When I was a young girl, I became fascinated with the suffragist movement. With the help of my mother, I learned everything I could about the suffragists and wrote a play about them, getting us out of gym one day so my friends and I could perform the show. Today’s young generation of budding feminists have plenty of picture books to pick from to explore the women’s rights movement. In these ten great picture books about essential figures and events related to the American suffragists, young readers can celebrate the remarkable accomplishments of the women who helped win the right to vote with the 19th amendment.
Around America to Win the Vote: Two Suffragists, a Kitten, and 10,000 Miles by Mara Rockliff and Hadley Hooper
This picture book memorializes the ultimate road trip in the real life story of two suffragists who drove across America in 1916 to tell everyone about the movement. Around America to Win the Vote is an upbeat read for any little feminist’s bookshelf.
Bold and Brave: Ten Heroes Who Won Women the Right to Vote by Kirsten Gillibrand and Maira Kalman
Bold and Brave is a dynamite collaboration between women’s rights advocate Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and renowned artist Maira Kalman. In Bold and Brave, you’ll meet ten important figures in the suffragist movement, including hidden and unsung heroines. Kalman’s artwork is a powerful match for Gillibrand’s spirited prose.
Chasing Freedom: The Life Journeys of Harriet Tubman and Susan B. Anthony, Inspired by Historical Facts by Nikki Grimes and Michele Woods
From kid lit master author Nikki Grimes, Chasing Freedom focuses its narrative on the lives of Harriet Tubman and Susan B. Anthony. In Chasing Freedom, Grimes asks: what if Tubman and Anthony met up for tea one day? Would they share their struggles? Applaud their success?
Elizabeth Started All the Trouble by Doreen Rappaport and Matt Faulkner
In this uplifting picture book bio, suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton defies the norms of the day to change the course of history. Bonus: Rappaport incorporates Stanton’s own words.
How Women Won the Vote by Susan Campbell Bartoletti and Ziyue Chen
The Women’s March of 2017 is echoed here in How Women Won the Vote. Susan Campbell Baroletti and Ziyue Chen bring to life the all but forgotten, totally influential Women’s March of 1913 in Washington, D.C. The suffragist movement. How Women Won the Vote is a testament to feminist activists everywhere.
I Could Do That! Esther Morris Gets Women the Vote by Linda Arms White and Nancy Carpenter
I Could Do That! is an inspiring read about Esther Morris, who bucks the patriarchy and wins women the right to vote in the Wyoming Territory in 1869, a groundbreaking precedent for the suffragists of the 20th century. Young readers will engage with Morris’s formative early years.
Ida B. Wells: Let the Truth Be Told by Walter Dean Myers and Bonnie Christensen
Without question, Ida B. Wells is a key figure not only in the suffragist movement, but in American civil rights. This picture book biography highlights Wells’s essential contributions to advancing the movement to win women the vote. Myers uses Wells’s words in a powerful way to increase the intimacy between the reader and Wells.
Lillian’s Right to Vote by Jonah Winter and Shane W. Evans
Lillian’s Right to Vote is a moving testament to the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which built on the work of the suffragist movement. In this picture book, 100-year-old Lillian recalls the remarkable changes she’s seen in her lifetime as she heads to the polls to cast her vote.
Marching with Aunt Susan by Claire Randolph Murphy and Stacey Schuett
Not enough historical picture books feature young characters to engage with readers close to their ages. That’s definitely not the case in Marching with Aunt Susan, which draws on the real story of 10-year-old Bessie Keith Pond, who marched with her suffragist leader aunt Susan B. Anthony in 1896.
Miss Paul and the President by Dean Robbins and Nancy Zhang
You’ve heard of Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, but do you know about the crucial figure in winning the vote, Alice Paul? In Miss Paul and the President, Dean Robbins and Nancy Zhang highlight Paul, in particular her efforts to persuade President Woodrow Wilson to take the suffragist cause seriously.
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