March 8 is the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day, an annual event that celebrates women and all that they offer to their families, to each other, to their communities, and to the world as a whole. This year's theme — Equal access to education, training and science and technology: Pathway to decent work for women — highlights the need to support women of all ages and walks of life as they struggle to make their way in the world.
Ready to inspire? Here are four books that appeal to girls and boys alike while they celebrate women of myth, legend, and history from all around the world.
1. "The Serpent Slayer and Other Stories of Strong Women" by Katrin Tchana and Trina Schart Hyman. The 18 stories in this book are tales of heroines — women with courage, women with brains, and women with strength who concquer evil and restore peace. "The Serpent Slayer" includes the story of Li Chi, the serpent slayer, and the old woman savvy enough to outsmart the devil. It's a fun and fantastic for boys and girls of all ages.
2. "Girls Think of Everything: Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women" by Catherine Thimmesh. This ode to women inventors is a fabulous collection of stories about the women and girls whose ideas changed the world. From the NASA scientist who created space bumpers to protect rocket ships to the 10-year-old student who invented paper that enables people to write in the dark, this book is sure to inspire the next generation of female inventors and thinkers!
3. "Cut from the Same Cloth: American Women of Myth, Legend, and Tall Tale" by Robert D. San Souci. This collection includes stories — both fact and fiction — of women from all backgrounds of American culture. Moving from East to West across North America, San Souci includes stories of heroines of Native American, African American, Mexican American, and Canadian traditions, each with their own unique tales of bravery, strength, and street-smarts that helped them achieve what they set out to accomplish.
4. "Amelia to Zora: Twenty-Six Women Who Changed the World" by Cynthia Chin-Lee. At first glance, the women included in this collection seem to have little in common — other than their gender. Their fields vary. from the arts, to sports, to journalism, to science. Yet, reading the biographies of women like Dolores Huerta, Maya Lin, Frida Kahlo, and Lena Horne, one realizes that it is their strength of character, their determination, their passion, and their imagination that bind their stories together and made these women so incredible.