Women's History Month 2022 for Teens

The history and contributions of women are often hidden, unrecognized or ignored, but that is beginning to change. At Denver Public Library, we celebrate Women’s History Month all year round but in March, we like to shed even more light on the topic. Join us in celebrating through these great books about incredible people and experiences!

This collection of twenty-one essays from major YA authors--including award-winning and bestselling writers--touches on a powerful range of topics related to growing up female in today's America, and the intersection with race, religion, and ethnicity. Sure to inspire hope and solidarity to anyone who reads it, Our Stories, Our Voices belongs on every young woman's shelf.

Acevedo, Elizabeth

Teen mother Emoni Santiago struggles with the challenges of finishing high school and her dream of working as a chef.

Beals, Melba

A member of the Little Rock Nine shares her memories of growing up in the South under Jim Crow.

Criswell, Shelby

Follow the daily life of one queer artist from Texas as they introduce us to the lives of ten extraordinary people. The author shares their life as a genderqueer person, living in the American South, revealing their own personal struggle for acceptance and how they were inspired by these historical LGBTQIA+ people to live their own truth. Featuring biographies of Mary Jones, We'wha, Magnus Hirschfeld, Dr. Pauli Murray, Wilmer 'Little Axe' M. Broadnax, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Carlett Brown, Nancy Cardenas, Ifti Nasim, and Simon Nkoli.

Demetrios, Heather

To say Virginia "Dindy" Hall was ambitious would be an understatement. She was that girl at your high school who makes everyone else look like a slacker, no matter how hard they're working. But how many of them can say they've been on Nazi Germany's Most Wanted list? At a time when most women were expected to becomes wives and mothers, Virginia craved adventure. And with the world gearing up for a second World War, this fearless woman knew that she had to find a way to get involved. When the State Department proved to be a sexist boy's club that wouldn't allow her in, she went to England to join their Special Operations unit, which was more than happy to hire this talented, brilliant woman. Even after a terrible accident left her needing a wooden leg, she remained undeterred. Soon Virginia became an essential part of the Allied mission and the French Resistance, earning the dangerous honor of being named "the most dangerous of all Allied spies" by the Gestapo. This is a smart and spirited celebration of Virginia Hall, a woman with audacious courage and kickass spy skills.

Elliott, Zetta

Inspired by the #SayHerName campaign launched by the African American Policy Forum, these poems pay tribute to victims of police brutality as well as the activists insisting that Black Lives Matter. Elliott engages poets from the past two centuries to create a chorus of voices celebrating the creativity, resilience, and courage of Black women and girls. This collection features forty-nine powerful poems, four of which are tribute poems inspired by the works of Lucille Clifton, Audre Lorde, Nikki Giovanni, and Phillis Wheatley.

Engle, Margarita

In free verse, evokes the voice of Gertrudis Gomez de Avellaneda, a book-loving writer, feminist, and abolitionist who courageously fought injustice in nineteenth-century Cuba. Includes historical notes, excerpts from her writings, biographical information, and source notes.

Fernández, Pedro J.

Lend an ear and you will know the secrets of the most talented and reckless, curious, rebellious and enterprising women of Mexico, who dared to break the mold. Disobeying can be a good idea. Being ordered is always nice and powerful, of course, but getting out of the huacal makes things interesting when the mandates are boring, when they do not let us move at our leisure, especially when they damage our soul. In those cases you have to invent your own opportunities to make discoveries and shine like diamond. The women in this book have met to tell you how they did it, how much they searched until they got away with it. Because curiosity does not kill the cat. The women, girls and adults, always end up figuring out ways to make their way, even if the road is full of pebbles.

Gerster, Michelle

This compelling young adult graphic memoir tells the story of Gricelda, a fifteen-year-old Mexican girl who crosses the border into America with her mother and younger brother in search of a better life. Their treacherous journey is filled with both heartbreak and hope. Will America be the country of dreams like they imagined? Or will adjusting to their new life in California be another type of struggle for Gricelda and her family? With captivating illustrations inspired by the graffiti and stencil art prevalent during the 2006 political uprising in Oaxaca, as well as local textiles and embroidery, Travesía is Gricelda's first-person account, derived from interviews with author Michelle Gerster and told in both English and Spanish. Timely and relevant, Travesía is a vibrant and powerful testament to the desperation and resilience of millions of migrating people who endure the pain of leaving their old lives behind to embark on the perilous journey across borders in search of a new life.

