St. Patrick’s Day Poster and New Bookmarks
March 3, 2021
6 Books to Inspire Crafting
March 15, 2021

8 Books About Women in History

You can bet whenever there is a chance to recommend books, the book-lovers here at COMPanion will have something to add.

To honor Women’s History Month, we’ve collected some recommendations on books about women in history that we hope you and your patrons can enjoy too!

Fiction

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From our Director of Development
Seven Daughters and Seven Sons by Barbara Cohen, Bahija Fattuhi Lovejoy

4.23 rating on Goodreads
Buran is the middle daughter of 7 to a loving but poor merchant father. As a woman she really only has one purpose in life: to get married and stop being a burden on her family. But Buran isn’t interested in such a fate, and instead disguises herself as a boy and sets off to make her fortune as a merchant.
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From our Product Manager
Shadow Spinner by Susan Fletcher historical fiction, middle grade

4.05 rating on Goodreads
Shadow Spinner is set in Persia long ago, a retelling of the Arabian Nights (or Shaharazad and the 1001 Nights). In the original story, Shaharazad starts telling a new story to her husband the Sultan every night, but stops in the middle, so he must wait until the next night to hear the rest (and thus he won’t get rid of her like he did the wives before her). In this version, Shaharazad is not the only hero of the story. Marjan is an orphaned, crippled girl who is brought to live in the Sultan’s palace as a serving maid to Shaharazad, who has started to run out of stories.
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From our Product Manager
Mara, Daughter of the Nile by Eloise Jarvis McGraw historical fiction, middle grade
"I don't remember much about it, but I do recall choosing to read this book (for a second time) rather than go on rides at the Lagoon theme park"
4.24 star rating on Goodreads
Mara is a proud and beautiful slave girl who yearns for freedom. In order to gain it, she finds herself playing the dangerous role of double spy for two arch enemies—each of whom supports a contender for the throne of Egypt. Against her will, Mara finds herself falling in love with one of her masters, the noble Sheftu, and she starts to believe in his plans of restoring Thutmose III to the throne. But just when Mara is ready to offer Sheftu her help and her heart, her duplicity is discovered, and a battle ensues in which both Mara's life and the fate of Egypt are at stake.
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From our Technical Writer
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein historical fiction, 13+

Goodreads
Verity, a British spy during WWII, is arrested by the Gestapo after her plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. When faced with the choice between writing a confession or being executed, she decides to reveal her mission, starting with how she met her best friend and pilot of the crashed plane, Maddie. Will this confession save Verity from her Nazi interrogators? Will Verity and Maddie ever cross paths again? In Code Name Verity, Wein tells a gripping story about the power of friendship and bravery in the darkest of circumstances.
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From our Technical Writer
Kristina: The Girl King by Carolyn Meyer historical fiction, middle grade

Goodreads
Kristina, who became king — not queen — of Sweden when she was only a little girl, confides in her diary her feelings about her awkward relationship with her mother, her royal duties and responsibilities and the people who surround her.

Non-Fiction

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From our Product Manager
Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China by Jung Chang

4.24 star rating on Goodreads
Three Daughters of China goes through three generations of women in China, starting with Jung’s (the author’s) grandmother, who was a concubine to a war general before she married a doctor. She was the last generation to undergo foot binding. Her story begins with personal hardships and moves quickly into the hardships of the Japanese occupation, the rise of the Kuomintang, and the salvation by the Communist Party. It’s easy to pick a belief and stick with it. What’s hard is recognizing you were wrong. The tragedies in this book are powerful but the most powerful is the members of the family realizing that everything they learned, everything they believed in, has betrayed them, and it’s time to change.
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From our UX Designer
The Queens of Animation: The Untold Story of the Women Who Transformed the World of Disney and Made Cinematic History by Nathalia Holt

4.17 star rating on Goodreads
In The Queens of Animation, bestselling author Nathalia Holt recounts the dramatic stories of an incredibly influential group of women who have slipped under the radar for decades but have touched all our lives. These women infiltrated the all-male domain of Disney Studios and used early technologies to create the rich artwork and iconic storylines that would reach millions of viewers across generations. Over the decades--while battling sexism, domestic abuse, and workplace harassment--these women also fought to influence the way female characters are depicted to young audiences.

Based on extensive interviews and exclusive access to archival and personal documents, The Queens of Animation tells the story of their vital contribution to Disney's golden age and their continued impact on animated filmmaking, culminating in the record-shattering Frozen, Disney's first female-directed full-length feature film.
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From our UX Designer
Princesses Behaving Badly: Real Stories from History – without the Fairy-Tale Endings by Linda Rodríguez McRobbie

3.64 star rating on Goodreads
You think you know her story. You've read the Brothers Grimm, you've watched the Disney cartoons, and you cheered as these virtuous women lived happily ever after. But real princesses didn't always get happy endings. Sure, plenty were graceful and benevolent leaders, but just as many were ruthless in their quest for power and all of them had skeletons rattling in their royal closets. Princess Stephanie von Hohenlohe was a Nazi spy. Empress Elisabeth of the Austro-Hungarian empire slept wearing a mask of raw veal. Princess Olga of Kiev slaughtered her way to sainthood while Princess Lakshmibai waged war on the battlefield, charging into combat with her toddler son strapped to her back. Princesses Behaving Badly offers true tales of all these princesses and dozens more in a fascinating read that's perfect for history buffs, feminists, and anyone seeking a different kind of bedtime story.

What's your favorite book about a strong woman? Leave your recommendations below!



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