Books About Women’s History

March 12, 2015

Women’s History Month!

March is Women’s History Month, and it is a great time to read about the many contributions women have made to our society or read books by groundbreaking and sometimes controversial women authors. The following books can be borrowed from the Roslindale Branch Library or other BPL branches.


Living History
By Hillary Rodham Clinton

Hillary Rodham Clinton is known to hundreds of millions of people around the world. Yet few beyond her close friends and family have ever heard her account of her extraordinary journey. She writes with candor, humor and passion about her upbringing in suburban, middle-class America in the 1950s and her transformation from Goldwater Girl to student activist to controversial First Lady. Living History is her revealing memoir of life through the White House years.

Going Rogue
By Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin, the first female Republican Vice Presidential candidate, recounts her political experiences, her rapid rise on the national stage during the 2008 campaign, and the personal challenges she’s faced including balancing her time as a working mother, recognizing the war’s impact with her son serving combat in Iraq, having a child with a disability, and supporting her teenage daughter with an unplanned pregnancy.

The Joy Luck Club
By Amy Tan

In 1949, four Chinese women–drawn together by the shadow of their past–begin meeting in San Francisco to play mah jong, invest in stocks and “say” stories. They call their gathering the Joy Luck Club–and forge a relationship that binds them for more than three decades. A celebrated novel in the tradition of Alice Adams and Margaret Atwood from the bestselling author of The Kitchen God’s Wife.

Double Victory: How African-American Women Broke Race and Gender Barriers to Help Win World War II
By Cheryl Mullenbach

An account of the lesser-known contributions of African-American women during World War II reveals how they helped lay the foundations for the Civil Rights Movement by challenging racial and gender barriers at home and abroad.

Women and the City: Gender, Space and Power in Boston, 1870-1940
By Sarah Deutsch

In the 70 years between the Civil War and World War II, the women of Boston changed the city dramatically. From anti-spitting campaigns and demands for police mothers to patrol local parks, to calls for a decent wage and living quarters, women rich and poor, white and black, immigrant and native-born struggled to make a place for themselves in the city. Now, in Women and the City historian Sarah Deutsch tells this story for the first time, revealing how they changed not only the manners but also the physical layout of the modern city.

The Dovekeepers
By Alice Hoffman

A tale inspired by the tragic first-century massacre of hundreds of Jewish people at Masada presents the stories of a hated daughter, a baker’s wife, a girl disguised as a warrior, and a medicine woman who keep doves and secrets while Roman soldiers draw near.

The Complete Stories
By Flannery O’Connor

The publication of this extraordinary volume firmly established Flannery O’Connor’s monumental contribution to American fiction. There are thirty-one stories here in all, including twelve that do not appear in the only two story collections O’Connor put together in her short lifetime

Teens/Young Adults

33 Things Every Girl Should Know About Women’s History: From Suffragettes to Skirt Lengths to ERA
Edited By Tonya Bolden

Uses poems, essays, letters, photographs and more to present the actions and achievements of women in the United States, from its beginnings up through the twentieth century.

When I Was Puerto Rican
By Esmeralda Santiago

Magic, sexual tension, high comedy, and intense drama move through an enchanted yet harsh autobiography, in the story of a young girl who leaves rural Puerto Rico for New York’s tenements and a chance for success.

The Heretic’s Daughter
By Kathleen Kent

Young Sarah Carrier tries to cope with life in Salem, Massachusetts, after her mother, Martha Carrier, is accused, tried, and hanged as a witch.

The Color Purple
By Alice Walker

The Color Purple is the story of two sisters — one a missionary to Africa and the other a child wife living in the South — who remain loyal to one another across time, distance, and silence. Beautifully imagined and deeply compassionate, this classic American literature is rich with passion, pain, inspiration, and an indomitable love of life

A Room of One’s Own
By Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf’s landmark inquiry into women’s role in society In A Room of One’s Own , Virginia Woolf imagines that Shakespeare had a sister–a sister equal to Shakespeare in talent, and equal in genius, but whose legacy is radically different.  Her message is a simple one: women must have a fixed income and a room of their own in order to have the freedom to create.

I am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced
by Nujood Ali

Ali Nujood, the first child bride in Yemen to win a divorce, tells the story of her experiences after her father arranged for her to be married in 2008 at the age of ten to a man three times her age, describes what happened when she sought out a judge in order to get a divorce, and discusses the impact of her actions on traditional Yemen culture and society.

To Kill A Mockingbird
By Harper Lee

The explosion of racial hate in an Alabama town is viewed by a little girl whose father defends a black man accused of rape.

Interpreter of Maladies
By Jhumpa Lahiri

Contains nine short stories which chart the emotional journeys of characters seeking love beyond the borders of nations and generations.

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
By Maya Angelou

Here is a book as joyous and painful, as mysterious and memorable, as childhood itself. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings captures the longing of lonely children, the brute insult of bigotry, and the wonder of words that can make the world right. Maya Angelou’s debut memoir is a modern American classic beloved worldwide.


Louisa May’s Battle: How the Civil War Led to Little Women
By Kathleen Krull

Louisa May Alcott is best known for penning Little Women, but few are aware of the experience that influenced her writing most-her time as a nurse during the Civil War. The acclaim for her new writing style inspired her to use this approach in Little Women, which was one of the first novels to be set during the Civil War.

The Ballot Box Battle
By Emily Arnold McCully

In Tenafly, New Jersey, Cordelia’s job taking care of neighbor Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s horse leads her to find the courage to try things deemed not proper for girls in 1880.

Good Girl Work: Factories, Sweatshops and How Women Changed Their Role in the American Workforce
By Catherine Gourley

Discusses the girls and women in the industrial workforce of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and the reforms and movements that changed their working conditions and the nature of the work itself.

At Her Majesty’s Request: An African Princess in Victorian England
By Walter Dean Myers

Biography of the African princess saved from execution and taken to England where Queen Victoria oversaw her upbringing and where she lived for a time before marrying an African missionary.

Women Aviators
By Karen Bush Gibson

Profiles the lives and careers of twenty-six women who were pioneers in the field of aviation.

Women in the 19th Century
By Fiona MacDonald

Examines the everyday life of women in the United States during the 1800s, contrasting society’s ideal view of women with their real lives.

By George Sullivan

This book tells the exciting story of the life of this famous Native American woman, using the journals and writings of English colonists.

By Rhonda Blumberg

Explains how the new-fashioned outfit, bloomers, helped Amelia Bloomer, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Susan B. Anthony spread the word about women’s rights.

Women Scientists
By Nancy Veglahn

Profiles the lives and achievements of ten American women scientists, including Annie Jump Cannon, Margaret Mead, and Rachel Carson.

Rosa Parks and the Civil Rights Movement
By Terri DeGezelle

Who was Rosa Parks? Why did black Americans stop riding buses? When did the law change to give black Americans equal rights? This book will help you discover what life was like during the civil rights movement.

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