100 books like Leading the Way

By Janet Howell, Theresa Howell, Kylie Akia (illustrator)

Here are 100 books that Leading the Way fans have personally recommended if you like Leading the Way. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Leave It to Abigail!: The Revolutionary Life of Abigail Adams

Natasha Wing Author Of When Jackie Saved Grand Central: The True Story of Jacqueline Kennedy's Fight for an American Icon

From my list on fabulous First Ladies.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I learned that Jackie Kennedy Onassis had helped save Grand Central I had to know more about her! This lead to being curious about other First Ladies and how they served America during and after they were in the White House. Often their contributions were overshadowed by their husbands, so with this list, I’m shining a light on little-known facts about these well-known women.

Natasha's book list on fabulous First Ladies

Natasha Wing Why did Natasha love this book?

I admire women who take it upon themselves to survive through resourcefulness and despite societal norms. Abigail was a girl whose spirit was too big to contain within the rules of colonial America. And because she had gumption and curiosity, she helped advance women by influencing her husband’s political views. The artist used needlework to partially illustrate the book which gives the reader a feel for the times.

By Barb Rosenstock, Elizabeth Baddeley (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Leave It to Abigail! 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?

Everyone knew Abigail was different.

Instead of keeping quiet, she blurted out questions. Instead of settling down with a wealthy minister, she married a poor country lawyer named John Adams. Instead of running from the Revolutionary War, she managed a farm and fed hungry soldiers. Instead of leaving the governing to men, she insisted they "Remember the Ladies." Instead of fearing Europe's kings and queens, she boldly crossed the sea to represent her new country. And when John become President of the United States, Abigail became First Lady and served as John's powerful adviser.

Leave it to Abigail-an extraordinary woman…


Book cover of Just Being Jackie

Natasha Wing Author Of When Jackie Saved Grand Central: The True Story of Jacqueline Kennedy's Fight for an American Icon

From my list on fabulous First Ladies.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I learned that Jackie Kennedy Onassis had helped save Grand Central I had to know more about her! This lead to being curious about other First Ladies and how they served America during and after they were in the White House. Often their contributions were overshadowed by their husbands, so with this list, I’m shining a light on little-known facts about these well-known women.

Natasha's book list on fabulous First Ladies

Natasha Wing Why did Natasha love this book?

This is the perfect companion book to my book When Jackie Saved Grand Central. Both books fill out the story of two important buildings that she restored - The White House and Grand Central Terminal. In this story, you learn more about Jackie as a child. And I’m IN LOVE with the illustrations! Denos captured Jackie’s beauty and strength in drawings that remind me of fashion sketches.

By Margaret Cardillo, Julia Denos (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A stunning and inspirational nonfiction picture book about the life and style of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis from Margaret Cardillo and Julia Denos, the team that created Just Being Audrey. 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 books for children.

Jackie Kennedy was an American icon of style and grace-but there was steel under that style. Her poise under fire, intelligence, and tireless work as First Lady earned her the respect of leaders worldwide…


Book cover of First Ladies Fact Book: The Childhoods, Courtships, Marriages, Campaigns, Accomplishments, and Legacies of Every First Lady

Natasha Wing Author Of When Jackie Saved Grand Central: The True Story of Jacqueline Kennedy's Fight for an American Icon

From my list on fabulous First Ladies.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I learned that Jackie Kennedy Onassis had helped save Grand Central I had to know more about her! This lead to being curious about other First Ladies and how they served America during and after they were in the White House. Often their contributions were overshadowed by their husbands, so with this list, I’m shining a light on little-known facts about these well-known women.

Natasha's book list on fabulous First Ladies

Natasha Wing Why did Natasha love this book?

This is a great resource if you’re just wanting to brush up on your First Ladies trivia or if you’re needing a starting point in your research. It contains photos, quotes, and delicious details. Although it’s more of a book for grown-ups, it can be used to explore First Ladies further with your child after reading a picture book.

