Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Winner of the 2018 Friends of the Dick Smith Library Scholarship

Congratulations are in order for Periodicals' student worker, Nicole Holtby, who was recently awarded the Friends' scholarship for the 2018 academic year.

Upon learning she'd received the honor, she said, "I was so shocked and surprised - and so grateful!" 

Nicole, a senior, is an accounting major originally from Thousand Oaks, California. Following graduation, she hopes to land a position with the Comptroller of the U.S. Currency Department as a bank examiner. Nicole says this will allow her to travel throughout the country before deciding where she'd like to live permanently.

She is the Secretary of the Institute of the Management Accounts (IMA) club, and Society Member Events Chair for the National Society for Leadership and Success (NSLS). Nicole also plays the violin, has an overall GPA 3.94, and has dated her boyfriend, Sterling, for five years. In her spare time, she enjoys bullet journaling, watching Netflix, and reading her favorite authors, Victoria Lawie and Ilona Andrews.

The Friends of Dick Smith Library established the scholarship benefiting the library's student workers in 2016. Donations are always welcome

Congrats, Nicole!

Thursday, March 8, 2018

More Historical Fiction with Female Characters by Female Authors

In honor of Women's History Month, here are more historical fiction books in the library's collection that feature female characters or subjects, and are written by female authors:

The Dressmaker's War begins in 1939, and is about a talented English would-be modiste named Ada who makes some bad choices and is trapped by the Nazis into making dresses for German women at Dachau.  Unfortunately, Ada continues to make some bad choices after the war ends and she returns home, but they are complicated by postwar conditions in England (that were particularly unfriendly to working-class women, as was the judicial system) and her not-supportive family.  Mary Chamberlain's novel is compelling, and there is a historical note and acknowledgements at the end.  This title is available as an e-book in our OverDrive collection.

Salt to the Sea is historical fiction based on some little-known real-life events and places - Operation Hannibal, the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff, and the fate of the original Amber Room.  The story takes place in January 1945, near the end of World War II, when the German navy launched Operation Hannibal to evacuate citizens and military wounded across the Baltic Sea ahead of the approaching Russian army.  The Wilhelm Gustloff was a former cruise ship used in this evacuation.  The Amber Room in the Catherine Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia, was looted by the Nazis, hidden, and never found again (it was later reconstructed in the palace).  All play a part in the narrative.

The story is told by four first-person narrators:
- Joana, a Lithuanian woman around age 21 who has medical training,
- Emilia, a Polish 15-year-old,
- Florian, a 19-20-year-old Prussian trained in art restoration, and
- Alfred, a young German sailor.

Joana is traveling with a group of refugees that include a blind girl, a shoemaker, and a little orphan boy.  Emilia is originally traveling alone, but is saved from an attack by a Russian soldier by Florian.  The two of them meet up with Joana's group and eventually wind up in the port city of Gotenhafen (now known as Gdynia), where Alfred is helping to prepare the Gustloff for the evacuees.

Part of the intrigue of the book is that few people know about Operation Hannibal or the Gustloff, despite the immense disaster.  The Amber Room is somewhat peripheral to the story - it provides the motivation for Florian's actions - but it is especially interesting given that amber is the national gem of Lithuania, where author Ruta Sepetys' father is from. This e-book is also available in our OverDrive collection.

The Translation of Love, by debut author Lynne Kutsukake, explores a little-used setting for historical fiction:  post-World War II Japan, during its occupation by the United States.  The story is told through five voices:  twelve-year-old girls Fumi and Aya, their male teacher Kondo, Fumi's older sister Sumiko, and Cpl. ­Yoshitaka (Matt) Matsumoto.  Aya is a Japanese-Canadian "repatriated" with her native Japanese father to his homeland after the war.  Sumiko works as a bar girl, entertaining American occupation troops, to buy food and medicine for her family after her father's bookstore is bombed out.  Kondo moonlights translating and writing letters in English, mostly for bar girls whose American boyfriends have gone home.  And Matt, a Japanese-American whose family was interred in the war (despite his older brother earning a Purple Heart when killed in action in Europe), works for General Douglas MacArthur's office as a translator.

Sumiko goes missing and Fumi gets the English-speaking Aya to write a letter for her to MacArthur asking for his help finding her.  The girls end up giving the letter to Matt, and he and an office typist, Nancy (another Japanese-American, but one still trapped in Japan since Pearl Harbor) decide to help the girls find Sumiko.  Kondo gets pulled into their story as well.

In an article, the Japanese-Canadian Kutsukake said,

The idea came from a book called Dear General MacArthur, written by Japanese historian Rinjirō Sodei. The book is a study of the letters written to General MacArthur during the occupation period...So I began thinking about what kind of person would write a letter to General MacArthur.... I wanted the person to be a 12-year-old because General MacArthur quite famously called Japan "a nation of 12-year-olds."

Nancy Wu is an appropriate narrator for the e-audiobook (available in our OverDrive collection), and makes the 12-year-olds sound just their ages.  This was a great debut novel about a time-and-place setting few know much about.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Historical Fiction by Female Authors with Female Characters

In honor of Women's History Month, here are some historical fiction books in the library's collection that feature female characters or subjects, and are written by female authors:

Helen Simonson's The Summer Before the War starts in the summer of 1914, when 23-year-old, orphaned Beatrice Nash is hired by the school board of the small town of Rye in England to be the Latin teacher.  In the first part of the book, the reader gets to know the independent Beatrice and her champions, Agatha Kent, her London government employee husband John, and their nephews, medical student Hugh Grange and poet Daniel Bookham.

The title is a bit of a misnomer, as World War I starts about 23% into the book.  The first impact on the town of Rye is the arrival of a number of Belgian refugees - Beatrice takes a beautiful young girl named Celeste into her small apartment, so she can be near her widowed father, taken in by an American writer living across the street.

Later, though, British soldiers are drawn into the war, and both Hugh and Daniel enlist (Hugh as a surgeon) - along with Beatrice's promising Romani (Gypsy) Latin student nicknamed Snout.  Simonson does an outstanding job showing the impact of the war on these participants as well as their friends and loved ones back home in Rye.  She also subtly takes on issues such as women's roles and rights in that era, as well as class distinctions and prejudices.  Simonson lists numerous research sources in her acknowledgements at the end of the book.  This title is available as an e-book in our OverDrive collection.

Based on the real-life "Alice Network" of mostly-female spies centered in Lille, France, on the border with Belgium, during World War I, this book has two story lines, one set during World War I and the other in 1947.  Eve Gardiner is the character that ties them together.  She begins 1915 as a 22-year-old file clerk in England, recruited to spy in France during the war because she can also speak French and German - with a stammer in all languages that makes people overlook her and assume she is stupid.

The 1947 Eve is a broken woman with gnarled hands, contacted by 19-year-old American Charlotte "Charlie" St. Clair, who is trying to find her French cousin Rose, last seen working in 1943 in a restaurant in Limoges, France, called Le Lethe, owned by a Monsieur Rene.

That hits close to home for Eve - whose cover while working as a spy involved working in a restaurant in Lille, also called Le Lethe, and also owned by a Monsieur Rene - the evil Rene Bordelon, a Frenchman collaborating with the Germans.

The tale goes back and forth in time and between narrators.  Along the way, the reader meets the real-life head of the Alice Network, Louise de Bettignies, aka Alice Dubois, aka "Lili" (among many code names) in this book.  Author Kate Quinn does a masterful job weaving this (and other) real-life character(s), places, and incidents into the story, which is available as an e-book on OverDrive.

"The Nightingale" is the code name for a member of the French Resistance during World War II, and it's also the last name (in English) for three characters in the book, Vienne Rossignol Mauriac, her younger, single sister Isabelle Rossignol, and their father Julien Rossignol.  They are each part of the resistance, in different ways.  Vienne's story in some ways is the most compelling, for she has to pretend to be "normal" both for the sake of her children and because of the German officers billeting in her home.

Kristin Hannah states in her author's note and a conversation in the reading group guide that she based Isabelle on a "young Belgian woman named Andrée de Jongh, who had created an escape route for downed airmen out of Nazi-occupied France," while researching the Siege of Leningrad (also in World War II) for another novel.

This book is available in our OverDrive collection as both an e-book and an e-audiobook.  Polly Stone was an excellent reader - she has lived in France, and it shows in the audio version, which won the 2016 Audie Award for Fiction and was a finalist for best female narrator and Audiobook of the Year.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Women's History Month

March is Women's History Month. This is the time of year to recognize the experiences and contributions of America's women. Starting in 1981 Congress recognized the second week of March as "Women's History Week." In 1987, it was upgraded to a month-long commemoration.
Sex ratio by county in 2010. The redder the county the more women there are than men, the bluer the county the more men there are than women.
U.S. Census Bureau [Public Domain]. 
The 2010 US Census counted 143,368,343 women in the population, which is 50.9% of the total. In that year, only 10 states had larger male populations than female (Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming). The other 40 states (plus DC and Puerto Rico) had larger female populations.

Timeline of Women's History 

1607 Pocahontas saved English colonist John Smith's life in Virginia. 

1636 Anne Hutchinson challenged the teachings of the religious leaders in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. She was convicted of heresy and banished. 

1650 Anne Bradstreet became the first published poet in America. 
A Woman's Inner World: Selected Poetry and Prose of Anne Bradstreet by Anne Bradstreet

1655 Elizabeth Key, a slave of mixed African and English heritage, successfully won her freedom via a lawsuit in the Virginia Colony. In 1661, the Virginia colonial assembly (House of Burgesses) passed legislation to prevent other slaves from winning their freedom in a similar way.
"Dangerous Woman: Elizabeth Key's Freedom Suit: Subjecthood and Racialized Identity in Seventeenth Century Colonial Virginia" in Akron Law Review by Taunya Lovell Banks

1692 Hundreds of people (mostly women) were accused of witchcraft in Salem, MA. Twenty people were executed, 14 of whom were women. 
In the Devil's Snare: The Salem Witchcraft Crisis of 1692 by Mary Beth Norton

1756 Lydia Chapin Taft is the only known woman to cast a vote in colonial America. She voted in multiple town elections in Uxbridge, MA.

1765 When men formed the Sons of Liberty organization to protest British taxes, women formed the Daughters of Liberty organization.
Liberty's Daughters: The Revolutionary Experience of American Women, 1750-1800 by Mary Beth Norton

1774 Ann Lee founded the United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Appearing (commonly known as the Shakers) religious movement in America.
Mother's First-Born Daughters: Early Shaker Writings on Women and Religion by Jean McMahon Humez
Abigail Adams (1744-1818), 2nd First Lady of the United States.
By Gilbert Stuart [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons. 
1776 Abigail Adams wrote to her husband John Adams (who was serving in the Continental Congress) stating: "And, by the way, in the new code of laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make, I desire you would remember the ladies and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the husbands. Remember, all men would be tyrants if they could. If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation.”
The Book of Abigail and John: Selected Letters of the Adams Family, 1762-1784 by Abigail Adams

         The New Jersey constitution allowed female property owners to vote. It was the only place in the United States where women could vote at that time. In 1807, an act was passed that limited voting rights to free white male citizens.

         According to legend, Betsy Ross created the United States flag. No firm evidence has yet been found to confirm this legend. 

1781 - Margaret Catherine Moore Barry (aka Kate Barry) served as a messenger and scout for American forces at the Battle of Cowpens in South Carolina during the American Revolutionary War.

