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Inspiring Children's Books About the Women's Suffrage Movement and the 19th Amendment

"I always feel the movement is a sort of mosaic. Each of us puts in one little stone, and then you get a great mosaic at the end." -Alice Paul

Children's books can preserve and share historical moments in an inspiring, memorable way. This list highlights children's books that tell the story of important women and moments in the Women's Suffrage Movement that led to the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote.

Elizabeth Leads the Way book
#1
Elizabeth Leads the Way
Written by Tanya Lee Stone and illustrated by Rebecca Gibbon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

Elizabeth Cady Stanton stood up and fought for what she believed in. From an early age, she knew that women were not given rights equal to men. But rather than accept her lesser status, Elizabeth went to college and later gathered other like-minded women to challenge the right to vote. Here is the inspiring story of an extraordinary woman who changed America forever because she wouldn't take "no" for an answer. Elizabeth Leads the Way is a 2009 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

Around America to Win the Vote: Two Suffragists, a Kitten, and 10,000 Miles book
#2
Around America to Win the Vote: Two Suffragists, a Kitten, and 10,000 Miles
Written by Mara Rockliff and illustrated by Hadley Hooper
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

The author of Mesmerized delivers another fascinating glimpse into history, this time the story of two brave suffragists on a trek across America to spread the word: Votes for Women! In April 1916, Nell Richardson and Alice Burke set out from New York City in a little yellow car, embarking on a bumpy, muddy, unmapped journey ten thousand miles long. They took with them a teeny typewriter, a tiny sewing machine, a wee black kitten, and a message for Americans all across the country: Votes for Women! The women's suffrage movement was in full swing, and Nell and Alice would not let anything keep them from spreading the word about equal voting rights for women. Braving blizzards, deserts, and naysayers--not to mention a whole lot of tires stuck in the mud--the two courageous friends made their way through the cities and towns of America to further their cause. One hundred years after Nell and Alice set off on their trip, Mara Rockliff revives their spirit in a lively and whimsical picture book, with exuberant illustrations by Hadley Hooper bringing their inspiring historical trek to life.

I Could Do That!: Esther Morris Gets Women the Vote book
#3
I Could Do That!: Esther Morris Gets Women the Vote
Written by Linda Arms White and illustrated by Nancy Carpenter
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-9

Full of humor and spunk – just like Esther! "I could do that," says six-year-old Esther as she watches her mother making tea. Start her own business at the age of nineteen? Why, she could do that, too. But one thing Esther and other women could NOT do was vote. Only men could do that. With lively text and humorous illustrations as full of spirit as Esther herself, this striking picture book biography shows how one girl's gumption propels her through a life filled with challenges until, in 1869, she wins the vote for women in Wyoming Territory – the first time ever in the United States! I Could Do That! is a 2006 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

Elizabeth Started All the Trouble book
#4
Elizabeth Started All the Trouble
Written by Doreen Rappaport and illustrated by Matt Faulkner
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

She couldn't go to college. She couldn't become a politician. She couldn't even vote. But Elizabeth Cady Stanton didn't let that stop her. She called on women across the nation to stand together and demand to be treated as equal to men-and that included the right to vote. It took nearly seventy-five years and generations of women fighting for their rights through words, through action, and through pure determination . . . for things to slowly begin to change. With the help of these trailblazers' own words, Doreen Rappaport's engaging text, brought to life by Matt Faulkner's vibrant illustrations, shows readers just how far this revolution has come, and inspires them to keep it going! Select praise for Doreen Rappaport: Martin's Big Words * 2002 Caldecott Honor Book * 2002 Coretta Scott King Honor Book * Child Magazine Best Book of 2001 * New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Children's Book of 2001 * "A stunning, reverent tribute." -School Library Journal, starred review Abe's Honest Words * "Exceptional art, along with Rappaport's and Lincoln's words, makes this a fine celebration of a man who needs little introduction." -Booklist, starred review Eleanor, Quiet No More * "Once again Rappaport celebrates a noble, heroic life in powerful, succinct prose, with prominent, well-chosen, and judiciously placed quotes that both instruct and inspire...Celebrate women in history and in politics with this picture-book life." -School Library Journal, starred review Helen's Big World * "Stirring and awe-inspiring." -The Horn Book, starred review To Dare Mighty Things * "[T]his lavish picture-book biography deftly captures the legendary man's bold, exuberant nature. . . . A truly inspiring tribute to a seemingly larger-than-life U.S. president." -Kirkus Reviews, starred review * "Theodore Roosevelt's big ideas and big personality come together in this splendid picture-book biography." -Booklist, starred review * "Concisely written and yet poetic, this is a first purchase for every library." -School Library Journal, starred review

