Celebrate Women’s History Month with these five middle school books about daring and courageous women often overlooked by history.
The Girl Who Drew Butterflies: How Maria Merian’s Art Changed Science
Written by Joyce Sidman
Known by some as the world’s first ecologist, Maria Sibylla Merian was one of the first to document the metamorphosis of the butterfly. As a woman with no formal training in the seventeenth-century, Maria Merian’s drawings of insects changed science forever.
Irena’s Children: Young Readers Edition; A True Story of Courage
Written by Tilar J. Mazzeo and adapted by Mary Cronk Farrell
This incredible true story follows a heroic tale of survival and perseverance by one woman overlooked by history. Known as the “female Oskar Schindler,” Irena Sendler saved over 2,500 children from Nazi-occupied Poland during World War II. Living in Warsaw, Sendler smuggled children out of the walled Jewish ghetto and convinced others to help hide them in abandoned buildings.
The Jerrie Mock Story: The First Woman to Fly Solo Around the World
Written by Nancy Roe Pimm
Geraldine “Jerrie” Mock became the first woman to fly solo around the world in a trip that covered almost twenty-three thousand miles. While Mock accomplished what Amelia Earhart had died attempting, world events cast her impressive feat into shadow.
Streetcar to Justice: How Elizabeth Jennings Won the Right to Ride in New York
Written by Amy Hill Hearth
Before there was Claudette Colvin or Rosa Parks, there was Elizabeth Jennings. Jennings launched the first step in the process of desegregating public transportation in Manhattan when she was refused a seat on a streetcar in 1854 and took it anyway.
Ten Days a Madwoman: The Daring Life and Turbulent Times of the Original “Girl” Reporter, Nellie Bly
Written by Deborah Noyes
At the end of the nineteenth century, Nellie Bly was committed to the infamous asylum on Blackwell’s island, but she was not there for treatment. Instead, she was there to investigate the clinic’s treatment of its patients.