International Women’s Day

Today is International Women’s Day. This list was originally compiled by Emma Sakamoto for our March 2014 newsletter, and was updated by our librarian Meghan Howe. Celebrate International Women’s Day in your classroom or library with one of these excellent Canadian books.

Picture Books

The Most Magnificent Thing
Written and illustrated by Ashley Spires
Kids Can Press, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-55453-704-4
IL: Ages 3-8 RL: Grade 2
This is a charming book about a girl who wants to make the most MAGNIFICENT thing! She knows just how it will look and how it will work. But making her magnificent thing is hard, and everything she builds comes out wrong. Eventually, she gets so mad she quits. After a walk with her dog, she comes back with renewed enthusiasm and manages to get it just right. This funny, sweet story offers a perfect example of the rewards of perseverance and creativity.
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My Name Is Elizabeth! My Name Is Elizabeth!
Written by Annika Dunklee
Illustrated by Matthew Forsythe
Kids Can Press, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-55453-560-6
IL: Ages 3-7 RL: Grades 1-2
Elizabeth really likes her name. She likes that it’s nine letters long and that a queen was named after her! She does not like it when people call her by nicknames. In this story you’ll discover how this larger-than-life little girl puts her foot down and insists on being called by her proper name – by most people anyway.
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Oddrey
Written and illustrated by Dave Whamond
Owlkids Books, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-926973-45-6
IL: Ages 6-10 RL: Grade 2
Oddrey is a young girl who is a little bit different from everybody else but believes it’s important to be herself. Sometimes she feels lonely and longs for friends who share her colourful outlook. When Oddrey saves her class play from disaster, her classmates decide to honour her in their own special ways. Young readers will also enjoy the sequels, Oddrey and the New Kid and Oddrey Joins the Team.
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The Paper Bag Princess The Paper Bag Princess
Written by Robert Munsch
Illustrated by Michael Martchenko
Annick Press, 1980
ISBN: 978-0-920236-16-1
IL: Ages 4-7 RL: Grades 1-2
Tradition gets tweaked when an unglamorous princess outwits an arrogant dragon to rescue an equally arrogant prince in this charming whimsically illustrated feminist fairy tale.
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Stella! A Treasury Stella! A Treasury
Written and illustrated by Marie-Louise Gay
Groundwood Books, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-55498-292-9
IL: Ages 3-7 RL: Grades 1-2
With gentle humor, freshness, a sense of whimsy and exquisite watercolours, Marie-Louise Gay gives us stories featuring our red-headed heroine, Stella, and her younger brother Sam. This collection includes Stella, Star of the Sea; Stella, Queen of the Snow; Stella, Fairy of the Forest; Stella, Princess of the Sky and When Stella Was Very, Very Small. Fans of Stella will also like Read Me a Story, Stella.
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When I Was Eight When I Was Eight
Written by Christy Jordan-Fenton and Margaret Pokiak-Fenton
Illustrated by Gabrielle Grimard
Annick Press, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-55451-490-8
IL: Ages 6-12 RL: Grades 3-4
Based on the best-selling memoir, Fatty Legs, this picture book tells the story of a young Inuit girl whose dream of learning how to read takes her to a residential school. Treated poorly by one nun in particular, her mettle is tested but her spirit never breaks. Young readers will also want to read Not My Girl, the picture book adapation of A Stranger at Home.
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Junior Fiction

