100 books like Eleanor Makes Her Mark

By Barbara Kerley, Edwin Fotheringham (illustrator),

Here are 100 books that Eleanor Makes Her Mark fans have personally recommended if you like Eleanor Makes Her Mark. 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 Jump at the Sun: The True Life Tale of Unstoppable Storycatcher Zora Neale Hurston

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?

The life of Zora Neale Hurston, the extraordinary novelist and first female African-American anthropologist, was bigger than words. But this picture book catches the uncatchable. The words are gorgeous. And the illustrations further illuminate the portrait, including delightful hats on the endpapers (a hat-tip to Ms. Hurston’s “HATitude”).

By Alicia Williams, Jacqueline Alcántara (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Jump at the Sun as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 5, 6, 7, and 8.

What is this book about?

From the Newbery Honor-winning author of Genesis Begins Again comes a shimmering picture book that shines the light on Zora Neale Hurston, the extraordinary writer and storycatcher extraordinaire who changed the face of American literature.

Zora was a girl who hankered for tales like bees for honey. Now, her mama always told her that if she wanted something, "to jump at de sun", because even though you might not land quite that high, at least you'd get off the ground. So Zora jumped from place to place, from the porch of the general store where she listened to folktales, to…


Book cover of Me... Jane

Brenda Z. Guiberson Author Of Into the Sea

From my list on that spark a lifetime of investigation.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm an award-winning, best-selling children’s author who writes about unexpected “wow” moments that stick with me. I look for books and articIes that take me on a deep journey into unknown environments. I aim for nonfiction that reads like a story with an emotional connection to new creatures with fascinating lifestyles. As a writer of dozens of books for children, I always learn much more that can go into each effort. Each book comes into a hazy focus after tons of research. The best “wow” details get woven into an incredible story full of surprise, joy, and admiration for those struggling to survive on our changing plant.  

Brenda's book list on that spark a lifetime of investigation

Brenda Z. Guiberson Why did Brenda love this book?

This book is about Jane Goodall, famous chimp researcher and United Nations Messenger of Peace. As a child, she shared her backyard “magical world of nature” with her stuffed chimp named Jubilee. The book Tarzan of the Apes expanded her passion into dreams of going to Africa to study animals. “Wow!” She did it, and her stick-to-it observations led to the discovery that chimpanzees make and use tools. As she protects wildlife she also helps people in wild places to get better food, water, and education. Her concerns for all creatures have inspired children around the world to take some action toward a better planet.  

By Patrick McDonnell,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Me... Jane as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In his characteristic heartwarming and minimalistic style, Patrick McDonnell tells the story of a young Jane Goodall and her special childhood toy chimpanzee named Jubilee. As the young Jane observes the natural world around her with wonder, she dreams of 'a life living with and helping all animals,' until one day she finds that her dream has come true.

One of the world's most inspiring women, Dr. Jane Goodall is a renowned humanitarian, conservationist, animal activist, environmentalist, and United Nations Messenger of Peace. In 1977 she founded the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI), a global nonprofit organization that empowers people to…


Book cover of Rise! From Caged Bird to Poet of the People, Maya Angelou

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?

Soaring words honor the phenomenal wordsmith, Maya Angelou. Tough topics are tackled with compassion. The broad range of colors in the illustrations echo the broad range of emotions in this beautiful tribute to a national treasure. A forward by Ms. Angelou’s grandson and helpful backmatter cradle the text (like the cover art cradles).

By Bethany Hegedus, Tonya Engel (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Rise! From Caged Bird to Poet of the People, Maya Angelou 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?

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the publication of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, this beautiful biography of Maya Angelou describes how she rose above a childhood of trauma and emotional pain to become one of the most inspiring voices of our lifetime.

Writer, activist, trolley car conductor, dancer, mother, and humanitarianMaya Angelou's life was marked by transformation and perseverance. In this comprehensive picture-book biography geared towards older readers, Bethany Hegedus lyrically traces Maya's life from her early days in Stamps, Arkansas through her work as a freedom fighter to her triumphant rise as a poet of…


Book cover of Amelia and Eleanor Go for a Ride

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 heart-warming picture book celebrates the real-life friendship of two great women, reminding us that greatness doesn’t happen in a vacuum. And their adventure, while unprecedented in history, feels very relatable since it’s essentially a sleepover. At the White House! (With the bonus of the freedom of flying and driving.) The illustrations, while reflecting the time in history, also feel timeless.

By Pam Muñoz Ryan, Brian Selznick (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Amelia and Eleanor Go for a Ride 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 extraordinary picture book from Newbery Honoree Pam Muñoz Ryan and Caldecott Medalist Brian Selznick about two heroines, national treasures, and close friends, Amelia Earhart and Eleanor Roosevelt!

