Growing up I had two heroines—Laura Ingalls Wilder and Harriet the Spy. I read the books over and over again, for they were my city and country mice.
Harriet lived in New York City, a dream of mine as a young girl, but more importantly, she carried around her notebook and was an observer. Rereading the book, one realizes that Harriet told the truth, and this was not always well received. She suffered for it, and perhaps that was part of Fitzhugh’s plan. Harriet the Spy turned 50 this year and Random House just issued an anniversary issue.
Laura grew up on the prairie and the day-to-day mechanics of the homestead was of utmost fascination to me, and still is. I just began to listen to the series via books on CD, and these are reminding me that Laura provided so much practical knowledge. Laura benefited from wise parents, for both Ma and Pa knew the workings of the seasons and how it related to the world around them.
Books were my road into different worlds and their inhabitants, and I searched out books by, for and about women. Women’s history week had not been proclaimed yet, and women in history and art history books were scarce, if at all.
March is Women’s History Month, and at the Library this week, I set up the related display. I piled the cart full of books—all types: fiction, non-fiction, biographies, autobiographies, both for the adults and children. Where would we be without the suffragettes and their hard won victories; without the historians and their invaluable writings; and without the many women that are leaders in their fields?
Many new heroines are to be found on the shelves of your local library.
Note: Here in Berkshire County, Women’s History Month is celebrated with the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers. Here is a link to the website with listings for events on every day of the month.