Feminist books for young readers must move beyond merely ‘spunky’ and ‘feisty’ young women, beyond characters and people who fight to protect themselves without furthering rights for other women. Feminist books show women overcoming the obstacles of intersecting forces of race, gender, and class, actively shaping their destinies. They break bonds forced by society as they defy stereotypical expectations and show resilience in the face of societal strictures.All right—sounds good to me! So let’s get to it! The 2014 list was released just last week and contains some real winners. For the full list, click here. Below are two of my favorites:
Imogen: The Mother of Modernism and Three Boys by Amy Novesky, illustrated by Lisa Congdon
A lovely picture book about Imogen Cunningham, a photographer who strove to balance work and motherhood. In the author’s note at the end of the book, she is quoted as saying, “You can’t expect things to be smooth and easy and beautiful. You just have to work, find your way out, and do anything you can yourself.”
Rookie Yearbook Two edited by Tavi Gevinson
Rookie is an online magazine for teen girls edited by 17-year-old Tavi Gevinson. This yearbook, a collection of articles from June 2012 to May 2013, features pieces written by big names such as Judy Blume and Lena Dunham. It’s smart and doesn’t talk down.