Stack Overflow: 12 Books for Women’s History Month

11 min readMar 11, 2019

March is Women’s History Month, and while it’s never a bad time to read about inspiring women, I wanted to devote one of my Stack Overflow columns this month to stories about women.

Wilma’s Way Home: The Life of Wilma Mankiller by Doreen Rappaport, illustrated by Linda Kukuk

Wilma Mankiller was the first woman chief of the Cherokee Nation, and her leadership helped to empower the Cherokee people. This picture book tells her story, from her childhood in Oklahoma and San Francisco to the beginnings of her activism to her work as chief. There’s also a brief explanation of the Trail of Tears, explaining how Native Americans had been forcibly removed from their lands in the past, and linking it to the forced relocation of Wilma’s family when she was young. I really didn’t know that much about Wilma Mankiller before reading this book, so I appreciated this history lesson for myself!

The Other Dog by Madeleine L’Engle

This picture book has a funny story behind it, because it is about Madeleine L’Engle and written by her, but it’s from the point of view of her dog, Touché. The story itself was written after L’Engle’s first daughter, Josephine, was born — and she is the “other dog” in the title. As Touché tells it, this new “Jo-dog” is very bizarre: she needs to be fed several times, doesn’t get to go out for walks, and has to sleep in a froufrou bed. But, eventually, Touché warms up to the new dog, particularly since it seems very attentive to whatever Touché has to say.

And, despite the fact that the book does focus a lot on Touché, it does tell a bit of the story of L’Engle herself. The Author’s Note at the back gives even more context, giving a glimpse of L’Engle’s life before she’d become the well-known author of the Wrinkle in Time series.


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