10 books like Dangerous Jane

By Suzanne Slade, Alice Ratterree (illustrator),

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Dangerous Jane. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Brave Girl

By Michelle Markel, Melissa Sweet (illustrator),

Book cover of Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers' Strike of 1909

The title of this book hooked me right out of the gate: Brave Girl. I knew it was a story for me. How could it not be? Young Clara Lemlich stood only 5 feet tall, but she was a spitfire. Her story will inspire boys and girls alike when they learn how she fought for equality, raising her voice against powerful factory owners in the early 1900s. Another reason this book is such a treat is that it was illustrated by Melissa Sweet, one of the most creative children’s book illustrators around. The art in this book is a feast for the eyes!

Brave Girl

By Michelle Markel, Melissa Sweet (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Brave Girl as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The true story of the young immigrant who led the largest strike of women workers in U.S. history. This picture book biography about the plight of immigrants in America in the early 1900s and the timeless fight for equality and justice should not be missed.

When Clara arrived in America, she couldn't speak English. She didn't know that young women had to go to work, that they traded an education for long hours of labor, that she was expected to grow up fast.

But that didn't stop Clara. She went to night school, spent hours studying English, and helped support…


Bloom

By Kyo Maclear, Julie Morstad (illustrator),

Book cover of Bloom: A Story of Fashion Designer Elsa Schiaparelli

Bloom: A Story of Fashion Designer Elsa Schiaparelli is a visual feast! Pages are strewn with illustrations created in designer colors and, of course, Schiaparelli’s signature color: SHOCKING PINK! Entering this book, readers might have the impression of sniffing a fragrant bouquet of flowers or savoring an Italian pastry. Schiaparelli’s life was not easy, but her resolve to conquer her problems and become an artist/fashion designer is inspiring. She Blooms! The true story is engaging and fast-paced. The pictures are imaginative and exciting, just like Schiap herself. Get your hands on this book. You won’t be disappointed!

Bloom

By Kyo Maclear, Julie Morstad (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bloom as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A dazzling first-person picture book biography of the life of fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli by gifted team Kyo Maclear and Julie Morstad. Backmatter included.

Beauty . . .

Color . . .

Doubts . . .

As a little girl in Rome, Elsa Schiaparelli's mamma told her she was not pretty. What is beauty? Elsa wondered as she grew older. So she sought out beauty around her and found it everywhere: in the colors and scents of the Rome flower market, in the garden, and in the attic of her family home, buried in a chest of old dresses. She…


Joni

By Selina Alko,

Book cover of Joni: The Lyrical Life of Joni Mitchell

“Joni Mitchell painted with words,” begins this beautifully lyrical book on the well-known singer/song-writer. The colorful and imaginative collage illustrations jump off the page, telling the story of the girl from a small town in Canada who vanquished polio to go on to become a household name. Joni Mitchell used poetry to paint her feelings into song. We know her music and lyrics as a familiar soundtrack to our lives; now children can learn about the enigmatic spirit behind all that creative musicality.

Joni

By Selina Alko,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Joni as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Colors burst across each page, with layers of collage-work emphasizing the richness of Mitchell's influences and imagination. Will speak to readers just starting their own exploration of artistic expression." -Booklist (starred review)

Celebrate the captivating life of Joni Mitchell, the world-famous songbird who used her music to ignite and inspire an entire generation, in this stunning picture book biography from award-winning author and illustrator Selina Alko. This nonfiction picture book is an excellent choice to share during homeschooling, in particular for children ages 4 to 6. It's a fun way to learn to read and as a supplement for activity…


Game Changers

By Lesa Cline-Ransome, James E. Ransome (illustrator),

Book cover of Game Changers: The Story of Venus and Serena Williams

Many people know of the Williams sisters, titans in the world of professional tennis. But do you know of their struggles to gain their top-rated spots in the sport? This book highlights Venus’ and Serena’s challenges to overcome racism, poverty, and neighborhood violence to take their places as women admired for their determination, courage, and sisterly love besides their excellence in worldwide championships. Masterful collage illustrations draw readers into this story like a riveting tennis match. Sports fan or not, you will love this book!

