The Amelia Bloomer Book List

About the The Amelia Bloomer Book List
The Amelia Bloomer Project, a committee of the Feminist Task Force of the Social Responsibilities Round Table, compiles the Amelia Bloomer List, an annual annotated book list (or bibliography) of well-written and well-illustrated books with significant feminist content, intended for young readers (ages birth through 18).

A few years ago, a book by Shana Carey introduced nineteenth-century feminist activist Amelia Bloomer to the picture-book crowd. Published in 2000, YOU FORGOT YOUR SKIRT, AMELIA BLOOMER! uses humor and history to bring the life and work of this pioneering newspaper editor, feminist thinker, public speaker, and suffragist to a new generation. In the spirit of Amelia Bloomer, the Feminist Task Force of the Social Responsibilities Round Table of the American Library Association proudly announced in 2002 the first annual Amelia Bloomer List, a bibliography of appealing feminist books for young readers from birth to 18. Books eligible for this award must have been published in the United States during the 18 months prior to the selection in January of each year. Set from prehistoric times to the present, these books, both fiction and nonfiction, provide role models of stong, capable, creative women. They introduce children growing up in the South during the Civil Rights Movement, photographers on the cutting edge of their times, young women surviving in today’s Afghanistan, and pioneers in the fields of flyinig and space exploration. Others feature girls who outwit dragons, create petroglyphs to save a tribe, and train to win battles. From a picture book using bear hair and other earthen materials in its illustrations to a biography written in graphic-novel format, these books show girls and women exploring exciting ways to solve practical dilemmas through the courage of their convictions. All of them spur the imagination and expand the limits of dreams while confronting traditional female stereotypes. And best of all, these books are fun reading!

Administered by:

Social Responsibilities Round Table (SRRT) logo

2004 Selection(s)





Corey, Shana. Players in Pigtails. Illus. by Rebecca Gibbon. 2003. unp. Scholastic, $16.95 (0-439-18305-7).


PreS- Gr. 3. Katie Casey, who “preferred sliding to sewing, batting to baking,” was one of the first recruits for the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.








Christensen, Bonnie.  The Daring Nellie Bly: America’s Star Reporter. Illus. 2003. unp. Knopf Books for Young Readers, $16.95 (0-375-81568-6). 


PreS-Gr. 3. Enraged by an article that claimed any woman who had a job was "a monstrosity," Elizabeth Jane Cochran wrote a letter of protest and became the famous journalist Nellie Bly, the reformer, best known for her trip around the world in 72 days. 




Hopkinson, Deborah. Girl Wonder. Illus. by Terry Widener. 2003. unp. Simon & Schuster, $16.95 (0-689-83300-8).


Gr. K-3. Bold illustrations depict the saga of baseball pioneer pitcher Alta Weiss.




Mora, Pat. A Library for Juana: The World of Sor Juana Ines. Illus. by Beatrice Vidal. 2002. unp. Knopf Books for Young Readers, $15.95 (0375806438).


Gr. 2-5. Luminous illustrations highlight this picture book biography of the 17th-century Mexican poet who, at the age of three, followed her sisters to school and continued learning for the rest of her life.













Cushman, Karen. Rodzina. 2003. 215p. Clarion Books, $16.00 (0-618-13351-8).


Gr. 4-7. Overlarge, unpretty, stand-offish Rodzina would rather stay on the streets of  Chicago, but instead she’s on an orphan train, accompanied by the cold, rigid Miss Doctor.




Ihimaera, Witi.  The Whale Rider. 2003. 152p. Harcourt, $17.00 (0-15-205017-5).


Gr. 5-9. In the Maori tribe of New Zealand descended from the legendary "whale rider," it is the male that inherits the title of chief, but eight-year-old Kahu is determined to change this tradition despite her great-grandfather's stubbornness.






Love, D. Ann. The Puppeteer’s Apprentice. 2003. 185p. Margaret K. McElderry, $16.95




Gr. 4-6. Orphaned scullery maid Mouse runs away from the cruel cook and finds a new life and home with a mysterious puppeteer who hides an identity.




Mankell, Henning. Secrets in the fire. 2003. 166p. Annick Press, $17.95




Gr. 5-9. When a game takes her off path and onto a landmine, Sofia’s life instantly changes in this brutal depiction of an indomitable young girl’s survival in war-torn Mozambique.




McDonald, Megan.  Judy Moody Saves the World! Illus. by Peter Reynolds. 2002. 144p. Candlewick, $15.99 (0-7636-1446-7). 


