Biographies of “First Women”

From the first woman to walk in space to the first woman to win an IndyCar race, here are some inspiring biographies of “first women.”

  • Anderson, Jameson
    Danica Patrick
    Summary:This title introduces readers to Danica Patrick, NASCAR and IndyCar Series auto racer. Patrick’s life story is examined from her childhood in Illinois, to her years in England racing Formula 1 on her way to becoming the first woman to win an IndyCar race and the first woman to win pole position in a NASCAR race.

  • Hasday, Judy L.
    Madeleine Albright
    Summary:Focuses on the accomplishments of the former United States ambassador to the United Nations who became the first woman to serve as Secretary of State.

  • Keller, Emily
    Frances Perkins : first woman cabinet member
    Summary:President Franklin Roosevelt assigned this well-known progressive activist the job of putting Americans back to work during the darkest days of the Great Depression.

  • Moss, Marissa.
    Brave Harriet : the first woman to fly the English Channel
    Summary:The first American woman to have received a pilot’s license describes her April 1912 solo flight across the English Channel, the first such flight by any woman.

  • Pimm, Nancy Roe
    The Jerrie Mock story : the first woman to fly solo around the world
    Summary:In this biography for middle-grade readers, Nancy Roe Pimm tells the story of Geraldine "Jerrie" Mock, the first woman to fly solo around the world. In her trusty Cessna, The Spirit of Columbus-also known as Charlie-she traveled from Columbus, Ohio, on an eastward route that totaled nearly twenty-three thousand miles and took almost a month. Overcoming wind, ice, mechanical problems, and maybe even sabotage, Mock persevered.

  • Riddles, Libby.
    Storm Run : the story of the first woman to win the Iditarod Sled Dog Race
    Summary:In 1985, Libby Riddles made history by becoming the first woman to win the 1,100-mile Iditarod Sled Dog Race. An inspiration to children and adults everywhere, this is a compelling first-hand account of the Arctic storms, freezing temperatures, loyal sled dogs, and utter determination that defined Riddles’s Iditarod victory.

  • Shore, Nancy.
    Amelia Earhart
    Summary:A biography of the aviation pioneer who was the first woman to fly alone across the Atlantic.

  • Stone, Tanya Lee.
    Who says women can’t be doctors? : the story of Elizabeth Blackwell
    Summary:An introduction to the life and achievements of the first American female doctor describes the limited career prospects available to women in the early nineteenth-century, the opposition Blackwell faced while pursuing a medical education, and her pioneering medical career that opened doors for future generations of women.

  • Van Vleet, Carmella
    To the stars! : first American woman to walk in space
    Summary:Shares the story of renowned astronaut and distinguished scientist Kathryn Sullivan, describing how she defied the conventions of her childhood to pursue interests previously limited to boys and how she became the first woman to walk in space.

NOBLE Top 25

“Girls,” one observing and getting involved in a shocking event and another missing, top the list of the most popular items in the collections of NOBLE libraries over the past five years.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins was the most popular title, being borrowed and accessed almost 12,300 times. Close behind at number two was Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn at just under 11,700 loans and downloads since 2012. Both are suspenseful contemporary novels dealing with relationships possibly gone seriously wrong, one from the viewpoint of an observer, the other the story of a spouse attempting to prove his innocence in a disappearance.

Coming in third is the Pulitzer Prize winning novel, All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, set in occupied France in World War II, a tale of morality and survival focusing on a German boy and a blind French girl.

The most popular title for younger readers, coming in at number six overall, is Wonder by R.J. Palacio, about a ten year-old with facial abnormalities attempting to cope with middle school after being home-schooled in his early years. Also popular with younger library users at number ten overall is Divergent by Veronica Roth, the first in a series of young adult dystopian novels set in post-apocalyptic Chicago.

Most popular among nonfiction titles was Daniel Brown’s The Boys in the Boat at number 17 overall, the story of a working class American rowing team and their success in beating more elite American and British rowing teams and going on to defeat Germany in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Coming in second among nonfiction books at number 21 overall is I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai.

Perennial favorites the Hunger Games series placed two titles in the top 25, at 16 and 22 as did the Harry Potter series, at numbers 18 and 23.

The totals combine uses of all formats of the title — print, downloadable ebooks and audiobooks, CDs and DVDs — in the 28 member libraries of NOBLE. All the titles and many more are available at your local library.

The girl on the trainPaula Hawkins
Gone girlGillian Flynn
All the light we cannot seeAnthony Doerr
Me before youJojo Moyes
The light between the oceansM. L. Stedman
WonderR. J. Palacio
Defending JacobWilliam Landay
The nightingaleKristin Hannah
The book thiefMarkus Zusak
DivergentVeronica Roth
Fifty shades of greyE. L. James
The husband's secretLiane Moriarty
Orphan trainChristina Baker Kline
The Boston girlAnita Diamant
Big little liesLiane Moriarty
Catching fireSuzanne Collins
The boys in the boatDaniel James Brown
Harry Potter and the sorcerers stoneJ. K. Rowling
The invention of wingsSue Monk Kidd
The goldfinchDonna Tartt
I am MalalaMalala Yousafzai
MockingjaySuzanne Collins
Harry Potter and the chamber of secretsJ. K. Rowling
The lightning thiefRick Riordan
The martianAndy Weir

Book Recommendations

NoveList Plus

NoveList PlusLooking for a good book? Try NoveList Plus, an online service helps you find the next book in a series, fiction or nonfiction titles based on subject, genre or mood, read-alikes for your favorite authors or books, reading group guides and more. You’ll need your library card to use this from home.

NoveList Plus — “Find your next great read”

March is Women’s History Month

Women’s History Month celebrates women’s contributions to our shared social, cultural and political history. Women’s History Month has been observed since 1987 when a Congressional Resolution expanded Women’s History Week to a month-long celebration, which includes International Women’s Day on March 8th.

This year’s theme is: “Nevertheless, She Persisted: Honoring Women Who Fight All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.”

Biographies of “First Women” — From the first woman to walk in space to the first woman to win an IndyCar race, here are some inspiring children’s biographies of “first women.”

Irish American Heritage Month

March is Irish American Heritage Month, celebrated to honor the achievements and contributions of Irish immigrants and their descendants, first celebrated in 1991. March was chosen to coincide with Saint Patrick’s Day.

  • Irish Tales for Children — Recommended stories with an Irish theme, linked to the library catalog to make it easy to find and request them
  • Ireland and the Irish — A collection of eBooks and audiobooks that you can check out from the NOBLE Overdrive collection using your library card.

NextReads Newsletters

Wondering what to read next? Sign up for NextReads email newsletters to receive recommendations for your favorite type of book for adults, teens and children, with titles linked to the library catalog to make it easy to find and request them.

Discover Explora

Have you tried Explora? It’s an easy-to-use database of articles from hundreds of different academic journals, popular magazines, reference works, primary source documents, and news videos, including the Journal of the American Medical Association, Foreign Affairs, Time, People, Consumer Reports and so much more!

Explora is a great place to start whether you’re a student working on a research paper, a reader looking for more information about your favorite author, a parent looking for more information on children’s health, or someone who wants to get a level and depth of information beyond what you can find via Google.

Explora — This is a licensed resource which you can use in a NOBLE library or from home using your library card information to log in.

NOBLE Digital Heritage

Interested in local history? Visit this site to see images and other resources documenting the rich social and cultural history of our member communities: NOBLE Digital Heritage

You can also go directly to the collection of one of the participating libraries: