A selected list of notable fiction, nonfiction, and graphic novels for young adults about women's history and experience, chosen by LAPL librarians.

Asking for it : the alarming rise of rape culture--and what we can do about it

Harding, Kate, 1975-
Call Number: 364.153 H263
Harding interrogates ideas about rape culture, including excusing the accused, victim-blaming, slut-shaming, and putting the onus of responsibility on women to protect themselves from rape in this provocative and timely read.

Assata : an autobiography

Shakur, Assata.
Call Number: 322.4092 S527 2001
A biography of Assata Shakur, U.S. revolutionary who was a leader of the Black Panther Party in the 1960s and early 1970s and fought for civil rights for African Americans and to end racism.


Crowder, Melanie.
Call Number: YA
This novel in verse is inspired by the real story of Clara Lemlich, an immigrant who fought for factory workers’ rights in turn-of-the-century New York.

Bee and Puppycat. created by Natasha Allegri ; written by Natasha Allegri & Garrett Jackson ; illustrated by Natasha Allegri with additional colors by Patrick Seery ; letters by Britt Wilson ; cover b

Allegri, Natasha, 1986-
Call Number: 740.9999 B4145 v.1
20-something year old Bee can’t seem to hold down a job. After being fired from her last one, she stumbles upon a fluffy white creature that looks like a cat but smells like a dog...named Puppycat! This graphic novel follows the adventures of Bee as she works as a Magical Girl Temp Worker, helping Puppycat with odd jobs across dimensions!

A bride's story. Kaoru Mori. Vol. 1/

Mori, Kaoru, 1978-
Call Number: 740.9999 B8517 v.1

Graphic novel that details the daily life of a young woman, Amir, in early 19th Century Turkey

Climbing free : my life in the vertical world

Hill, Lynn, 1961-
Call Number: 796.012 H646
In the testosterone fueled rock climbing scene of the 1980’s and 90’s Lynn Hill rose to the top becoming a legend in the sport. Her crowning achievement was free climbing the Nose of El Capitan in Yosemite, a nearly vertical 2,900 foot climb so difficult that it was said to be inconceivable. This is her life story in her own words; full of adventure, hard earned lessons, and larger than life people.

Code name Verity

Wein, Elizabeth.
Call Number: YA

After two British girls, a pilot and a spy, crash their plane in Nazi-occupied France, the spy is captured and imprisoned by the Germans. She is forced to give up her secrets and reveal her mission in writing. Instead, she tells the story of her friend Maddie, the pilot of the crashed plane, whom she assumes is dead. But nothing can be assumed in this story, and nothing is as it seems.

The cure for dreaming

Winters, Cat.
Call Number: YA
When the father of a teenage feminist and suffragist in 1900 Oregon takes her to a hypnotist to squash her rebellious nature, she comes away with the supernatural ability to see people’s true natures - and more determined than ever to fight for women’s rights.

Delilah Dirk and the Turkish lieutenant

Cliff, Tony.
Call Number: 740.9999 C637
Follow the adventures of the not-so-proper Delilah Dirk, a woman in the early 19th Century who finds adventure and mischief wherever she goes! This time, Delilah’s adventures have led her to Constantinople, where she plans to rob a greedy Sultan of his riches.

The good girls revolt : how the women of Newsweek sued their bosses and changed the workplace

Povich, Lynn.
Call Number: 331.4 P879

Soon to be an Amazon series, Povich describes in an engrossing narrative the story of what happened to the women who worked for Newsweek in the 1970s before and after they banded together to sue the magazine for discrimination because they were systematically denied promotions and newsroom positions.

Hunger makes me a modern girl : a memoir

Brownstein, Carrie, 1974-
Call Number: 789.14 B8853
Rock goddess and Portlandia Actress-Writer-Producer Carrie Brownstein returns to her childhood and musical beginnings in the Riot Grrrl feminist movement of the 1990s when she co-founded the iconic musical group Sleater-Kinney. Brownstein describes contending with how she was perceived by journalists and audiences being a woman in a rock band in this heartfelt and honest exploration of her professional and personal lives.

I am Malala : how one girl stood up for education and changed the world

Yousafzai, Malala, 1997-
Call Number: 370.95491 Y82-1

Learn the story of the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner ever, who risked her life to fight for the rights of girls in Pakistan to attend school.

Lakota Woman

Brave Bird, Mary.
Call Number: 301.41292 M393 2011
A biography of Mary Crow Dog of the American Indian Movement who, along with 250 other Sioux, occupied Wounded Knee for 71 days in 1973 to expose mistreatment by local and federal governments.

Lean in : for graduates

Sandberg, Sheryl.
Call Number: 658.31242 S213-1 2014
Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg offers encouragement and advice to college graduates on finding and getting the most out of a first job and what it takes to find and commit to a job that they love.

Lies we tell ourselves.

Talley, Robin.
Call Number: YA

As one of the first African American students to attend Jefferson High School in 1959 Virginia, Sarah faces discrimination and abuse on a daily basis. When she and the white daughter of a rabid segregationist are forced to work together on a school project, however, the two girls begin to realize they have feelings for one another.