Game Changers

By Lesa Cline-Ransome, James E. Ransome (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Game Changers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An ALA Notable Book

"Every page is splashed with vibrant color and eye-catching patterns, and the figures of the women themselves are full of energy, speed, and tension." -Shelf Awareness (starred review)

Venus and Serena Williams are two of the greatest tennis players of all time. Some say they're two of the greatest athletes of all time. Before they were world famous, they were little girls with big dreams.

Venus and Serena Williams. Two peas in a pod. Best friends. Sisters.

Six days a week they awoke before the sun came up to practice their serves and returns, to learn…


Vanguard

By Martha S. Jones,

Book cover of Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All

Painting a broad picture of African-American women’s political advocacy and activism, Martha S. Jones presents women fighting for a voice in our political system from the early days of the Republic through women’s suffrage to the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Many of the women and their contributions to racial and gender equality were familiar to me. Others less so, including three generations of Jones’s own foremothers who worked for democratic participation in their day. Bringing home how very personal the political is, Jones finds Black women’s politics in parties, elections, government, and beyond. In churches and community institutions, in careers as teachers and journalists, they pursued an expansive vision of human rights and dignity.

It’s an informative, inspiring history, with hard-won gains contextualized with hard truths about our impaired democracy, and reminded me that the obligation to repair it belongs to us all.

Vanguard

By Martha S. Jones,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Vanguard as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“An elegant and expansive history” (New YorkTimes)of African American women’s pursuit of political power—and how it transformed America  
 
InVanguard, acclaimed historian Martha S. Jones offers a new history of African American women’s political lives in America. She recounts how they defied both racism and sexism to fight for the ballot, and how they wielded political power to secure the equality and dignity of all persons. From the earliest days of the republic to the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act and beyond, Jones excavates the lives and work ofBlackwomen—Maria Stewart, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Fannie Lou Hamer, and more—who…


The Woman They Could Not Silence

By Kate Moore,

Book cover of The Woman They Could Not Silence: One Woman, Her Incredible Fight for Freedom, and the Men Who Tried to Make Her Disappear

Did you know that a husband could commit his wife to an insane asylum, without a doctor’s diagnosis, in the late 1800s? Elizabeth Packard was one of them. Her courage and deep desire to help others and herself escape unfair and inhumane treatment in the Illinois State Hospital and the reality that a woman was often viewed as a servant is an insight into women’s ever-changing roles. Growing up as a baby-boomer and experiencing the hippie generation, I felt a tug in two directions—freedom to be who I was created to be and growing up under my mother’s mentorship where Dad was head of the house. Elizabeth’s story could have been mine. 

The Woman They Could Not Silence

By Kate Moore,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Woman They Could Not Silence as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Radium Girls comes another dark and dramatic but ultimately uplifting tale of a forgotten woman hero whose inspirational journey sparked lasting change for women's rights and exposed injustices that still resonate today.
1860: As the clash between the states rolls slowly to a boil, Elizabeth Packard, housewife and mother of six, is facing her own battle. The enemy sits across the table and sleeps in the next room. Her husband of twenty-one years is plotting against her because he feels increasingly threatened-by Elizabeth's intellect, independence,…


All Is Grace

By Jim Forest,

Book cover of All Is Grace: A Biography of Dorothy Day

I consider Dorothy Day one of the greatest peacemakers in modern history, and as Pope Francis said when he addressed Congress, one of the all-time greatest Americans. As a woman, she stood against every form of injustice, war, and nuclear weapons, all while living with the poor and founding the Catholic Worker movement. This book gives the best, most complete portrait of her long, storied life and is filled with pictures and quotes. She will soon be canonized as a saint and take her place along with St. Francis of Assisi as one of the greatest Christians of all time. She sets a high bar for Christian living as hospitality to the poor, resistance to war, and total nonviolence. A must-read for every would-be peacemaker, servant of the poor, and aspiring Christian.

All Is Grace

By Jim Forest,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked All Is Grace as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Dorothy Day (1897-1980), founder of the Catholic Worker movement, and one of the most prophetic voices in the American Catholic church, has recently been proposed as a candidate for canonization. In this lavishly illustrated biography, Jim Forest provides a compelling portrait of her heroic efforts to live out the radical message of the gospel for our time.