Amelia Earhart and Eleanor Roosevelt were birds of a feather. Not only were they two of the most admired and respected women of all time, they were also good friends. Illuminated here for the first time in picture book form is the true story of a thrilling night when they made history together!On a brisk and cloudless evening in April 1933, Amelia and Eleanor did the unprecedented: They stole away from a…


Book cover of The Firebrand and the First Lady: Portrait of a Friendship: Pauli Murray, Eleanor Roosevelt, and the Struggle for Social Justice

Jill Watts Author Of The Black Cabinet: The Untold Story of African Americans and Politics During the Age of Roosevelt

From my list on Black Americans and the Roosevelt era.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a Professor of History at California State University San Marcos where I teach United States Social and Cultural History, African American History, Film History, and Digital History. In addition to The Black Cabinet, I am also the author of three other books. Two of my books have been optioned for film and I have consulted on PBS documentaries. I believe that knowing history is necessary and practical, especially in these times. At this critical point, we can draw much wisdom from the lessons of Black history and the history of the presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Jill's book list on Black Americans and the Roosevelt era

Jill Watts Why did Jill love this book?

In this engaging read, Patricia Bell-Scott explores the close relationship shared between Black feminist activist, lawyer, and writer Pauli Murry and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. This is a story of two divergent lives becoming intertwined as both women fought for self-definition and for their respective causes. One of the most brilliant minds of the twentieth century, Murray did not hesitate to criticize the Roosevelts. Nonetheless she was not only able to secure support from Eleanor Roosevelt for civil rights causes but also transform, in many instances, the First Lady’s thinking on racial affairs. This book takes us beyond FDR’s death and demonstrates the lasting impact that Black leaders, who emerged during the 1930s and 1940s, and Eleanor Roosevelt subsequently made on Black American lives specifically and the nation as a whole.

By Patricia Bell-Scott,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Firebrand and the First Lady as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NATIONAL BOOK AWARD NOMINEE • The riveting history of how Pauli Murray—a brilliant writer-turned-activist—and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt forged an enduring friendship that helped to alter the course of race and racism in America.

“A definitive biography of Murray, a trailblazing legal scholar and a tremendous influence on Mrs. Roosevelt.” —Essence

In 1938, the twenty-eight-year-old Pauli Murray wrote a letter to the President and First Lady, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, protesting racial segregation in the South. Eleanor wrote back. So began a friendship that would last for a quarter of a century, as Pauli became a lawyer, principal strategist in…


Book cover of American Radicals: How Nineteenth-Century Protest Shaped the Nation

Benjamin Reiss Author Of The Showman and the Slave: Race, Death, and Memory in Barnum's America

From my list on making you rethink 19th-century America.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am fascinated by historical figures who were deemed marginal, outcast, or eccentric and also by experiences (like sleep or madness) that usually fall beneath historical scrutiny. I am drawn to nineteenth-century literature and history because I find such a rich store of strange and poignant optimism and cultural experimentation dwelling alongside suffering, terror, and despair. As a writer, I feel a sense of responsibility when a great story falls into my hands. I try to be as respectful as I can to the life behind it, while seeking how it fits into a larger historical pattern. I am always on the lookout for books that do the same!   

Benjamin's book list on making you rethink 19th-century America

Benjamin Reiss Why did Benjamin love this book?

If you think the 1960s tops the list of eras that experimented with counter-cultural protest movements, utopian societies, and radical social experimentation, think again.

There are more free love advocates, anti-racist rebels, anti-capitalist communes, oversexed vegans, and messianic prophets in this book than you could shake a staff at. Jackson tells their stories with verve, wit, and a perfectly measured assessment of their contributions and failures.

By Holly Jackson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A dynamic, timely history of nineteenth-century activists—free-lovers and socialists, abolitionists and vigilantes—and the social revolution they sparked in the turbulent Civil War era

“In the tradition of Howard Zinn’s people’s histories, American Radicals reveals a forgotten yet inspiring past.”—Megan Marshall, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Margaret Fuller: A New American Life and Elizabeth Bishop: A Miracle for Breakfast

NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST HISTORY BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY SMITHSONIAN 

On July 4, 1826, as Americans lit firecrackers to celebrate the country’s fiftieth birthday, both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were on their deathbeds. They would leave behind a groundbreaking…


Book cover of Dissent: The History of an American Idea

James Sullivan Author Of Which Side Are You On?: 20th Century American History in 100 Protest Songs

From my list on protest movements.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m the author of five books on subjects ranging from comedy and music to sports and pants (specifically, blue jeans). I’m a longtime Boston Globe contributor, a former San Francisco Chronicle staff critic, and a onetime editor for Rolling Stone. I help develop podcasts and other programming for Sirius and Pandora. I teach in the Journalism department at Emerson College, and I am the Program Director for the Newburyport Documentary Film Festival and the co-founder of Lit Crawl Boston.

