March is National Women’s History month. What better time to focus on raising confident girls that will grow into strong and self-assured women? From how-to guides to the real-life revelations of other girls, from rambunctious fictional role models to actual heroines of history, the library offers a wide selection of readings and videos that explore the various experiences of those who came before us, as well as encourage the potential that lies within each of us. With that in mind, what follows is a listing of library resources that will enlighten and entertain:
Health and Personal Conduct
Very often, growing up and changing physically, emotionally, and psychologically can leave young girls feeling isolated and confused. Being available to talk with your child goes a long way toward helping to reduce the angst and pitfalls of tweenhood. These are some resources that can provide a good jumping off point for those discussions:
Dealing with Bullies & Bossiness and Finding a Better Way By Patti Kelley Criswell. A guide for girls on how to recognize and handle bullying. Shares quizzes for identifying one's personal "speak-up" style and offers advice from real-world girls on how to use words to manage bullies and get an adult's help when needed.
Staying True to Yourself in Changing Times By Nancy Holyoke. Full of tips, quizzes and advice from real girls to help you keep your head and heart during tough times and put your best self forward.
By Patti Kelley Criswell. This book is designed to help you learn how to make new friends and to make the most of the friendships you already have. It's full of quizzes, crafts, thoughtful advice, and true stories of friendship shared by real girls.
Real Stories by Real Girls About Real Stuff Compiled By Jack Canfield. This book is designed to help you learn how to make new friends and to make the most of the friendships you already have.
A Girl's Guide to Feeling Safe and Having Fun by Dottie Raymer. Explains what to expect when one is left home alone and how to respond when the unexpected happens, with activities to help learn about one's home, neighborhood, and capabilities.
Escapades for Your Life of Epic Adventure By Caroline Paul. A book about the glorious things that happen when you unshackle from fear and open up to exhilaration.
Honest Talk About Growing Up and Your Changing Body By Sarah O'Leary Burningham. Being a girl isn't always easy, and growing up is far from a walk in the park. This time of transition is particularly confusing without a confidante to help. Meet Sarah O'Leary Burningham, a real-life big sister here to coach preteens through all of life's big moments, from first bras to first periods.
The Care & Keeping of You: The Body Book for Younger Girls By Valorie Lee Schaefer
The Care & Keeping of You 2: The Body Book for Older Girls By Dr. Cara Natterson
These thoughtful advice books will guide you through the steps of growing up. With illustrations and expert contributors, these books cover questions about periods, your growing body, peer pressure, personal care, and more.
More Girls' Questions Answered By The Editors of The Care & Keeping of You. A fact-filled resource answers questions about adolescence and the body from real girls, from pimples and periods to ear piercing and eating disorders, and includes advice on how to talk to parents about uncomfortable subjects.
Talking to your Kids about Sexting by Joani Geltman. Covering a broad range of issues--80 different topics in all--this straight-talking guide helps parents understand why teenagers (and sometimes tweens) behave the way they do and what developmental factors are involved.
Although still not as recognized as boys’/men’s sports, female athletes continue to make inroads into the public’s consciousness. For example, Islip School District has proven to have incredibly talented and dedicated students that more than justify our “Pride!” These are guides and biographies to instruct and inspire:
By Kate T. Parker. Celebrates, through more than 175 memorable photographs, the strength and spirit of girls being 100% themselves.
By Erin Downing. From training techniques formations and strategies- this book has it all!
By Stacy Wilson. Hockey rules, equipment, exercises, and drills for girls who want to play. Includes profiles of the top women hockey players.
[Videorecording DVD] Chalk Talk Productions. Learn the fundamentals of lacrosse with one of America's top women's lacrosse coaches. With beginning players and their coaches in mind, University of North Carolina Head Coach Jenny Levy shares her secrets to mastering the basics of the sport.
The story of the young women who won the world championship by Doreen Rappaport and Lyndall Callan; pictures by E.B. Lewis. Margaret experiences the excitement of watching the 1946 championship game of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League as it goes into extra innings.
(Electronic resource eBook) by Alex Morgan. From her beginnings with the American Youth Soccer Organization to her key role in the 2015 Women's World Cup, Alex shares the details that made her who she is today: a fantastic role model and athlete who proudly rocks a pink headband.
The legendary life of Babe Didrikson Zaharias by Rich Wallace and Sandra Neil Wallace. On the court, track, field, or golf course, Babe was determined to be the best - and she was. An action-packed story of a woman ESPN ranks as #10 of the top North American athletes of the twentieth century.
A body in motion, a life in balance by Simone Biles with Michelle Burford. Simone takes you through the events, challenges, and trials that carried her from an early childhood in foster care to a coveted spot on the 2016 Olympic team.
Other Role Models: in real life…
The True story of Adelaide Herrmann, Queen of Magic by Mara Rockliff. This rollicking romp tells the true story of one fearless magician's rise to glory. Extensive information, including instructions for performing one of Addie's original tricks, makes this a dazzling celebration of one of the first female conjurers in show business.
Tales of History's Gutsiest Gals by Stephanie Warren Drimmer. Discover true stories of superstars, war heroes, world leaders, gusty gals, and everyday women who changed the world.
What You Never Knew about the Women and Girls of the American Revolution by Laurie Halse Anderson. A superbly researched and illustrated celebration combines historical facts and humor to pay homage to the ladies who played important roles in the founding of our nation.