Gr. 3-5. Judy's pushy manner may irritate her friends and family, but her determination to save the planet after learning about the destruction of the rain forest inspires her third-grade class to undertake an award-winning, environment-saving project.










Anderson, Laurie Halse. Thank You Sarah: The Woman who Saved Thanksgiving. Illus. by Matt Faulkner. 2003. unp. Simon & Schuster, $16.95 (0-689-84787-4).


Gr.1-5. Although she didn’t view herself as a women’s rights activist, Sarah Hale’s actions define feminism, as she fought for the education of girls and women, opposed slavery, struggled for safe working conditions for all women, and spearheaded a 38-year letter-writing campaign to make Thanksgiving a national holiday.




Atkins, Jeannine. Wings and Rockets: The Story of Women in Air and Space. Illus. by Dusan Petricic. 2003. 197p. Index. Farrar Straus & Giroux, $17 (0-374-384590-9).


Gr. 4-10. Stories about the challenges for 20th-century women in flight begin with Katherine Wright, who supported older brothers Wilbur and Orville so they could pioneer powered flight




Butcher, Nancy.  It Can’t be Done, Nellie Bly!: A Reporter’s Race Around the World. Illus. by Jen L. Singh. 2003. 84p. Peachtree, $12.95 (1-56145-289-0).


Gr. 2-5. Told that women are lesser beings than men, reporter Elizabeth Jane Cochran travels around the world in 72 days in 1888-89 to beat the time set by Jules Verne's fictional character Phileas Fogg. 




Fradin, Dennis Brindell & Judith Bloom Fradin.  Fight On!: Mary Church Terrell’s Battle for Integration. Photographs. 2003. 181p. Index. Clarion Books, $17 (0-618-13349-6).


Gr. 5-9. Born the daughter of slaves in 1863, Mary Church Terrell’s fight for civil rights and women’s rights culminated in her participation in the 1950’s battle to integrate restaurants and theaters.




Harness, Charyl. Rabble Rousers: Twenty Women Who Made a Difference. 2003. 64p. Dutton Books, $17.99 (0-525-47035-2).


Gr. 4-8. Spurred by misery and unfairness, these twenty fascinating, fiery women spoke out to rouse the people and change America.




Lakin, Patricia. Amelia Earhart: More than a Flier. Illus. by Alan and Lea Daniel. 2003. 48p. Aladdin, $11.89 (0-689-85576-1).


Gr. 3-5. Lively illustrations and engaging text show the development of Amelia Earhart as a feminist as well as a pioneering aviator.




Lyon, George Ella. Mother to Tigers. Photos by Peter Catalanotto. 2003. 32p. Atheneum, $16.95 (0-689-84221-X).


Gr. 3-6. Helen Martini’s career as the first woman zookeeper at the Bronx Zoo started with hand-raising abandoned zoo babies in her apartment.




Pflueger, Lynda. Amelia Earhart: Legend of Flight. 2003. 128p. Index. Enslow, $20.95 (0-7660-1976-4).


Gr. 3-6.  From her childhood climbing fences against her grandmother's wishes to her final around-the-world flight, Earhart pushed against the limits imposed on women.




Swinburne, Stephen R. The Woods Scientist. Photographs by Susan C. Morse. 2002. 48p. Houghton Mifflin, $16 (0-618-04602-X).


Gr. 2-5. Study forests and forest animals with Susan C. Morse as she teachers volunteer trackers forest habitat and animals in northern woodlands.




Tryszynska-Frederick, Luba. Luba: The Angel of Bergen-Belsen. As told to Michelle R. McCann. Illus. by Ann Marshall. 2003. unp. Tricycle Press, $16.95 (1-58246-098-1).


Gr. 3-8. In this stirring picture book biography, Luba Tryszynska-Frederick, while a prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp, succeeds in hiding, feeding, and caring for a group of orphaned children.






Young Adult









Bradley, Kimberly Brubaker.  For Freedom: The Story of a French Spy. 2003. 181p.


Delacorte Press, $15.95 (0-385-72961-8).


Gr. 5-9. War changes everything, including the life of a young French girl who fights for her country, her honor and her freedom in this World War II tale based on a true story.




Donnelly, Jennifer. A Northern Light. 2003. 389p. Harcourt, $17 (0-15-216705-6).


Gr. 7-10 Surviving life in poverty, her mother’s death, the burden of raising her sisters on a farm, and the crisis of being the only person who knows the truth about a young pregnant woman’s murder, 16-year-old Mattie fights to find her own voice and achieves her desire of going to college in 1906.