1782-83 Deborah Sampson, of Massachusetts, disguised herself as a man and served in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. When her true identity was discovered she was honorably discharged.
The Female Review: Life of Deborah Sampson, the Female Soldier of the War of Revolution by Herman Mann

1790 Judith Sargent Murray published her essay "On the Equality of the Sexes."
First Lady of Letters: Judith Sargent Murray and the Struggle for Female Independence by Sheila L. Skemp

1792 Sarah Pierce founded the Litchfield Female Academy school for girls.

1805-06 Sacagawea served as a guide and interpreter on the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
The Making of Scagawea: A Euro-American Legend by Donna J. Kessler

1821 Emma Willard founded the Troy Female Seminary (now known as the Emma Willard School) the first women's higher education institution in the United States.
Emma Willard, a Pioneer Educator of American Women by Alma Lutz

1834 Female factory workers in Lowell, MA staged one of the first strikes in American history in protest of wage cuts.
Women at Work: The Transformation of Work and Community in Lowell, Massachusetts, 1826-1860 by Thomas Dublin
Lowell Mills factory workers circa 1870.
[Public domain] via Wikimedia Commons. 
1835 Angelina and Sarah Grimké became active in the abolitionist and women's rights movements. They were the first female agents of the American Anti-Slavery Society. Angelina was the first woman to address a legislative body in America when she presented anti-slavery petitions to the Massachusetts legislature in 1838.  
The Grimké Sisters from South Carolina: Rebels Against Slavery by Gerda Lerner
Letters on the Equality of the Sexes and the Condition of Women by Sarah Moore Grimké

1841 Dorothea Dix began her investigation of the poor treatment of mentally ill people in Massachusetts. In 1843, she presented her findings to the Massachusetts legislature, which convinced them to make reforms. In later years, she conducted similar investigations in other states.
Memorial to the Legislature of Massachusetts, 1843 by Dorothea Lynde Dix

1844 Sarah Bagley formed the Lowell Female Labor Reform Association. It was the first labor union for women in the US
The Lowell Offering: A Repository of Original Articles, Written Exclusively by Females Actively Employed in the Mills by Maria Louise Thomas 

1848 Elizabeth Cady Stanton organized a women's rights convention in Seneca Falls, NY. Attendees signed the "Declaration of Sentiments" which included a demand for women's voting rights. 
The Road to Seneca Falls: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the First Women's Rights Convention by Judith Wellman

1849 Harriet Tubman escaped from slavery. Over the next 10 years she helped hundreds of slaves escape the South via the Underground Railroad. 
Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom by Catherine Clinton 
Harriet Tubman (1821-1913) in 1880.
By H. B. Lindsley [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
1851 Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony began a life-long partnership advocating for a variety of social reform movements. In 1852, they formed the the New York Women's State Temperance Society. In 1863, they formed the Women's Loyal National League, which supported the abolition of slavery. In 1866, they founded the American Equal Rights Association. In 1868, they began publishing a women's rights newspaper called The Revolution. In 1869, they founded the National Woman Suffrage Association, which advocated for women's voting rights.
The Selected Papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony by Elizabeth Cady Stanton
The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony: Revolution [Streaming Video]

         Former slave Sojourner Truth gave her famous "Ain't I a Woman?" speech at a women's rights convention in Ohio.
Sojourner Truth: A Life, a Symbol by Nell Irvin Painter

1869 - Wyoming granted women the right to vote. They were followed by several other western territories/states: Utah in 1870, Colorado in 1893, and Idaho in 1896.

1872 Susan B. Anthony, and 14 other women, were arrested for voting in Rochester, NY.

1874 Frances Willard founded the Women's Christian Temperance Union.
Frances Willard: A Biography by Ruth Birgitta Anderson Bordin
Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony ( sometime between 1880-1902)
By David B. Edmonston [Public Domain]. 
1881 Clara Barton, who served as a nurse in the US Civil War (1861-65), founded the American Red Cross.
The American Red Cross: From Clara Barton to the New Deal by Marian Moser Jones
Clara Barton: In the Service of Humanity by David H. Burton

1889 Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Starr opened Hull House, which provided social services for Chicago's working poor. It is the most famous and longest-lived example of the Settlement House Movement in America.
Jane Addams and the Dream of American Democracy: A Life by Jean Bethke Elshtain
Twenty Years at Hull House by Jane Addams

1890 The National Woman Suffrage Association and the American Woman Suffrage Association merged to form the National American Woman Suffrage Association.

