Political Powerhouses: Angela Merkel

As the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel is not only one of the most powerful people in Europe, but the entire world. Later on this year she faces into an election campaign in the most turbulent times in modern history. In the next few months the EU will have to deal with the fallout from Britain leaving the Union as well as the political situation in the United States. In her own country she is still dealing with the issue of mass immigration. Angela earned a doctorate in physics from the University of Leipzig in 1978. After completing her doctorate she worked at the Central Institute...

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A Merovingian Ring

  How do you know someone is engaged to be married? Today, we showcase engagement by wearing a ring on the fourth finger of our left hand. It’s a practice that is nearly as old as Western civilization – dating all the way back to the 300s, when Roman author Aulus Gellius wrote in Attic Nights that rings were worn on the fourth finger of the left hand because this finger contained the vein that led straight to the heart. This 1,500-year-old ring was also used to show that a girl was going to be married. It was worn by Betta, and given to her by a warrior named Dromacius. And it...

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Ms. Marvel

Kamala Khan is the fictional superheroine in the Marvel Comics series, Ms. Marvel, which debuted in its current format in 2015. Khan, who is a Pakistani-American, is the first Muslim character to headline in her own comic book. She originally appeared in Issue #14 of Captain Marvel in the background of a scene with Carol Danvers, the original Ms. Marvel. The current series of Ms. Marvel takes place in Jersey City, New Jersey. In recognition of her cultural identity, the current Ms. Marvel costume was influenced by the shalwar kameez. Marvel were also keen to make her much less sexualised...

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No Time For Fear – Politicking Girls: Teen Vogue: Leading the Resistance

I think it’s pretty safe to say that the majority of the world seems to underestimate the power of teenage girls. The recent political renaissance of Teen Vogue proves that. The magazine’s editorial staff firmly believes that girls and young women can be interested in both fashion and politics. When Teen Vogue took a stand and began to educate its readership about political events, people seemed shocked. I think that shock and outrage is ridiculous. If people were taken aback by the new political and activist tone of Teen Vogue, then they obviously haven’t been paying attention to content in...

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A Reading List for Women’s History Month

If my work as a middle school librarian has taught me one thing, it’s that one of the best ways to inspire people is to tell them a good story. For this Women’s History Month, I’ve curated a list of books that do just that – tell a beautiful story, and in the process change or contribute to our understanding of girlhood. Below you’ll find a wide array of books – historical fiction, non-fiction, comics, tales of adventure – which bring together gender identity, culture, and race to tell a story about modern girlhood, and what it means to be a woman today. Grades K-2...

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The Name Jar

Yangsook Choi wrote and illustrated The Name Jar in 2001. It relays the story of Unhei, a young girl from Korea whose family moved to America. On her first day of school, Unhei’s fellow classmates fail to pronounce her name. They continue to make fun of it, referring to her as ‘hey-you’. She decides to choose an American name so she could fit in. Her classmates give her a glass jar full of their suggestions. However, Unhei’s mother, grandmother and her new friend Joey all encourage her to be proud of who she is. Choi’s subtle references to Korean culture all serve to prove how unique and...

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