Ha, Robin

For as long as she can remember, it's been Robin and her mom against the world. Growing up as the only child of a single mother in Seoul, Korea, wasn't always easy, but it has bonded them fiercely together. So when a vacation to visit friends in Huntsville, Alabama, unexpectedly becomes a permanent relocation--following her mother's announcement that she's getting married--Robin is devastated. Overnight, her life changes. She is dropped into a new school where she doesn't understand the language and struggles to keep up. She is completely cut off from her friends in Seoul and has no access to her beloved comics. At home, she doesn't fit in with her new stepfamily, and worst of all, she is furious with the one person she is closest to--her mother. Then one day Robin's mother enrolls her in a local comic drawing class, which opens the window to a future Robin could never have imagined.

Johnson, Leah

Liz Lighty has always done her best to avoid the spotlight in her small, wealthy, and prom-obsessed midwestern high school, after all, her family is black and rather poor, especially since her mother died; instead she has concentrated on her grades and her musical ability in the hopes that it will win her a scholarship to elite Pennington College and their famous orchestra where she plans to study medicine--but when that scholarship falls through she is forced to turn to her school's scholarship for prom king and queen, which plunges her into the gauntlet of social media which she hates and leads her to discoveries about her own identity and the value of true friendships.

Judge, Lita

A free verse biography of Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein, featuring over 300 pages of black-and-white watercolor illustrations.

Keene, Adrienne

An accessible and educational illustrated book profiling 50 notable American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian people, from NBA star Kyrie Irving of the Standing Rock Lakota to Wilma Mankiller, the first female principal chief of the Cherokee Nation. Celebrate the lives, stories, and contributions of Indigenous artists, activists, scientists, athletes, and other changemakers in this illustrated collection. Also offers accessible primers on important Indigenous issues, from the legacy of colonialism and cultural appropriation to food sovereignty, land and water rights, and more. An indispensable read for people of all backgrounds seeking to learn about Native American heritage, histories, and cultures, Notable Native People will educate and inspire readers of all ages.

Lo, Malinda

Seventeen-year-old Lily Hu can't remember exactly when the question took root, but the answer was in full bloom the moment she and Kathleen Miller walked under the flashing neon sign of a lesbian bar called the Telegraph Club. America in 1954 is not a safe place for two girls to fall in love, especially not in Chinatown. Red-Scare paranoia threatens everyone, including Chinese Americans like Lily. With deportation looming over her father--despite his hard-won citizenship--Lily and Kath risk everything to let their love see the light of day.

Long, Jessica Tatiana

The champion Paralympic swimmer, born in Russia with a condition that would result in the amputation of both legs below her knee, presents a photographic memoir of the life-changing moments that helped shape who she is today.

Mann, Jennifer Ann

In 1928, Maxine, Rose, Alice, and London face vicious attendants and bullying older girls at the Massachusetts School for the Feeble-Minded, each determined to change her fate at all costs. Includes historical notes about eugenics.

Manzano, Sonia

Pura Belpre Honor winner for The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano and one of America's most influential Hispanics--'Maria' on Sesame Street--delivers a beautifully wrought coming-of-age memoir. Set in the 1950s in the Bronx, this is the story of a girl with a dream. Emmy award-winning actress and writer Sonia Manzano plunges us into the daily lives of a Latino family that is loving--and troubled. This is Sonia's own story rendered with an unforgettable narrative power. When readers meet young Sonia, she is a child living amidst the squalor of a boisterous home that is filled with noisy relatives and nosy neighbors. Each day she is glued to the TV screen that blots out the painful realities of her existence and also illuminates the possibilities that lie ahead. But--click!--when the TV goes off, Sonia is taken back to real-life--the cramped, colorful world of her neighborhood and an alcoholic father. But it is Sonia's dream of becoming an actress that keeps her afloat among the turbulence of her life and times. Spiced with culture, heartache, and humor, this memoir paints a lasting portrait of a girl's resilience as she grows up to become an inspiration to millions.

Méndez, Yamile Saied

Seventeen-year-old Camila Hassan, a rising soccer star in Rosario, Argentina, dreams of playing professionally, in defiance of her fathers' wishes and at the risk of her budding romance with Diego.

