Our Top Picks for New Children's Books in 2023 for Women's History Month
March is Women’s History Month, a time when many schools shine a light on famous women scientists, mathematicians, inventors, athletes, artists, and more. Strong female characters in fiction and nonfiction can be inspiring for children of all identities and ages. In addition, body positive informational books about puberty help middle-schoolers and tweens understand and accept how their bodies are changing from year to year.
Spring also offers educators a moment to review their classrooms’ library book collections to make sure there is a balance of gender-inclusive books. Publishers have become more committed to offering stories featuring diverse characters who reflect the diversity of their readers. To stay within your book budget, check whether your local library offers borrowing privileges to schools. Checking out a handful of books can save educators’ budgets and supply students with a rotation of new books. Your local librarian is also a great resource for book suggestions, along with free book review sources like School Library Journal. Remember to always read through books before sharing aloud with students or placing books in the library. Publisher age recommendations will not necessarily be true for each individual student. Educators will need to judge whether or not students can handle the subject matter presented in an emotionally healthy way, especially for middle-grade books that present more mature topics.
*Note: the books listed below cover a wide-range of subjects that might not be suitable for all children within a classroom. Review books before sharing.
- Little Rosetta and the Talking Guitar: The Musical Story of Sister Rosetta Tharpe, the Woman Who Invented Rock and Roll by Charnelle Pinkney Barlow
- Courage in Her Cleats: The Story of Soccer Star Abby Wambach by Kim Chaffee, Illustrations by Alexandra Badiu
- This is Not My Home by Vivienne Chang and Eugenia Yoh
- The Green Piano: How Little Me Found Music by Roberta Flack and Tonya Bolden, Illustrations by Hayden Goodman
- Gloria's Promise (American Ballet Theatre): A Ballet Dancer's First Step by Robin Preiss Glasser
- Remember by Joy Harjo, Illustrations by Michaela Goade
- Woven of the World by Katey Howes, Visual art by Dinara Mirtalipova
- The Fire of Stars: The Life and Brilliance of the Woman Who Discovered What Stars Are Made Of by Kirsten W. Larson, Illustrations by Katherine Roy
- Just Like Grandma by Kim Rogers, Illustrations by Julie Flett
- Nell Plants a Tree by Anne Wynter, Illustrations by Daniel Miyares
- Josephine and Her Dishwashing Machine: Josephine Cochrane’s Bright Invention Makes a Splash by Kate Hannigan, Illustrations by Sarah Green
- The Brilliant Calculator: How Mathematician Edith Clarke Helped Electrify America by Jan Lower, Illustrations by Susan Reagan
- Sisters in Science: Marie Curie, Bronia Dluska, and the Atomic Power of Sisterhood by Linda Elovitz Marshall
- We Need to Talk About Vaginas: An IMPORTANT Book about Vulvas, Periods, Puberty, and Sex! by Allison K. Rodgers, Illustrations by Neon Squid and Annika Le Large
- Justice Rising: 12 Amazing Black Women in the Civil Rights Movement by Kathryn Russell-Brown, Illustrations by Kim Holt
- Time to Roll by Jamie Sumner
- Holding Her Own: The Exceptional Life of Jackie Ormes by Traci N. Todd, Illustrations by Shannon Wright
- A Take-Charge Girl Blazes a Trail to Congress: The Story of Jeannette Rankin by Gretchen Woelfle, Illustrations by Rebecca Gibbon
- Finally Seen by Kelly Yang
- Nightbirds by Kate J. Armstrong
- The Girl I Am, Was, and Never Will Be: A Speculative Memoir of Transracial Adoption by Shannon Gibney
- Then Everything Happens at Once by M. E. Girard
- The Davenports by Krystal Marquis
- Calling the Moon: 16 Period Stories from BIPOC Authors edited by Aida Salazar and Yamile Saied Méndez
- Out of Character by Jenna Miller
- Imposter Syndrome and Other Confessions of Alejandra Kim by Patricia Park
- 6 Times We Almost Kissed by Tess Sharpe
About the Author
V. Kulikow is a former Montessori teacher and youth services librarian. She currently works as a UX designer and enjoys content creation both with words and images. On weekends you can find her gardening, taking nature photos, and working on her garden design certification through the Native Plant Trust.
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The opinions expressed in Montessori Life are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the position of AMS.