Book Club – October

This October, we’re sharing our latest reading recommendations from our Big Sisters and Staff. We invite you to join us in reading about strong powerful women working together, CEO’s, creatives, and historical leaders in the pages of our October Book Club picks. 

For Mentors

Big MagicBig Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

by Elizabeth Gilbert 

From the worldwide bestselling author of Eat Pray Love and City of Girls: the path to the vibrant, fulfilling life you’ve dreamed of.
Readers of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration and empowerment from Elizabeth Gilbert’s books for years. Now this beloved author digs deep into her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity. With profound empathy and radiant generosity, she offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. She asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering. She shows us how to tackle what we most love, and how to face down what we most fear. She discusses the attitudes, approaches, and habits we need in order to live our most creative lives.

Balancing between soulful spirituality and cheerful pragmatism, Gilbert encourages us to uncover the “strange jewels” that are hidden within each of us. Whether we are looking to write a book, make art, find new ways to address challenges in our work,  embark on a dream long deferred, or simply infuse our everyday lives with more mindfulness and passion, Big Magic cracks open a world of wonder and joy.

For Ages 13-17

Girl SquadsGirl Squads: 20 Female Friendships That Changed History

By: Sam Maggs

Spanning art, science, politics, activism, and even sports, these girl squads show just how essential female friendship has been throughout history and throughout the world! In this hilarious and heartfelt book, geek girl Sam Maggs takes you on a tour of some of history’s most famous female BFFs, including Anne Bonny and Mary Read, the infamous lady pirates; Jeanne Manon Roland and Sophie Grandchamp, Parisian socialites who landed front-row seats (from prison) to the French Revolution; Sharon and Shirley Firth, the First Nations twin sisters and Olympic skiiers; The Edinburgh Seven, the first women admitted to medical school in the United Kingdom; and The Zohra Orchestra, Afghanistan’s first all-female musical group

Fun, feisty, and delightful to read — with empowering illustrations by artist Jenn Woodall — it’s the perfect gift for your best friend

For Ages 9-12

Run the Show Like CEO Oprah WinfreyRun The Show Like CEO Oprah Winfrey

By: Caroline Moss

When Oprah Winfrey was a little girl, she watched her grandma hang clothes out on the line. Oprah adored her grandma, but she knew in that moment her life was going to be different… And she was right. In this imaginatively illustrated book, discover how Oprah became a billionaire CEO and media mogul in this true story of her life. Then, learn 10 key lessons from her work you can apply to your own life.

Work It, Girl is an empowering series of biographies featuring modern women in the world of work, from designers and musicians to CEOs and scientists. Brightly colored photo illustrations of 3-D cut paper artwork featuring inspiring quotes from these amazing women bring their stories to vivid life. Learn how to work it as you lay the foundations for your own successful career.

For Ages 6-8

Susan B. AnthonySusan B. Anthony

By: Alexandra Wallner

During Susan B. Anthony’s life, women and men were not considered equal. Women could not own property or vote; nor could they receive good educations. But Susan envisioned a time when women would be treated fairly and so became a voice for change. Her speeches and articles about women’s suffrage made her unpopular — people threw rotten eggs at her and even threatened her life — yet she did not give up.

In clear and simple words and jewel-like paintings, here is the essential story of the woman whose passion for justice led to the passing of the Nineteenth Amendment, which gave women the right to vote.

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Resource List for Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA)

We have curated a list of helpful resources on diversity, equity and inclusion and access and we are always adding more. Would you like us to list your resources as well? Please contact us at info@girlsrisingsd.org

Social Media

The Conscious Kid Instagram

Rachel Cargle (Linktree has multiple resources and her 30 day program.)

Minaa B. LMSW

Online Resources






Director Point


Council of Nonprofits



Loveland Foundation

https://thelovelandfoundation.org/ (great therapy/mental health resources)

Three Conversations of BLM and Mental Health: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLgoM3j84dx90Xzt_F3ffsfqEZVR2ihguc&mc_cid=5726b4fc9f&mc_eid=d139e3f955

Understanding implicit bias: http://kirwaninstitute.osu.edu/research/understanding-implicit-bias/

Harvard Implicit Bias test: https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/takeatest.html

Ijeoma Oluo: http://www.ijeomaoluo.com/

Video: “Radical Self Care” Interview with Angela Davis

Mental health courses: https://www.minaab.com/courses

BLM Healing Action: https://blacklivesmatter.com/wpcontent/uploads/2018/01/BLM_HealingAction_r1.pdf

