6 Books for Your Feminist Library
Feminism! The word often gets a bad reputation for no good reason. Feminism does not mean the act of hating men. It means fighting for the rights of women making sure they are provided with equal opportunities. We all want to be treated as equals, right?
Fortunately, kids literature brings us a plethora of examples of girls and young women fighting for equality; each in their own way. Following at 6 books for your growing feminists; add them to your feminist library and build a better world for everyone.
1. The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi
An ocean voyage of unimaginable consequences… Not every thirteen-year-old girl is accused of murder, brought to trial, and found guilty. But I was just such a girl, and my story is worth relating even if it did happen years ago. Be warned, however: If strong ideas and action offend you, read no more. Find another companion to share your idle hours. For my part I intend to tell the truth as I lived it.
I love this book so so hard! Every girl’s dream is to be taken seriously, right? Well young Charlotte got her chance in a time when young women behaved mostly as docile creatures. Charlotte wore pants and helped sail a ship!
2. Speak Laurie Halse Anderson
…from the first moment of her freshman year at Merryweather High, Melinda knows this is a big fat lie, part of the nonsense of high school. She is friendless, outcast, because she busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, so now nobody will talk to her, let alone listen to her. As time passes, she becomes increasingly isolated and practically stops talking altogether. Only her art class offers any solace, and it is through her work on an art project that she is finally able to face what really happened at that terrible party: she was raped by an upperclassman, a guy who still attends Merryweather and is still a threat to her. Her healing process has just begun when she has another violent encounter with him. But this time Melinda fights back, refuses to be silent, and thereby achieves a measure of vindication…
This is a timeless book about the consequences of reporting rape and the necessity of not keeping quiet. This girl is blamed for being the victim; but she learns to fight back. So many lessons here. Read it together. I’m pretty sure this is the first title my daughter and I read together when she was a teen.
3. Rad American Women A–Z: Rebels, Trailblazers, and Visionaries Who Shaped Our History … and Our Future! by Kate Schatz
Like all A-Z books, this one illustrates the alphabet—but instead of “A is for Apple”, A is for Angela—as in Angela Davis, the iconic political activist. B is for Billie Jean King, who shattered the glass ceiling of sports; C is for Carol Burnett, who defied assumptions about women in comedy; D is for Dolores Huerta, who organized farmworkers; and E is for Ella Baker, who mentored Dr. Martin Luther King and helped shape the Civil Rights Movement.
And the list of great women continues, spanning several centuries, multiple professions, and 26 diverse individuals. There are artists and abolitionists, scientists and suffragettes, rock stars and rabble-rousers, and agents of change of all kinds.
Finish reading in one sitting or spread it out over multiple sessions? No matter how you read it, it’s one you’ll continually go back to the more you learn about life.
4. Ada Twist Scientist by Andrea Beaty and David Roberts
Scientist Ada has a boundless imagination and has always been hopelessly curious. Why are there pointy things stuck to a rose? Why are there hairs growing inside your nose? When her house fills with a horrific, toe-curling smell, Ada knows it’s up to her to find the source. What would you do with a problem like this? Not afraid of failure, Ada embarks on a fact-finding mission and conducts scientific experiments, all in the name of discovery. But, this time, her experiments lead to even more stink and get her into trouble!
Who doesn’t love a book for kids with a POC on the cover? Imagine if Ada had worked on the space mission with NASA? So much cute and encourages STEM for girls. And people of color. Winning!
5. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Oct. 11th, 1943 – A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it’s barely begun.
When “Verity” is arrested by the Gestapo, she’s sure she doesn’t stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she’s living a spy’s worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution.
As she intricately weaves her confession, Verity uncovers her past, how she became friends with the pilot Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. On each new scrap of paper, Verity battles for her life, confronting her views on courage and failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy?
I love love love this book and the second in it’s series, Rose Under Fire. Girls flying planes in World War II? Who knew? These are the feminists’ feminists; young lipstick wearing girls who don’t show fear and never give up, even in the face of the most horrible and unthinkable mistreatment during the war. You’ll be proud to be a girl.
This is a short list of feminist books. I could go on and on (and on) but because there are so many good books available, please don’t stop here! Keep reading and keep fighting for a better world for girls and people all over the world.