Feminist stories and tales for young minds worth reading

Some top choices from the 2019 Amelia Bloomer List are available at the Everett Public Library.

Amelia Bloomer, the editor of the first newspaper for women, was a strong advocate for women’s rights. An annual list of the best feminist reading for young people is named in her honor.

Amelia Bloomer, the editor of the first newspaper for women, was a strong advocate for women’s rights. An annual list of the best feminist reading for young people is named in her honor.

By Carol, Everett Public Library staff

Working in a library is more than just knowing how to check out books, finding accurate information on any given topic, and embracing a strong love of books and reading (the better to help you find your next great read, my dear!). For some of us, library work is life work. We’re committed to libraries so much that we join local and national library associations, serve on committees, run for and hold office, and read peer-reviewed journals to keep up with industry best practices and the latest research from the field.

We also create book awards and reading lists to honor the spirit and values of trailblazers and progressive thinkers.

One library group I’ve joined is the Social Responsibilities Round Table, which is a part of the American Library Association. While I’ve been an ALA member for 13 years, I didn’t join SRRT until recently. As libraries have grown to fill more roles in the community outside of providing reading and research material, organizations like SRRT provide guidance as we respond to social issues at the library. While it’s true my work here at the library is done from behind the scenes, I am always looking for ways to increase my awareness of issues important to our community so I can do a better job connecting readers with resources.

This is a long way of telling you the Feminist Task Force, part of SRRT, is made up of a ton of rad library professionals doing life work. FTF accepts nominations every year for the Amelia Bloomer List. As Jennifer Croll describes in Bad Girls of Fashion, Amelia Bloomer was the editor of the first newspaper for women [The Lily (1849-1853)], was a strong advocate for women’s rights, and saw pants as a feminist statement. Ever heard of bloomers? Yup, named after Amelia since she promoted them in The Lily.

But I’m not here to talk about pants. I’m here to talk about books. To be considered for the Amelia Bloomer List the book has to have significant feminist content, be developmentally appropriate for/appealing to young readers, and be well-written/ illustrated.

Welcome to my wheelhouse!

The Amelia Bloomer Project has started sharing the nominations for the 2019 list and I want to highlight some of my favorites:

Finding Yvonne by Brandy Colbert

Learning to Breathe by Janice Mather

Our Stories, Our Voices edited by Amy Reed

Path to the Stars by Sylvia Acevedo

Period edited by Kate Farrell

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

Proud by Ibtihaj Muhammad

Rad Girls Can by Kate Schatz

The Radical Element edited by Jessica Spotswood

So there you have it: a robust book list you’d never heard of before that just made your TBR cast a shadow. Let me know in the comments which books you’ve read or want to read and let’s keep the conversation going. For feminism!

Visit the Everett Public Library blog for more reviews and news of all things happening at the library.

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