It’s never too early to get your young readers excited about nonfiction stories. Of course, fiction books can (and do) teach valuable lessons and morals, but nonfiction has a unique ability to demonstrate and inspire in ways that nothing other than real-life stories can. Especially for girls, it is important to provide examples of what you can achieve when you don’t allow conventions or negativity hold you back. No matter how big or small, no matter how old or young, no matter what you were born or where you were born—you have a voice and your voice has the power to make a difference—whether you use it to achieve your dreams or pave the way for others to achieve theirs.
by Malala Yousafzai; with Patricia McCormick
This special young readers edition of the youngest ever Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai’s powerful book I Am Malala, tells the story of her life—from the time she was a young girl growing up in Pakistan, to when the Taliban tried to silence her for standing up for her beliefs in gender equality, to her remarkable recovery, and continued fight to give girls around the world the right to an education. I read this book a number of years ago and continue to recommend it today for Yousafzai’s important message of resilience and global change.
by Zetta Elliott; illustrated by Loveis Wise
Say Her Name—inspired by the #SayHerName campaign that came out of the African American Policy Forum—is a collection of forty-nine poems that pay tribute to the victims of police brutality and honor the activists of the Black Lives Matter movement. Featuring poets of the past twenty years, Elliott built a chorus of voices that celebrates the omnipotent courage of Black women and girls. While not exactly a nonfiction “story”, this is an important addition to your child’s bookshelf to promote healthy conversation on pressing topics not to be ignored.
by Aisholpan Nurgaiv; with Liz Welch
Join Aishoplan Nurgaiv through her inspiring memoir about life as a teenaged eagle hunter in Mongolia. Accompanied by a collection of phenomenal photographs, Nurgaiv shares her moving story of capturing and training a golden eagle, and then going on win the Ölgii eagle festival, despite being the only girl in the competition. This is a unique, but universally relatable tale of determination, survival, and triumph coming from defying expectations. I have always dreamed of visiting Mongolia and this book just fuels that to new levels. You can watch the trailer for the 2016 Eagle Huntress documentary here.
by S.S. Taylor; illustrated by Ben Towle
Amelia Earhart left behind a legacy of being critical to breaking the glass ceiling for women in aviation. This exceptional graphic novel, with an introduction from astronaut Eileen Collins, focuses on Earhart’s involvement in promoting women’s rights, her unending love of flying, and, of course, her groundbreaking 1928 journey across the Atlantic Ocean. The overarching message of ambition and courage will inspire young trailblazers to reach for the stars.
by Matt Christopher
Perfect for any young sports fan, this book focuses on the lives of four talented female soccer stars—Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan, Carli Lloyd, and Mallory Pugh. These four players competed together on the legendary U.S. women’s national soccer team that won the 2019 World Cup, and all have exceptional qualities that make them integral to their combined success. Full of heart-pumping action, your kid will gobble up all the stories, stats, and photographs!
by Aly Raisman
Remember Aly Raisman, the awe-inspiring gold medal gymnast who competed in the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games? Fierce is the story, told in her own words, of the remarkable journey from her first gymnastics class as a toddler to her incredible achievements at not one, but TWO Olympic Games, and all the moments of triumph and hardship in between. Maybe you’re not prepping to win any medals, but Raisman’s message of loving yourself and rising above difficult challenges is an inspirational reminder to always keep your eye on the prize.