What to read

A Year of Picture Books (September)

Like prior months, we learned about numerous trailblazers during our journey through historical picture books this year. We learned about female pilots, being dropped thousands of feet into the deep, dark ocean in a metal sphere, a young violin virtuoso, and the adventures that women suffragettes had on their way to achieve Votes for Women.

The Fearless Flights of Hazel Ying Lee

In the Fearless flights of Hazel Ying Lee we learned about the first Chinese American woman to fly planes in the US armed forces. Hazel Lee was not like other girls she knew, she was fearless and always pushed the boundaries of acceptable behavior for girls in her family. She wanted the chance to fly airplanes (and did it) and then took a giant leap when she signed up to be a pilot in the US WASP program during WWII. In 1943, the US military formed the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) to aid in airflight testing, programs, and missions. Because the women were not allowed to fly combat missions they were not giving military status or awards for service, even though numerous women died while serving their country. We were sad to learn that Hazel died in a plane crash in 1944 while on duty and her sacrifice was not acknowledged until many years later. ln 1977 WASPs were given official retroactive veteran status and eventually the organization was honored with the US congressional medal of honor in 2010.

Elizabeth Leads the Way: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Right to Vote

This was a delightful book focused on Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s long history with the Women’s suffrage movement in the US. Great pictures and a ton of historical information.

Around America to Win the Vote: Two Suffragists, a Kitten, and 10,000 Miles

This was a delightful book. In 1916, Nell Richardson and Alice Burke set off in a cross country trip to publicize the Votes for Women movement. They wrote about their 10,000 mile adventure along the way and newspapers across the country kept everyone informed of their exploits.

Otis and Will Discover the Deep: The Record-Setting Dive of the Bathysphere

This book had beautiful pictures (complete with fold out artwork) and was chockful of the science (and gumption) it took for these early pioneers to hop in a steel ball and go 3,000 feet into the ocean’s depths. Otis Barton and Will Beebe are two science loving men that your children will definitely love to learn about.

The Astronaut With a Song for the Stars: The Story of Dr. Ellen Ochoa (Amazing Scientists, 4)

Dr. Ellen Ochoa would never have dreamed about being an astronaut as a little girl. She loved music and was an extremely talented flutist, but once she had a brush with engineering in college everything changed and she set out to go were no other Latina had ever been before….Space. I am a sucker for rhyming biographies, so this one made me happy.

Itzhak: A Boy Who Loved the Violin

We loved reading about a little boy from Tel Aviv who dreamed about becoming a world famous violinist and achieved that dream at the age of 13! Itzhak Perlman over came a history of poverty and a debilitating bout with polio to achieve success in his chosen field. It was a feel good story with a happy ending.

I stole this summary off of Amazon because it is the perfect way to summarize this adorable story. “Its about the brave little boy who sailed to the Capital in a teacup and fought a demon with a needle to win the love of a Lady is a Japanese cousin to Tom Thumb.” We were learning about Japan opening up to the West in the 1800s in our history class, so we loved learning about Japanese folklore in this book.

Now onto October reads!

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