Tuesday, March 20, 2007

You Go Girl: Women's History Month

Sometimes in my world, Women's History month gets a little buried, what with my high holy day (St. Patrick's Day) and Spring and this year Easter (well, it is April 8th, but since we'll be on Spring Break, I am celebrating it now) in March, I sometimes forget about it. But this year I decided I wanted to do a display of books and read something FABULOUS to my K & 1st grade students. The problem I found when I went looking is, that I have nothing FABULOUS about women in history. Sure, I have biographies and books about the first ladies, but nothing that is a good read aloud. I checked out Carol Hurst's site and she does have a list of Women's History month books, and there are a few that look good, but of course I do not have them in my collection.

So, I decided to look through what I have and see if I could make SOMETHING fit for Women's history month. So I found a great little story about a teacher, no she isn't famous, but she sounds fun and exciting and, well, she is a women, who teaches, can't be bad, right! The book is My Great Aunt Arizona by Gloria Houston and illustrated by Susan Condie Lamb. It is a true story about Houston's Great Aunt Arizona, who grew up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina in, what looks to be the late 1800's. She grows up to be a teacher and continues to teach for FIFTY-SEVEN years (WOW!) It is a sweet book that looks at frontier life in that era and also how hard life could be (Arizona must leave school when her mother dies).

Of course, in looking and not finding much in my collection about strong women, I think I need to do a little collection building. If anyone has a great picture book that would qualify as a good read aloud about women in history or even a fictionalized account of a woman in history, PLEASE leave your suggestions in the comments - my library thanks you!


ElsKushner said...

Here are some, including a few that might fit right into a baseball or sports theme:

Mighty Jackie, the Strike-Out Queen, by Marissa Moss

Players in Pigtails, by Shana Corey

Wilma United: How Wilma Rudolph Became the World's Fastest Woman, by Kathleen Krull

You Forgot your Skirt, Amelia Bloomer! by Shana Corey

Amelia and Eleanor Go for a Ride, by Pam Munoz Ryan (illus. by Brian Selznick now of "Hugo Cabret" fame)

And another by the Ryan/Selznik duo: When Marian Sang: The True Recital of Marian Anderson, the Voice of a Century

Susan T. said...

love, love, love "Wilma Unlimited."

"Marvelous Mattie," by Emily Arnold McCully, about a Mass. inventor.

"Bottle Houses: The Creative World of Grandma Prisbrey," by Melissa Eskridge Slaymaker, a picture book about a real self-taught (and eccentric) artist. My husband read it to my son's class when he was in K.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the suggestions, I know I have Wilma Unlimited (2 copies in fact) and I know some of these titles, but for some reason don't own them - looks like I will be putting an order in!

Chris Barton said...

Kathy, here are a few that have been hits with my kids (or with me):

Ruth Law Thrills a Nation by Don Brown

Alice Ramsey's Grand Adventure by Don Brown

Maria's Comet by Deborah Hopkinson

Steamboat! The Story of Captain Blanche Leathers by Judith Heide Gilliland

Rachel: The Story of Rachel Carson by Amy Ehrlich and Wendell Minor

When Esther Morris Headed West: Women, Wyoming, and the Right to Vote by Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge and Jacqueline Rogers

Ella Fitzgerald: The Tale of a Vocal Virtuosa by Andrea Davis Pinkney; illustrated by Brian Pinkney

Unknown said...

Thanks for the suggestions Chris - adding some of these to my Follett order!