Youth Book Corner: Women’s History Month

The month of March is observed as Women’s History Month and March 8 is International Women’s Day. To commemorate these occasions, our Outreach Coordinator, Leena Desai, recommends some books for youth that celebrate the achievements and ambitions of women.

Ambitious Girl
Written by Meena Harris, illustrated by Marissa Valdez

Meena Harris’s book, Ambitious Girl, aims to dispel the negative connotation that the word “ambitious” has, particularly when used to describe women. The book shows a little girl watching a woman on TV being labelled as “too confident,” “too pushy,” “too assertive,” and “too ambitious.” Through the girl’s thoughts, Harris seeks to reclaim these words and hopes that little girls everywhere can grow up to speak for themselves and tell the world who they are rather than the world describing them as “too this” and “too that.” The little girl in the book is confident, cheerful, assertive, and ready to take on the world. Each line she utters acts as an affirmation for the potential women have, not just to rise to never-before-seen heights but also to lead by example and help other women along the way. Grades Preschool-2

5-Minute Stories for Fearless Girls
Written by Sarah Howden, illustrated by Nick Craine

In a similar vein to Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls, 5-Minute Stories for Fearless Girls celebrates women who have pursued their dreams, changed the world and shown what women are capable of. The book includes stories of women who have made a name for themselves in fields as diverse as aviation, science, art, and sports. The bright illustrations and short biographies make the book engaging to read, and overall, the book conveys important messages about empowerment and possibilities that should be instilled in girls from a young age. Grades Preschool-2

Canadian Women Now and Then
Written by Elizabeth MacLeod, illustrated by Maïa Faddoul

Elizabeth MacLeod is the award-winning author of biographical picture books that celebrate Canadian heroes such as Viola Desmond, Elsie MacGill, Willie O’Ree, Thérèse Casgrain, and more. She uses her considerable experience writing about these luminaries to pen Canadian Women Now and Then, an excellent resource book that is as educational as it is entertaining. Organized by profession, the book includes biographies of Canadian women in science, the arts, sports, politics, activism, law, business and more, from the famous, such as Margaret Atwood, to the lesser known, such as multi-award-winning mathematician Karen Yeats. Each category pairs a historical groundbreaker with a present-day woman making her mark in that same field and includes stories of Indigenous women, immigrants, women with disabilities and women from the LGBTQ+ community. Grades 4-7    


Leena Desai