The 2016 Amelia Bloomer Project committee selected the following titles, listed in alphabetical order by author’s last name (or title), as our Top Ten. The complete 2016 Amelia Bloomer List of 59 recommended titles will be posted shortly.
Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi. We Should All Be Feminists. 2015. 52p. Random House/Anchor Books, $7.95 (978-1-101-91176-1). Gr.7-up.
Adichie’s personal essay explains why she chose to be true to herself and work towards societal change in gender attitudes.
African American Women: Photographs from the National Museum of African American History and Culture. 2015. 72p. GILES/D Giles Limited, $16.95 (978-1-907804-48-9). Gr.6-up.
Photographs from the nineteenth century to the present depict the diverse experiences of African American women and their ongoing importance in American history.
Burge, Kimberly. The Born Frees: Writing with the Girls of Gugulethu. 2015. 348p. W.W. Norton and Co., $26.95 (978-0-393-23916-4). Gr.9-up.
In the South African township of Gugulethu, young women from the first generation born post-apartheid explore the challenges that they and their community face, including sexism, classism, sexual abuse, HIV/AIDS, and poverty.
Carmon, Irin, and Shana Knizhnik. Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. 2015. 227p. HarperCollins/Dey Street, $19.99 (978-0-06-241583-7). Gr.8-up.
Why has Ruth Bader Ginsburg become the subject of memes, art, and feminist baby Halloween costumes? Carmon and Knizhnik explore the justice’s history of legally justifying the equality of women and all marginalized people.
Deans, Karen. Swing Sisters: The Story of the International Sweethearts of Rhythm. Illus. by Joe Cepeda. 2015. 32p. Holiday House, $16.95 (978-0-8234-1970-8). Gr.1-4.
From their early days in Mississippi to their travels around the world, the Sweethearts made people dance–and question their assumptions about race and gender.
Diamant, Anita. The Boston Girl. 2014. 336p. Simon & Schuster/Scribner, $26.00 (978-1-4391-9935-0). Gr.9-up.
Unwilling to accept the rigid restrictions of her youth at the beginning of the 20th century, Addie Baum fought to be true to herself. Mentors and friends sustain her as she grows to be an independent, educated woman.
Engle, Margarita. Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music. Illus. by Rafael López. 2015. Unpaged. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $16.99 (978-0-544-10229-3). PreS-Gr.2.
On an island filled with music, a young girl longs to play the drums. She challenges gender norms to follow her passion, and her “dream-bright music” persuades her community that everyone should be allowed to dream.
Mathieu, Jennifer. Devoted. 2015. 328p. Macmillan/Roaring Brook Press. $16.99 (978-1-59643-911-5). Gr.7-up.
Raised with a strict fundamentalist adherence to the Bible, Rachel Walker has been taught that women can only become a loving helpmate to a husband. When a former member of her church moves back to town, Rachel begins to see other possibilities.
O’Shaughnessy, Tam. Sally Ride: A Photobiography of America’s Pioneering Woman in Space. 2015. 153p. Macmillan/Roaring Brook Press, $19.99 (978-1-59643-994-8). Gr.4-8.
After spending years as an academic underachiever with a passion for tennis, Sally Ride discovered her love of physics and became the first American woman to travel to space.
Weatherford, Carole Boston. Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer: The Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement. Illus. by Ekua Holmes. 2015. 45p. Candlewick Press, $17.99 (978-0-7636-6531-9). Gr.4-7.
Fannie Lou Hamer played an integral part in the Civil Rights Movement by raising her voice and fighting for freedom.
2016 Amelia Bloomer Project members with our Top Ten books:
Back row (L-R): Ann Bever with We Should All Be Feminists; Melissa Nemitz with Drum Dream Girl; Linda Parsons with Swing Sisters; Katie Mitchell with The Born Frees; Caitie Morphew with Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer: Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement; Emily Fear with Notorious RBG
Front row (L-R): Gesse Stark-Smith with Sally Ride; Lizz Zitron with Devoted; Kelly Dickinson with The Boston Girl; Katelyn Browne with African American Women.