New & Noteworthy Books for November

November 18, 2020 | Pat

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In celebration of Kamala Harris' historic achievement as the first woman elected to the Vice Presidency of the United States, we are sharing inspiring books featuring trailblazing women this month.  

Posted on behalf of the Children's Selection Team.  

Canadian Women Now and Then

Canadian Women Now and Then: More than 100 Stories of Fearless Trailblazers by Elizabeth McLeod. Illustrated by Maïa Faddoul

This timely book introduces readers to Canadian women of diverse backgrounds who have made notable achievements in a wide range of fields. They work in journalism, filmmaking, activism, exploration and politics. There are over 50 full page biographies with colour portraits. Another 50 women have shorter biographies, many accompanied by pen and ink portraits. Endpapers include important dates in Canadian Women's History, further reading suggestions along with sources and an index.

    Kamala and Maya's Big Idea
Kamala and Maya's Big Idea by Meena Harris. Illustrated by Ana Ramirez González

Two sisters who lived in an apartment block thought an unused piece of land in the apartment's courtyard might make a good playground. They approached the landlord who thought about it for less than a second and said "Hmmm, I don't think so, no." As you can probably guess, this is not the end but rather the beginning as Kamala and Maya get other kids and then adults on board. They get that landlord's "no" gradually changed to a maybe, "if you can do it yourselves, sure." And finally they receive his congratulations when they realize their dreams with support from the community.

    Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris by Kristin Susienka 

An easy-to-read short biography of the Vice President elect: from her childhood and education, followed by a successful law career and her election to the US Senate. The book mentions her run for the presidential candidacy, but went to print while she was still in the running. Ages 6-9. Currently available only in eBook format.
Kamala Harris Rooted in Justice
Kamala Harris: Rooted in Justice by Nikki Grimes. Illustrated by Laura Freeman.

Narrated in free verse, this nonfiction picture book tells the story of Kamala Harris' childhood, her move to Canada "where twelve feet of snow and her mother's new job waited in Montréal," and her return to the USA. There she became Deputy District Attorney, then the first female District Attorney of San Francisco, then the first Black woman elected as Attorney General of the State of California and the second to be elected to the US Senate. This book also covers her unsuccessful bid for the Democratic Presidential candidacy, though it went to print before she was chosen to be Joe Biden's running mate. Ages 4 - 8.

    Little Dreamers
Little Dreamers: Visionary Women around the World by Vashti Harrison
A collection of short biographies of 35 influential pioneering women in various fields. Includes some well-known figures (Marie Curie and Ada Lovelace), but also includes the lesser known achievements of equally fascinating and influential women, such as Gyo Fujikawa (children's book illustrator), Bessie Blount Griffin (scientist and inventor) and Aisma Chaterjee (organic chemist). Ages 5 -8.

Little Leaders
Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison
Short biographies of 40 African-American women who achieved extraordinary success in various fields. Some like Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth are well-known. Others are lesser known: Alice Ball, for example, developed an effective treatment for leprosy at the age of 23, but died soon after, had her work stolen and was not recognized until over 80 years later. Ages 5 -8.  

  She Persisted Around the World

She Persisted around the World: 13 Women who Changed History by Chelsea Clinton. Illustrated by Alexandra Boiger
Thirteen short biographies of women around the world who defied naysayers and made groundbreaking achievements in places where sexism and/or racism sought to exclude them. There is a quote from each woman accompanying the illustration. Canadian Viola Desmond is featured alongside other inspirational women such as Malala Yousufzai, Caroline Herschel and Kate Sheppard. Ages 4 - 8.  

  Stories for South Asian Supergirls
Stories for South Asian Supergirls by Raj Kaur Khaira  
An inspiring collection of radiantly illustrated profiles of 50 women from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Women of South Asian descent born elsewhere are also included, in fields such as business, computer engineering, performing arts, literature and activism. Adults will learn a great deal, too! Ages 5-12.

  Superheroes are everywhere

Superheroes are Everywhere by Kamala Harris. Illustrated by Mechal Renee Roe.   

Kamala Harris writes about how she went looking for heroes from an early age and found them all around her: parents, sister, friends, neighbours and teachers. She casts an ever-broadening circle that shows the reader how to find and bring out the hero in all of us, through important character traits such as kindness, bravery, empathy, fairness and respect. Ages 4-8.  

Previous New and Noteworthy book recommendations from this year: