March is Women's History Month and what better resource to start with than our own Cynthia Chin Lee's Amelia to Zora? From adventurer Amelia Earhart to computer pioneer Grace Hopper to novelist Zora Neale Hurston, discover women who have made a difference in people's lives. Filled with childhood anecdotes, tales of hardship, and success stories, this book will inspire and encourage you to change your own world for the better. Cynthia Chin-Lee's moving biographies show by example that everyone has the potential to become extraordinary. Intricate collages by Megan Halsey and Sean Addy draw from events in the women's lives.
Click here to check out Amelia to Zora.
Reach And Teach is proud to be the publisher of Cynthia Chin Lee's latest book, Operation Marriage. Click here to check that out.
Martyr of the Amazon: One of the less visible hats worn by the Reach And Teach team is that of webmaster for organizations that touch our hearts. The Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur at SND University needed help building a new web site and we jumped in with all four feet (Toby's paws weren't available at the time). Through our work with them we learned about Sister Dorothy Stang. She was murdered in 2005 after drawing a lot of attention to the plight of the poor farmers in the Brazilian Amazon. She became an advocate for the poor AND for protecting the endangered environment of the rainforest.
Sister Rosanne Murphy wrote a book about Dorothy's life and we are honored to carry it in our store. It is a powerful story of an amazing woman and well deserving of being remembered 12 months a year, but especially during Women's History Month.
Click here to check out the book (and buy it).
On an "It's a small world" note, a few years ago we were at the Northern California Home Schooling Conference and the booth next to ours was occupied by a man who taught people how to use a very different approach to math. I went to his workshop and was astounded at how quickly he was able to use a contraption we were all asked to build out of sticks to start teaching some very sophisticated math concepts. Given my math-phobia, it was even more amazing that I understood what he was talking about!
After the workshop I picked up one of the books he had written and there was a picture of Dorothy Stang! I mentioned this to him and he told me that she was his aunt! He had included her story in the book because he believed that math was critical for social justice work. I was hooked. A few hours later I looked up to see a woman who looked exactly like Dorothy Stang standing in the booth! It was her sister. She was a very gregarious and funny person and we had a great talk about Dorothy.
So, to connect the dots, even though this is Women's History Month, I'll toss in a math book I think you should check out.
Check out We As Architects in the Wheel of Life - Is This the Mathematics We Should Be Learning? The book is described this way:
Within this book are shown symbols of the ages (vehicles through which we can engage), techniques that creatively draw students into varied math topics, proven instructional materials which encourage unexpected growth, new ways to present, and new themes to comprehend.
Margaret Chase Smith for President: Who was the first woman to run for president on a major party ticket? If you answered Senator Hilary Clinton, you guessed wrong! Margaret Chase Smith was the first woman to run for president on a major party ticket. This biography highlights key moments in her personal and political life. From Smith's humble beginnings to her foray into Congress to her historic decision to run for president, readers will be inspired by the fiesty, independent woman who embodied the qualities upon which this country was founded.
Click here to check out (and buy) this great picture book that tells her story.
While lots of people will focus on the past for a time like Women's History Month, one member of the team here at Reach And Teach (yes - I mean Drew Durham) thinks we should also consider the plight of women around the world today, and what we can do about it. That's why we're including this amazing New York Times bestseller on our list of resources for this month.
Half the Sky: With Pulitzer Prize winners Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn as our guides, we undertake an odyssey through Africa and Asia to meet the extraordinary women struggling there, among them a Cambodian teenager sold into sex slavery and an Ethiopian woman who suffered devastating injuries in childbirth. Drawing on the breadth of their combined reporting experience, Kristof and WuDunn depict our world with anger, sadness, clarity, and, ultimately, hope. They show how a little help can transform the lives of women and girls abroad. Through these stories, Kristof and WuDunn help us see that the key to economic progress lies in unleashing women’s potential. They make clear how so many people have helped to do just that, and how we can each do our part. Throughout much of the world, the greatest unexploited economic resource is the female half of the population. Countries such as China have prospered precisely because they emancipated women and brought them into the formal economy. Unleashing that process globally is not only the right thing to do; it’s also the best strategy for fighting poverty.
Click here to check out (and buy) the book.
Emma's Poem: We've always been inspired by the "Give us your poor" poem associated with the Statue of Liberty. Most know the poem but few know about the author, Emma Lazarus. Born to wealth, she created quite a stir as she departed the expected roles for women of her status and spent much of her time with and working for the poor. She was especially moved by the plight of immigrants. One of her poems, a fairly explicit love poem written to a woman, lends some credibility to the idea that she may have been lesbian. Already an outcast because of the people with whom she chose to associate and for whom she advocated, single, and Jewish, perhaps she had enough baggage in her life that she didn't need to also be "out." (Of course being out would have been unheard of in her day.)
Because of her work and especially her Colossus poem, the Statue of Liberty has been a symbol of hope for all outcasts across the world, gay and straight, all colors of the rainbow, all religions, all genders... This book tells a bit about her story and how her poem came to be an inspiration then and continues to inspire us now.
Click here to check out this wonderful book (and buy it).
Riding Freedom: Charley Parker was a legendary stagecoach driver, an unbeatable horse handler, and the first woman to vote in the United States! How did it happen, and why did Charlotte Parker decide to become Charley?
