Shirley Chisholm, Congresswoman by Jill S. Pollack
Grades 3-5. Before Hillary…there was Shirley. Shirley Chisholm was the first black woman elected to Congress, serving seven terms for New York’s 12th District. In 1972, she became the first African American woman to seek the Democratic nomination for President. (She wasn’t the first woman to seek the highest office in the land, though. That honor goes to Victoria Woodhull, who threw her hat in the ring in 1872.) Pollack’s lively book covers Chisholm’s rise to Congress and her quest for the presidency.
Buy it here: http://tinyurl.com/zp3wckl
And you can watch Chisholm’s 1972 speech announcing her run, here: http://tinyurl.com/zcbgysd
Condoleezza Rice By Linda R. Wade
Grades 3-7. Condoleezza Rice grew up in Birmingham, Alabama as the civil rights movement became galvanized around the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in 1963, which killed four African American girls. A driven prodigy, Condi was devoted to her piano and began studying at the University of Denver at the tender age of 16. Rice went on to become a political science professor at Stanford and first ventured into government during President George H.W. Bush’s administration as Director of Soviet and Eastern Security Affairs at the National Security Council. In 2000, she was named National Security Advisor by President George W. Bush and served through 9/11 and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Buy it here: http://tinyurl.com/hzbocls
Hillary Rodham Clinton: Some Girls are Born to Lead By Michelle Markel and LeUyen Pham
Grades 1-4. Hillary Rodham grew up in the northwestern Chicago suburbs, the oldest of three. At first, she followed in the footsteps of her father, Hugh, a Republican who was critical of Chicago’s Democratic political machine run by Mayor Richard J. Daley. 13-year old Hillary and a friend joined other Republicans on the city’s south side the day after President Kennedy’s election in 1960 to investigate voter fraud perpetrated by Democrats. But her political views began to change: first with the 1968 assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and later with the Vietnam War. Upon her graduation from Wellesley in 1969, she was the first student in the school’s history to be selected as a commencement speaker. She soon moved on to pursue a law degree at Yale, where, in 1971, she met a young, ambitious (and bearded!) Bill Clinton. The book is filled with whimsical animation from artist LeUyen Pham.
Buy it here: http://tinyurl.com/zrt3k9p
Ruth Bader Ginsburg By Heather Moore Niver
Grades 3-6. Perhaps better known these days as ‘The Notorious RBG,’ Chief Justice Ginsburg was appointed to the highest court in the land—only the second woman to be named to the court—by President Bill Clinton in 1993. Before that, Ginsburg earned her law degree at Columbia in New York. Shortly after graduation, she applied for and was denied a clerkship with an assistant Supreme Court Justice…because she was a woman. That setback didn’t deter her and in 1980, President Jimmy Carter appointed her to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. An outspoken advocate for women’s and civil rights—her crushing dissent in a 2013 vote on the Voting Rights Act brought her public acclaim unusual for a Justice—Ginsburg has become a cultural icon for young woman. The book features a number of photos, a detailed timeline and quotes from Ginsburg herself.
Buy it here: http://tinyurl.com/jnorz7d
Sandra Day O’Connor: U.S. Supreme Court Justice By Peter William Huber
Grades 6-9. And before Ruth Bader Ginsburg…there was Sandra Day O’Connor. Appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1981 as the very first woman justice of the Supreme Court, O’Connor had already forged an impressive political career as the Republican Majority Leader of the Arizona State Senate. Before that, though, O’Connor had to run the gauntlet of 1950s attitudes toward women in the workplace: fresh out of law school, O’Connor was rejected by 40 different law firms for employment. She eventually landed a job as a deputy county attorney—after she offered to work for free. It wouldn’t be the last time O’Connor would have to persevere in the face of adversity and the doubt of others. A number of conservative and religious figures, including Reverend Jerry Falwell, publicly objected to her nomination to the court. But O’Connor did become the first woman to sit among what had traditionally been ‘the nine old men,’ of the court; a post she held for more than twenty-five years.
Buy it here: http://tinyurl.com/zhddjxj