“Since the feminist picture books were so popular (yay!), and since Rioter@marialaganga asked for it, I now present you with the best feminist books for younger readers. “Best” is a hard thing in this category, so I’m aiming to include a variety of genres and some lesser known/newer options. Does this mean I don’t think Halse Anderson’s Chains belongs on this list? Emphatically, NO! Including everything would have been impossible.
Also, because younger readers really run the gamut when it comes to reading level, I’ve included beginner/early reader titles and intermediate titles. The ages you see are based on publisher recommendations and may not really don’t reflect my opinion or the actual reading level of your kid. Just sayin’. Let’s explode that comment thread again with your own suggestions, too!”
Pakistani salon owner Masarrat Misbah discovered a new life mission ten years ago when an acid attack survivor came to her salon and asked her for help to look better. “When she removed her veil, I had to sit down. There was no life in my legs,” Masarrat recalls in a recent BBC interview. “In front of me was a woman with no face. Her eyes and nose were gone and her neck and face were stuck together so she couldn’t move them.” Determined to help her, Masarrat found doctors to perform reconstructive surgery on the woman but her involvement didn’t stop there – she went on to start a non-profit organization called Smile Again which has helped hundreds of acid attack survivors rebuild their lives over the past ten years.
Masarrat has built one of the most respected salon chains in Pakistan and, since 2003, has not only funded the work of Smile Again but has turned her salons into refuges for women who have experienced such attacks. In addition to paying for their medical treatment, Massarat also teaches the women workplace skills and some have become beauticians at her salons. Two such women, pictured here, are Arooj Akbar, who was set on fire by her husband for giving birth to a girl rather than a boy, and Saira Liaqat, who had acid thrown on her by her then fiancé for refusing to leave her parents’ house.
At least 160 acid attacks have been reported this year alone in Pakistan but advocates believe the real number is much higher. Masarrat believes that the government needs to do more to prevent attacks and help the women affected, stating “Because it is a female-orientated issue, it comes right at the bottom of their [the government’s] priority list. Also, they say it tarnishes the image of our country. This is why it is hushed up and swept under the carpet."
She adds, "You listen to their stories and the attackers are motivated by such small reasons, sometimes no reason at all, and you think, ‘Is this the world we want to live in?’” For her part, Masarrat is trying to build the kind of world she wants to see by helping one woman at a time rebuild their life.
An estimated 1,500 people, 80 percent of whom are women, are attacked with acid annually around the world. Those attacked are also overwhelmingly young women with an estimated 40 to 70% of the victims being under 18.
To learn more about acid attacks, check out the excellent 2012 Oscar-winning Best Documentary Short entitled “Saving Face” which tells the stories of Pakistani women who have become victims of such attacks. The film is digitally available on Amazon at http://amzn.to/1lPOIe6 or you can learn more about it at http://savingfacefilm.com/
Got a special child in your life? A Mighty Girl has gathered over 350 kid-friendly biographies of remarkable girls and women to share with them. What is your favorite book, film, or show featuring a “mighty girl?”
Today in Mighty Girl history, one of Germany’s most famous anti-Nazi heroes, Sophie Scholl, was born in 1921. As a university student in Munich, Scholl, along with her brother, Hans, and several friends, formed a non-violent, anti-Nazi resistance group called the White Rose. The group ran a leaflet and graffiti campaign calling on their fellow Germans to resist Hilter’s regime.
Scholl became involved in resistance organizing after learning of the mass killings of Jews and reading an anti-Nazi sermon by Clemens August Graf von Galen, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Münster. She was deeply moved by the “theology of conscience” and declared, “Somebody, after all, had to make a start. What we wrote and said is also believed by many others. They just don’t dare express themselves as we did.”
In 1943, Scholl and the other members of the White Rose were arrested by the Gestapo for distributing leaflets at the University of Munich and taken to Stadelheim Prison. After a short trial on February 22, 1943, Scholl, her brother Hans and their friend Christop Probst, all pictured here, were found guilty of treason and sentenced to death.
