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Harris Center Reads: Women’s History Month

March 10, 2021
A Barred Owl. (photo © Philip Brown via Unsplash)

A Celebration of Women’s History Month

Welcome to Harris Center Reads — a monthly, curated list of good reads for curious naturalists of all ages! March is Women’s History Month. Whether you want to take action on climate change or get to know the moss in your own backyard, these books featuring women writers, scientists, and activists are sure to inspire.

For Adults

No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference by Greta Thunberg. This powerful collection of speeches given by climate activist Greta Thunberg includes her groundbreaking address to the United Nations. Let the words of this young activist propel you to action: “Everything needs to change. And it has to start today.”

Lab Girl by Hope Jahren. This award-winning memoir about Jahren’s journey to becoming a renowned geobiologist is a staff favorite of Harris Center naturalist and Community Programs Director Susie Spikol — who was so inspired by this book that she started a club for middle and high school girls to give them more opportunities to explore science, technology, engineering, and math.

Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses by Robin Wall Kimmerer. Winner of the prestigious John Burroughs Medal for outstanding nature writing, this series of beautifully written essays combines Kimmerer’s scientific observations as a professor and plant ecologist with more personal reflections that draw on her heritage as a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation.

Picture Books for Kids

Shark Lady: The True Story of How Eugenie Clark Became the Ocean’s Most Fearless Scientist by Jess Keating and Marta Álvarez Miguéns. Discover how Eugenie Clark followed her dream to become a world-renowned marine biologist — and broke the stereotype that women couldn’t be scientists, let alone study something as fierce as sharks.

Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty and David Roberts. Ada’s curiosity and elaborate scientific experiments will inspire readers of any age to ask their own inquisitive questions. Follow up this winner with Rosie Revere, Engineer and Iggy Peck, Architect.

Mae Among the Stars by Roda Ahmed and Stasia Burrington. This lyrical picture book follows Mae Jemison as she makes her life’s dream come true to be the first African-American woman to travel to space. A story for dreamers and scientists of all ages.

For Middle School Readers & Teens

Temple Grandin: How the Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World by Sy Montgomery and Temple Grandin. A fascinating, compassionate read about an animal scientist whose work has led to more humane treatment of livestock, and her unique way of seeing and thinking about the world. According to The Horn Book, this compelling biography “not only tells the powerful story of one amazing woman’s life journey, but also has potential to help readers understand autistic people and animals.”

Primates: The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Biruté Galdikas by Jim Ottaviani and Maris Wicks. An action-packed introduction to the field of primatology, in a graphic novel format. Learn how Goodall, Fossy, and Galdikas changed the face of science with their ground-breaking research on primates.

Where to Find These Books

BUY. We’d like to give a special shout-out to our local bookseller, Toadstool Bookshops in Keene and Peterborough! They’re open for in-person shopping, and they also sell online.

BORROW. In addition, many local libraries are offering curbside pickup, as well as a wide variety of eBooks and other digital options. Check with your town library for more information.