Once books kick-start their brains, girls change history. Discover the foundation of reading that empowered some of the world’s most influential women in this informative and inspirational illustrated middle grade collection of twenty biographies.
What do Cleopatra, Audre Lorde, and Taylor Swift have in common? They’re all influential women who grew up doing one very important thing: reading.
This collection of short-form biographies tells the story of twenty groundbreaking women and how their childhood reading habits empowered them to change the world. From Cleopatra to Sally Ride to Amanda Gorman, the women featured in this collection are from all throughout history and all kinds of backgrounds. They are women who have and who continue to change the game in STEM, literature, politics, sports, and more. Most importantly, they are women who were born to read.
For some, reading was forbidden, but they taught themselves to read anyway. For some, reading was a struggle, but they practiced and grew to love it. For some, reading was an escape from difficult realities. For all, reading was empowering.
1. Cleopatra Lives in the Library: Cleopatra (69–30 BC)
Kathleen Krull (1952–2021) was the author of over 100 books, including No Truth Without Ruth: The Life of Ruth Bader; A Woman for President: The Story of Victoria Woodhull; Lives of Extraordinary Women: Rulers, Rebels (and What the Neighbors Thought); The Only Woman in the Photo; and other acclaimed biographies for young readers. Visit her website at KathleenKrull.com.
Dr. Virginia Loh-Hagan has written over 400 books, including A is for Asian American and Popo’s Lucky Chinese New Year. She is a former elementary school teacher and currently teaches at San Diego State University where she directs the Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) Center. She writes about many topics, but especially likes to write about powerful women and her Asian American heritage. She lives in San Diego with her family and two dogs.
Aura Lewis is an author-illustrator and designer. She studied design at Parsons School for Design and illustration at the School of Visual Arts. Along with her books for children and adults, Aura’s work is also featured on stationery, in ad campaigns, and in editorial publications. Her picture books include Gloria’s Voice, The Illustrated Feminist, and We the People. You can find her work at AuraLewis.com.
Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books (August 1, 2023)