It’s crucial for girls to develop a strong sense of their limitless potential at an early age. To help make this possible, we’re asking each of you to donate a book that features a strong female protagonist—one that will inspire a young girl to dream big. We have created a list of suggested books (see below) and have made it really easy for you to order using this Amazon link.
The books will be sent to our campaign, and we will distribute them to local libraries in Los Angeles, New York, Austin, and Washington D.C.
Click here to purchase and donate a book. (when it asks for address, select "First 100 Ways HQ")
Babies and Pre-K (Ages 0–5)
I Could Do That!: Esther Morris Gets Women the Vote
“I could do that,” says six-year-old Esther as she watches her mother making tea. Start her own business at the age of nineteen? Why, she could do that, too. But one thing Esther and other women could NOT do was vote. Only men could do that.
With lively text and humorous illustrations as full of spirit as Esther herself, this striking picture book biography shows how one girl’s gumption propels her through a life filled with challenges until, in 1869, she wins the vote for women in Wyoming Territory — the first time ever in the United States!
Miss Paul and the President: The Creative Campaign for Women’s Right to Vote
When Alice Paul was a child, she saw her father go off to vote while her mother had to stay home. But why should that be? So Alice studied the Constitution and knew that the laws needed to change. But who would change them?
She would! In her signature purple hat, Alice organized parades and wrote letters and protested outside the White House. She even met with President Woodrow Wilson, who told her there were more important issues to worry about than women voting. But nothing was more important to Alice. So she kept at it, and soon President Wilson was persuaded.
The Paper Bag Princess
Elizabeth, a beautiful princess, lives in a castle and wears fancy clothes. Just when she is about to marry Prince Ronald, a dragon smashes her castle, burns her clothes with his fiery breath, and prince-naps her dear Ronald. Elizabeth dons a large paper bag and sets off to find the dragon and her cherished prince. Ultimately, though, Elizabeth decides she doesn’t need a prince to live happily ever after.
I Know a Lot
This third book in Stephen Krensky and Sara Gillingham’s empowerment series celebrates the feats of growing out of toddlerhood with increased knowledge. Whether comparing heavy rocks to lighter flowers, or noting that the sunlight delineates the day from the night, Krensky and Gillingham acknowledge the “small wins” of understanding the world just a little bit more.
Elementary School (Ages 6–8)
Amelia to Zora: Twenty-Six Women Who Changed the World
Twenty-six amazing women; twenty-six amazing stories. From Amelia Earhart, pilot and adventurer, to Zora Neal Hurston, writer and anthropologist, learn about the hardships and triumphs that inspired each woman to change the world around her. Detailed collages and illustrations draw from various events in the women’s lives.
I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark
Get to know celebrated Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — in the first picture book about her life — as she proves that disagreeing does not make you disagreeable!
Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has spent a lifetime disagreeing: disagreeing with inequality, arguing against unfair treatment, and standing up for what’s right for people everywhere. This biographical picture book about the Notorious RBG, tells the justice’s story through the lens of her many famous dissents, or disagreements.
Rosie Revere, Engineer
Rosie may seem quiet during the day, but at night she’s a brilliant inventor of gizmos and gadgets who dreams of becoming a great engineer. When her great-great-aunt Rose (Rosie the Riveter) comes for a visit and mentions her one unfinished goal — to fly — Rosie sets to work building a contraption to make her aunt’s dream come true. But when her contraption doesn’t fl y but rather hovers for a moment and then crashes, Rosie deems the invention a failure. On the contrary, Aunt Rose inisists that Rosie’s contraption was a raging success. You can only truly fail, she explains, if you quit.
Grace for President
When Mrs. Barrington shows her class pictures of the presidents, energetic Grace asks, “Where are the girls?” Responding to Grace’s shock, Mrs. Barrington arranges for an election in which Grace runs against Tom, with each of the remaining students in the multiethnic class representing a state. It looks like popular Tom will win since the boys have the most electoral votes, so Tom just sits back while Grace advances campaign promises. When the votes are counted, Sam, representing Wyoming (where the first woman was elected to the House), throws the winning votes to Grace, because he “thought she was the best person for the job.”
Pre-Teen (ages 9-12)
The Firefly Letters: A Suffragette’s Journey to Cuba
The freedom to roam is something that women and girls in Cuba do not have. Yet when Fredrika Bremer visits from Sweden in 1851 to learn about the people of this magical island, she is accompanied by Cecilia, a young slave who longs for her lost home in Africa. Soon Elena, the wealthy daughter of the house, sneaks out to join them. As the three women explore the lush countryside, they form a bond that breaks the barriers of language and culture.
Outrageous Women of the American Frontier
They were courageous, resourceful pioneers, enduring and adventurous. They made arduous journeys, carved careers out of the wilderness, defied conventions, and fought for their freedom. They were community leaders, artists, and entrepreneurs. These Outrageous Women of the American Frontier boldly faced the gritty realities of daily life?everything from starvation to shootouts?and made their mark in history!