James' book list on protest movements

James Sullivan Why did James love this book?

There are two kinds of patriots: those who insist that allegiance to flag and country means keeping things the way they are, and those who want their country to live up to its ideals and do better by all its citizens. (Which side are you on?) In Dissent (2015), history professor Ralph Young shows how the foundational protest of the American Revolution lives on in the Occupy demonstrators and Women’s Marchers, Black Lives Matter groups, and climate change activists.

By Ralph Young,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Finalist, 2016 Ralph Waldo Emerson Award
One of Bustle's Books For Your Civil Disobedience Reading List
Examines the key role dissent has played in shaping the United States, emphasizing the way Americans responded to injustices
Dissent: The History of an American Idea examines the key role dissent has played in shaping the United States. It focuses on those who, from colonial days to the present, dissented against the ruling paradigm of their time: from the Puritan Anne Hutchinson and Native American chief Powhatan in the seventeenth century, to the Occupy and Tea Party movements in the twenty-first century. The emphasis…


Book cover of The War Years and After

David Emblidge Author Of My Day: The Best Of Eleanor Roosevelt's Acclaimed Newspaper Columns, 1936-1962

From my list on Eleanor Roosevelt, her times, and her column “My Day”.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a cultural historian (degrees in English and American Studies). I taught at the university level for 25 years (Emerson College, principally) and worked 20+ years as an acquisitions editor, in book publishing, at Harvard, at Cambridge University Press, and for a small company I founded, Berkshire House. I was politically sympathetic to Mrs. Roosevelt’s POV before the “My Day” book project came to me, but, coincidentally, her long run as a syndicated columnist interested me also because my first job, fresh out of college, was as a cub reporter for Associated Press. I learned, in a hurry, how to deliver a story on deadline, with all the facts double checked.

David's book list on Eleanor Roosevelt, her times, and her column “My Day”

David Emblidge Why did David love this book?

There are several biographies of Eleanor Roosevelt, but few match this 3-vol. effort for its comprehensiveness and its sensitivity to the inner life of Eleanor (who led an exceedingly public life). All of Mrs. Roosevelt’s accomplishments are covered—with excellent contextand the bonus here is coverage of her private struggles as a shy, “orphaned” child, then as a beloved wife (to a disloyal husband), her failures as a mother, and her apparently quasi-lesbian attraction to another woman, as well as an unusual attachment to her doctor. Not a simple story!

By Blanche Wiesen Cook,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The War Years and After as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of the New York Times's 100 Notable Books of 2016
One of NPR's 10 Best Books of 2016

"Heartachingly relevant...the Eleanor Roosevelt who inhabits these meticulously crafted pages transcends both first-lady history and the marriage around which Roosevelt scholarship has traditionally pivoted." -- The Wall Street Journal

The final volume in the definitive biography of America's greatest first lady.

"Monumental and inspirational...Cook skillfully narrates the epic history of the war years... [a] grand biography." -- The New York Times Book Review

Historians, politicians, critics, and readers everywhere have praised Blanche Wiesen Cook's biography of Eleanor Roosevelt as the essential…


Book cover of A Perfect Union: Dolley Madison and the Creation of the American Nation

Cassandra Good Author Of First Family: George Washington's Heirs and the Making of America

From my list on the fascinating families of America’s founders.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a child, I loved reading books about time travel, and now as a historian, I do a sort of time travel for my job. I have always been especially drawn to reading women’s correspondence, particularly when the women involved were pushing against gender roles and finding ways to access political power. I approach doing history as if it’s an ethnography of a group of people with entirely different beliefs, norms, and even emotions from us today; after all, the past is a foreign country. I’m especially intrigued by uncovering how personal relationships worked in the past and how relationships with political figures allowed family and friends to access power.

Cassandra's book list on the fascinating families of America’s founders

Cassandra Good Why did Cassandra love this book?

Allgor is an expert on women’s important role in building political society in the founding era, and in this compelling biography, she places Dolley Madison at the center of that story.

Indeed, Madison lived in the nation’s capital until 1849, giving her a decades-long career as a prominent figure in society and political operative. James Madison’s presidency was truly a partnership with his wife, as her charismatic sociability complemented his quiet, reserved demeanor. 

By Catherine Allgor,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An extraordinary American comes to life in this vivid, groundbreaking portrait of the early days of the republic--and the birth of modern politics

When the roar of the Revolution had finally died down, a new generation of American politicians was summoned to the Potomac to assemble the nation's newly minted capital. Into that unsteady atmosphere, which would soon enough erupt into another conflict with Britain in 1812, Dolley Madison arrived, alongside her husband, James. Within a few years, she had mastered both the social and political intricacies of the city, and by her death in 1849 was the most celebrated…


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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