2018 is a particularly interesting year, it marks 100 years since the Representation of the People Act 1918 which gave women the vote for the first time. Although equality of suffrage wasn’t achieved till 1928, this was a landmark achievement for the suffragette movement. To coincide with this anniversary there has been a number of wonderful fact books released featuring a marvellous array of strong female characters who are bound to inspire our children. I have chosen a selection of these books to share with you today each of them suitable for different age groups so I am hoping there is something for everyone in my choices.
Fantastically Great Women Who Made History – Kate Pankhurst
‘Fantastically Great Women Who Made History’ is a perfect introduction to learning about some incredible women and their achievements who have all helped shape the world we live, told in an accessible and lively format it’s suitable for even younger readers. Following on from the brilliant, ‘Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World,’ this glorious celebration is a joy from start to finish. Written by Kate Pankhurst, descendant of Emmeline Pankhurst, she has created another marvellous book that takes readers on an exciting journey where they will meet extraordinary women who have managed to make a significant and lasting impact on history. Travel through the Underground Railroad with the brave and courageous Harriet Tubman, blast into space with astronaut Valentina Tereshkova, watch how Hatshepsut ruled over Ancient Egypt and learn how Noor Inayat Kham became the an unlikely secret agent in World War Two. Every page is filled with the most amazing and astounding facts that will leave you in awe at the courage and bravery of these women. The stunning, detailed illustrations provide a perfect accompaniment to this celebration of some of the women, who have changed our history.
‘HerStory’ celebrates the lives of 50 incredible women and girls who defied the challenges and barriers that were set against them and who through their lives, work and words help inspire us today to make our world a better place. Crafted by Katherine Halligan into different collections of brave leaders, talented artists, gifted healers and committed teachers as well as the most accomplished scientists and mathematicians. It allows us to embrace a past and present and talk about not history but herstory focusing on these women and girls who did extraordinary things. Packed with inspirational quotes, engaging details and comprehensive facts about a wealth of well known and lesser known women and children this is a must have read. I found myself totally engrossed in this remarkable book and will return to it time and time again. Exquisitely produced with the most stunning illustrations by Sarah Walsh this is a treasure trove of information that will satisfy the appetite of the most curious child.
Rebel Voices: The Rise of Votes For Women – Louise Kay Stewart & Eve LLoyd Knight
‘Rebel Voices’ is a stunning exploration of the brave campaigners all over the world who fought for women’s right to vote. For centuries women have been confined to their homes destined for lives at home cleaning, cooking, caring for children or toiling in fields and factories. They’ve watched as the society that has constrained them make decisions about their lives without allowing them to participate in making these rules and laws. At the end of the 19th century women became restless and suffragists from every corner of the globe began to demand the right to vote by fighting, marching, rioting and petitioning for their voices to be heard. This desperate struggle is documented brilliantly by Louise Kay Stewart charting the history of the movement right up to the present day. Discover how in the USA African-American women faced a wait of 45 years after white women for the right to vote, learn how women in Saudi Arabia only got the right to vote in 2005 and marvel at the strength of the 40,000 Russian women who marched through St Petersburg demanding their rights. Particularly eye-opening is the timeline documenting the different dates when women were given the right to vote running from 1893 to 2005. Beautifully illustrated by Eve Lloyd Knight it’s a truly striking book, the use a sombre, dark palette reflects the torment and struggle women experienced on this journey to achieving suffrage.
Amazing Women 101 Lives To Inspire You – Lucy Beevor and Sarah Green
‘Amazing Women’ stands out from the other books that I’ve featured as it feels more accessible and current for a young teen reader. Whilst other books in this female focused fact collections have tended to focus on more historical figures, this collection includes many contemporary young and instantly recognisable women like Zoella, Lady Gaga and Beyoncé who provide a gateway to encourage readers to pick up this book and explore. Yet it still features those incredible women whose bravery and conviction have had a significant impact in history from Emmeline Pankhurst to Mother Teresa they have all left their mark in the world and changed it for the better. It recognises women who are leaders, pioneers, creators and trailblazers in an honest and informed way inviting the reader to cast their own judgement and encouraging them to find out more about these accomplished women. Stunningly produced with bold, contemporary illustrations and filled with engaging information this deserves a place on every teen’s bookshelf.
Thank you to Bloomsbury, Nosy Crow Books, Stripes Publishing and Wren and Rook for my copies of these fantastic books. All of these books are available to now online (click on the title) or from any good bookshop.