1892 Ida B. Wells published Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All Its Phases, an exposé into the lynching of African Americans in Memphis, TN.
'They Say': Ida B. Wells and the Reconstruction of Race by James West Davidson

1893 Florence Kelley shared the findings of her investigation into the conditions of child laborers in Chicago with the Illinois legislature. The state followed her recommendations, and also appointed her the state's chief factory inspector. In 1899, she became head of the National Consumers League and used that position to encourage consumers not to buy products from companies that employed children.
Civilizing Capitalism: The National Consumers' League, Women's Activism, and Labor Standards in the New Deal Era by Landon R.Y. Storrs
Some Ethical Gains through Legislation by Florence Kelley

1904 Muckraking journalist Ida Tarbell published History of the Standard Oil Company. It exposed the company's corrupt practices. In 1911, the company was dissolved and split into several separate companies due to its monopolistic practices.
Taking on the Trust: The Epic Battle of Ida Tarbell and John D. Rockefeller by Steve Weinberg

1910 Washington state granted women the right to vote. They were soon followed by California (1911), Kansas, Oregon, Arizona (1912), Alaska (1913), Nevada, and Montana (1914).

Image of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire.
Picture published in The New York Work in 1911 [Public Domain] via Wikimedia Commons. 
1911 The Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire in New York City caused the deaths of 146 workers, 123 of whom were female. As a result the International Ladies' Garment Workers Union, along with other groups, organized a massive protest over poor working conditions. New York state passed legislation to address their concerns.
The Triangle Fire by Leon Stein

1914 Margaret Sanger was arrested in New York for disseminating information about birth control. In 1916, she opened the first birth control clinic in the US and was arrested again. In 1921, she founded the American Birth Control League, and by 1942 this organization merged with others to become Planned Parenthood.
The Margaret Sanger Story and the Fight for Birth Control by Lawrence Lader
The Selected Papers of Margaret Sanger by Margaret Sanger

1916 Jeannette Rankin, of Montana, became the first woman elected to the US House of Representatives.

1917 Members of the National Woman's Party held a silent protest over voting rights outside the White House. Known as the "Silent Sentinels," they were arrested and went on a hunger strike in jail. Their force-feeding by prison officials gained national attention.
The Story of the Women's Party by Inez Haynes Gillmore
 Women march in New York  City in 1917, displaying placards containing signatures of over 1 million women demanding the right to vote.
[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
1920 The 19th amendment to the Constitution was ratified. It granted women the right to vote across the United States. The National American Woman Suffrage Association thus transformed itself into the League of Women Voters.
Victory, How Women Won It: A Centennial Symposium, 1840-1940 by National American Woman Suffrage Association

1924 Nellie Ross, of Wyoming, became the first woman elected governor of a US state.

1932 Hattie Caraway, of Arkansas, became the first woman elected to the US Senate.

         Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. In 1937, she disappeared over the Pacific Ocean while attempting a flight around the Earth.
Lost Star: The Search for Amelia Earhart by Randall Brink

1933 Francis Perkins became the first woman to serve on the US Cabinet. She served as Secretary of Labor until 1945.
Madam Secretary, Francis Perkins by George Whitney Martin

1941-45 During World War II women's participation in the workforce increased dramatically, and the military created women's branches in each of the armed services: WAVES (Navy); WAC (Army); SPARS (Coast Guard); and WASP (Air Force).
Angles of the Underground: The American Women Who Resisted the Japanese in the Philippines in World War II by Theresa Kaminski
Bands of Sisters: U.S. Women's Military Bands during World War II by Jill M. Sullivan
Beyond Rosie the Riveter: Women of World War II in American Popular Graphic Art by Donna B. Knaff
Clipped Wings: The Rise and Fall of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) of World War II by Molly Merryman
Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II by Liza Mundy
Four WASPs in 1944: Frances Green, Margaret Kirchner, Ann Waldner, and Blanche Osborn.
By U.S. Air Force photo [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
1955 Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her bus seat to a white man, thus sparking the Montgomery bus boycott.
She would not be Moved: How We Tell the Story of Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott by Herbert R. Kohl

