Need book titles.....
September 16, 2008 1:25 PM   Subscribe

I am looking for Young Adult books to recommend about Womens History.

I need titles that will appeal to the 15-16 year old range, fiction and non-fiction. Thanks!
posted by haikuku to Education (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Monstrous Regiment by Terry Pratchett? Satirical fiction, but not really about a particular moment in women's history...
posted by porpoise at 1:38 PM on September 16, 2008

Any particular time or era? I like The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare, about a young woman accused of witchcraft in colonial Connecticut in the late 1600s. Has good descriptions of colonial life in America.
posted by Melismata at 1:45 PM on September 16, 2008

Two classics: The Scarlet Letter and The Crucible.
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 2:03 PM on September 16, 2008

My favorite YA novel of the year is "The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks," which is set in the present day but explores how the old-boy networks and patriarchal social structures persist despite nominal equality between the sexes.

I really admire Katherine Sturtevant's series ("At the Sign of the Star", "A True And Faithful Narrative") which is very honest and non-anachronistic about the social pressures faced by a printer's daughter in 16th-century England. You may want to look into Karen Cushman ("Catherine Called Birdy," "The Midwife's Apprentice" for medieval history, but I don't find them all that good from a literary perspective, though they're popular.

On the nonfiction side, how about "33 Things Every Girl Should Know About Women's History," and "Let Me Play: The Story of Title IX"?
posted by Jeanne at 2:58 PM on September 16, 2008

I'm always really bad about guessing teen age ranges - this might be a good one for readers who want something meaty thought-wise, but a little easier in terms of prose. Who Comes with Cannons by Patricia Beatty is about a Southern Quaker girl during the Civil War - it's an interesting look both at women's roles in the war and at Quakerism.

Coffee Will Make You Black, by April Sinclair, a great YA novel about a black teenager growing up in 1960's Chicago. And I just discovered there's a sequel!

Then there's the obvious - Jane Austen's novels. Pride and Prejudice is a good one because a) it's one of her more accessible ones, and b) the kids can watch one of the films or mini-series afterwards. See also the Bronte sisters, etc.
posted by bettafish at 3:05 PM on September 16, 2008

Lives of the Muses by Francine Prose. I can't remember if there is any graphic content, but it's a pretty interesting exploration of the social roles available to women at different times in history.

Women in the Middle Ages by the Gieses. They write very accessible books that do a good job explaining aspects of medieval social history in particular. This book also examines the social roles available to women, and chronicles specific females in different places, times and of different statures in the middle ages.
posted by palindromic at 3:42 PM on September 16, 2008

Fifteen year old me had two favorite books: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte and Louisa May Alcott: A Modern Biography by Martha Saxton. I also loved Laurie R. King's The Beekeeper's Apprentice. All of these focus on the role of women in society.

As a side note, I think Karen Cushman's books are too young for 15-16 year olds.
posted by JustKeepSwimming at 7:02 PM on September 16, 2008

Coming of Age in Mississippi by Anne Moody

For fiction, Willa Cather and Katherine Anne Porter have some historical context, and how women lived in certain times. Katherine Anne Porter is also very funny.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 8:52 PM on September 16, 2008

The Roaring 20: The First Cross-Country Air Race for Women
Ladies First: 40 Daring American Women Who Were Second to None
33 Things Every Girl Should Know About Women's History: From Suffragettes to Skirt Lengths to the E.R.A.
(numerical theme not intended)

And may I suggest a non-book? They might be interested in a showing of Iron Jawed Angels.

And you could probably find a lot by Googling 'teen "women's history" booklist', since I'm sure many libraries make lists for Women's History Month in March.
posted by timepiece at 9:57 AM on September 20, 2008

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