Browse the Amelia Bloomer List

Northeast Library

Browse the Amelia Bloomer List

Beyond Newbery and Caldecott, Part II

March is Women's History Month--a great time to introduce another of our American Library Association (ALA) awards, the Amelia Bloomer List.  The list debuted in 2002, partially inspired by the 2000 publication of You Forgot Your Skirt, Amelia Bloomer!, a picture book biography that introduced young readers to Amelia Bloomer, the turn-of-the-century pioneer of less restrictive clothing for women.

The list recognizes fiction and nonfiction at three different levels: young readers, middle readers and young adult. The members of the committee look for positive portraits of strong women and girls, excellent writing and child/teen appeal. 

Here are a few of the 2012 titles for each level that can be found at DC Public Library:

Young Readers

book cover shows a woman and a young girl sitting on a green carTia Isa Wants a Car by Meg Medina, illustrated by Claudio Munoz.

A little girl's Tia Isa wants a car "the same shiny green as the ocean that lapped outside my bedroom window," so that she can take her family to the beach. But saving is hard when so much money has to be sent away to relatives in another country; Tio Andre says she is foolish to try, but Tia Isa achieves her dream--with a little help from her niece!


Book cover shows young women in old-fashioned clothes playing basketballBasketball Belles: How Two Teams and One Scrappy Player Put Women's Hoops on the Map by Sue Macy, illustrated by Matt Collins.

Agnes Morley grew up on a cattle ranch, but her family sent her to Stanford University to become a lady.  Instead, she discovered basketball. She played in the first official women's basketball game between Stanford and Berkeley in 1896, and this book is based on her story.

Middle Readers

Book cover shows a photograph of Amelia Earhart getting into a plane.Amelia Lost: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart by Candace Fleming.

It seems fitting for the Amelia Bloomer list to honor a title that presents the life of another famous Amelia--the aviator Amelia Earhart. Fleming's suspenseful narration makes the story feel fresh and new, while also being a great introduction for those who are learning about Earhart for the first time. And there's a current events connection: the possible discovery of some of Earhart's artifacts has been making headlines recently, and some explorers believe that they may be close to unraveling the mysteries of her final flight.

Book cover shows a girl standing in front of a city of aliensZita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke.

When they found the meteorite with the mysterious red button, Zita's cautious friend Jacob told her not to push it. So, of course, she pushed it anyway. And now Jacob has been snatched through an inter-dimensional space portal by some furry-tentacled aliens.  What's a girl to do?  Dive through the portal and rescue him, of course! This action-filled graphic novel is already a big hit, here at the library and elsewhere.

Young Adult

Cover shows a girl in a purple hoodie with the title 'Sister Mischief' in block letteringSister Mischief by Laura Goode.

Esme, Rohini, Marcy and Tessa are an all-girl hip-hop crew, out to rock suburban Minneapolis like nobody's done yet. But will things get complicated when Esme realizes she has more-than-friendship feelings for Rohini?


Book cover shows the freckled, tattooed back of a young woman with red hair.Beautiful You: A Daily Guide to Radical Self-Acceptance by Rosie Molinary.

This book of daily meditations and exercises encourages young women to value their bodies and develop a positive self-image, while combating stereotyped media representations of female beauty.


This is only a small sampling of what the Amelia Bloomer List has to offer.  See more titles on this list and view past lists.