Karr, Kathleen. Gilbert & Sullivan Set Me Free. 2003. 226p. Hyperion Books for Children, $15.99 (0-7868-1916-2).


Gr. 6-9. When the new chaplain at Sherborn Women’s Prison starts a prison chorus, the life of young inmate Libby Dodge is changed forever.




Krisher, Trudy. Uncommon Faith. 2003. 263p. Holiday House, $17.95 (0-8234-1791-3).


Gr. 7-10. Voices of townspeople in 1837 Millbrook, Massachusetts share their attitudes about women’s rights, slavery, and religious differences as young Faith Commons questions the traditional expectations of women.




Peters, Julie Anne. Keeping You a Secret: A Novel. 2003. 256p. Little, Brown/Megan Tingley Books, $16.95 (0-316-70275-7).


Gr. 8-12. Senior class president Holland Jaeger has her life on track, balancing classes, her boyfriend, a new stepfather and stepsister—until she falls in love with Cece, a out-and-proud lesbian.




Pratchett, Terry. The Wee Free Men. 2003. 263p. Harpercollins, $16.99 (0-06-001236-6).


Gr. 5-9. Young Tiffany discovers her talents as a witch-to-be as she works with a tribe of pictsies—blue-skinned men only six inches tall—in the daring rescue of her brother, kidnapped by the Queen of the Elves.








Allred, Alexandra Powe.  Atta Girl!: A Celebration of Women in Sports. Illus. 2003. 227p. Index. Wish Publishing, $16.95 (1-930546-61-0). 


Gr. 9-12. Thanks to the women who fought, and continue to fight, for the right to train and compete in sports, girls and women everywhere can challenge their bodies, minds, and spirits on the field, the court, and the track.




Bitches, Bimbos, and Ballbreakers: The Guerrilla Girls' Illustrated Guide to Female Stereotypes. Illus. 2003. 96p. Penguin Books, $20 (0-14-200101-5).


Gr. 10-12. The Guerilla Girls take on the stereotypes used to make women feel insecure, fearful, and powerless and offer examples of real women who have changed their worlds in this fun and upbeat introduction to feminism.




Di Domenico, Kelly. Super Women in Science. Illus. 2003. 102p. Bibliography. Second Story Press, $7.95 (1-896764-66-5).


Gr. 5-9. From Hypatia and Mary Anning to Chien-Shiung Wu, Rosalind Franklin and Mae Jemison, women scientists followed their passions, becoming pioneers in nuclear physics, sports medicine, genetics and ecology.




Echlin, Kim.  Inanna: From the Myths of Ancient Sumer. Illus. by Linda Wolfsgruber. 2003. 72p. Groundwood Books, $19.95 (0-88899-496-6).


Gr. 7-up From the 4000-year-old stories of the powerful goddess Inanna come her adventures in love and war as she grows from childish inexperience and youthful exuberance into maturity, gaining the power to create, destroy, and name.




Feldt, Gloria. Behind Every Choice Is a Story. 2003. 242p. University of North Texas Press, $19.95 (1-57441-158-6).


Gr. 9-12. Vibrant voices of patients, teachers, doctors, teenagers, mothers, and other women and men about love, sex, pregnancy, and family show the necessity of reproductive rights and the value of defining lives by individual choices.




Khouri, Norma. Honor Lost: Love and Death in Modern-day Jordan. 2003. 209p. Atria Books, $24 (0-7434-4878-2).


Gr. 10-12. Dalia, a vibrant twenty-five year-old Jordanian woman, died at the hands of her father in an honor killing for the crime of falling in love with a Catholic man.




Nebenzahl, Donna. Womankind: Faces of Change Around the World. Photographs by Nance Ackerman. 2003. 196p. The Feminist Press at the City University of NewYork, $29.95 (1-55861-460-5).


Gr. 9-12. Superb photographs, lyrical writing, and graphic design document the inspiring work of forty-five women activists in over thirty countries and five continents and their efforts toward peaceful social change.




Satrapi, Marjane. Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood. 2003. 153p. Pantheon Books, $17.95 (0-375-42230-7).


Gr. 9-12. Powerful black-and-white graphic novel images tell Satrapi’s story of her life in Tehran from ages six to 14 during the overthrow of the Shah’s regime, the Islamic Revolution, and the war with Iraq.




Smith, Catherine and Cynthia Greig. Women in Pants: Manly Maidens, Cowgirls, and Other Renegades. 2003. 184p. Harry N. Abrams, $35 (0-8109-4571-1).


Gr. 9-12. Real women have always worn pants: vintage photographs from the 1850s to the 1920s combined with well-researched text chart an important chapter in feminist history.