The lightning dreamer : Cuba's greatest abolitionist

Engle, Margarita.
Call Number: 811 E575-2
Nineteenth-century Cuban poet Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda escaped two arranged marriages as a teenager and went on to fight for women's equality and the end of slavery. This fictionalized novel tells her story in gorgeous, lyrical verse.

Lumberjanes. written by Noelle Stevenson & Grace Ellis ; illustrated by Brooke Allen ; colors by Maarta Laiho ; letters by Aubrey Aiese ; created by Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis & Noelle Stevenson. Vo

Stevenson, Noelle, author, creator.
Call Number: 740.9999 L9575 v.1

In the summer, Jo, April, Mal, Molly, and Ripley are five tween/teen girls attending Miss Qiunzilla Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet's Camp for Hard-Core Lady-Types. Here, they’ll earn badges, do crafts, play games, encounter a transforming bear and three-eyed foxes, and fight off possessed boy scouts! The winner of two 2015 Eisner Awards (Best New Series and Best Publication for Teens), the eclectic girls of “Lumberjanes” will teach you that friendship is best experienced “to the MAX!” Lumberjanes, vol. 2 is the next book in the series and also is recommended as a Best of 2015: Teen Book.


A madness so discreet

McGinnis, Mindy.
Call Number: YA

“Grace Mae knows madness . . . ” Set in 1890, readers plunge head-first into darkness with Grace Mae, a teenager who became pregnant, and at the whim of her father, was imprisoned in an insane asylum. After a chain of events at the asylum causes her to lose her child, a visiting doctor rescues her with an odd proposal: fake her death and become his crime-scene-investigating assistant. This YA historical novel is a piercing look at the madness in ourselves, and in others, and how we all must eventually face that madness. Beautiful and powerful in its delivery. 


Ms. Marvel. Vol. 1, No normal

Wilson, G. Willow, 1982-
Call Number: 741.5 C2547Wi v.1

Kamala Khan is like every other nerdy 16-year-old Muslim girl from Jersey City. That is, until she sneaks out to a party one night and gets caught in a green mist, giving her superpowers that once belonged to Carol Danvers, the original Ms. Marvel! The series follows Kamala as she comes to terms with her powers and the responsibilities that they bring, all the while trying to balance her undercover superhero life with school, her family, and life as a teenager in general.

Radioactive! : how Irene Curie and Lise Meitner revolutionized science and changed the world

Conkling, Winifred,
Call Number: 537.1 C752
Tells the story of two early 20th century female physicists whose groundbreaking contributions were overlooked in their lifetimes and are still largely unknown today despite shaping the field of nuclear science.

Rookie : yearbook three

Call Number: 370.16 R7775-2
A popular culture look at the world of teenage girls with content created by teenage girls.

Sally Ride : a photo biography of America's pioneering woman in space

O'Shaughnessy, Tam E,
Call Number: 629.450092 R544Os
Written by Ride’s partner, this book covers everything from Ride’s career as a physicist and astronaut, her athletic achievements (Ride was a tennis player who almost turned pro), her report cards, and her fight for gender equality.

She takes a stand : 16 fearless activists who have changed the world

Ross, Michael Elsohn, 1952-
Call Number: 301.4129 R825
International and intersectional in its focus, this collection of short biographies highlights the achievements of some of the bravest activists you’ve never heard of including Sampat Pal Devi, an activist against violence towards women in India; Kalpona Akter, an advocate for safe conditions in textiles factories; and Mary Harris "Mother" Jones, who stood up for union workers.

A tyranny of petticoats : 15 stories of belles, bank robbers & other badass girls

Call Number: YA

With stories written by various popular YA authors such as Marie Lu and Marissa Meyer, this collection follows fifteen extraordinary American women, from the 18th century colonial world of pirates and new discoveries to the tumultuous 1960s.

Under a painted sky

Lee, Stacey (Stacey Heather).
Call Number: YA

Two teenage girls - one of them Chinese American, the other African American - on the run from the law disguise themselves as boys and set out on the Oregon Trail in this tale of adventure and friendship set during the Gold Rush.

West with the night

Markham, Beryl.
Call Number: 92 M3448 1983
Beryl Markham was the first person to fly nonstop from Europe to America and the first woman to fly solo (east to west) across the Atlantic. Born in England in 1902, Markham was taken by her father to East Africa in 1906. She spent her childhood playing with native Maruni children and apprenticing with her father as a trainer and breeder of racehorses and learned to fly.

When I was Puerto Rican

Santiago, Esmeralda.
Call Number: 301.45097295 S235 1994

Esmeralda Santiago was one of eleven children who grew up in a tin-can of a house in Puerto Rico, surrounded by quarreling parents and poverty. While living in Brooklyn with her grandmother, Santiago's ambition and hard work resulted in a Harvard education, and a successful career as a writer and film producer.

Woman rebel : the Margaret Sanger story : [graphic novel]

Bagge, Peter.
Call Number: 618.391 S225Bag
In an era when working class women had no access to birth control, Margaret Sanger emerged as an advocate for women’s health.

Wonder Woman : the hiketeia

Rucka, Greg.
Call Number: 741.5 W872Ru
A confused girl with a troubled past pledges to serve Wonder Woman in the ancient Greek ritual of supplication. Taking her under her protection, Wonder Woman finds herself at odds with Batman, who has been on her ward’s trail.