Strong Female Role Models Star in New Books

By Lee Littlewood

March 3, 2014 5 min read

A slew of brand new children's books highlight inspirational, strong women and girls.

"A World of Her Own: 24 Amazing Women Explorers and Adventurers" by Michael Elsohn Ross; Chicago Review Press; 224 pages; $19.95.

This thoughtful chronicle of 24 daring women adventurers, from the early 1800s to the present, will inspire the girls of today to overcome obstacles and live curiously and passionately. From pioneering the far North and pursuing large mammals to journeying up the Nile, women have been risking life and limb for discoveries for hundreds of years. It wasn't until much later, however, that they were recognized for their bravery.

Profiled here are Rosaly Lopes, who discovered 71 volcanoes on Io, one of Jupiter's moons; Helen Thayer, the first women to walk and ski the magnetic North Pole with only her dog; and Kay Cottee, the first woman to sail nonstop around the world completely unassisted.

Girls ages 11 and older, especially those interested in the fields of science, technology, engineering or math, will find this clearly penned book inspirational. In fact, all girls will enjoy these amazing true tales, especially if they love nature, animals, the environment and physical challenges.

"Women of Steel and Stone: 22 Inspirational Architects, Engineers, and Landscape Designers" by Anna M. Lewis; Chicago Review Press; 272 pages; $19.95.

Like "A World of Her Own," this book is part of Chicago Review Press's Women of Action biography series and also introduces girls to courageous women. Lewis profiles 22 female architects, engineers and landscape designers from the 1800s to today. Kids interested in these fields will learn how childhood passions, perseverance and creativity led these women to break barriers and achieve great success.

Marion Mahony Griffin worked alongside Frank Lloyd Wright; Emily Warren Roebling took over as engineer of the Brooklyn Bridge; and Zaha Hadid is one of today's best-known architects and the first to win the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize.

Lists of top schools in each field, required degrees, programs for kids and teens, places to visit and professional organizations are also included, making this a fabulous resource for young women interested in these fascinating fields.

"Founding Mothers: Remembering the Ladies" by Cokie Roberts; illustrated by Diane Goode; HarperCollins; 40 pages; $17.99.

Though this zesty picture book missed being reviewed in time for Presidents Day, its information and messages are important any time of year. So many books are written about the presidents, but not many about the females who may have been behind the scenes, and in many cases, just as influential.

In this entertaining look at history, best-selling author Roberts looks at the American Revolution, and the wives, mothers, sisters and daughters who contributed and fought during it as courageously as the men. In some cases, the women defended the doors of their very homes. The amazing stories, found in personal correspondence, private journals, ledgers and lists, chronicle women like Abigail Adams, Martha Washington, Deborah Reed Franklin and many others.

As the founding fathers urged — "Remember the ladies!"

"I am Amelia Earhart" by Brad Meltzer; illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos; Dial; 40 pages; $12.99.

Younger girls and boys will enjoy this easy-reading biography starring a cartoon version of a young Amelia Earhart. Created with an accessible, fun look and talkative, personal style, Meltzer's book is part of his new "Ordinary People Change the World" biography series for young children.

With fun writing that highlights Earhart's adventurous childhood and courageous spirit, the picture book reads like a story but pays homage to an American icon.

"I am Amelia Earhart. I know no bounds. And I hope you'll remember that the greatest flight you'll ever take, is the one no one has tried before," reads the end of this awesome biography. Quotes and photographs are also inside.


Other fantastic inspirational fiction reads for girls include:

"The Mighty Miss Malone" by Christopher Paul Curtis (Yearling), which stars a 12-year-old girl who holds her family together during the Great Depression.

"A Girl Called Problem" by Katie Quirk (Eerdmans Books for Young Readers) follows a strong 13-year-old Tanzanian girl who helps her village learn to take on change.

"Gold Medal Winter," by Donna Freitas (Scholastic Inc.) will thrill young ice skating fans, while "The Freedom Maze" by Delia Sherman (Candlewick) is a time-travel tale about a 13-year-old girl who's mistaken as a slave when she finds herself in 1860 on a haunted Louisiana sugar plantation.

To find out more about Lee Littlewood and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at

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