100 books like Dangerous Jane

By Suzanne Slade, Alice Ratterree (illustrator),

Here are 100 books that Dangerous Jane fans have personally recommended if you like Dangerous Jane. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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

Aimee Bissonette Author Of Headstrong Hallie!: The Story of Hallie Morse Daggett, the First Female Fire Guard

From my list on brave and extraordinary women.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am drawn to stories of women who display a fighting spirit, faith in themselves, and the drive to help others. Perhaps this is due to growing up during the women’s rights movement. So many women paved the way for me. Perhaps it was my upbringing. I was raised with six siblings - three brothers and three sisters – and my parents never thought that my sisters and I couldn’t do something just because we were girls. Combine these experiences with the fact that I love history and you can see why I love these stories. Now I get to write and share stories like these with young readers. Lucky me!

Aimee's book list on brave and extraordinary women

Aimee Bissonette Why did Aimee love this book?

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!

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. This book is for kids age 6, 7, 8, and 9.

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…


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

Jennifer Merz Author Of Steadfast: Frances Perkins, Champion of Workers' Rights

From my list on strong inspiring women.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a picture-book writer and illustrator as well as a mother and teacher, the most important goal I can think of is fueling a child’s imagination with possibilities by providing true stories of trailblazing women. My reviews highlight remarkable women in the arts, government, sports, social work, and history. I hope you enjoy these books!

Jennifer's book list on strong inspiring women

Jennifer Merz Why did Jennifer love this book?

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!

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. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

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…


Book cover of Joni: The Lyrical Life of Joni Mitchell

Jennifer Merz Author Of Steadfast: Frances Perkins, Champion of Workers' Rights

From my list on strong inspiring women.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a picture-book writer and illustrator as well as a mother and teacher, the most important goal I can think of is fueling a child’s imagination with possibilities by providing true stories of trailblazing women. My reviews highlight remarkable women in the arts, government, sports, social work, and history. I hope you enjoy these books!

Jennifer's book list on strong inspiring women

Jennifer Merz Why did Jennifer love this book?

“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.

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. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

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…


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

Jennifer Merz Author Of Steadfast: Frances Perkins, Champion of Workers' Rights

From my list on strong inspiring women.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a picture-book writer and illustrator as well as a mother and teacher, the most important goal I can think of is fueling a child’s imagination with possibilities by providing true stories of trailblazing women. My reviews highlight remarkable women in the arts, government, sports, social work, and history. I hope you enjoy these books!

Jennifer's book list on strong inspiring women

Jennifer Merz Why did Jennifer love this book?

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!

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. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

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…


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

Jennifer Frost Author Of "Let Us Vote!" Youth Voting Rights and the 26th Amendment

From my list on voting rights in the United States.

Why am I passionate about this?

After growing up in California, earning a PhD in Wisconsin, and having a stint as an academic in Colorado, I now teach United States history in beautiful Aotearoa New Zealand. I write books on 20th century U.S. politics, social movements, and popular culture. Along the way, I have found important political content, interactions, and struggle in unlikely spots, from community organizing to Hollywood gossip. In all my work, I find Americans drawing upon the ideological and material resources available to them—whether radicalism, conservatism, and liberalism, or social movements and popular culture—to construct and contest the meanings of citizenship.  

Jennifer's book list on voting rights in the United States

Jennifer Frost Why did Jennifer love this book?

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.

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…


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

Juliana Cummings Author Of A History of Insanity and the Asylum: Not of Sound Mind

From my list on insane asylums for those with a bizarre fascination.

Why am I passionate about this?

For as long as I can remember, I have always been fascinated by the history of the insane asylum. Aside from the sometimes barbaric treatment of patients in the asylums, I’ve discovered that there was a genuine longing to help these people. The asylum has always had such a dark image associated with it and while that may be true, I’ve always been keen on learning more about why things were done the way they were. I decided that one of the best ways for me to learn was to write about it myself and it taught me so much about the human condition, both good and bad.

Juliana's book list on insane asylums for those with a bizarre fascination

Juliana Cummings Why did Juliana love this book?

I recommend this book by Kate Moore as it gives a very personal account of what the asylum was like for a 19th-century housewife.

It is an excellent story of the strength and perseverance of Elizabeth Packard, who was forced into an insane asylum against her will. For simply being what many would consider bothersome or an inconvenience because she was an intelligent women, Elizabeth was sent to live in the asylum by the men in her life, including her husband.

I speak highly of Mrs. Packard in my book and reference the atrocities she had to face for simply being a woman.

By Kate Moore,

Why should I read it?

2 authors 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,…


Book cover of Jane Addams: Champion of Democracy

Marlene Targ Brill Author Of Jane Addams: The Most Dangerous Woman in America

From my list on groundbreaking women in history.

Why am I passionate about this?