A journalist and social reformer in her youth, Day surprised her friends with the decision in 1927 to enter the Catholic church. Her conversion, prompted by the birth out of wedlock of her daughter Tamar left her searching for some way to reconcile…


Sojourner Truth's America

By Margaret Washington,

Book cover of Sojourner Truth's America

Find a performance of Truth’s speech, “A’rn’t I a Woman,” and the actress inevitably slips into a southern accent. Margaret Washington’s book, along with Nell Irvin Painter’s Sojourner Truth: A Life, a Symbol, will tell you that Truth actually spoke with a Dutch accent and that the more famous version of that speech was a revision by a white abolitionist woman. Truth was born and raised in New York, not the south, and she slipped through the cracks of the state’s Emancipation laws, remaining a slave well into adulthood. Her life tells a national story of slavery and shows the complicated relationships of religion, abolition, women, and class.

Sojourner Truth's America

By Margaret Washington,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sojourner Truth's America as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This fascinating biography tells the story of nineteenth-century America through the life of one of its most charismatic and influential characters: Sojourner Truth. In an in-depth account of this amazing activist, Margaret Washington unravels Sojourner Truth's world within the broader panorama of African American slavery and the nation's most significant reform era. Born into bondage among the Hudson Valley Dutch in Ulster County, New York, Isabella was sold several times, married, and bore five children before fleeing in 1826 with her infant daughter one year before New York slavery was abolished. In 1829, she moved to New York City, where…


Unceasing Militant

By Alison M. Parker,

Book cover of Unceasing Militant: The Life of Mary Church Terrell

Unceasing Militant is the first-ever biography of Mary Church Terrell, a prominent activist who fought for gender and racial equality. She lived a long, noteworthy life. Terrell was born enslaved in 1863 and died in 1954 after the Brown v. Board of Education ruling against segregated schools. She was among the first Black American women to complete a BA and an MA, and she became the first president of the National Association of Colored women in 1896. Terrell was a popular speaker, and--just like some of us--she also loved to wear fashionable hats and clothes. Terrell picketed the White House with suffragists in 1917 and picketed against segregation even when she was in her 80s! Alison Parker captures her fascinating life in this essential new biography.

Unceasing Militant

By Alison M. Parker,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Unceasing Militant as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Born into slavery during the Civil War, Mary Church Terrell (1863-1954) would become one of the most prominent activists of her time, with a career bridging the late nineteenth century to the civil rights movement of the 1950s. The first president of the National Association of Colored Women and a founding member of the NAACP, Terrell collaborated closely with the likes of Frederick Douglass, Ida B. Wells, and W. E. B. Du Bois. Unceasing Militant is the first full-length biography of Terrell, bringing her vibrant voice and personality to life. Though most accounts of Terrell focus almost exclusively on her…


Sophonisba Breckinridge

By Anya Jabour,

Book cover of Sophonisba Breckinridge: Championing Women's Activism in Modern America

You might be surprised to learn that some prominent suffrage leaders had intimate relationships with women, including Susan B. Anthony and Jane Addams. However, some of these women destroyed their papers to make it difficult for historians to learn about their personal lives (ahem, Anthony and Addams). Scholars are in the process of recovering these stories as much as possible, and Anya Jabour’s Sophonsiba Breckenridge gives us an amazing glimpse into one woman’s experiences. Born in 1868, Breckinridge became one of the first American women to earn a PhD in Political Science. She was a prominent social worker, peace activist, and women’s rights activist until she died in 1948. Breckinridge navigated the spotlight and same-sex relationships, and Jabour tells us how she did it.

Sophonisba Breckinridge

By Anya Jabour,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sophonisba Breckinridge as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Sophonisba Breckinridge's remarkable career stretched from the Civil War to the Cold War. She took part in virtually every reform campaign of the Progressive and New Deal eras and became a nationally and internationally renowned figure. Her work informed women's activism for decades and continues to shape progressive politics today. Anya Jabour's biography rediscovers this groundbreaking American figure. After earning advanced degrees in politics, economics, and law, Breckinridge established the University of Chicago's School of Social Service Administration, which became a feminist think tank that promoted public welfare policy and propelled women into leadership positions. In 1935, Breckinridge's unremitting efforts…


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