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Inspiring, Imaginative Women

The theme of the 2013 March celebration of Women's History Month — "Women inspiring innovation through imagination" — refers specifically to women in science, technology, engineering and math. But there are those whose imagination and innovation inspires readers of all ages to enjoy a book! Some here are real, others fictional; all are worth visiting!

Quotable Quotes: The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you'll go. -- Dr. Seuss

Annie and Helen

By: Deborah Hopkinson
Illustrated by: Raul Colón
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Anne Sullivan arrived at the Keller home in 1887, writing letters to a friend about how she worked with a deaf and blind girl named Helen. Anne's words combine with a straightforward narration and gentle illustrations to provide deeper insight into how Helen Keller grew into a brilliant woman.

Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers' Strike of 1909

By: Michelle Markel
Illustrated by: Melissa Sweet
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

In the early 20th century, Clara Lemlick and her family immigrated to the United in search of a better life. The tough garment work in New York City didn't deter Clara who persevered and helped better life for both women and men workers. A simple text combines with mixed media illustrations for a glimpse into early activism and unions.

Ivy Takes Charge

By: Rosemary Wells
Illustrated by: Jim LaMarche
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Ivy lives on a Nevada ranch with her parents. During the summer of 1949, with her best friend gone, Ivy's gentle ways and affinity for animals leads to unexpected adventures and a job with a veterinarian, causing Ivy to dream of one day becoming one.

Kenya's Song

By: Linda Trice
Illustrated by: Pamela Johnson
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Kenya is looking for a favorite song to share with her class. She and her father attend a Caribbean music festival in search of it — but Kenya doesn't find it there. Instead, she creates an original song that celebrates everyone's music! Realistic illustrations suggest Kenya's glimpse into other cultures and her own creativity.

Look Up! Henrietta Leavitt, Pioneering Woman Astronomer

By: Robert Burleigh
Illustrated by: Raul Colon
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Meet Henrietta Leavitt, a 19th century pioneer for women in science. From careful observations, Leavitt discovered that the brightness of a star determines its distance from Earth and her work helped us better understand the vastness of the universe. Warm colored pencil and watercolor illustrations by Colon create a contemplative mood. Back matter includes quotes about stars, a glossary, information about other female astronomers, and more.

Miss Moore Thought Otherwise: How Anne Carroll Moore Created Libraries for Children

By: Jan Pinborough
Illustrated by: Debby Atwell
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Here's the true story of how Anne Carroll Moore created the first children's room at the New York Public Library — a bright, welcoming room filled with art, reading nooks, and (most importantly) borrowing privileges to the world's best children's books. The folk art style illustrations capture a sense of history in the making. In the end notes, you can learn more about Moore and other pioneering children's librarians.

Nurse Clementine

By: Simon James
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

When Clementine Brown gets and a first-aid kit for her birthday, she takes her medical role quite seriously. Nothing is too small for Clementine to handle including helping her little brother. Open illustrations and simple text celebrate recognizable, imaginative play.

Penny and her Marble

By: Kevin Henkes
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

When Penny picks up a marble near her neighbor's home, she begins to imagine that it really belongs to Mrs. Goodwin. In short chapters with Henkes' signature illustrations, the young mouse successfully works through her guilt to a very satisfying conclusion.

The Princess and the Peas

By: Carolyn E. Hart
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

"Lily-Rose May was a sweet little girlie…" who discovered she really was a princess because of her reaction to peas. When she joins royalty, however, Lily-Rose figures out what's really important. Told in spritely verse and humorous illustration, Lily's adventure comes alive.

Write On, Mercy! The Secret Life of Mercy Otis Warren

By: Gretchen Woelfle
Illustrated by: Alexandra Wallner
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

In the 1700s, women were relegated to home and house duties — but not Mercy Otis! Her father believed in educating girls and boys.  Even after marrying James Warren, Mercy wrote about the politics of Massachusetts. Her accomplishments come alive through a straightforward text with inserts of Mercy's writing and illustrations that evoke the period.

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