Check out one of these biographies published in 2011 to celebrate women's history month.
Amelia Lost: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart by Candace Fleming
This biography alternates between chapters describing Amelia's life and vignettes describing the desperate search for the famous aviator after she went missing while trying to circumnavigate the globe. Ample pictures, maps, and images of other primary source documents help immerse the reader in the action, bringing a decades old mystery to life.
Alicia Alonso: Prima Ballerina by Carmen T. Bernier-Grand, illustrated by Raúl Colón
This book follows the life of Alicia Alonso with beautiful watercolor illustrations and free verse poems. Alicia was born in Cuba, then went to New York to study ballet. She continued to dance there despite partial blindness and eventually returned to Cuba to open her own dance company. She still directs a dance school in Cuba today.
Basketball Belles: How Two Teams and One Scrappy Player Put Women's Hoops on the Map by Sue Macy, illustrated by Matt Collins
This picture book tells the story of the first women's college basketball match. It's a bit of local history with the match being between Berkeley and Stanford. They had to play with special modified rules to make the game more lady-like and in front of an audience of all women. Despite these restrictions the game was anything but demure. For more information of the history of women's basketball visit http://wbhof.com/
Irena Sendler and the Children of the Warsaw Ghetto by Susan Goldman Rubin, Illustrated by Bill Farnsworth
This picture book for older children tells the story of Irena Sendler, a woman who worked with the Polish resistance movement and smuggled hundreds of Jewish children into safety during World War II, keeping records of their true identities safely buried under an apple tree so she could reunite children with their families after the war. Beautiful oil paintings accompany this inspiring story of courage.
Miss Etta and Dr. Claribel: Bringing Matisse to America by Susan Fillion
The Cone sisters became ardent fans and collectors of avant-garde artists before they became well-known. Working without professional advice and trusting their own instincts, they collected Cézanne, Gauguin, and Picasso and amassed one of the best collections of Matisse in the world. These two sisters traveled the world collecting works of art and making friends with the artists as well as helping to support them. This book traces their remarkable lives and the world of early twentieth century art.
Queen of the Falls by Chris Van Allsburg
Queen of the Falls tells the story of Annie Edson Taylor, the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel. A 62 year old retired charm school teacher, she thought of going over the falls as a stunt to earn her fortune for her retirement. She drew up special plans for a barrel, oversaw its construction, hired a manager, and took the plunge. Allsburg's characteristic illustrations (Jumanji, The Polar Express) accompany this story that is no less fantastic than his usual stories because it is true.
Red Bird Sings: The Story of Zitkala - Sa, Native American Author, Musician, and Activist Adapted by Gina Capaldi & Q.L. Pearce, illustrations by Gina Capaldi
Gertrude Simmons, known as Zitkala-Sa (Red Bird) wrote several autobiographical stories throughout her life. Capaldi & Pearce used this as the base of their story, adapting the language to make it easier for children to understand and adding in extra biographical details. Primary source documents are also worked into the illustrations by combining collage with acrylic paintings. Red Bird sings out as an accomplished musician, author, and activist for her people in the pages of this picture book biography.
Tillie the Terrible Swede: How One Woman, A Sewing Needle, and a Bicycle Changed History by Sue Stauffacher, Illustrated by Sarah McMenemy
Tillie came to America with a needle and found a dream. Soon she was riding in bicycle races with a new outfit she made herself to accommodate riding. She beat records and made a sensation with poets writing odes to her and journalists begging for interviews. Many thought it was improper for women to race, and Tillie lost a lot of friends but she raced on, energizing those fighting for women's rights. This charming picture book tells her tale.
The Watcher: Jane Goodall's Life With the Chimps by Jeanette Winter
This picture book tells the story of Jane Goodall's life with simple prose and fun, colorful pictures in acrylic paint and pen. The story starts with an incident when Jane was a child and patiently watched a chicken for hours to see how they lay eggs, while everyone searched for her thinking she was lost. Passion and patience are described as she goes to work for Lois Leaky , makes new discoveries about chimpanzees, and ends with her current work advocating for chimpanzees and wildlife.