By Bill Harris, Laura Ross,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked First Ladies Fact Book as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The revised and updated edition, including all-new information on Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush, and Betty Ford America's first ladies have captured the hearts of the citizens of our country ever since its humble beginnings. This newly updated edition of The First Ladies Fact Book is a comprehensive, fascinating, and intimate look at the life of each first lady from Martha Washington to Michelle Obama. Each profile includes a portrait, key biographical information, and several additional photographs. Among the topics covered are childhood and upbringing, early marriage years, the path to the White House, hobbies, career, style of dress,…


Book cover of Parker Looks Up: An Extraordinary Moment

Natasha Wing Author Of When Jackie Saved Grand Central: The True Story of Jacqueline Kennedy's Fight for an American Icon

From my list on fabulous First Ladies.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I learned that Jackie Kennedy Onassis had helped save Grand Central I had to know more about her! This lead to being curious about other First Ladies and how they served America during and after they were in the White House. Often their contributions were overshadowed by their husbands, so with this list, I’m shining a light on little-known facts about these well-known women.

Natasha's book list on fabulous First Ladies

Natasha Wing Why did Natasha love this book?

This picture book truly shows the importance of art and how it can empower kids when they see themselves in art. This is one reason why I like writing picture books! Art can speak volumes when the viewer connects, and this story of an African American child named Parker seeing Michele Obama as a queen in her portrait is so beautiful in many ways. You’ll be inspired to bring your child to an art museum.

By Parker Curry, Jessica Curry, Brittany Jackson (illustrator)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Parker Looks Up 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 New York Times bestseller!

A visit to Washington, DC's National Portrait Gallery forever alters Parker Curry's young life when she views First Lady Michelle Obama's portrait.

When Parker Curry came face-to-face with Amy Sherald's transcendent portrait of First Lady Michelle Obama at the National Portrait Gallery, she didn't just see the First Lady of the United States. She saw a queen-one with dynamic self-assurance, regality, beauty, and truth who captured this young girl's imagination. When a nearby museum-goer snapped a photo of a mesmerized Parker, it became an internet sensation. Inspired by this visit, Parker, and her mother, Jessica…


Book cover of Desert Flower

Martin Fletcher Author Of Promised Land: A Novel of Israel

From my list on the refugee experience.

Why am I passionate about this?

In my work as a news reporter and war correspondent, I met people on the worst day of their lives. I always wondered: What now? How will they get on with life? My own parents faced that dreadful dilemma. Penniless refugees, their families murdered in the Holocaust, unemployed in London, how on earth did they find the strength to carry on? One day at a time, they just did what they had to do. That is the subject of my fiction, always trying to answer that existential question: How do we live with trauma, and still find love and happiness?

Martin's book list on the refugee experience

Martin Fletcher Why did Martin love this book?

It isn’t the best-written book but Waris Dirie’s account of her escape from Somalia, her life as a domestic servant in London, her marriages of convenience, and her ultimate triumph in New York’s world of fashion, haunted me for years.

A frank, intimate account of a beautiful woman’s escape from a nomadic tribal life of female abuse to scaling the heights of western fashion modeling.

By Waris Dirie, Cathleen Miller,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Waris Dirie (the name means desert flower) lives a double life - by day she is a famous model and UN spokeswoman on women's rights in Africa, at night she dreams of her native Somalia. Waris, one of 12 children, was born into a traditional family of desert nomads in East Africa. She remembers her early childhood as carefree- racing camels and moving on with her family to the next grazing spot - until it came her turn to meet the old woman who administered the ancient custom imposed on most Somalian girls: circumcision. Waris suffered this torture when she…


Book cover of The Seven Necessary Sins for Women and Girls

Kim Imas Author Of Beast Mom

From my list on women and anger.

Why am I passionate about this?

We talk a lot about the big public events that expanded the #MeToo movement so astronomically, like the election to the US presidency of a man who bragged about assaulting women, and the allegations made against Harvey Weinstein. But I think most American women have other, more personal beefs that originate from their being a woman. I, for one, was shocked at how unnecessarily difficult it was to be a new mother in the US. Other places support this vulnerable group much more than we do here, and living that disparity angered me—like, for example, when my husband exhausted what little parental leave he had available before our twins were even released from the NICU.

Kim's book list on women and anger

Kim Imas Why did Kim love this book?

