Posted on August 18, 2020 at 8:14 AM by Maggie Witte
The women’s suffrage movement is considered to have launched in 1848 as smaller groups of women worked towards women’s rights and getting reform legislation passed. It wasn’t until the start of the 20th century, after decades had passed during which legislators would not listen to the disenfranchised women, that members of the movement saw the need to be able to vote. So the women’s suffrage movement turned its focus on acquiring the right to vote and became a mass movement with millions of women joining the cause.
Finally, on August 18, 1920, due to the efforts of the women’s suffrage movement, the 19th amendment was ratified, giving women the right to vote.
The following list of books celebrates not only women winning the right to vote, but also celebrating strong women who have fought or continue to fight for their causes. Consider one of these books for your next read.
Books for Adults
DB 90588 The female persuasion by Meg Wolitzer
Greer Kadetsky is a shy college freshman when she meets Faith Frank, icon of the women's movement. She thought her future was wrapped up with boyfriend Cory, but when Faith offers her a chance to work with her at Faith's new foundation, Greer sees another path. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2018.
DB 68708 Harriet and Isabella by Patricia O’Brien
New York, 1887. As the Reverend Henry Ward Beecher is dying, his younger half sister Isabella seeks reconciliation with him and older sister Harriet Beecher Stowe. Isabella contemplates the adultery scandal of twelve years ago that tore her family apart and the involvement of her feminist friend Victoria Woodhull. 2008.
DB 78079 The invention of wings by Sue Monk Kidd
Charleston, 1803. Eleven-year-old Sarah GrimkeÌ is given a ten-year-old slave girl named Handful as a gift. They become close friends and are both punished when Handful learns to read. Sarah grows up to become an abolitionist, and Handful retains her independent spirit. Some violence and some strong language. Bestseller. 2014.
DB 89743 The radium girls: the dark story of America’s shining women by Kate Moore
Chronicle of the women employed during World War I as watch dial painters--requiring the use and ingestion of radium-laced paint--and their legal fight for compensation. Discusses the often gruesome physical deformities and pain the women experienced and their determination to receive justice. Commercial audiobook. 2016.
DB 90697 The woman hour: the great fight to win the vote by Elaine Weiss
An account of the battle to ratify the Nineteenth Amendment when, in 1920, Tennessee was the last state whose assent was needed. Discusses the women fighting for ratification and the opposing forces, including politicians, liquor companies, and railroad magnates. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2018.
DB 78811 The Scarlet sisters: sex, suffrage, and scandal in the gilded age by Myra MacPherson
Journalist examines the lives of sisters Victoria Woodhull (1838-1927) and Tennessee (Tennie) Claflin (1844-1923). Details their advocacy of the suffragist movement, their time as owners and editors of a weekly newspaper, and the founders of the first woman-run Wall Street brokerage firm. Some descriptions of sex. 2014.
DB 98737 Suffrage: women’s long battle for the vote by Ellen Carol DuBois
A historian recounts American women's fight to gain the right to vote and examines links between abolition and suffrage while pointing out racial issues within the suffrage movement itself. Details the movement's efforts, strategies, and various victories, including the final state ratification in Tennessee. Profiles key figures of the movement. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2020.
Books for Young Adults
DB 91090 Furyborn: Empirium trilogy, book 1 by Claire Legrand
Rielle, a prophesied queen, and Eliana, a bounty hunter, fight in a cosmic war that spans centuries. Their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world and of each other. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. For senior high and older readers. 2018.
DB 97190 I’m not dying without you tonight by Kimberly Jones
Over the course of one night, two teens from two very different backgrounds must rely on each other to get through the violent race riot that has enveloped their city. Violence and strong language. For senior high and older readers. 2019.
DB 90693 Saints and misfits by S.K. Ali
Janna Yusuf, book nerd and daughter of the only divorced mother at her mosque, tries to make sense of the events that follow when a holy star in the Muslim community attempts to assault her. Commercial audiobook. For senior high and older readers. 2017.
DB 96578 History vs. women: the defiant lives that they don't want you to know by Anita Sarkeesian
Introduction to a range of diverse and remarkable women in history from across the globe. Notable figures are grouped into five categories: reckless rebels, revelatory scholars, ruthless villains, restless artists, and relentless amazons. For junior and senior high and older readers. 2018.
DB 88775 Alice Paul and the fight women’s rights: from the vote to the equal rights amendment by Deborah Kops
Recounts the work and accomplishments of suffragist and activist Alice Paul (1885-1977). She was the leader of the National Women's Party and the author of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), which would make all the laws that discriminated against women unconstitutional. For junior and senior high and older readers. 2017.
DB 81677 Turning 15 on the road to freedom: my story of the 1965 Selma voting rights march by Lynda Blackmon Lowery
A fiftieth-anniversary tribute shares the story of Lynda Blackmon Lowery, the youngest person to complete the momentous Selma-to-Montgomery march. Describes her frequent imprisonment for her participation in nonviolent demonstrations and her involvement in historic Civil Rights events. Some violence. For senior high and older readers. 2015.
Books for Children
DB 85791 Around America to win the vote: two suffragists, a kitten, and 10,000 miles by Mara Rockliff
1916. Two friends and suffragists, Nell Richardson and Alice Burke, and their kitten drive across the country to inspire equal voting rights for women.
DB 91495 Rosie Revere, engineer by Andrea Beaty
Aspiring young engineer Rosie must first conquer her fear of failure before she can create the new gizmos and gadgets she dreams about. Commercial audiobook. For grades K-3. 2013.
DB 86255 Finding wonders: three girls who changed science by Jeannine Atkins
Biographical novel in verse featuring three notable women scientists in three different time periods: Maria Merian, a naturalist and scientific illustrator; Mary Anning, a fossil collector and paleontologist; and Maria Mitchell, an astronomer. For grades 4-7. 2016.
DB 91951 Good night stories for rebel girls: one hundred tales of extraordinary women by Elena Favilli
Collection of reimagined fairy tales that tell the true stories of one hundred heroic and diverse women from Ada Lovelace to Zaha Hadid. Commercial audiobook. For grades K-3 and older readers. 2016.
DB 96477 Born to fly: the first women’s air race across America by Steve Sheinkin
Just nine years after American women finally got the right to vote, a group of trailblazers soared to new heights in the 1929 Women's Air Derby, the first women's air race across the country. Profiles the pilots, and recaptures the glory and grit of the early days of flying. Commercial audiobook. For grades 6-9. 2019.
DB 86963 Roses and radicals: the epic story of how American won the right to vote by Susan Zimet
American women won the right to vote when the controversial nineteenth amendment to the U. S. Constitution was finally ratified in 1920 and passed by a mere one-vote margin. Recounts the history of the brave women who risked everything and made it happen. Commercial audiobook. For grades 6-9. 2018.