March into Middle Grade Women’s History

This March, in honor of Women’s History Month, we present twelve new and timeless titles featuring middle grade girls on purposeful quests. Join them as they discover their power, use their voices, and find their paths in the world. Whether you’re looking for tales of young activists, contemporary journeys, or historical fiction, these stories of girl power are bound to inspire.

Grasping Mysteries: Girls Who Loved Math by Jeannine Atkins. A biographical novel featuring seven remarkable women who used math and science as their key to explore the mysteries of the universe and grew up to do innovative work that changed the world. (novel in verse)

Across So Many Seas by Ruth Behar. Spanning over 500 years, Pura Belpré Award winner Ruth Behar’s epic novel tells the stories of four girls from different generations of a Jewish family, many of them forced to leave their country and start a new life. (historical fiction)

Indigo and Ida by Heather Murphy Capps. When eighth grader and aspiring journalist Indigo breaks an important story and exposes an unfair school policy, she’s suddenly popular for the first time. Indigo stumbles upon a book by Black journalist and activist Ida B. Wells and realizes she must choose between keeping quiet and fighting for justice.

How to Be a Girl in the World by Caela Carter. Lydia hasn’t felt comfortable in her own skin since the boys at her school started commenting on the way she looks in her uniform. As seventh grade begins, Lydia wonders: Is there a secret to figuring out how to be a girl in the world?

Fight Back by A.M. Dassu.  Anti-Muslim rhetoric starts cropping up at school and on the street, and when 13-year-old Aaliyah starts getting bullied, she knows she has to do something to stand up to the hate. Aaliyah feels alone after putting on a hijab for the first time, but she finds friends and allies by organizing a protest at her school.

Ahimsa by Supriya Kelkar. In 1942, Mahatma Gandhi asks Indians to give one family member to the freedom movement. When ten year old Anjali’s mother is jailed for her work in the fight for independence from the British, Anjali must step out of her comfort zone to take over her mother’s work. (historical fiction)

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly. Calpurnia Virginia Tate is eleven years old in 1899 and an avid naturalist. As Callie explores the natural world around her, she develops a close relationship with her grandfather, navigates the dangers of living with six brothers, and comes up against just what it means to be a girl at the turn of the century. (historical fiction)

In the Key of Us by Mariama Lockington. At Harmony Music Camp, Zora and Andi are the only two Black girls in a sea of mostly white faces. The two begin to connect, unraveling their insecurities and hopes for the future. As they struggle to figure out who they really are, they may just come to realize who they really need: each other.

A Good Kind of Trouble  by Lisa Moore Ramée. Twelve-year-old Shayla is allergic to trouble, but in junior high, the rules have changed. After experiencing a powerful protest, she starts wearing an armband to school in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, and soon everyone is taking sides.

Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan. Esperanza thought she’d always live a privileged life on her family’s ranch in Mexico, but a sudden tragedy forces her family to flee to California and settle in a Mexican farm labor camp during the Great Depression. (historical fiction)

Joy, to the World by Kai Shappley and Lisa Bunker.  Twelve-year-old trans girl, Joy, relocates to Texas with her supportive family, and when she is told she’s off the cheerleading team Joy fights for her right to cheer.

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson. Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. (novel in verse)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *