She couldn't even vote.But Elizabeth Cady Stanton didn't let that stop her.She called on women across the nation to stand together and demand to be treated as equal to men-and that included the right to vote. It took nearly seventy-five years and generations of women fighting for their rights through words, through action, and through pure determination . . . for things to slowly begin to change.With the help of these trailblazers' own words, Doreen Rappaport's engaging text, brought to life by Matt Faulkner's vibrant illustrations, shows readers just how far this revolution has come, and inspires them to keep it going!Select praise for Doreen Rappaport: Martin's Big Words* 2002 Caldecott Honor Book* 2002 Coretta Scott King Honor Book* Child Magazine Best Book of 2001* New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Children's Book of 2001 * "A stunning, reverent tribute." -School Library Journal, starred reviewAbe's Honest Words* "Exceptional art, along with Rappaport's and Lincoln's words, makes this a fine celebration of a man who needs little introduction." -Booklist, starred review Eleanor, Quiet No More* "Once again Rappaport celebrates a noble, heroic life in powerful, succinct prose, with prominent, well-chosen, and judiciously placed quotes that both instruct and inspire...Celebrate women in history and in politics with this picture-book life." -School Library Journal, starred review Helen's Big World* "Stirring and awe-inspiring." -The Horn Book, starred review To Dare Mighty Things* "[T]his lavish picture-book biography deftly captures the legendary man's bold, exuberant nature. . . . A truly inspiring tribute to a seemingly larger-than-life U.S. president." -Kirkus Reviews, starred review* "Theodore Roosevelt's big ideas and big personality come together in this splendid picture-book biography." -Booklist, starred review* "Concisely written and yet poetic, this is a first purchase for every library." -School Library Journal, starred review

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Bessie Coleman
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Bessie Coleman

by Carol Alexander,Jodie Shepherd

About the book:  Meet Bessie Coleman. She was the first African-American woman to earn her international pilots license. And she did so against great odds. No one in America was willing to teach a black woman to fly. Still, Bessie never gave up on her dream of becoming a world-famous aviator.

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U.S. Women's Soccer
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U.S. Women's Soccer

by Clemente A. Lisi

About the book:  In this new edition—updated through the team’s spectacular win at the 2012 London Olympics—Clemente A. Lisi examines how the sport of women’s soccer has gained popularity over the past few decades. While other books have been written about the team during a specific year, such as those focused solely on the 1999 World Cup win on U.S. soil, Lisi details the program's infancy and how it steadily became a model for women's teams around the globe.Beginning with the start of the U.S. program in 1985, Lisi recounts the development of the women’s team, highlighted by their two first place finishes in the Women’s World Cups (1991 and 1999) and four Olympic women’s gold medals (1996, 2004, 2008, and 2012). In addition to chronicling the history of the team as a whole, this book offers mini profiles and photographs of some of the best players over the years, including Julie Foudy, Amy Rodriguez, Hope Solo, and Mia Hamm.

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Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea
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Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea

by Robert Burleigh

About the book:  Filled with gorgeous illustrations by acclaimed artist Raúl Colón, this illustrated biography shares the story of female scientist, Marie Tharp, a pioneering woman scientist and the first person to ever successfully map the ocean floor.Marie Tharp was always fascinated by the ocean. Taught to think big by her father who was a mapmaker, Marie wanted to do something no one had ever done before: map the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. Was it even possible? Not sure if she would succeed, Marie decided to give it a try. Throughout history, others had tried and failed to measure the depths of the oceans. Sailors lowered weighted ropes to take measurements. Even today, scientists are trying to measure the depth by using echo sounder machines to track how long it would take a sound wave sent from a ship to the sea floor to come back. But for Marie, it was like piecing together an immense jigsaw puzzle. Despite past failures and challenges—sometimes Marie would be turned away from a ship because having a woman on board was “bad luck”—Marie was determined to succeed. And she did, becoming the first person to chart the ocean floor, helping us better understand the planet we call home. Award-winning author Robert Burleigh tells her story of imagination and perseverance. Beautifully illustrated by Raúl Colón, Look Up! is a book that will inspire readers to follow their dreams.

