Women Pioneers: Females Who Forged the Way for Future Generations: Part One

Girls, we have a legacy. A century ago, women in the United States of America marched at the White House in Washington D.C. to demand the right to vote.1 This month, we recognize their actions and those of other women who have made our lives better. March is Women’s History Month. However, these books about female trailblazers are available all year long at the Kansas City Public Library.
The books listed below are for elementary-school-aged readers. They all include authors’ notes in the back for those who are curious to learn more.

Phillis’s big test by Catherine Clinton/ Illustrated by Sean Qualls.
Phillis Wheatley, an African-American teenager and slave in 1772, has to pass an oral exam by 18 male scholars to prove that she wrote her own poems. Illustrated in folk-art style, this is her story.

Skit-scat raggedy cat: Ella Fitzgerald by Roxane Orgill/ illustrated by Sean Qualls.
The text and illustrations mirror some of the free-flow of jazz music as they portray the life of Ella Fitzgerald, an African-American woman whose singing elevates her beyond the usual constrictions that blacks and females face in the first half of the 20th century.

Sky high: the true story of Maggie Gee by Marissa Moss/ illustrated by Carl Angel.
Told in first-person, this book follows a young girl as she learns her family’s history and pursues her dreams of flying an airplane. Maggie Gee becomes one of only two Chinese-American women serving in as a WASP (Women’s Airforce Service Pilot) in World War II.

1. Harvey, Sheridan. "MARCHING FOR THE VOTE: REMEMBERING THE WOMAN SUFFRAGE PARADE OF 1913." . Library of Congress: American Memory. Web. 10 Mar 2013.

For more information, go to www.womenshistorymonth.gov


Anna Francesca Garcia earned her Master of Library and Information Sciences Degree from the University of North Texas. She has worked for eight years in public libraries in Nevada and Missouri. Currently, Anna is the Outreach Education Librarian for the Kansas City Public Library. Her undergraduate degree is in Women's Studies with a theatre minor. In sharing books like those listed here, she encourages the dreams of her five-year-old daughter.