Bernadette and the Lunch Bunch Bernadette and the Lunch Bunch
(The Lunch Bunch)
Written by Susan Glickman
Illustrated by Mélanie Allard
Second Story Press, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-897187-51-7
IL: Ages 7-9 RL: Grades 3-4
Bernadette is finding third grade a bit challenging. It’s only when she makes three best friends and forms the Lunch Bunch that she finds a way to survive the school lunchroom! Contains black-and-white illustrations. Young readers will also enjoy Bernadette in the Doghouse and Bernadette to the Rescue.
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Captain Lilly and the New Girl Captain Lilly and the New Girl
(First Novels)
Written by Brenda Bellingham
Illustrated by Clarke MacDonald
Formac Publishing, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-88780-857-9
IL: Ages 6-9 RL: Grades 2-3
Lilly and her friends have joined a new soccer team, but when Annie gets hurt, the coach’s niece, Sara, takes her place. When Lilly’s team comes up against another team, the competing team’s coach doesn’t want to let Sara play because she’s wearing a hijab (headscarf). The soccer players, tired of listening to the adults argue, head off to have a game for fun, showing the adults what really matters.
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Connecting Dots
(A Gutsy Girl Book)
Written by Sharon Jennings
Second Story Press, 2015
ISBN 978-1-927583-62-3
IL: Ages 9-12 RL: Grades 4-5
After years of being passed around to various relatives, Cassandra Jovanovich has found a home where she feels she belongs. All she wants to do is forget her past and pursue her dream of becoming an actress. But her new friend, Leanna Mets, “the most annoying person she has ever met,” wants to know how Cassandra became an orphan, and encourages her to write her story. This is the companion to Home Free.
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Justine McKeen, Walk the Talk Justine McKeen, Walk the Talk
(Orca Echoes)
Written by Sigmund Brouwer
Illustrated by Dave Whamond
Orca Book Publishers, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-55469-929-2
IL: Ages 7-9 RL: Grades 2-3
In this second book in the Justine McKeen series, Justine decides that too many cars sit idling outside her school every day. So Justine plans to start a walking school bus to help create a greener environment at her school, but many adults don’t trust her crazy plans and ideas. How will Justine convince them to see things her way? Young fans of the Justine series will also enjoy Justine McKeen, Pooper Scooper; Justine McKeen, Queen of Green; Justine McKeen, Eat Your Beets and Justine McKeen and the Bird Nest.
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One Year in Coal Harbour One Year in Coal Harbour
Written by Polly Horvath
Groundwood Books, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-55498-188-5
IL: Ages 9-13 RL: Grades 5-6
With her parents now safe at home (they were once lost at sea), Primrose is worried about other people and places. She can’t get Uncle Jack and Miss Bowzer to connect, Mendolay Mountain is being logged, and Primrose wants her new friend Ked, who’s a foster child, to stay in Coal Harbour forever. Will Primrose be able to save all that matters most to her? This is the companion novel to Everything on a Waffle.
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Ting Ting
Written by Kristie Hammond
Sono Nis Press, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-55039-210-4
IL: Ages 8-11 RL: Grades 3-4
Ting is a happy eight-year-old girl in China when fighting in Tiananmen Square results in her leaving China to join her parents in faraway Vancouver, Canada. Suddenly, everything is strange and difficult. Home is a tiny, bare apartment, and although there’s less homework, Ting can barely understand a word her teacher or classmates are saying. All Ting wants is to belong.
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Intermediate Fiction

Amelia and MeAmelia and Me
Written by Heather Stemp
Pennywell Books, 2013
ISBN 978-1-77117-254-7
IL: Ages 10-12 RL: Grades 4-6
The year is 1932. The place is Harbour Grace, Newfoundland, where most of the early transatlantic flights take off. Unfortunately, more of them end in tragedy than success, but that’s not going to discourage 12-year-old Ginny Ross, who longs to be a pilot like her hero Amelia Earhart. Does Ginny have what it takes to make her dream come true, even when the obstacles to her success are enormous?
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Days of Toil and Tears: The Child Labour Diary of Flora Rutherford Days of Toil and Tears: The Child Labour Diary of Flora Rutherford
(Dear Canada)
Written by Sarah Ellis
Scholastic Canada, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-439-95594-2
IL: Ages 10-14 RL: Grades 4-5
Eleven-year-old Flora Rutherford is reconnected to her mother’s family after being in an orphanage for almost 10 years. But her courage and strength are tested as she is put to work in a textile mill.
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Mable Riley: A Reliable Record of Humdrum, Peril and Romance Mable Riley: A Reliable Record of Humdrum, Peril and Romance
Written by Marthe Jocelyn
Tundra Books, 2006 ©2004
ISBN: 978-0-88776-826-2
IL: Ages 10-14 RL: Grades 4-6
Mable is an aspiring writer and an independent thinker. This coming-of-age tale about a girl finding her voice — and the courage to make it heard — is as funny as it is inspiring.
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Making Bombs for HitlerMaking Bombs for Hitler
Written by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch
Scholastic Canada, 2012
ISBN 978-1-4431-0730-3
IL: Ages 9-14 RL: Grades 5-7
During World War II, nine-year-old Lida and her sister are kidnapped by the Nazis and separated. Lida is forced to work in brutal conditions at a German munitions factory as a slave labourer. Fed only bread and soup and wearing a thin dress and no shoes, she works from dawn to dusk. Lida prays she will one day find her sister and escape the war. This is the companion novel to Stolen Child.
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My Name is Parvana My Name Is Parvana
Written by Deborah Ellis
Groundwood Books, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-55498-297-4
IL: Ages 11-14 RL: Grade 5
In this stunning sequel to The Breadwinner, Parvana, now 15, is found in a bombed-out school and held as a suspected terrorist by American troops in Afghanistan. As she waits for foreign military forces to determine her fate, she remembers the past four years of her life. Her mother had managed to open a school for girls, but that put Parvana and her family in grave danger.
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A Sea of Sorrows: The Typhus Epidemic Diary of Johanna Leary A Sea of Sorrows: The Typhus Epidemic Diary of Johanna Leary
(Dear Canada)
Written by Norah McClintock
Scholastic Canada, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-4431-0710-5
IL: Ages 10-14 RL: Grades 4-5
This novel captures a dreadful time in history for those desperate, impoverished Irish famlies who hoped to make Canada their home. Johanna Leary and her family are among those who make their way to Canada. Johanna keeps a record of the ocean journey and her first few months in this new land. Her incredible journey of survival is told with insight and sensitivity.
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YA Fiction

