Picture Book Biographies of Inspirational Women

In honor of Women’s History Month, we’ve created a list of compelling picture book biographies that celebrate women’s accomplishments. Don’t be misled by the illustrations and format—these books provide entertainment and enlightenment for readers of all ages! Published within the last few years, some of the books give a fresh look at previously covered figures while others introduce us to women overlooked by the historians. 

The books are as impressive as their subjects, with compelling text, attractive artwork, and, often, back matter that provides in-depth historical context. These stories will inspire and engage readers all year long! Is a book missing from our list or a figure you’d like to know more about? Please let us know!

Biographies by Category

Activists and Changemakers

  1. Malala's Magic Pencil by Malala Yousafzai
  2. Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford 
  3. Mumbet’s Declaration of Independence by Gretchen Woelfle
  4. Rosa Parks (Little People, Big Dreams) by Lisbeth Kaiser
  5. Ruth Bader Ginsburg: The Case of R.B.G. vs. Inequality by Jonah Winter
  6. So Tall Within: Sojourner Truth's Long Walk Toward Freedom by Gary D. Schmidt
  7. What Do You Do With a Voice Like That? The Story of Extraordinary Congresswoman Barbara Jordan  by Chris Barton
  8. The Youngest Marcher: The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, a Young Civil Rights Activist by Cynthia Levinson 

Artists

  1. Danza! Amalia Hernandez and el Ballet Folklorico de Mexico by Duncan Tonatiuh
  2. Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl's Courage Changed Music by Margarita Engle
  3. Harlem's Little Blackbird by Renee Watson
  4. The Legendary Miss Lena Horne by Carole Boston Weatherford
  5. Little Melba and Her Big Trombone by Katheryn Russell-Brown 
  6. Leontyne Price: Voice of a Century by Carole Boston Weatherford
  7. Maya Lin: Artist-Architect of Light and Lines by Jeanne Walker Harvey
  8. Nina: Jazz Legend and Civil-Rights Activist Nina Simone by Alice Briere-Haquet

Athletes

  1. Daredevil: The Daring Life of Betty Skelton by Meghan McCarthy
  2. Girl Running: Bobbi Gibb and the Boston Marathon by Annette Bay Pimentel
  3. The Kid from Diamond Street: The Extraordinary Story of Baseball Legend Edith Houghton by Audrey Vernick
  4. Martina & Chrissie: The Greatest Rivalry in the History of Sports by Phil Bildner
  5. Nadia: The Girl Who Couldn't Sit Still by Karlin Gray
  6. Roller Derby Rivals by Sue Macy
  7. Trudy's Big Swim: How Gertrude Ederle Swam the English Channel and Took the World by Storm by Sue Macy

Conservationists

  1. A Passion for Elephants: The Real Life Adventure of Field Scientist Cynthia Mossby Toni Buzzeo
  2. Spring after Spring: How Rachel Carson Inspired the Environmental Movement by Stephanie Roth Sisson
  3. The Tree Lady: The True Story of How One Tree-Loving Woman Changed a City Forever by Joseph Hopkins 

Scientists

  1. Ada Lovelace, Poet of Science: The First Computer Programmer by Diane Stanley
  2. Caroline's Comets: A True Story by Emily Arnold McCully
  3. The Doctor with an Eye for Eyes: The Story of Dr. Patricia Bath by Julia Finley Mosca
  4. Florence Nightingale by Demi
  5. The Girl Who Thought in Pictures: The Story of Dr. Temple Grandin by Julia Finley Mosca
  6. The Girl with a Mind for Math: The Story of Raye Montague by Julia Finley Mosca
  7. Look up! Henrietta Leavitt, Pioneering Woman Astronomer by Robert Burleigh
  8. Margaret and the Moon: How Margaret Hamilton Saved the First Lunar Landing by Dean Robbins
  9. Marie Curie by Demi
  10. Nothing Stopped Sophie: A Story of Unshakable Mathematician Sophie Germain by Cheryl Bardoe
  11. Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea: Marie Tharp Maps the Ocean Floor by Robert Burleigh   

Writers

  1. Alabama Spitfire: The story of Harper Lee and To Kill a Mockingbird by Bethany Hegedus
  2. Bon Appetit! The Delicious Life of Julia Child by Jessie Hartland
  3. Brave Jane Austen: Reader, Writer, Author, Rebel by Lisa Pliscou
  4. Miss Mary Reporting: The True Story of Sportswriter Mary Garber by Sue Macy
  5. She Made a Monster: How Mary Shelley Created Frankenstein by Lynn Fulton
  6. Turning Pages: My Life Story by Sonia Sotomayor

 


Title Image: ID 1103734 © Ypkim | Dreamstime.com

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Topics: Reading and Books, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion