New Multicultural Books Perfect for Women's History Month


Disclosure: I was sent copies of these books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

March is such a funny month. In New England it can be a long month without much to do. The weather is sometimes amazing and often awful. It can be snow or rain and it really depends. Spring begins in March which is always my favorite but it is early spring so it isn't the beautiful part of spring yet. And of course there is Pi Day! One of my favorite holidays!! Mathematicians don't get too many holidays. The other thing that excites me about March is that it is Women's History Month. It is a month for us to discover and learn about the amazing women throughout history that we probably haven't heard of. Most of our history was recorded by men (and around here it was white men) so it is very biased and often doesn't cover the amazing things women have done to support society. I have big plans for this month but to begin I thought I would share two new books that are perfect for Women's History Month. The first is a picture book that shares a favorite story of Dovey Johnson Roundtree liked to tell. Last month I shared a middle grade level book about Dovey but today's book is a perfect way to introduce younger kids to this amazing woman. The book is We Wait for the Sun by Dovey Johnson Roundtree and Katie McCabe and illustrated by Raissa Figueroa.

This book tells the story from Dovey's childhood. She and her Grandmother Rachel got up before dawn to pick blackberries. Grandmother Rachel was a huge role model and supporter for Dovey so knowing about Dovey makes this story even more special. In the story Dovey and Rachel are joined by other women as they adventure through the dark forest to where the juiciest blackberries grow. There they pick and pick the delicious berries until Grandmother Rachel calls Dovey to her and together they watch the beautiful sunrise.

Although the story is just a short morning in the life of Dovey and her grandmother there is so much more to it. The love of family. The responsibility of gathering the food. The support of family. These are all in the story but so is the beauty of dawn. Once the sun rises the women head home to begin their day with their families. 

I love that this story shares a special memory that Dovey has of a special time with her beloved grandmother. It is a sweet story by itself but then at the end of the book there are a couple of pages about Dovey's life and her accomplishments. This of course will give the reader information to teach the younger kids about this amazing woman. I also love the pictures. The love between Grandmother Rachel and Dovey shines through the pictures as well as the story. This book is perfect for any classroom, story time, etc. It shares a sweet memory as well as story about a Civil Rights Activist. It is recommended for ages 4 to 8.

Our next book is for 8- to 12-year-olds. It is a compilation of short biographies of forty Hispanic women. The book is Latinitas: Celebrating 40 Big Dreamers by Juliet Menéndez. In the introduction Juliet shares that she wishes she had a book about these women when she was growing up. The book is also available in Spanish.

This book shares a two-page spread about each of the women. The women are from all over Central and South America as well as Puerto Rico. They range from the 17th century to present. Some were activists, writers, singers, and more. All of these women are strong and brave. One side of the two-page spread is an illustration of the woman along with her "profession"/accomplishment and the other side is about her life. 

Some of the women you have heard of like Celia Cruz, Frida Kahlo, and Rigoberta Menchu Tum. Others you probably have not (I know I had not) like Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz or Pura Belpre. Their stories however are amazing. Stories about rebuilding a country after war and starting with the schools so the next generation will be ready to lead the country as well as composing operas and music by age 4.

The table of contents shares the names of the forty women as well as a picture of the flag of the country(ies) they live(d). Each of these women had to persevere to be successful. They had to fight to be who they were meant to be. Each had courage and her own strength and each contributed to the world in different ways. These are the women we want our girls to look up to and this book is perfect to give our girls role models. It is the perfect introduction to each of these women and their accomplishments. The kids can then go research one they find most interesting.

This book is a wonderful resource to introduce new women to kids during Women's History Month or Hispanic History Month. It is full of so much information and inspiration. I hope you will check it out!