Alice, I Think
Written by Susan Juby
HarperCollins canada, 2007 (© 2000)
ISBN: 978-0-00200-889-1
IL: Ages 13 and up RL: Grades 7-9
After years of home schooling, it’s time for Alice MacLeod to act her age, meet new people, maybe even go to regular high school. Soon Alice is on the hunt for a look, a social life, a boyfriend and, most important, a half-decent haircut. But getting any of those things in Smithers, BC, isn’t easy. Especially not with a family like Alice’s. Teen readers will also enjoy the sequels, Miss Smithers and Alice MacLeod, Realist at Last.
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The Darkest Corner of the World The Darkest Corner of the World
Written by Urve Tamberg
Dancing Cat Books, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-77086-214-2
IL: Ages 14 and up RL: Grades 9-10
In Estonia during World War II, 15-year-old Madlii struggles to survive and keep her family together. When Nazis invade, her country and loved ones are divided as they choose which dictator they’d rather follow: Hitler or Stalin. Madli hears about a band of freedom fighters and is forced to choose the evil regime she knows, or help another evil regime in hope of freeing her father and her nation.
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The Friday Society The Friday Society
Written by Adrienne Kress
Dial Books, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-8037-3761-7
IL: Ages 12 and up RL: Grades 7-8
Set in Edwardian London, this novel follows the stories of three very intelligent and talented young women, all of whom are assistants to powerful men: Cora, a lab assistant; Michiko, a Japanese fight assistant; and Nellie, a magician’s assistant. The three young women meet by chance at a ball that ends with the discovery of a murdered mystery man. Now they must solve this and other related crimes without bringing too much attention to themselves.
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Jewel of the Thames
(A Portia Adams Adventure, Book 1)
Written by Angela Misri
Illustrated by Sydney Smith
Fierce Ink Press, 2014
ISBN 978-1-927746-50-9
IL: Ages 12 and up RL: Grades 5-7
Set against the background of 1930s England, Angela Misri’s debut novel introduces Portia Adams, a budding detective with a mysterious heritage. When her mother dies, Portia discovers that she has inherited 221 Baker Street — the former offices of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson — and she finds herself entangled in three mysteries. But the greatest mystery of all is her own. How did she come to inherit this townhouse? And why did her mother keep her heritage from her?
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A Spy in the House A Spy in the House
(The Agency)
Written by Y.S. Lee
Candlewick Press, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-7636-4067-5
IL: Ages 13 and up RL: Grades 7-8
Mary Quinn, an orphan and thief sentenced to die on the gallows, is rescued by a woman posing as a prison warden. In her new home, Miss Scrimshaw’s Academy for Girls, Mary is educated and trained to be an investigator for the Agency. In her first assignment, Mary must pose as a lady’s companion to infiltrate a rich merchant’s home in hope of tracing his missing cargo ships. Book One in the series.
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Violins of Autumn Violins of Autumn
Written by Amy McAuley
Walker Publishing Company, Inc., 2012
ISBN: 978-0-8027-2299-7
IL: Ages 12 and up RL: Grades 7-8
It’s 1944, and Betty Sweeney is determined to make a difference. Instead of collecting scrap metal or running air raid drills like most 17-year-old, Betty lies about her age and trains to become a spy and member of the Special Operations Executive. Now known by her secret-agent persona, Adele Blanchard, she finds herself parachuting over German-occupied France in the dark of night to join the secret Resistance movement.
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Non-Fiction