I love Eltahawy’s approach to solving the problems of the patriarchy: She wants to teach and encourage women and girls to do all the things we’re taught not to do, specifically a series of seven dubitable “sins” that have been instilled in females for centuries.

She begins by promoting the expression of anger, which like the rest of the traits on her list is something that women have been told is harmful, unfeminine, and wrong. But Eltahawy is—admirably, inspiringly—driven to flip it on its head, thereby turning it into an asset that can be employed to improve conditions for all of us.

By Mona Eltahawy,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Seven Necessary Sins for Women and Girls as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A bold and uncompromising feminist manifesto that shows women and girls how to defy, disrupt, and destroy the patriarchy by embracing the qualities they’ve been trained to avoid.

Seizing upon the energy of the #MeToo movement, feminist activist Mona Eltahawy advocates a muscular, out-loud approach to teaching women and girls to harness their power through what she calls the “seven necessary sins” that women and girls are not supposed to commit: to be angry, ambitious, profane, violent, attention-seeking, lustful, and powerful. All the necessary “sins” that women and girls require to erupt.

Eltahawy knows that the patriarchy is alive and…


Book cover of A Woman's Crusade: Alice Paul and the Battle for the Ballot

Jennifer Schwed Author Of 19 The Musical: An American Suffrage Story

From my list on suffrage fights and voting rights.

Why am I passionate about this?

We are the creators, writers, lyricists, directors, and producers of the original musical, 19: The Musical. These are the best books we read on the topic of Alice Paul, suffrage, and the fight for the passage of the 19th Amendment. The amendment finally gave women the right to vote, but almost immediately, legislatures around the country began disenfranchising women of color by clawing voting rights back away from them. Researching the background for 19: The Musical was intense. These books were essential background for us to understand the historical landscape enough to write about it and, where necessary, combine events or create composite characters for our musical.

Jennifer's book list on suffrage fights and voting rights

Jennifer Schwed Why did Jennifer love this book?

We found this to be the definitive book on Alice Paul. In our opinion, Alice Paul was the single most important person in getting women the right to vote.

This book is a brilliantly researched and written history of a true American hero that very few people have ever heard of. It is essential reading for understanding the suffrage fight. 

By Mary Walton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Alice Paul began her life as a quiet girl from a strict Quaker family in New Jersey. But as a young woman, an interest in social work brought her to England, where she apprenticed with the militant suffrage movement there, led by Emmeline Pankhurst and her daughters. Upon her return to the United States, Alice founded her own suffrage movement. Calling themselves 'Silent Sentinels,' she and her followers were the first protestors to picket the White House. Behind bars, they went on hunger strikes and were force-fed and brutalized. Years before Gandhi's campaign of nonviolent resistance, and decades before civil…


Book cover of Woman's Voice, Woman's Place: Lucy Stone and the Birth of the Woman's Rights Movement

Rick Swegan Author Of The Practice of Ethical Leadership: Insights from Psychology and Business in Building an Ethical Bottom Line

From my list on moral courage in a world where courage seems to be lacking.

Why am I passionate about this?

For a long time, I’ve been intrigued by the different ways that people reason about moral issues. Add to that a mystification about why smart people do unethical things and you have the basis for our book on ethical leadership. I’ve spent the better part of my career evaluating and coaching potential leaders and realized relatively recently that I wanted to work with people who did the “right thing.” Demonstrating the moral courage to speak up in the face of opposition has become increasingly difficult—hence my list of books on moral courage. I hope you enjoy it.

Rick's book list on moral courage in a world where courage seems to be lacking

Rick Swegan Why did Rick love this book?

I have ancestors who were involved in the early Women’s Rights Movement as part of the Seneca Falls Convention of 1848, so I know that history. But I did not know that others, such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton, saw her as a competitor.

Stone has been largely forgotten—except by women who do not take their husband’s last name. She was an early voice crying out against male oppression. 