Rad American Women A-Z
Like all A-Z books, this one illustrates the alphabet — but instead of “A is for Apple”, A is for Angela — as in Angela Davis, the iconic political activist. B is for Billie Jean King, who shattered the glass ceiling of sports; C is for Carol Burnett, who defied assumptions about women in comedy; D is for Dolores Huerta, who organized farmworkers; and E is for Ella Baker, who mentored Dr. Martin Luther King and helped shape the Civil Rights Movement.
And the list of great women continues, spanning several centuries, multiple professions, and 26 diverse individuals. There are artists and abolitionists, scientists and suffragettes, rock stars and rabble-rousers, and agents of change of all kinds.
The book includes an introduction that discusses what it means to be “rad” and “radical,” an afterword with 26 suggestions for how you can be “rad,” and a Resource Guide with ideas for further learning and reading.
The Egypt Game
The first time Melanie Ross meets April Hall, she’s not sure they have anything in common. But she soon discovers that they both love anything to do with ancient Egypt. When they stumble upon a deserted storage yard, Melanie and April decide it’s the perfect spot for the Egypt Game. Before long there are six Egyptians, and they all meet to wear costumes, hold ceremonies, and work on their secret code. Everyone thinks it’s just a game until strange things start happening. Has the Egypt Game gone too far?
Teen and Young Adult (ages 13 and up)
Hidden Figures: Young Readers Edition
Before John Glenn orbited the earth, or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of dedicated female mathematicians known as “human computers” used pencils, slide rules, and adding machines to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space. This book brings to life the stories of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden, four African-American women who lived through the civil rights era, the Space Race, the Cold War, and the movement for gender equality, and whose work forever changed the face of NASA and the country.
How the Girl Guides Won the War
When the Blitz broke out, the Guides knew what to do. They kept up morale in bomb shelters, demonstrating ‘blitz cooking’ with emergency ovens made from the bricks of bombed houses at the request of the Ministry of Food. They grew food on their company allotments and knitted for the entire country. The embodiment of the Home Front spirit, they dug shelters, provided crucial First Aid, and also assisted the millions of children who were forced to flee their city homes to safer places in the country.
Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World
A charmingly illustrated and educational book, Women in Science highlights the contributions of fifty notable women to the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) from the ancient to the modern world. Full of striking, singular art, this fascinating collection also contains infographics about relevant topics such as lab equipment, rates of women currently working in STEM fields, and an illustrated scientific glossary. The trailblazing women profiled include well-known figures like primatologist Jane Goodall, as well as lesser-known pioneers such as Katherine Johnson, the African-American physicist and mathematician who calculated the trajectory of the 1969 Apollo 11 mission to the moon.
Because adults like books about rockin' women, too
We Should All Be Feminists
The highly acclaimed, provocative New York Times bestseller — a personal, eloquently-argued essay, adapted from the much-admired TEDx talk of the same name — from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, award-winning author of Americanah. Here she offers readers a unique definition of feminism for the twenty-first century, one rooted in inclusion and awareness. Drawing extensively on her own experiences and her deep understanding of the often masked realities of sexual politics, here is one remarkable author’s exploration of what it means to be a woman now — and an of-the-moment rallying cry for why we should all be feminists.
Radioactive: a Tale of Love and Fallout
In 1891, 24-year-old Marie Sklodowska moved from Warsaw to Paris, where she found work in the laboratory of Pierre Curie, a scientist engaged in research on heat and magnetism. They fell in love. They took their honeymoon on bicycles. They expanded the periodic table, discovering two new elements with startling properties, radium and polonium. They recognized radioactivity as an atomic property, heralding the dawn of a new scientific era. They won the Nobel Prize. Newspapers mythologized the couple’s romance, beginning articles on the Curies with “Once upon a time . . .” Then, in 1906, Pierre was killed in a freak accident. Marie continued their work alone.
The Handmaid’s Tale
In this post-apolcalyptic novel, Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable.
Offred can remember the days before, when she lived and made love with her husband Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now. Funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing, The Handmaid’s Tale is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and literary tour de force.
In the Company of Women: Inspiration and Advice from over 100 Makers, Artists, and Entrepreneurs
Across the globe, women are embracing the entrepreneurial spirit and starting creative businesses. In the Company of Women profiles over 100 of these influential and creative women from all ages, races, backgrounds, and industries. Chock-full of practical, inspirational advice for those looking to forge their own paths, these interviews detail the keys to success (for example, going with your gut; maintaining meaningful and lasting relationships), highlight the importance of everyday rituals (meditating; creating a daily to-do list), and dispense advice for the next generation of women entrepreneurs and makers (stay true to what you believe in; have patience). The book is rounded out with hundreds of lush, original photographs of the women in their work spaces.