Amelia Earhart: The Legend of the Lost Aviator Amelia Earhart: The Legend of the Lost Aviator
Written by Shelley Tanaka
Illustrated by David Craig
Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-8109-7095-3
IL: Ages 8-12 RL: Grades 3-4
Ever since Amelia Earhart disappeared, people have wanted to know more about her. Follow this charismatic aviator from the first time she saw an airplane to the last radio transmission she made before she vanished. Contains original artwork, contemporary photos, bibliography and index.
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Because I am a Girl: I Can Change the World
(Plan Canada International Books)
Written by Rosemary McCarney with Jen Albaugh and Plan International
Second Story Press, 2014
ISBN 978-1-927583-44-9
IL: Ages 9-13 RL: Grades 4-6
Meet some remarkable girls from all over the world. The stories of their lives can be difficult to imagine. They describe the barriers and dangers that they, and millions of other girls, face daily. Despite the hardships they must overcome, these girls have hope for the future and strive to make their lives and those of their families and communities better.
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Courageous Women Rebels Courageous Women Rebels
(The Women’s Hall of Fame)
Written by Joy Crysdale
Second Story Press, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-926920-99-3
IL: Ages 12-15 RL: Grades 7-8
This book includes ten biographies of women reformers from around the world working in the realms of politics, social justice, media and women’s rights. These are profiles of international women – from abolitionist Sojourner Truth, who spoke out against slavery, to Canadian First Nations activist Shannen Koostachin, who fought for the right of all children to have access to good schools – who’ve made an incredibler difference to the landscape of social justice.
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Every Day is Malala Day
(Plan Canada International Books)
Written by Rosemary McCarney with Plan International
Second Story Press, 2014
ISBN 978-1-927583-31-9
IL: Ages 6-10 RL: Grades 2-3
At 15, Malala Yousafzai was shot by the Taliban because she spoke out about the right of all girls to an education. Since that moment, she has become an inspiration, a voice for the rights of girls everywhere. This is a letter to Malala, illustrated with beautiful photographs from Plan International. Girls around the world express their sympathy, sisterhood and admiration for her. In Malala, these girls recognize a leader, a champion and a friend.
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IrenaSendler.thumbnail.jpg Irena Sendler: Bringing Life to Children of the Holocaust
(Crabtree Groundbreaker Biographies)
Written by Susan Brophy Down
Crabtree Publishing, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-7787-2556-5
IL: Ages 12-15 RL: Grade 6
Irena Sendler was born into a Catholic family in Poland in 1910. Her father instilled compassion in her for patients that others refused to treat, particularly poor Jews. Throughout the German occupation in World War II, Irena worked tirelessly to help save Poland’s Jews. Convincing Jewish families to give up their children and Catholic families to take them in, Irena saved at least 2,500 Jewish children from certain death during the Holocaust.
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Scribbling Women: True Tales from Astonishing Lives Scribbling Women: True Tales from Astonishing Lives
Written by Marthe Jocelyn
Tundra Books, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-88776-952-8
IL: Ages 12 and up RL: Grades 6-7
Many of the women in this book had eventful lives. They became friends with cannibals, delivered babies, stole horses and sailed on whaling ships. They came from all corners of the Earth and, though they had little in common, they all had the desire to leave something behind – each of them has illuminated the world through her words.
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Shannen and the Dream for a School Shannen and the Dream for a School
(A Kid’s Power Book)
Written by Janet Wilson
Second Story Press, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-92692-030-6
IL: Ages 9-12 RL: Grades 4-6
Attawapiskat had nothing but a few portables where their children attended school. Shannen Koostachin was one of those children and she, along with her friends and community, decided to do something about it. They started off by making a YouTube video about the poor condition of the portables and travelled to Ottawa to speak to politicians, telling them they were failing First Nations children. Their story inspired children across the nation.
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Spic-and-SpanSpic-and-Span! Lillian Gilbreth’s Wonder Kitchen
(Great Idea, Book 6)
Written by Monica Kulling
Illustrated by David Parkins
Tundra Books, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-77049-380-3
IL: Ages 5-8 RL: Grades 2-3
The sixth book in the Great Idea series introduces the amazing Lillian Gilbreth: industrial engineer, time management expert, and inventor. Gilbreth was the first woman elected to the National Academy of Engineering. A leading efficiency expert, she was also an industrial engineer, a psychologist, an author, a professor, an inventor and a mother of 11 children! Young science buffs can also learn about paper bag inventor Margaret Knight in Kulling’s In the Bag! Margaret Knight Wraps It Up.
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