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Fearless Flyer
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Fearless Flyer

by Heather Lang

About the book:  On November 19, 1916, at 8:25 a.m., Ruth Law took off on a flight that aviation experts thought was doomed. She set off to fly nonstop from Chicago to New York City. Sitting at the controls of her small bi-plane, exposed to the elements, Law battled fierce winds and numbing cold. When her engine ran out of fuel, she glided for two miles and landed at Hornell, New York. Even though she fell short of her goal, she had broken the existing cross-country distance record. And with her plane refueled, she got back in the air and headed for New York City where crowds waited to greet her. In this well-researched, action-packed picture book, Heather Lang and Raúl Colón recreate a thrilling moment in aviation history. Includes an afterword with archival photographs.

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Swimming with Sharks
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Swimming with Sharks

by Heather Lang

About the book:  Before Eugenie Clark's groundbreaking research, most people thought sharks were vicious, blood-thirsty killers. From the first time she saw a shark in an aquarium, Japanese-American Eugenie was enthralled. Instead of frightening and ferocious eating machines, she saw sleek, graceful fish gliding through the water. After she became a scientist―an unexpected career path for a woman in the 1940s―she began taking research dives and training sharks, earning her the nickname "The Shark Lady."

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I Dissent
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I Dissent

by Debbie Levy

About the book:  Get to know celebrated Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg—in the first picture book about her life—as she proves that disagreeing does not make you disagreeable!Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has spent a lifetime disagreeing: disagreeing with inequality, arguing against unfair treatment, and standing up for what’s right for people everywhere. This biographical picture book about the Notorious RBG, tells the justice’s story through the lens of her many famous dissents, or disagreements.

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Anything But Ordinary Addie
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Anything But Ordinary Addie

by Mara Rockliff

About the book:  Be astonished and dazzled by the true story of Adelaide Herrmann, the Queen of Magic!Some girls are perfectly happy never doing anything out of the ordinary. But Addie was anything but ordinary. She longed for thrills and excitement! At a time when a young lady appearing onstage was considered most unusual, Addie defied convention and became a dancer. And when she married the world-famous magician Herrmann the Great, she knew she had to be part of his show. Addie wanted to shock and dazzle! She would do anything to draw the crowds, even agree to be shot out of a cannon. But when Herrmann the Great died, Addie couldn’t disappoint her loyal fans — the show had to go on. What could she do? She would perform the show all by herself! From the creators of Mesmerized, this rollicking romp tells the true story of one fearless magician’s rise to glory, featuring exquisitely lavish illustrations by Iacopo Bruno. Extensive back matter, including instructions for performing one of Addie’s original tricks, makes this a dazzling celebration of one of the first female conjurers in show business.

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Around America to Win the Vote
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Around America to Win the Vote

by Mara Rockliff

About the book:  The author of Mesmerized delivers another fascinating glimpse into history, this time the story of two brave suffragists on a trek across America to spread the word: Votes for Women!In April 1916, Nell Richardson and Alice Burke set out from New York City in a little yellow car, embarking on a bumpy, muddy, unmapped journey ten thousand miles long. They took with them a teeny typewriter, a tiny sewing machine, a wee black kitten, and a message for Americans all across the country: Votes for Women! The women’s suffrage movement was in full swing, and Nell and Alice would not let anything keep them from spreading the word about equal voting rights for women. Braving blizzards, deserts, and naysayers—not to mention a whole lot of tires stuck in the mud—the two courageous friends made their way through the cities and towns of America to further their cause. One hundred years after Nell and Alice set off on their trip, Mara Rockliff revives their spirit in a lively and whimsical picture book, with exuberant illustrations by Hadley Hooper bringing their inspiring historical trek to life.

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Amelia Earhart
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Amelia Earhart

by Ma Isabel Sanchez Vegara

About the book:  In the Little People, Big Dreams series, discover the lives of outstanding people from designers and artists to scientists. All of them went on to achieve incredible things, yet all of them began life as a little child with a dream. The book follows Amelia Earhart, whose strong will and self-belief helped her overcome prejudice and technical problems to become the first female flier to fly solo across the Atlantic ocean. This inspiring and informative little biography comes with extra facts about Amelia's life at the back.