By Joelle Million,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Woman's Voice, Woman's Place as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Recounting the story of America's antebellum woman's rights movement through the efforts of Lucy Stone (1818-1893), this important account differs dramatically from those that focus almost exclusively on Susan B. Anthony or Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Million examines the social forces of the 1830s and 1840s that led Stone to become a woman's reformer and her early agitation as a student at Oberlin College, including what may well be the nation's first strike for equal pay for women. Million chronicles not only the public side of Stone, but her personal battles as well.

Considering a woman's right to self-sovereignty as the…


Book cover of The Feminist Promise: 1792 to the Present

Ellen Carol DuBois Author Of Suffrage: Women's Long Battle for the Vote

From my list on the history of women's rights.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been writing about the history of women's rights and women's suffrage for over fifty years. Suffrage: Women's Long Battle for the Vote offers a comprehensive history of the full three-quarters of a century of women's persistent suffrage activism. I began my work inspired by the emergence of the women's liberation movement in the 1970s and this most recent history appeared in conjunction with the 2020 Centennial of the Ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment. My understanding of the campaign for full citizenship for women repeatedly intersects with the struggles for racial equality, from abolition to Jim Crow. Today, when American political democracy is under assault, the long history of woman suffrage activism is more relevant than ever.

Ellen's book list on the history of women's rights

Ellen Carol DuBois Why did Ellen love this book?

I am recommending this book because it is a beautifully written, originally argued overview of women’s rights long history. Stansell organizes her compelling history of women’s rights around the shift from mothers’ perspectives (nineteenth-century feminism) to daughters’ perspectives (twentieth century). She writes beautifully and sweeps over this long tradition without minimizing the disagreements, shifts, and changes, all the while emphasizing the consistent theme of women’s individual freedom and collective struggle.

By Christine Stansell,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“A unique, elegant, learned sweep through more than two centuries of women’s efforts to overcome the most fundamental way that human beings have been wrongly divided into the leaders and the led. It’s full of surprises from the past and guiding lights for the future.”—Gloria Steinem

For more than two centuries, the ranks of feminists have included dreamy idealists and conscientious reformers, erotic rebels and angry housewives, dazzling writers,shrewd political strategists, and thwarted workingwomen. Well-known leaders are sketched from new angles by Stansell, with her bracingeye for character: Mary Wollstonecraft, the passionate English writer who in 1792 published the first…


Book cover of Eighty Years and More: Reminiscences 1815-1897

Ellen Carol DuBois Author Of Suffrage: Women's Long Battle for the Vote

From my list on the history of women's rights.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been writing about the history of women's rights and women's suffrage for over fifty years. Suffrage: Women's Long Battle for the Vote offers a comprehensive history of the full three-quarters of a century of women's persistent suffrage activism. I began my work inspired by the emergence of the women's liberation movement in the 1970s and this most recent history appeared in conjunction with the 2020 Centennial of the Ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment. My understanding of the campaign for full citizenship for women repeatedly intersects with the struggles for racial equality, from abolition to Jim Crow. Today, when American political democracy is under assault, the long history of woman suffrage activism is more relevant than ever.

Ellen's book list on the history of women's rights

Ellen Carol DuBois Why did Ellen love this book?

I am recommending this autobiography of the great nineteenth-century feminist intellectual and activist. Eighty Years and More is one of the great autobiographies in American history, up there with that of Frederick Douglass and Henry Adams. Stanton told the account of her early years, her path to becoming a reformer, and the epic battles in which she fought for women’s rights in an engaging writing style that still speaks to women today. Readers who only know of Stanton through the controversies over her racism and elitism will be well served by learning about the many, path-breaking facets of her life and career. Postscript: go online to read Stanton’s great late-life speech, The Solitude of Self.

By Elizabeth Cady Stanton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The autobiography of women's rights pioneer Elizabeth Cady Stanton-published for the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage-including an updated introduction and afterword from noted scholars of women's history Ellen Carol DuBois and Ann D. Gordon.

Eighty Years and More: Reminiscences 1815-1897, is one of the great American autobiographies. There is really no other American woman's autobiography in the nineteenth century that comes near it in relevance, excellence, and historical significance.

In 1848, thirty-three-year-old Stanton and four others organized the first major women's rights meeting in American history. Together with Susan B. Anthony, her partner in the cause, she led the campaign…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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