5 world-changing women to read about!


4 & up

  • History
  • Feminism
  • Historical Figures
  • Trailblazers

see individual books!


Mary Seacole: Bound for the Battlefield

Candlewick Press, By Susan Goldman Rubin & Richie Pope

Want some tea on Florence Nightingale? She refused to work with nurse Mary Seacole because she was a person of color, despite their united vision and drive to care for the injured and sick in Crimea.

Mary was born in Jamaica to interracial parents, and was considered “free colored” growing up in the early 1800’s and learned herbalism from her mother while listening to Scottish folktales from her father.

After repeated racist encounters with Americans in Kingston and London, Mary decided to sign up at the War Office to be a nurse on the battlefield on the front lines of the Crimean War. Laughed out of the office, Mary decided to open her own convalescent home for injured soldiers.

I had never heard of Mary before, and this book fascinated me! It’s aimed towards more proficient readers, and I believe 8-12 year old readers would get the most out of the book. I was fascinated to learn all about her life, and also so pleased to see racism called out so blatantly in this book. This is an excellent tool to teach about so many topics, and you absolutely need to get your hands on a copy!

We are the Supremes

Quarto, By Zoë Tucker & Salini Perera

The Supremes are an international music sensation, but did you know they used to be called The Primettes? And that they weren’t signed by a label the first time because they hadn’t finished high school?

This book follows Mary, Diana, and Flo from teenage friends, local Detroit singing group hit, to a trio that smashed global record sales!

i really like how the book includes how instrumental the motown records label and berry gordy was in helping Black musicians get their start, especially during segregation.

In the back is additional information about the Supremes and Motown Records!

Try it! How Frieda Caplan Changed the Way We Eat

Simon & Schuster, By Mara Rockliff & Giselle Potter

Frieda was the first woman in the US to own and operate a wholesale produce business, and was incredibly influential in the food trend world.

Frieda is the driving force behind the wide range of produce available in grocery stores today. She especially loved kiwi, but developed an allergy to them later in life. This also happened to me! I know her pain, kiwi are so delicious!

I really enjoyed reading this book, I had never heard of Frieda before. But I worked long enough in the restaurant industry to appreciate the lasting impact she had on the American produce market!

In the back of the book is more information about Frieda, and I found out that her daughters still run the company that she started. They even reviewed the manuscript for accuracy, so I feel confident spouting off facts about my new favorite produce trailblazer Frieda Caplan.

Headstrong Hallie! The Story of Hallie Morse Daggett, the First Female “Fire Guard”

Sleeping Bear Press, By Aimée Bissonette & David Hohn

Hallie grew up traipsing around the forests of California, enamored by the wildlife and terrified that fires would destroy the beautiful trees and injure animals.

Despite writing yearly letters begging for a job with the Forestry Department, women were not allowed jobs. However, several years after a devastating fire in 1910, Hallie was finally able to take a job in the isolated forests for 7 months out of the year searching for forest fires.

Hallie enjoyed watching out for wildlife, being alone in the woods, and protecting her beloved mountains. The isolated cabin felt like home much more than the city, which is something I can relate to!

I loved the photos of Hallie in the back, and the fact that she quit her fire job after they updated the cabin. Instead she chose to move into her own cabin in the woods for the rest of her days, moving only once more to be closer to her sister.

The Lady with the Books: A Story Inspired by the Remarkable Work of Jella Lepman

Kids Can Press, By Kathy Stinson & Marie Lafrance

The fictionalized characters Anneliese and Peter tell of real events, how Jella Lepman traveled around Germany with an exhibit of children’s books after WWII. It was her hope that she could inspire younger generations to build community and work towards peace instead of xenophobia.

Anneliese and Peter’s story shows a reality of many German children, their father was shot for standing up to the Nazi regime and now scavenged for food during the day to help their mother. The book exhibit provided an escape from reality that the children desperately wanted and needed.

These books were kindly sent by the publishers, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to be able to review them. All opinions and decisions to review are my own!

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