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The best books to help your children understand the history of the suffragettes and women's ongoing fight for an equal society




Bishop's Stortford College Prep School librarian writes about the magic of storytelling...

Dear Reader. Help your child to understand the history of women's protest movements and the suffragettes with this selection of fiction and non-fiction books...

Younger readers

Emmeline Pankhurst by Lisbeth Kaiser

Meet an inspiring women's rights activist who changed the world for future generations of women.

As a child, Emmeline Pankhurst was shocked at the inequality of men and women that she saw all around her.

Emmeline Pankhurst by Lisbeth Kaiser (45268706)
Emmeline Pankhurst by Lisbeth Kaiser (45268706)

When she grew up, she never stopped fighting for women to get the vote, inspiring other women to demonstrate, go on hunger strike and protest for the cause.

My Best Friend, the Suffragette by Sally Morgan

Join two best friends as history is made in 1913.

Eleven-year-old Christine has been taught that a girl's place is at home looking after her family and putting up with beastly big brothers. Mary has been taught that a girl's place is learning how to change the world.

My Best Friend, the Suffragette by Sally Morgan (45268696)
My Best Friend, the Suffragette by Sally Morgan (45268696)

After meeting outside the suffragette headquarters, the girls become fast friends, writing as often as they can.

Their letters fly back and forth across London as the Votes for Women campaign threatens to bring the nation to its knees - buildings burning, windows smashing, postboxes exploding. Will their friendship survive?

Emmeline and the Plucky Pup by Megan Rix

Meet the leader of the suffragettes, Emmeline Pankhurst, and a particularly plucky pup during a momentous time in history.

Alfie can't believe his luck when he is allowed to keep a tiny puppy he finds abandoned on the street. Rascal is cute as a button and has lots of attitude, and Emmeline is thrilled that her ward Alfie has a new friend.

Alfie and Rascal deliver messages between the suffragettes as they organise their Votes for Women campaign.

But it's sometimes dangerous work and it's not long before Alfie and Rascal find out the true cost of the fight.

Emmeline and the Plucky Pup by Megan Rix (45268699)
Emmeline and the Plucky Pup by Megan Rix (45268699)

Older readers

Mollie on the March by Anna Carey

Mollie Carberry is a suffragette! Well, sort of. Mollie and her best friend Nora have been bravely fighting for women's rights – even though no one else really knows about it.

But when they hear a big protest is being planned, they know they have to take part.

If only they didn't have to worry about Nora's terrible cousin, her awful brother and her neighbour's very annoying dog…

An engaging story about a strong and intelligent girl fighting for the right for women to vote.

Mollie on the March by Anna Carey (45268690)
Mollie on the March by Anna Carey (45268690)

Suffragettes and the Fight for the Vote by Sarah Ridley

Beginning by looking at the role of women in the 19th century and ending with the continuing struggle for equal rights for women in all parts of society, this is an essential read for young people aged 10-plus to understand the history of the women's movement on suffrage.

It includes the suffragists' campaign and has photos of key people in the campaign, such as Millicent Garrett Fawcett, Emmeline Pankhurst and Emily Wilding Davison, and ephemera such as force-feeding equipment, banners and medallions.

Suffragettes and the Fight for the Vote by Sarah Ridley (45268693)
Suffragettes and the Fight for the Vote by Sarah Ridley (45268693)

Opal Plumstead by Jacqueline Wilson

Opal Plumstead might be plain, but she has always been fiercely intelligent.

Yet her scholarship and dreams of university are snatched away when her father is sent to prison, and 14-year-old Opal must start work at the Fairy Glen sweet factory to support her family.

She struggles to get along with her other workers, who think she's snobby and stuck up.

But Opal idolises Mrs Roberts, the factory's beautiful, dignified owner. The best thing about Mrs Roberts? She's a suffragette!

Opal's world is opened to Mrs Pankhurst and the fight to give women the right to vote.

And when Opal meets Morgan, Mrs Roberts' handsome son and heir to Fairy Glen, she believes she's found her soulmate.

But the First World War is about to begin and will change Opal's life forever.

Opal Plumstead by Jacqueline Wilson (45268687)
Opal Plumstead by Jacqueline Wilson (45268687)

Teenagers

Things a Bright Girl Can Do by Sally Nicholls

Through rallies and marches, in polite drawing rooms and freezing prison cells and the poverty-stricken slums of the East End, three courageous young women join the fight for the vote.

Evelyn is 17 and, though she is rich and clever, she may never be allowed to follow her older brother to university.

Enraged that she is expected to marry her childhood sweetheart rather than be educated, she joins the suffragettes and vows to pay the ultimate price for women's freedom.

May is 15 and already sworn to the cause, though she and her fellow suffragists refuse violence. When she meets Nell, a girl who's grown up in hardship, she sees a kindred spirit.

Together and in love, the two girls start to dream of a world where all kinds of women have their place.

But the fight for freedom will challenge Evelyn, May and Nell more than they ever could believe. As war looms, just how much are they willing to sacrifice?

Things a Bright Girl Can Do by Sally Nicholls (45268708)
Things a Bright Girl Can Do by Sally Nicholls (45268708)

Until We Win by Linda Newbery

A hundred years ago, women didn't have the vote.

When Lizzy Frost becomes involved with the fledgling suffragette movement, it expands her horizons in ways she never could have imagined.

From time spent in prison for the cause to new relationships with fellow campaigners, Lizzy's struggle for votes for women sets her heart on fire.

Until We Win by Linda Newbery (45268704)
Until We Win by Linda Newbery (45268704)

Rebel Voices by Louise Kay Stewart

Rebel Voices shares the story of the suffragettes and of their sisters campaigning for equal rights globally.

Discover how 40,000 Russian women marched through St Petersburg demanding their rights, how one Canadian woman changed opinions with a play and how Kuwaiti women protested via text message.

And read how women climbed mountains, walked a lion through the streets of Paris and starved themselves, all in the name of having a voice and a choice.

Tracing its history from New Zealand at the end of the 19th century, follow this empowering movement as it spread from Oceania to Europe and the Americas, then Africa and Asia up to the present day. And be inspired by the brave women who rioted, rallied and refused to give up.

Rebel Voices by Louise Kay Stewart (45268702)
Rebel Voices by Louise Kay Stewart (45268702)


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