Books by Theme

Amazing Women

Have you ever thought that one person can change an entire country and save hundreds of lives? Celebrate some of the amazing women who have affected more lives than they could have imagined, all on the pages of these books.

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

For the Love of Music: The Remarkable Story of Maria Anna Mozart

By: Elizabeth Rusch
Illustrated by: Steve Johnson
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Two 18th century siblings became known for their musical genius as they performed across Europe. Wolfgang grew up to be well known while the life and music of Maria Anna, his older sister, was eclipsed by the period. Maria's life and talent is presented in the form of a piano sonata, handsomely illustrated — bringing the people and the period to life.

In Her Hands: The Story of Sculptor Augusta Savage

By: Alan Schroeder
Illustrated by: JaeMe Bereal
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Augusta Savage was a born artist, making clay figures even as a child. She pursued her passion, actually earning money for her family until she was old enough to travel from her rural Florida home to New York City where she studied at Cooper Union and became part of what is now known as the Harlem Renaissance.

Irena Sendler and the Children of the Warsaw Ghetto

By: Susan Goldman Rubin
Illustrated by: Bill Farnsworth
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

The story of a Polish woman who helped over 400 Jewish children escape Nazi-occupied Warsaw is presented in a sophisticated, evocative, realistically illustrated picture book format. Source notes and additional resources conclude this riveting account.

Odetta: The Queen of Folk

By: Stephen Alcorn
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

The life and music of Odetta who became an influential folksinger and civil rights activist is revealed in lyrical, rhythmic language and evocative, swirling illustration. An affectionate afterword by the author provides factual information about the person and her influence.

Rosa's Bus: The Ride to Civil Rights

By: Jo Kittinger
Illustrated by: Steven Walker
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

No one knew that when "Bus #2857 rolled off the assembly line in 1948…[that it] would be famous…" but it did when a woman refused to give up her seat on that bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Rosa Parks' story of bravery is effectively told in simple text and illustration. That bus is now in Michigan's Henry Ford Museum.

She Loved Baseball: The Effa Manley Story

By: Audrey Vernick
Illustrated by: Don Tate
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Effa Manley, born when jazz was new and sports were segregated, was passionate about fairness and baseball. She was to become the first woman inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame along with players from the Negro Baseball League. Her life is presented in stylized illustration and clear text, for an intriguing portrait of a person and a time.

Skit-Scat Raggedy Cat: Ella Fitzgerald

By: Eileen L. Ordover
Illustrated by: Sean Qualls
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

From a poor girl who had "a dancing beat in her feet ever since she was a bitty girl" to when she finally got a chance to perform with a professional band, Ella Fitzgerald set the world of music on its ear. Her early life is presented in energetic, downright jazzy text and richly hued illustrations.

Stand Straight, Ella Kate

By: Kate Klise
Illustrated by: M. Sarah Klise
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

As she continued to grow (and grow), Ella Kate's parents told her to stand straight. This gave Ella Kate the confidence to do and see things that other 19th century women could only dream of, including owning a special house to accommodate her gigantic size. Ella Kate narrates this fictionalized look at her life and travels, and her parents' unfailing loyalty.

Summer Birds: The Butterflies of Maria Merian

By: Margarita Engle
Illustrated by: Julie Paschkis
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Butterflies were once thought to be "beasts of the devil." Maria Merian, a perceptive young German naturalist, knew better. She recorded her notes and drawings on the butterflies' transformation in secret so that she would not be accused of witchcraft and later became a famous scientist and artist who helped the rest of the world understand natural life cycles. Margarita Engle brings her extraordinary story to life, accompanied by Julie Paschkis' gorgeous illustrations.

Tillie the Terrible Swede

By: Sue Stauffacher
Illustrated by: Sarah McMenemy
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Tillie Anderson emigrated to the U.S. from Sweden with a sewing needle and a strong sense of what might be. During the 1890s, Tillie trained and became a winning bicycle racer — using her tailoring skills to make more suitable racing outfits! Lighthearted illustrations and informal text tell Tillie's memorable tale.

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