1960 The first birth control pill was approved by the Food and Drug Administration and made available on the market.
America and the Pill: A History of Promise, Peril, and Liberation by Elaine Tyler May

1963 Betty Friedan published The Feminine Mystique, which sparked the second-wave feminist movement.
Betty Friedan: The Personal is Political by Susan Oliver

1964 Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sex.
The Longest Debate: A Legislative History of the 1964 Civil Rights Act by Charles W. Whalen

         Patsy Mink, of Hawaii, became the first Asian American woman elected to the House of Representatives.

1965 In Griswold v Connecticut the Supreme Court struck down laws that restricted a married couple's right to use contraceptives.

1966 The National Organization for Women (NOW) was founded.
Governing NOW: Grassroots Activism in the National Organization for Women by Maryann Barakso
Shirley Chisholm first African American woman elected to Congress (1968), and the first African American to seek the presidential nomination from a major party (1972)
By Thomas J. O'Halloran, U.S. News & World Reports.
Light restoration by Adam Cuerden [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
1968 Shirley Chisholm, of New York, became the first African American woman elected to the House of Representatives.

1972 Title IX of the Education Amendments prohibits sex discrimination in all aspects of education programs that receive federal support.
A Place on the Team: The Triumph and Tragedy of Title IX by Welch Suggs

         In Eisenstadt v. Baird the Supreme Court ruled that an unmarried person has a right to use contraceptives.

1973 In Roe v. Wade the Supreme Court ruled that women have a right to an abortion.
Abortion: The Supreme Court Decisions, 1965-2007 by Ian Shapiro
Roe v. Wade: The Abortion Rights Controversy in American History by N.E.H. Hull

1975 In Taylor V. Louisiana the Supreme Court ruled that women could not be excluded from juries.

1977 Patricia Roberts Harris became the first African American woman to serve on the Cabinet. She served as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development until 1979.
Sandra Day O'Connor being sworn in as a Supreme Court Justice in 1981.
 By The U.S. National Archives [Public Domain], via Wikimedia Commons
1981 Sandra Day O'Connor became the first woman to serve on the Supreme Court.
The Majesty of the Law: Reflections of a Supreme Court Justice by Sandra Day O'Connor

1982 The Equal Rights Amendment failed to be ratified by the states.
The Equal Rights Amendment: The History and the Movement by Sharon Whitney

1984 Geraldine Ferraro became the first woman nominated for Vice President by a major party.
Changing History: Women, Power, and Politics by Geraldine Ferraro

1989 Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, of Florida, became the first Hispanic American woman elected to the House of Representatives.

1992 Carol Moseley Braun, of Illinois, became the first African American woman elected to the Senate.

2001 Elaine Chao became the first Asian American woman to serve on the Cabinet. She served as Secretary of Labor until 2009.

2007 Nancy Pelosi became the first woman to serve as Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the New American Politics by Ronald M. Peters
Speaker Nancy Pelosi along side Vice President Dick Cheney during President George W. Bush's 2007 State of the Union address.
By White House photographer David Bohrer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
2009 Hilda Solis became the first Hispanic American woman to serve on the Cabinet. She served as Secretary of Labor until 2013.

         Sonia Sotomayor became the first Hispanic American woman to serve on the Supreme Court.
Sonia Sotomayor: A Judge Grows in the Bronx by Jonah Winter

2010 Susana Martinez, of New Mexico, became the first Hispanic American woman elected governor of a US state.

         Nikki Haley, of South Carolina, became the first Asian American woman elected governor of a US state.