Book List

  • Black Feminist Thought by Patricia Hill Collins
  • Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower by Dr. Brittney Cooper
  • Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon
  • How To Be An Antiracist by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  • Invisible No More: Police Violence Against Black Women and Women of Color by Andrea J. Ritchie
  • Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
  • Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad
  • Raising Our Hands by Jenna Arnold
  • Redefining Realness by Janet Mock 
  • Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde
  • So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
  • The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
  • The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
  • The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
  • The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century by Grace Lee Boggs
  • The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
  • This Bridge Called My Back by Radical Women of Colorby Cherríe Moraga
  • When Affirmative Action Was White: An Untold History of Racial Inequality in Twentieth-Century America by Ira Katznelson

Resources to Raise Anti-Racist Children 





Commentary: A call to action for the nonprofit sector


Over the past few months, I’ve been doing a lot of personal reflection and introspective thinking around racism and inequality through several different lenses — as a woman of color, as a mother, as the daughter of immigrant parents and as a nonprofit leader. Read more…


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Book Club – September

Just in time for back to school, we’re sharing our latest reading recommendations from our Big Sisters and Staff. We invite you to join us in reading about strong powerful women, inventors, trailblazers and student leaders in the pages of our September Book Club picks. 

For Mentors

The Moment of LiftThe Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World

by Melinda Gates

“How can we summon a moment of lift for human beings – and especially for women? Because when you lift up women, you lift up humanity.”

For the last twenty years, Melinda Gates has been on a mission to find solutions for people with the most urgent needs, wherever they live. Throughout this journey, one thing has become increasingly clear to her: If you want to lift a society up, you need to stop keeping women down.

In this moving and compelling book, Melinda shares lessons she’s learned from the inspiring people she’s met during her work and travels around the world. As she writes in the introduction, “That is why I had to write this book―to share the stories of people who have given focus and urgency to my life. I want all of us to see ways we can lift women up where we live.”

Melinda’s unforgettable narrative is backed by startling data as she presents the issues that most need our attention―from child marriage to lack of access to contraceptives to gender inequity in the workplace. And, for the first time, she writes about her personal life and the road to equality in her own marriage. Throughout, she shows how there has never been more opportunity to change the world―and ourselves.

Writing with emotion, candor, and grace, she introduces us to remarkable women and shows the power of connecting with one another.

When we lift others up, they lift us up, too.

For Ages 13-17

Girls Think of Everything

Girls Think of Everything – Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women

By Catherine Thimmesh

In kitchens and living rooms, in garages and labs and basements, even in converted chicken coops, women and girls have invented ingenious innovations that have made our lives simpler and better. Their creations are some of the most enduring (the windshield wiper) and best loved (the chocolate chip cookie). What inspired these women, and just how did they turn their ideas into realities? This updated and expanded 2018 edition includes even more inventors and their inventions that reflect our diverse and technological world.

“An outstanding collective biography of women and girls who changed the world with their inventions. Thimmesh surveys unique and creative ideas that were both borne of necessity or were simply a product of ingenuity and hard work.” – School Library Journal

For Ages 9-12

Teen TrailblazersTeen Trailblazers: 30 Fearless Girls Who Changed the World Before They Were 20

By Jennifer Calvert

Joan of Arc. Anne Frank. Cleopatra. Pocahontas. Mary Shelley. Many of these heroines are well-known. But have you heard of Sybil Ludington, a 16-year-old daughter of an American colonel who rode twice as far as the far better-remembered Paul Revere to warn the militia that the British army was invading? From authors to activists, painters to politicians, inventors to icons, these inspiring teenagers are proof that girls can change the world.

This fascinating book, Teen Trailblazers, features 30 young women who accomplished remarkable things before their twentieth birthdays. Visually compelling with original illustrations, this book will inspire the next generation of strong, fearless women.

For Ages 6-8

Grace for PresidentGrace for President

By Kelly DiPucchio

When Grace’s teacher reveals that the United States has never had a female president, Grace decides to be the first. And she immediately starts off her political career as a candidate in the school’s mock election. But soon, she realizes that she has entered a tough race. Her popular opponent claims to be the “best man for the job” — and seems to have captured all the male votes — while Grace concentrates on being the best person.

In this timely story, author Kelly DiPucchio not only gives readers a fun introduction to the American electoral system, but also teaches them the value of hard work, courage, and independent thought — and offers an inspiring example of how to choose our leaders.

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