Morvan, Jean David

The true tale of Irena Sendlerowa, a social worker in the Warsaw ghetto in the early 1940s, during the early days of German occupation. She is credited for saving the lives of 2500 Jewish children by gradually and quietly smuggling them to safety in small groups. While she is eventually arrested by Gestapo, imprisoned, and tortured for her actions, she refuses to reveal her network and is condemned to death. She is ultimately saved from death by other members of her organization. After the war, she retrieved the names of all children she saved (kept in a glass jar buried under a tree behind her house) and attempted to locate each of their parents for reunion. And while most of the parents had been gassed in the Holocaust, she made it her mission to help those orphans find new homes.

Satrapi, Marjane

In powerful black-and-white comic strip images, Satrapi tells the story of her life in Tehran from ages six to fourteen, years that saw the overthrow of the Shah's regime, the triumph of the Islamic Revolution, and the devastating effects of war with Iraq. The intelligent and outspoken only child of committed Marxists and the great-granddaughter of one of Iran's last emperors, Marjane bears witness to a childhood uniquely entwined with the history of her country.

Stevenson, Noelle

In a collection of personal comics that span eight years of her young adult life, author-illustrator Noelle Stevenson charts the highs and lows of being a creative human in the world.

Thrash, Maggie

Maggie Thrash has spent basically every summer of her fifteen-year-old life at the one-hundred-year-old Camp Bellflower for Girls, set deep in the heart of Appalachia. She's from Atlanta, she's never kissed a guy, she's into Backstreet Boys in a really deep way, and her long summer days are full of a pleasant, peaceful nothing . . . until one confounding moment. A split-second of innocent physical contact pulls Maggie into a gut-twisting love for an older, wiser, and most surprising of all (at least to Maggie), female counselor named Erin. But Camp Bellflower is an impossible place for a girl to fall in love with another girl, and Maggie's savant-like proficiency at the camp's rifle range is the only thing keeping her heart from exploding. When it seems as if Erin maybe feels the same way about Maggie, it's too much for both Maggie and Camp Bellflower to handle, let alone to understand.

Vermette, Katherena

Echo Desjardins, a 13-year-old Métis girl adjusting to a new home and school, is struggling with loneliness while separated from her mother. Then an ordinary day in Mr. Bee's history class turns extraordinary, and Echo's life will never be the same. During Mr. Bee's lecture, Echo finds herself transported to another time and place--a bison hunt on the Saskatchewan prairie--and back again to the present. In the following weeks, Echo slips back and forth in time. She visits a Métis camp, travels the old fur-trade routes, and experiences the perilous and bygone era of the Pemmican Wars.

Watson, Renée

Frustrated by the way women are treated--even at their progressive New York City high school--two best friends start a Women's Rights Club, post their essays and poems online, and watch it go viral, attracting positive support as well as trolls.

Yousafzai, Malala

Nunca deja de asombrarme que la gente dé la paz por supuesta. Yo doy las gracias por ella cada día. No todo el mundo tiene paz. Millones de hombres, mujeres y niños viven en medio de la guerra cada día. Su realidad es la violencia, hogares destruidos, vidas inocentes perdidas. Y su única elección para tener seguridad es marcharse. "Eligen" ser desplazados. Pero no es que sea precisamente una elección. "Después de que su padre fuera asesinado, María huyó en medio de la noche con su madre". "Zaynab estuvo sin ir al colegio durante dos años cuando escapó de la guerra antes de llegar a Estados Unidos. Su hermana, Sabreen, sobrevivió a una angustiosa travesía a Italia". "Ajida huyó de una violencia atroz pero se encontró luchando contra los elementos por mantener a su familia a salvo en un nuevo hogar provisional". La premio Nobel de la Paz y popular autora MALALA YOUSAFZAI presenta algunos de los rostros que están tras las estadísticas y las noticias que nos llegan cada día acerca de los millones de personas desplazadas que hay en todo el mundo. Las experiencias de Malala en sus visitas a campos de refugiados le hicieron reconsiderar sus propias vivencias como desplazada, primero como persona desplazada internamente cuando era niña en Pakistán y, más tarde, como la activista internacional que podía ir a cualquier lugar del mundo, excepto a su querido hogar. En "Todas somos desplazadas", que es en parte memoria y en parte historia colectiva, Malala no solo explora su propia experiencia de adaptarse a una nueva vida al mismo tiempo que se añora el hogar, sino que también comparte las historias personales de algunas de las jóvenes extraordinarias que ha conocido en sus viajes: jóvenes que han perdido su comunidad, su familia y con frecuencia el único mundo que han conocido.

Summaries provided by DPL's catalog unless otherwise noted. Click on each title to view more information.