2012 Mazie Hirono, of Hawaii, became the first Asian American woman elected to the Senate.

2016 Hillary Clinton became the first woman to be nominated for President by a major party, and the first woman to win the popular vote in a presidential election.
Living History by Hillary Clinton

         Catherine Cortez Masto, of Nevada, became the first Hispanic American woman elected to the Senate.

2017 A record number of women served in the 115th Congress: 22 in the Senate (out of 100) and 89 in the House of Representatives (out of 435).

Tarleton's Dick Smith Library has a wealth of resources for learning more about women's history. Such as these titles:

The 100 Most Influential Women of All Time by Kathleen Kuiper
American Women Activists' Writings: An Anthology, 1637-2002 by Kathryn Cullen-DuPont
Antebellum Women: Private, Public, Partisan by Carol Lasser
Breaking the Wave: Women, their Organizations, and Feminism, 1945-1985 by Kathleen A. Laughlin
First Ladies: Presidential Historians on the Lives of 45 Iconic American Women by Susan Swain
Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation by Cokie Roberts
Her Story: A Timeline of the Women Who Changed America by Charlotte S. Waisman
Sisters: The Lives of America's Suffragists by Jean H. Baker
Still Paving the Way for Madam President by Nichola D. Gutgold
Women's Rights by Sharon Hartman Strom
Women's Suffrage by Richard Haesly
Let us know if you need any assistance with library resources at 254-968-9249 or reference@tarleton.edu.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Fiction and Popular Nonfiction by Black Authors

If you'd like to read fiction or popular nonfiction by Black authors, the library has some good options to choose from. Below are just a few of them.


Binti by Nnedi Okorafor (format: paper) – In this Hugo and Nebula award-winning science fiction novella, Binti, the first of the Himba people to ever go off to space and attend the prestigious Oomza University, encounters angry and deadly aliens called Meduse. The Dick Smith Library also owns a copy of Okorafor’s Lagoon, a “first contact” sci-fi novel set in Lagos, Nigeria.

Everfair by Nisi Shawl (format: paper) – An alternate history steampunk novel set in the Belgian Congo.

The Brightest Day: A Juneteenth Historical Romance Anthology (format: paper) – This collection includes Lena Hart’s “Amazing Grace,” Kianna Alexander’s “Drifting to You,” Piper Huguley’s “A Sweet Way to Freedom,” and Alyssa Cole’s “Let It Shine.”

Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley (format: paper) – Walter Mosley’s first published book, a hardboiled mystery starring Easy Rawlins, a recently unemployed black war veteran who’s hired to find a young white woman.

Kindred by Octavia E. Butler (format: paper) – In this time travel novel, Dana, a modern black woman, finds herself traveling back and forth between her home in the present (1976) and a pre-Civil War Maryland plantation.

Beloved by Toni Morrison (format: paper | audiobook | e-book) – This Pulitzer Prize winning novel was inspired by the story of Margaret Garner, who escaped slavery in Kentucky by fleeing to Ohio.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (format: e-book) – In this contemporary YA novel, Starr Carter witnesses a police officer kill her unarmed best friend.


Taking Flight: From War Orphan to Star Ballerina by Michaela DePrince with Elaine DePrince (format: e-book) – The memoir of Michaela DePrince, a Sierra Leonean-American ballet dancer who currently dances as a soloist for the Dutch National Ballet.

Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly (format: e-book) – This book, recently made into a movie, tells the story of the African American women mathematicians working at NASA, starting with World War II and continuing on through the Cold War, the Civil Rights Movement, and the Space Race.

The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae (format: audiobook) – A collection of humorous essays, read by the author herself.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Four Recent Award Winners by African American Authors

At the recent announcement of the annual Youth Media Awards by the American Library Association (ALA), four books by African American authors won multiple awards during this African American History Month.  All of the books were honored by ALA's Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table (EMIERT) with a Coretta Scott King (CSK) Author Book Award or Honor designation, given each year to African American authors of books for children and young adults that "demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values."