It all began when she was twelve years old, and in just a few hours, lost her best friend, her favorite horse, and her special job working in the stable. She was left with nothing but a job in the kitchen that she hated, and the knowledge that she’d never leave the orphanage where she’d spent the last ten years. But Charlotte was tough and strong and determined to make her own way in life, leaving the cruelty she’d known since she was two-years old behind her.
Girls couldn’t travel alone in the 1860s, but boys could. And Charlotte hadn’t been taught to be a girl anyway. She couldn’t sew a stitch, had never had a doll or a tea party, and didn’t know what it meant to be a lady. But she could run like the wind, and ride better than any of the boys in the orphanage. It seemed easy enough to pretend to be a boy. She borrowed some boys’ clothes and enough money for a stagecoach ticket, cut her hair, and left. From then on her name was Charley Parker. And as Charley, she could survive. The stage line ended in Worcester, Massachusetts, which is where Charley’s life began.
How does a 12-year-old girl become a “man” who was famous all over California as a one-eyed stagecoach driver, the best in the state? How does a skinny 12-year-old girl grow up to be a landowner and the first woman to vote? Follow Charley and Charlotte from Massachusetts to Rhode Island and finally to California, and let them tell you how!
In the 1860s, women didn’t drive six-horse stagecoach teams, get kicked in the face by horses, or vote in presidential elections, but Charlotte did — as Charley.
Click here to check out Riding Freedom (and buy a copy).
Revolutionary Women: To close out our resources for Women's History Month, we take a leap from warm and cuddly stories about girls (who dress up as boys) and horses to the more radical / revolutionary edge of the political spectrum. From our friends at PM Press comes this fascinating stencil book of revolutionary women. Warning... These are NOT all examples of nonviolent revolutionaries!
PM Press describes the book: A radical feminist history and street art resource for inspired readers! This book combines short biographies with striking and usable stencil images of thirty women—activists, anarchists, feminists, freedom-fighters and visionaries.
It offers a subversive portrait history which refuses to belittle the military prowess and revolutionary drive of women, whose violent resolves often shatter the archetype of woman-as-nurturer. It is also a celebration of some extremely brave women who have spent their lives fighting for what they believe in and rallying supporters in climates where a woman's authority is never taken as seriously as a man's. The text also shares some of each woman's ideologies, philosophies, struggles and quiet humanity with quotes from their writings or speeches.
The women featured are: Harriet Tubman, Louise Michel, Vera Zasulich, Emma Goldman, Qiu Jin, Nora Connolly O'Brien, Lucia Sanchez Saornil, Angela Davis, Leila Khaled, Comandante Ramona, Phoolan Devi, Ani Pachen, Anna Mae Aquash, Hannie Schaft, Rosa Luxemburg, Brigitte Mohnhaupt, Lolita Lebron, Djamila Bouhired, Malalai Joya, Vandana Shiva, Olive Morris, Assata Shakur, Sylvia Rivera, Haydée Santamaría, Marie Equi, Mother Jones, Doria Shafik, Ondina Peteani, Whina Cooper and Lucy Parsons.
Click here to check out (and buy) Revolutionary Women.
Daring to Be Ourselves: We've worked with Marianne Schnall over the years and were so excited to hear about this book. Given the incredible experience she's had working with amazing women from all over the world, she's had the opportunity to learn from and share teachings from powerful women, women who have suffered incredible hardship, women have overcome what most would see as impossible obstacles, women who have beaten the odds, women who can inspire all men and women to accept any challenge, love everyone we encounter, and build a better world for ourselves, our children, our nation and the planet. This is a great book with which you can spend a few minutes each day or a few hours. No matter how much time you spend, you'll be rewarded with new insights, strength, courage, and perhaps a chuckle or two.
In Daring to Be Ourselves, freelance journalist Marianne Schnall brings together the most inspiring and empowering quotes from her interviews with many of the world's most interesting and influential women. The result is a compelling collection of insights and words of wisdom on a variety of important issues, including equality, overcoming adversity, aging, finding balance in life, taking care of the earth, and more. Thought provoking, enlightening, and even humorous at times, this book is a valuable resource for women and girls everywhere.
Daring to Be Ourselves offers inspiring words from these amazing women:
- Madeleine Albright
- Isabel Allende
- Maya Angelou
- Sandra Bernhard
- Margaret Cho
- Cameron Diaz
- Eve Ensler
- Melissa Etheridge
- Jane Fonda
- Carol Gilligan
- Jane Goodall
- Charreah Jackson
- Annie Lennox
- Elizabeth Lesser
- Wangari Maathai
- Courtney Martin
- Pat Mitchell
- Kathy Najimy
- Natalie Portman
- Gloria Steinem
- Loung Ung
- Alice Walker
- Kerry Washington
- Betty Williams
Click here to buy Daring to Be Ourselves (yes, I dared to just say BUT IT).
And finally... speaking of women... Derrick and I (Craig writing here) were fortunate enough during this year's Green Festival to win some coaching sessions from the team at Rigoré Consulting and we had our first fantastic session about a week ago. We did some great brainstorming and one of the key ideas we came up with for the shop was to have a postcard available at the front counter that we could hand to people, encouraging them to help spread the word. Catherine and Elyse made it clear, though, that besides just handing people the postcard, we really had to call the visitor to action. "Be clear about what you want them to do." So, since these two women gave us some great ideas and encouragement, I thought I'd end this teach-in with a call to act:
Buy these books! Just click any one of the links below and buy the books!
One more call to act. If you like this page, please share it with friends!