As I was preparing a narrative nonfiction workshop, I pulled a bunch of children's picture books for show-and-tell. I want to share a few girl power books with you, and since it's Women's History Month, let you all know that my new Jackie O book is out.
The Extraordinary Mark Twain (According to Susy) by Barbara Kerley, Illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham, Scholastic Press, 2010
Mark Twain's daughter, Susy Clemens, wanted to set things straight about her papa. The world saw him one way - the funniest man in the world - but Susy had an up-close view of the famous writer, and she went about studying her subject with a keen eye. She kept a diary of his antics and quotes and some of her diary pages are cleverly reprinted as small insert pages so kids can read Susy's own words. What's great about this book is kids will learn how to write biographies. Although Susy wasn't famous like her father, her determination to tell the truth is a universal theme. Wonderful for Mark Twain lovers.
Around America to Win the Vote: Two Suffragists, a Kitten, and 10,000 Miles by Mara Rockliff, Illustrated by Hadley Hooper, Candlewick Press, 2016
Can someone tell me why this book wasn't up for more awards? I found it both humorous and charming and a great entry point for kids learning about the road to women's voting rights. Plus there's a kitten!
Nell Richardon and Alice Burke set off to tour the country in their yellow car with a tiny kitten to advance the cause for "Votes for Women!" Despite bumps in the road they managed to rouse enthusiasm for the idea that women should be able to vote. The illustrations wonderfully capture the verve of these two women with a cheerful dose of yellow which stood for Votes for Women everywhere in the United States.
When Jackie Saved Grand Central: The True Story of Jacqueline Kennedy's Fight for an American Icon by Natasha Wing, Illustrated by Alexandra Boiger, HMH Books for Young Readers, March 7, 2017
Okay, so the title is like super long. But it says it all! If it weren't for Jackie being pissed that Grand Central Terminal was going to be torn down, it might not be there today. So you have to love people like Jackie who stand up for what they believe and love. Because now there's a U.S. Supreme Court bill that was passed June 26, 1978 that defends historic preservation. And isn't the cover awesome? You go, Jackie!
For more new books celebrating Women's History Month check out this Kid Lit Frenzy blog post.