The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas, was an CSK Author Honor Book.  In addition, it also won the William C. Morris Debut Award, which honors a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens, and was named a Michael L. Printz Honor Book for excellence in young adult literature.  Its audio version, narrated by actress Bahni Turpin, won the 2018 Odyssey Award as the best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults, available in English in the United States.  You can access an e-book version of this book in the Tarleton Libraries' OverDrive collection.  The novel is about a girl named Starr whose two worlds (predominantly-white prep school by day, low-income black neighborhood by night) collide when she witnesses the death of her unarmed friend by a police officer.

Long Way Down, by Jason Reynolds, was a CSK Author Honor Book, a Printz Honor Book, and an Odyssey Honor Book, for the author's own narration in the audio format.  In addition, the novel was named a John Newbery Honor Book as a distinguished contribution to American literature for children.  Written in free verse, the book is the story of a 60-second elevator ride that changes the life of 15-year-old Will as he encounters people from his past when seeking to avenge the shooting death of his brother.  This book is being acquired for the Dick Smith Library Curriculum Collection on the lower level.

Crown:  An Ode to the Fresh Cut, written by Derrick Barnes and illustrated by Gordon C. James, received a Coretta Scott King honor in both the author and illustrator categories, and named a Newbery Honor Book.  It was also chosen as a Randolph Caldecott Honor Book for the artists of the most distinguished American picture books for children, for Gordon James' impressionistic oil illustrations.  This picture book is about an African American boy's visit to the barber shop.  This book is also being acquired for the Dick Smith Library Curriculum Collection on the lower level.

Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson, won the Coretta Scott King Author Book Award and was also a Newbery Honor Book.  The book is also on the 2018 Lone Star Reading List created by the Texas Library Association, with recreational reading recommendations for students in middle school, grades six, seven, and eight.  The novel is a coming-of-age tale about Jade, an artistic black teenage girl.  This book is also being acquired for the Dick Smith Library Curriculum Collection on the lower level.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

African-American Authors Win Library Association Awards

Jacqueline Woodson,
2012 Anne V. Zarrow Award for Young Readers' Literature
[24 Aug 2012] / Tulsa City-County Library /
The American Library Association (ALA) announced its annual Youth Media Awards on Monday, February 12, 2018, appropriately enough in Library Lovers Week!  And, fittingly for African American History Month, the three awards given to individuals for their body of work (and not a specific title) went to African American female authors.

Administered by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of ALA, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award was first given to that author in 1954. The medal in bronze "honors an author or illustrator whose books, published in the United States, have made a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children over the years." The award is presented every two years.

The 2018 winner is Jacqueline Woodson, who has written picture books, young adult novels, and a memoir in poetry, many of which have won other awards.

We have 15 titles by Jacqueline Woodson in Tarleton Libraries collections in Stephenville and Fort Worth and in our OverDrive e-book collection.

Eloise Greenfield, cropped from
  Hands on theFreedom Plow Book Talk
 [5 Oct 2010] / teachingforchange / CC BY-NC 2.0

Angela Johnson was named the recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award, which "honors an author, as well as a specific body of his or her work, for significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature."

The annual award, established in 1988, is administered by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of ALA, and is sponsored by School Library Journal magazine. It recognizes an author's work in helping adolescents become aware of themselves and addressing questions about their role and importance in relationships, society, and in the world. 

We have 11 books by Angela Johnson in the Curriculum Collection on the lower level of the Dick Smith Library.


Eloise Greenfield won the 2018 Coretta Scott KingVirginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement, named in memory of children’s author Virginia Hamilton.  It is presented in even years to an African American author, illustrator or author/illustrator for a body of his or her published books for children and/or young adults, and who has made a significant and lasting literary contribution.  The award is sponsored by ALA's Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table (EMIERT), and the winner gets a medal and a check for $1,500.

We have 11 books that Greenfield authored or co-authored in the Dick Smith Library, ten children's books on the lower level, and a memoir in the stacks on the upper level.