Bold & Brave: Ten Heroes Who Won Women the Right to Vote book
#5
Bold & Brave: Ten Heroes Who Won Women the Right to Vote
Written by Nancy Zhang and illustrated by Maira Kalman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

From United States Senator Kirsten Gillibrand comes an inspiring picture book about ten suffragists who fought for women’s right to vote. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand was inspired by her own great-grandmother, grandmother, and mother to be bold and brave–to stand up and fight for what she believes in. But who inspired them? The long chain of women before them who spoke out for what’s right–women who taught each generation that followed how to be bold and brave. Here are the stories of ten leaders who strove to win the right to vote for American women–a journey that took more than seventy years of passionate commitment. From well-known figures, such as Susan B. Anthony and Sojourner Truth to lesser known women such as Alice Paul and Mary Church Terrell, these are heroes who dreamed big and never gave up. Senator Gillibrand highlights an important and pithy lesson from each woman’s life–from “dare to be different” to “fight together.” On the eve of the one-hundredth anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment, which granted women suffrage, Bold & Brave looks both backward and forward. It introduces children to strong women who have raised their voices on behalf of justice–and inspires them to raise their own voices to build our future. With gorgeous illustrations by renowned artist Maira Kalman, this is a book that will inspire and uplift, a book to be cherished and shared. The suffragists included are: Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Jovita Idár, Alice Paul, Inez Milholland, Ida B. Wells, Lucy Burns, and Mary Church Terrell.

  1. Marching With Aunt Susan - An inspiring story of the fight for women's suffrage, based on the experiences of a real girl All Bessie wants is to go hiking with her father and brothers. But it's 1896, and girls don't get to hike. They can't vote either, which Bessie discovers when Susan B. Anthony comes to town to help lead the campaign for women's suffrage. Stirred to action, Bessie joins the movement and discovers that small efforts can result in small changes--and maybe even big ones. Inspired by the diary of the real Bessie Keith Pond, a ten-year-old girl who lived in California during the suffrage campaign, author Claire Rudolf Murphy and illustrator Stacey Schuett offer a thought-provoking introduction to the fight for women's rights. A story of hope and determination, Marching with Aunt Susan reminds readers that society cannot evolve unless people--even young people--dare to take a stand

  2. Miss Paul and the President - "Robbins makes clear for a quite young audience through both main narration and endnote that there were very specific obstacles that had to be overcome to extend the vote to women, and winning the endorsement of the president was a vital first step." --The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books "A perfect introduction to a notable woman and her fight for a woman’s right to vote." --School Library Journal Cast your vote for Alice Paul! The story of a tireless suffragette and the president she convinced to change everything. When Alice Paul was a child, she saw her father go off to vote while her mother had to stay home. But why should that be? So Alice studied the Constitution and knew that the laws needed to change. But who would change them? She would! In her signature purple hat, Alice organized parades and wrote letters and protested outside the White House. She even met with President Woodrow Wilson, who told her there were more important issues to worry about than women voting. But nothing was more important to Alice. So she kept at it, and soon President Wilson was persuaded. Dean Robbins and illustrator Nancy Zhang bring the unsung hero to vivid life and show young voters-to-be how important it is to never back down from a cause you believe in!

Did you enjoy our children's book recommendations? Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!