Double VictoryDo you need to find just the right gift for a young reader? A daughter, a neighbor, a sister, a niece, a friend (or yourself–no occasion required)?

The American Library Association‚Äôs Social Responsibilities Round Table¬†”Feminist Task Force“¬†has some great suggestions for you. Founded in 1970, the Feminist Task Force (or FTF) was the first American Library Association group to focus on women’s issues. The Amelia Bloomer Project is an annual booklist the FTF puts out of the best feminist books from the previous year, for readers from infants to 18 year-olds. What makes a book ‚Äúfeminist?‚Äù The Amelia Bloomer Project‚Äôs blog lists a range of criteria for selected books, including the following quality:

Significant Feminist Content: This may be the most difficult to determine because the definition of feminism is so simple: Feminism is the belief that women should be equal to men‚Ķ…feminist books show women solving problems, gaining personal power, and empowering others. They celebrate girls and women as a vibrant, vital force in the world. These books explain that there is a gender issue; they don‚Äôt leave the reader to guess. A book with a strong female character that does not demonstrate that an inequality exists may not be a feminist book. Strong female characters may be plucky, perseverant, courageous, feisty, intelligent, spirited, resourceful, capable, and independent‚Äìbut the book‚Äôs presentation may still not be feminist.

You can see the full 2014 Amelia Bloomer Project Top Ten List here.

Two of the book selections,Cheryl¬†Mullenbach’s¬†Double Victory: How African American Women Broke Race and Gender Barriers to Help Win World War II, and Aimee¬†Molloy’s¬†However Long the Night: Molly Melching‚Äôs Journey to Help Millions of African Women and Girls Triumph,¬†focus on the experiences and achievements of African-American girls and women. They would be fascinating to read at anytime, but particularly great to check out now as part of African-American History Month. What do you think makes a book ‚Äúfeminist?‚Äù Do you agree with the FTF‚Äôs criteria? Let us know your thoughts!

-Emily Holm
Junior Girl
Girl Museum Inc.

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