Celebrating Female Authors From Around the World

“We must be impatient for change. Let us remember that our voice is a precious gift and we must use it.”

Claudia Flores, Clinical Professor, University of Chicago Law School 

Today is International Women’s Day; a day to celebrate women and girls and to highlight their social, economic, political, and cultural achievements throughout the world. It is also a call to action come together as groups and individuals to raise awareness of the disparity women continue to face, and to rally for equality.

This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is #BreakTheBias. Celebrating women’s achievements and striking the Break the Bias pose are fantastic ways to bring awareness to this day and to celebrate women. But they aren’t enough.

Young women wearing masks while doing the Break the Bias pose by crossing their arms in an X pose in front of their bodies.

On this day, we are asked to actively call out discrimination, bias, and stereotyping when we see it and to commit to helping to make an inclusive world for girls and women. For more information, please visit the International Women’s Day website.

How Can WPL Help Me Become an Ally for Girls and Women? 

Below are a few of the books we have curated for an International Women’s Day reading list. Written by female authors from around the world, these books highlight the immense talent and achievements of many women, but also give readers insight into the struggles women and girls have experienced and continue to face. This list offers Non-Fiction and Fiction selections on a variety of subjects and themes for both adults and youth.

To view the full reading lists, please visit our website.

Adult Non-Fiction

Book cover of "In My Own Moccasins" by Helen Knott

In My Own Moccasins
Helen Knott (Canada – Indigenous)
Genre: Memoir

An unflinching memoir of addiction, intergenerational trauma, and the wounds of sexual assault from a resilient, emerging Indigenous voice.

Book cover of "As a Woman: What I Learned about Power, Sex, and the Patriarchy after I Transitioned" by Paula Stone Williams

As a Woman: What I Learned about Power, Sex, and the Patriarchy after I Transitioned
Paula Stone Williams (USA)
Genre: Memoir

A moving and unforgettable memoir of a transgender pastor’s transition from male to female.

Book cover of "Amazons, Abolitionists and Activists: A Graphic History of Women's Fight for Their Rights" by Mikki Kendall

Amazons, Abolitionists and Activists: A Graphic History of Women’s Fight for Their Rights
Mikki Kendall (USA)
Genre: Graphic Novel

Examining where we have been, where we are, and where we are going, Amazons, Abolitionists, and Activists is an indispensable resource for people of all genders interested in the fight for a more liberated future.

Adult Fiction

Book cover of "The Death of Vivek Oji" by Akwaeke Emezi

The Death of Vivek Oji
Akwaeke Emezi (Nigeria)  
Genre: Literary Fiction, BIPOC & nonbinary author 

A captivating coming-of-age story about friendship, family, and identity.

Book cover of "Little Fish" by Casey Plett

Little Fish
Casey Plett (Canada)
Genre: Coming-of-Age, LGBTQIA+ 

This Lambda award-winning novel set in Winnipeg is a raw and captivating story that follows a Transgender woman struggling with friendship while investigating whether her Mennonite grandfather might also have been Transgender.

Book cover of "Notes on an Execution" by Danya Kukafka

Notes on an Execution
Danya Kukafka (USA)
Genre: Thriller 

Mini Blurb: a chilling portrait of womanhood that deconstructs the story of a serial killer on death row through the eyes of the women in his life.

Book cover of "Looking for Jane" by Heather Marshall

Looking for Jane
Heather Marshall (Canada)
Genre: Historical Fiction 

Set in Toronto, this novel is about three women whose lives are bound together by a long-lost letter, a mother’s love, and a secret network of women fighting for the right to choose—inspired by true stories. Read Check It Out blogger Laurie P.’s recent review here.

Youth Non-Fiction 

Book cover of "This Book Is Feminist: An Intersectional Primer for Next-Gen Changemakers (Vol 3)" by Jamia Wilson

This Book Is Feminist: An Intersectional Primer for Next-Gen Changemakers (Vol 3)
Jamia Wilson (USA)
Genre: Junior Non-Fiction

A beautifully illustrated introduction to intersectional feminism for the next generation of changemakers with calls to action that encourage readers to reflect and embrace their own interpretation of feminism.

Book cover of "Gloria Steinem" by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara

Gloria Steinem
Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara (Spain)
Genre: Biography, Children’s Non-Fiction Literature

An inspirational book that focuses on the well-known feminist and activist. With quirky illustrations and many facts, this is a detailed look at Steinem’s life. 

Youth Fiction

Book cover of "Audacity" by Melanie Crowder

Melanie Crowder (USA) 
Genre: Historical Fiction 

The real-life story of Clara Lemlich, a young woman at the beginning of the 20th century who emigrated from Russia to New York whose fight for equal rights lead to the largest strike by women in the USA.

Book cover of "Watch Us Rise" by Renee Watson & Ellen Hagan

Watch Us Rise
Renee Watson & Ellen Hagan (USA)
Genre: Contemporary Teen Fiction 

Teenage girls form a feminist group at their high school and post their experiences about sexist microaggressions online. When the school attempts to disband the group, the friends risk everything to make sure their voices are heard.

As we celebrate and reflect on another International Women’s Day, please consider the words of former United States President, Barack Obama:

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”

– Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States of America