By Andi Diehn. Introduces readers to technology and coding, discussing how it developed and what it can be used to create, before providing profiles on three women who have greatly impacted the field. The series also includes titles about women in engineering, astronomy, and aviation.
How Anne Carroll Moore Created Libraries for Children by Jan Pinborough. Examines the story of how librarian Ann Carroll Moore created the first children's room at the New York Public Library.
Lessons from leaders on raising the next generation of empowered women edited by Nina Tassler with Cynthia Littleton. A diverse group of women--from Madeleine Albright To Ruth Bader Ginsburg, from Dr. Susan Love to Whoopi Goldberg and more...reflect on the best advice and counsel they have given their daughters either by example, throughout their lives, or in character-building, teachable moments between parent and child.
Clara and the shirtwaist makers' strike of 1909 by Michelle Markel. An account of immigrant Clara Lemlich's pivotal role in the influential 1909 women laborer's strike describes how she worked grueling hours to acquire an education and support her family before organizing a massive walkout to protest the unfair working conditions in New York's garment district. Also available in book format.
By Misty Copeland. Middle grade adaptation of the New York Times bestselling memoir by the first African-American principal dancer in American Ballet Theatre history.
Produced by Stacey Reiss, Sharon Chang and Otto Bell; directed by Otto Bell. This film follows Aisholpan, a 13-year-old girl, as she trains to become the first female in twelve generations of her Kazakh family to become an eagle hunter, and rises to the pinnacle of a tradition that has been typically been handed down from father to son for centuries.
Of course, the library also has juvenile-level biographies of well-known women who have changed the world, such as Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks, Amelia Earhart, Harriet Tubman, Alice Paul and Malala Yousafzai.
…And in fiction
Never underestimate the power of story to shape someone’s path. The heroine of A Wrinkle in Time by Margaret L’Engle, Meg Murray, inspired astronaut Janice Voss (Science Director at the NASA Ames Research Center) to become interested in math, science, and outer space. She says that what appealed to her was the aspect of joining together with family and friends, pooling resources, and solving a problem. The cues that were given in the book, that women and girls are smart and capable, were absorbed and internalized. The idea that a little girl could save her father turned the traditional rescue stories on their head, though it never occurred to her that there was anything unusual in that. On one of Janice’s flights, she took a copy of the book into space and then sent it back to L’Engle with a note of appreciation. You never know when the heroine of a story can change your life.
By Robert Munsch and Michael Martchenko. After her castle and clothes are destroyed by the dragon, Princess Elizabeth, dressed only in a paper bag, sets out to rescue Prince Ronald, who was taken captive. A classic!
By Diana Wynne Jones. Polly Whittacker has to rescue cellist Thomas Lynn from the evil power of the Fey. This fantasy filled with sorcery and intrigue, magic and mystery - and a most unusual and satisfying love story. Also available in print.
By Karen Cushman. The thirteen-year-old daughter of an English country knight keeps a journal in which she records the events of her life, particularly her longing for adventures beyond the usual role of women and her efforts to avoid being married off.
By Kate Hannigan. In 1859, eleven-year-old Nell goes to live with her aunt, Kate Warne, the first female detective for Pinkerton's National Detective Agency. Nell helps her aunt solve cases, including a mystery surrounding Abraham Lincoln, as well as the mystery of what happened to Nell's own father.
By Sharon M. Draper. When a burning cross set by the Klan causes panic and fear in 1932 Bumblebee, North Carolina, fifth-grader Stella must face prejudice and find the strength to demand change in her segregated town.
By Kirsten Miller. Life becomes more interesting for Ananka Fishbein when, at the age of twelve, she discovers an underground room in the park across from her New York City apartment and meets a mysterious girl called Kiki Strike.
By Astrid Lindgren. Pippi Longstocking is the only girl in the world who can do exactly what she wants to. She is nine years old, fearless and extremely strong. She lives in a cottage by herself, with a horse and a monkey for company, and her adventures are the wildest imaginable!
By Nancy Springer. Enola Holmes, younger sister of detective Sherlock Holmes, must travel to London in disguise to unravel the disappearance of her missing mother. The first of a series. Also available as an eBook.
By Tamora Pierce. Eleven-year-old Alanna, who aspires to be a knight even though she is a girl, disguises herself as a boy to become a royal page, learning many hard lessons along her path to high adventure. The first book in the Lioness Quartet. Available in several formats.
By Deborah Ellis. After her father is arrested, eleven-year-old Parvana and her family are left without someone to earn money or even shop for food in Kabul, Afghanistan's capital. As the family conditions grow desperate, only one solution emerges. Forbidden to earn money as a girl, Parvana must transform herself into a boy, and become the breadwinner.
Of course, there’s always the classics featuring strong female protagonists that have inspired generations of girls: Alice (Lewis Carroll), Jo March (Louisa May Alcott), Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery), Meg Murray (Madeleine L’Engle) and anything written by Frances Hodgson Burnett.
Also of note is New Moon Girls magazine, available in print in the J department and at www.NewMoon.com. This is a publication in which girls from around the world are the editors and content providers- and it’s ad-free!
Coincidentally, the foremost organization for empowering girls, the Girl Scouts of America, was founded on March 12, 1912, by Juliet Gordon Low. The library has several biographies of this remarkable woman. We also have the manuals for each level of scouts: Daisys, Brownies, Juniors, and Cadets, as well as guides for leaders.
For further information on the Girl Scouts in general, see their website: www.girlscouts.org.
For information about local troops and activities, see the Suffolk County website: www.gssc.us