At her execution only a few hours later, Scholl made this final statement: “How can we expect righteousness to prevail when there is hardly anyone willing to give himself up individually to a righteous cause. Such a fine, sunny day, and I have to go, but what does my death matter, if through us thousands of people are awakened and stirred to action?”
Following the deaths of the White Rose’s leaders, their final leaflet was smuggled to England. In mid-1943, Allied Forces dropped millions of copies of the “Manifesto of the Students of Munich” over Germany. Scholl is now honored as one of the great German heroes who actively opposed the Nazi regime.
For an excellent film about Scholl’s incredible story, we highly recommend “Sophie Scholl – The Final Days” which received an Oscar nomination for the Best Foreign Language Film in 2005. The film, recommended for viewers 13 and up, is an excellent way to introduce teens to the bravery and perseverance of those who resisted the Nazi regime – learn more at http://www.amightygirl.com/sophie-scholl-the-final-days
For books for both children and teens about girls and women who lived during the Holocaust period, including stories of other heroic resisters and rescuers, check out our post for Holocaust Remembrance Week athttp://www.amightygirl.com/blog/?p=2726
For our recommendations of the best books and films about another real-life Mighty Girl who lived during this period, visit our tribute to Anne Frank: “Hope in a Hidden Room: A Mighty Girl Salutes Anne Frank” athttp://www.amightygirl.com/blog?p=2815
Hey! Love the blog! So I really want to introduced my little sister to feminism she's pretty young so do you have any books or any other resources for feminist reading for kids? Thanks!
Thanks! I sure do. When it comes to books for kids, I recommend the A Mighty Girl website. http://www.amightygirl.com/books. They also have recommendations for toys, movies, music, and movies/TV!
You can sort by category, age group, language and more.
“A Mighty Girl’s book section features over 2,000 girl-empowering books starring stellar Mighty Girl characters. With over 200 book categories to explore, the best way to discover what this section has to offer is by browsing our detailed book menu – just mouse over the ‘Books’ button on the menu bar above. From there you can choose the categories of interest to you and then use the filters on the left-menu to further refine your search.”
When Keshia Thomas was 18 years old in 1996, the KKK held a rally in her home town of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Hundreds of protesters turned out to tell the white supremacist organization that they were not welcome in the progressive college town. At one point during the event, a man with a SS tattoo and wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with a Confederate flag ended up on the protesters’ side of the fence and a small group began to chase him. He was quickly knocked to the ground and kicked and hit with placard sticks.
As people began to shout, “Kill the Nazi,” the high school student, fearing that mob mentality had taken over, decided to act. Thomas threw herself on top of one of the men she had come to protest, protecting him from the blows. In discussing her motivation after the event, she stated, “Someone had to step out of the pack and say, ‘this isn’t right’… I knew what it was like to be hurt. The many times that that happened, I wish someone would have stood up for me… violence is violence - nobody deserves to be hurt, especially not for an idea.”
Thomas never heard from the man after that day but months later, a young man came up to her to say thanks, telling her that the man she had protected was his father. For Thomas, learning that he had a son brought even greater significance to her heroic act. As she observed, “For the most part, people who hurt… they come from hurt. It is a cycle. Let’s say they had killed him or hurt him really bad. How does the son feel? Does he carry on the violence?”
Mark Brunner, the student photographer who took this now famous photograph, added that what was so remarkable was who Thomas saved: “She put herself at physical risk to protect someone who, in my opinion, would not have done the same for her. Who does that in this world?"
And, in response to those who argued that the man deserved a beating or more, Pulitzer Prize-winning commentator Leonard Pitts Jr. offered this short reflection in The Miami Herald: "That some in Ann Arbor have been heard grumbling that she should have left the man to his fate, only speaks of how far they have drifted from their own humanity. And of the crying need to get it back. Keshia’s choice was to affirm what they have lost. Keshia’s choice was human. Keshia’s choice was hope.”
To view more pictures of this Mighty Girl’s remarkable act of courage and read more about the event, visit the BBC at http://bbc.in/1djDOGY