Gutsy Girl Reads
Maya Angelou is famous today for her memorable words. She should also be remembered for her indomitable spirit.
Sherri L. Smith’s Flygirl is an extremely moving historical novel about friendship, freedom, love, and loyalty.
Ida Mae Jones dreamed of doing something to help U.S. troops defeat the Nazis in World War II. She was young, smart, and knew how to fly an airplane. But that wasn’t enough, not even when they started accepting women to fly non-combat missions. Because Ida Mae was black, and only white women were allowed to join the flying service. So there was no way she could help win the war and bring her brother home all the sooner. Unless she broke the rules.
For women caught in war zones, there are choices to be made. Try to get by as best you can, protecting your family if you have one, or throw in with the men defending your country, risking your own life. The 15 women whose stories are told in Women Heroes of World War II, the Pacific Theater all made difficult choices. Even so, as much as they were able, they resisted the invaders who overran their countries.
March is Women’s History Month, so I am highlighting books about women and their roles in history and the world today. Though I hope that young readers are exposed to books about a variety of people and places all year long, the focus of a history month provides an opportunity to pay closer attention to groups of people who have been underrepresented in literature and the study of history. As usual, I had a hard time choosing my favorite books for this theme, so instead I’ve selected titles that exemplify a few of the ways women’s stories can be presented.
Books that contain a collection of profiles or short biographies can be a great way to learn a little bit about several people in a short amount of time and are also helpful in gaining a big-picture view of what that group of people have in common. Rad American Women A-Z and Rad Women Worldwide, both by Kate Schatz, present short profiles of women from history and today who have made an impact in their professions, their countries, or the world. Some of the women, such as Sonia Sotomayor, Nellie Bly, and Malala Yousafzai, are fairly well-known, but many are not, a reminder to readers that women have often made significant contributions that have gone unrecognized.
Do you love the magic, romance, and wisdom of the traditional tale of Beauty and the Beast? Are you ready for something more than a Disney retelling? Award-winning fantasy author Robin McKinley’s Rose Daughter will grant your wish.
This readalike is in response to a customer's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form, and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids. You can browse the book matches here.
Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina
Nora Lopez is seventeen during the summer of 1977, when New York is besieged by arson, a massive blackout, and a serial killer named Son of Sam. Meg Medina transports us to a time when tempers and temperatures ran high to share the story of a young woman who discovers that the greatest dangers are often closer than we like to admit. (catalog summary)
If you're looking for more thrill rides like Burn Baby Burn, try these titles:
Bad Blood by Jennifer Barnes
Everything Cassie Hobbes thought she knew about the night of her mother's murder has been called into question. Her mother is alive, and the people holding her captive are more powerful—and dangerous—than anything the Naturals have faced so far. As Cassie and the team work to uncover the secrets of a group that has been killing in secret for generations, they find themselves racing a ticking clock. (catalog summary)
The 2017 Youth Media Awards, announced in January, include several awards for teen literature. Read about the winners and honorable mentions below. The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) also creates multiple booklists each year for young adults, that usually have a specific theme. Check them out and read some of the winners.
A mother's protection is a wondrous thing. When Rosemary felt her mother's powerful spell wrap around her so hard it forced her to the ground, she knew she had no reason to be worried for her own safety. But then it cut off as though cleaved with a sword, and Rosemary knew that something terrible had happened to her.
This readalike is in response to a customer's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids. You can browse other book matches here.
Chicken Soup for the Teen Soul: Real-life Stories by Real Teens
Teenagers write honestly and poignantly about the issues they face and how they overcame them with strength and insight. Delving into the corners of their souls, these poems and personal experiences reveal special moments—a first kiss, the loss of a friend, a chance meeting, or that connection with a special teacher, grandparent, or even a pet. (catalog summary)
1 Year, 100 Pounds: My Journey to A Better, Happier Life by Whitney Holcombe
At age fourteen, Whitney Holcombe stepped onto her bathroom scale and a number glared up at her: 230. That number controlled her life until one day she went for a walk that changed everything. A little bit memoir and a whole lot of advice, "1 Year, 100 Pounds" follows Whitney s journey to battle obesity, negative self-image, and peer ridicule. Through following a healthy diet and exercise routine, Whitney shed the pounds without pills, trainers, or surgery. And along the way, she discovered the confidence to love her body. (catalog summary)
Chicken Soup for the Soul: Teens Talk Growing Up: Stories About Growing Up, Meeting Challenges, and Learning From Life
Collects anecdotes from teenagers about friendship, peer pressure, self-acceptance, family life, relationships, and overcoming obstacles. (catalog summary)