As the author of 73 published books, I have four goals for writing. I want to write more women into history, emphasize how everyday activities children accomplish are important, empower young readers, and tell a story that moves readers, either through an emotional response or the knowledge that they can do what whoever I wrote about did. My biographies cover role models who have been groundbreakers in their time and place. Readers can be, too.

Marlene's book list on groundbreaking women in history

Marlene Targ Brill Why did Marlene love this book?

Why suggest a book that is essentially competition? Because I love well-researched nonfiction that is interesting and informative.

While conducting my research, I came across this biography for slightly older readers than my book and found excellent perceptions and interesting tidbits about Jane Addams’ incredible journey. Some differ from my book but are definitely worth learning.

By Judith Bloom Fradin, Dennis Brindell Fradin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Most people know Jane Addams (1860-1935) as the force behind Hull House, one of the first settlement houses in the United States. She was also an ardent suffragist and civil rights activist, co-founding the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the American Civil Liberties Union. But it was her work as a pacifist that put her in the international spotlight. Although many people labeled her “unpatriotic” for her pacifist activities, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931 and, at the time of her death, Jane Addams was one of the most respected and admired women…


Book cover of Endless Crusade: Women Social Scientists and Progressive Reform

Frances McNamara Author Of Molasses Murder in a Nutshell: A Nutshell Murder Mystery

From my list on real women in criminology.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was frustrated by stories of gilded-age women who floundered around and were pitied because of the limitations society put on them. I thought the heroine of House of Mirth was not heroine but a loser. It seemed to me there must be other women out there who weren’t just sitting around bemoaning their predicament. Since I’m a mystery writer I was especially pleased to find some women who were out there doing things, even in criminology. Finding Frances Glessner Lee was the icing on the cake when I learned that she is known as the Mother of Forensic Science. Had to be great stories there.

Frances' book list on real women in criminology

Frances McNamara Why did Frances love this book?

This book introduced me to some women who had an impact on criminology, as Frances Glessner Lee did later.

They moved between Hull House and the University of Chicago and worked hard to change laws and improve the justice system. They worked in prisons and courthouses.

I got ideas for my Emily Cabot Mysteries from this book, as one woman was amazed to find when she got to do graduate work at the university that she could work with actual police officials to do the sociological studies.

These women found that when they pushed they could make an impression and actually activate some change in society. Again, I’m grateful to those women who came before me and knocked down closed doors.

By Ellen Fitzpatrick,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This study examines the careers of the first four American women to be trained as social scientists in the research universities of late 19th-century USA. The efforts of these women to institutionalize their approach to social analysis and investigation resulted in the first graduate school of social work to be affiliated with a major research university - the University of Chicago. The book looks at the impact of late 19th-century social science on reform and finds that the research universities were important intellectual determinants of the welfare state.


Book cover of Eleanor Makes Her Mark

Nina Nolan Author Of Mahalia Jackson: Walking with Kings and Queens

From my list on women who shaped history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a picture-book author who wrote about Mahalia Jackson so more people would feel the sense of awe about her that I do. When I first read how she was treated by our own country, I was furious. But her amazing grace allowed me to focus on the positive aspects of her life, like she did.

Nina's book list on women who shaped history

Nina Nolan Why did Nina love this book?

This delightful picture book opens with Eleanor Roosevelt’s firm footing in the White House. Then it transports us back to her childhood, where we see the foundation for that footing: Eleanor cultivating her own character, way before she met her husband. The wonderful backmatter asks children how they might make their own mark, to enhance their lives…and the world.

By Barbara Kerley, Edwin Fotheringham (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Eleanor Makes Her Mark as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 7, 8, 9, and 10.

What is this book about?

An inspiring true story about modeling good leadership and being the change you wish to see.

"A compelling celebration of Eleanor Roosevelt that will inspire children to follow in her footsteps." -- Kirkus Reviews

"A necessary source of inspiration." -- School Library Journal

All her life, Eleanor Roosevelt hoped to "leave some mark upon the world."

She was a shy child who found joy in helping others.

A passionate young adult who longed for adventure.

An independent young woman who formed her own opinions.

A trustworthy partner who worked tirelessly for change.

So when her husband became president and she…


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

John Dear Author Of A Persistent Peace: One Man's Struggle for a Nonviolent World

From my list on the greatest modern peacemakers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve spent my entire life in pursuit of peace and nonviolence, and tried to be a peacemaker to our poor world of permanent warfare, extreme poverty, systemic violence, nuclear weapons, and environmental destruction. I’ve organized hundreds of demonstrations, spoken to a million people, written some forty books on peace and nonviolence, been arrested 85 times, traveled the warzones of the world—all the while trying to practice peace and nonviolence, and not doing a good job of it. That’s why I look to the examples of legendary peacemakers who lived the life of peace and changed the world with their disarming presence, people like Gandhi, Dr. King, Dorothy Day, Daniel Berrigan and Thomas Merton.

John's book list on the greatest modern peacemakers

John Dear Why did John love this book?

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.

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…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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