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Ada Lovelace, Poet of Science
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Ada Lovelace, Poet of Science

by Diane Stanley

About the book:  ALA NOTABLE BOOK AMELIA BLOOMER TOP TEN BOOK “Stanley has been delighting and informing readers with her biographies for years, and here, her considerable talents are once again on display…Hartland’s charmingly busy art, reminiscent of Maira Kalman’s work, is full of wit.” —Booklist (starred review) From nonfiction stars Diane Stanley and Jessie Hartland comes a beautifully illustrated biography of Ada Lovelace, who is known as the first computer programmer.Two hundred years ago, a daughter was born to the famous poet, Lord Byron, and his mathematical wife, Annabella. Like her father, Ada had a vivid imagination and a creative gift for connecting ideas in original ways. Like her mother, she had a passion for science, math, and machines. It was a very good combination. Ada hoped that one day she could do something important with her creative and nimble mind. A hundred years before the dawn of the digital age, Ada Lovelace envisioned the computer-driven world we know today. And in demonstrating how the machine would be coded, she wrote the first computer program. She would go down in history as Ada Lovelace, the first computer programmer. Diane Stanley’s lyrical writing and Jessie Hartland’s vibrant illustrations capture the spirit of Ada Lovelace and bring her fascinating story vividly to life.

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How Kate Warne Saved President Lincoln
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How Kate Warne Saved President Lincoln

by Elizabeth Van Steenwyk

About the book:  In 1856, when Kate Warne went to see Allan Pinkerton, only men were detectives. But Kate convinced Allan to hire her for his detective agency. She explained that she could worm out secrets where men could not go―in disguise as a society lady! Join Kate on her most important mission―to thwart a plot to assassinate Abraham Lincoln on the way to his inauguration.

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To the Stars!
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To the Stars!

by Carmella Van Vleet,Dr. Kathy Sullivan

About the book:  Kathy Sullivan wanted to go everywhere. She loved blueprints and maps. She loved languages and the ocean. She didn’t like the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” She wanted to explore and do exciting things that girls weren’t supposed to be able to do. Only men had the exciting jobs.   Kathy liked fishing and swimming; flying planes and studying science. That’s what she liked and that’s what she decided to do with her life. She followed her heart and eventually became a NASA astronaut and the first woman to walk in space. Kathy wanted to see the whole world and so she did: from space!   Backmatter includes further information about Dr. Sullivan and her career, as well as other famous firsts made by women astronauts.

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The Kid from Diamond Street
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The Kid from Diamond Street

by Audrey Vernick

About the book:  Audrey Vernick and Steven Salerno have again collaborated to bring us a captivating picture book about a compelling but little-known piece of baseball history. Beginning in 1922, when Edith Houghton was only ten years old, she tried out for a women’s professional baseball team, the Philadelphia Bobbies. Though she was the smallest on the field, soon reporters were talking about “The Kid” and her incredible skill, and crowds were packing the stands to see her play. Her story reminds us that baseball has never been about just men and boys. Baseball is also about talented girls willing to work hard to play any way they can.

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Maria Mitchell
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Maria Mitchell

by Anna Butzer

About the book:  Look up at the stars and explore the life of Maria Mitchell, the first female astronomer in the United States.

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Swing Sisters
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Swing Sisters

by Karen Deans

About the book:  "In 1909 Dr. Laurence Clifton Jones opened a special home for African American orphans in Mississippi called Piney Woods Country Life School. There, students worked hard on their studies, and no one worked harder than the young musicians who played in the Sweethearts, the school's all-girl swing band. Their music had rhythms and melodies that got people dancing! When the Sweethearts left Piney Woods, they moved to Washington, D.C., to try to make it to the big-time in an era when integrated musical groups were practically unheard of. It wasn't always easy, and it wasn't always safe, but the talented Sweethearts of Rhythm ultimately became an international sensation. The rhythmic text and exuberant illustrations celebrate these courageous musicians who chipped away at racist and sexist barriers, and whose music reminded audiences how great it feels to be alive."

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