, pub-8985115814551729, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 Free Printable Lesson Plans: Women's History Month
Showing posts with label Women's History Month. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Women's History Month. Show all posts

More YA literature and kids books on girl power for Women's History Month

Hello my friends of this blog on free printable lesson plans from the Omschool (Omi's homeschool)! Teacher Omi (grama) here with another list of YA literature and kids books on girl power for Women's History Month. When I was a kid and teen, literature was my lifeline, social media and therapy! There's a word for this: bibliotherapy. My role models came from strong female characters. The term "girl power" wasn't a thing yet, but I think it stems in part from many of the girl protagonists featured in these books. 

The most important thing about these girls and women is that they are 3D, realistic, relatable and fallible. They aren't cardboard Disney princesses, helpless handwringers or male dependents that peopled so many books of the time. They interact with men. But they are higher power or self-reliant. They break glass ceilings and defy expectations. I know that now, this may sound like dated ERA rhetoric, but believe me, it was crucial then and necessary now. Because expectations woman were hypocritical, shaming and punitive. 

We had to be beautiful but humble, work like mules and be paid about as much, achieve the impossible but not outshine men. We worked in factories to support families when our men couldn't or wouldn't, but were blamed for taking men's jobs. And then we couldn't vote or own property. We had to take care of our children but not have a say in their lives. The list and I, could go on all day. So here are YA and kids books featuring young women and girls, existing within these expectations but yet rising above them. 

Where the Lilies Bloom I'm known for crying over stories, even Pooh Bear and this YA book, was one of the tear-jerkiest. It explores the lives of an orphaned family of rural Appalachian children who find creative ways to avoid being separated. Second oldest, Mary Call Luther takes on the matriarch (and patriarch) role at just 14. 

The Boxcar Children You haven't lived till you've read the story of four also orphaned kids who make a home for themselves in an abandoned train boxcar. It's maybe a smidge idealized but the lessons learned on sticking together are worth it. Eldest sister Jessie is our featured she-ro, but little Violet gives a lot in her own way too. 

Me Too also by Bill and Vera Cleaver. A sister rails against having to basically parent her special needs sister. But she also fights hard for her. It's got a lot of mostly-recent negative reviews, but that's because many in younger generations can't wrap their minds around issues and situations that many of us in this time period lived every day: parentification, rabid cruelty, discrimination and anger with no channels. 

I'll be sharing more YA literature and kids books on girl power for Women's History Month as they surface in my memory! Love you all and a special hugs and kisses sent to my lovely daughters, Emma and Molly, daughter-in-law Samantha and grand-daughters Lola, Juno and Flora. You rock my world. 

10 Classic Kids Books with Realistic She-ro Girl Protagonists for Women's History Month

Hello my dear friends of this blog on free printable lesson plans! Teacher Omi here from the Omschool. Today, March 1, begins Women's History Month so we're going to look at 10 classic kids books with realistic girl protagonists. These young ladies will make you laugh, cry, cheer and most importantly resonate. 

First, a bit of back story. I'm 59 years old and I was lucky to be a kid during a great literary revolution in young adult literature. Beginning in the mid-ish 60s, youth, YA and teen literature was turning a corner away from the more cardboard hero/heroine characters to much  more realistic, identifiable, fallible 3D characters. And I, being so fully human, very awkward and out of step, embraced, this change with open arms. 

Because let's face it, the Disney princesses, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, Nurse Cherry Ames, Trixie Borden, Nancy Drew, even the March sisters of Little Women, are all much larger, and well, gooder, than life. They are poised and pretty.  They make mistakes but they never fail or fall. They are the toad-kissers but never the toad. This was difficult for a little girl who always felt fat, warty and klutzy. 

So the "heroines" in my book list are believable. Most of these works of classic children's literature date from my childhood and teen years. 

Sam, Bangs and Moonshine This book is an excellent resource for helping kids deal with grief. Sam has just lost her mother and she's developed the habit of making up stories to cope (denial). Her lies cause some real problems. But what makes her a she-ro, in my book, is the way she recognizes and works to fix the damage she's caused. 

The Pigman This one is definitely not for kids under about 13 (take this from someone who read it at 10). Lorraine and John both live in dysfunctional situations and find friendship in each other and an elderly man. What happens is very upsetting but it's real and what I like about Lorraine is that despite her cruel upbringing, she very maturely takes responsibility and doesn't blame anyone else. 

Harriet the Spy So Harriet isn't your average kid detective. She's a snoop and a bit of a stalker. But she's just so darn clever about how she does it, with all the little gadgets she invents. I couldn't help but admire her, especially being weaned on Nancy Drew, who if I'm honest, is incredibly annoying. Nancy is a busybody snoop too. But it never backfires like it does with Harriet and usually in real life. 

Honestly, Katie John! (Mary Calhoun, author of lots of good kids books) I seriously love this series! Just look at her facial expression! Katie John gets into so many mishaps all with the best of intentions. She's not beautiful or a star pupil,  just a plain old kid and so relatable. Her ways of shirking work, helping her parents ready their new boarding house is hilarious. 

Katie Kittenheart
 (Miriam Mason) Hands-down, my favorite book from around age 6. From forgetting to dress up for picture day, to nearly incinerating her kitten, to single-handedly getting 40 kids through a flood, Katie is a delight. 

Velma (Scooby-Doo) Can we just agree that without brains-behind-the-outfit Velma, Mystery Inc. kids would have been gunned down, drowned or eaten alive in every episode? Velma shows that you can be smart and cute even without red hair and a scarf! 

Laura Ingalls Little House on the Prairie series I identified so with Laura. She is always the one in trouble. She can never match up to perfect little blonde Mary. She hates her brown hair, Sunday clothes and having to sit still and quiet. She's a little mouthy. But when push comes to shove, like in The Long Winter, Laura proves that she is the bravest of all! 

The Cat Who Went to Heaven The she-ro in this story is a sweet, self-sacrificing little cat who gives everything to help her friends. I cried my eyes out at 8, reading this story under the covers one night. 

I Was A 98 pound Duckling What resonates in this story is the challenge of those bumpy tween years. So I was "too chubby" and this character is "too thin" we struggled with the same issues, feeling (and sometimes being made to feel) ugly. 

The Doll of Lilac Valley Another one I cried myself to sleep over, what got me is how sensitive and empathetic Laurie is. When  she loses her favorite doll, her kindly (but non-child-aware) caregivers present her with one the complete antithesis of the other.  But the universe rewards her gentleness. 

Are You There God, It's Me Margaret? The great thing about this book and Margaret the main character is that they talk about the unmentionable...getting your period. Regardless, of time or age, all girls have to deal. Most of us felt like freaks. We hated it. Thank God for Judy Blume who at least normalized it. 

These girl protagonists may read like just kids but that's what makes them she-ros. Every girl is in my book! Most of these kids books are available on Thriftbooks or Amazon. Happy reading and HappyyWomen's History Month!