Off the Shelf: History-makers are hardly ‘Well Behaved’

Off the Shelf: History-makers are hardly ‘Well Behaved’

“Well-behaved women seldom make history” is a quote you’ve likely seen on bumper stickers, T-shirts and posters. Laurel Thatcher Ulrich originally wrote the words in a 1976 scholarly article. History remembers those who push the limits, change laws, fight for freedom and democracy, advocate for justice, live creative lives and take risks.

This month is Women’s History Month, and in honor of the many women leaders, artists, movers and shakers, as well as the everyday lives of ordinary women and girls, consider adding a few of these titles to your read/watch list for yourself or to share with a young person in your life.

“Fly Girls: How Five Daring Women Defied All Odds and Made Aviation History” by Keith O’Brien

O’Brien, an award-winning journalist, traces the lesser-known story of five women, including Amelia Earhart, who successfully fought to compete against men in the high-stakes national air races of the 1920s and 1930s.

“Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World” by Rachel Ignotofsky

A collection of artwork inspired by the lives and achievements of 50 famous women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, from the ancient world to the present.

“Pies from Nowhere: How Georgia Gilmore Sustained the Montgomery Bus Boycott” by Dee Romito

This picture book examines the life of Georgia Gilmore, a hidden figure of history who played a critical role in the Civil Rights Movement and used her passion for baking to help the Montgomery Bus Boycott achieve its goal.

“Votes for Women!: American Suffragists and the Battle for the Ballot” by Winifred Conkling

Relates the story of the 19th Amendment and the nearly 80-year fight for voting rights for women, covering suffragists’ achievements and politics, and the private journeys that led them to become women’s champions.

“We Are Displaced: My Journey and Stories from Refugee Girls from Around the World” by Malala Yousafzai

Yousafzi, a Nobel Peace Prize winner and New York Times-bestselling author, introduces some of the people behind the statistics and news stories of the millions of people displaced worldwide.

“Little Stones” (documentary film)

This documentary follows the uplifting stories of four women using rap, graffiti, fashion, and dance to fight for women’s rights around the world.

“Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History” by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

Examines three key works by women — the fifteenth-century “Book of the City of Ladies” by Christine de Pizan, Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s memoirs, and Virginia Woolf’s “A Room of One’s Own” — to explore the making of history from a woman’s perspective.

To pick up a copy of any of these inspiring titles, stop by the Sequim Library at 630 N. Sequim Ave., call 360-683-1161 or visit

Emily Sly is branch manager at the Sequim Library.

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