Saturday, March 31, 2018

Read Her. Support Her. Value Her: A Look at our Amazing Kidlit Women Heritage

*squeal of a live microphone*

Ahem, ahem. Is this thing on?

Hello, everyone.

It truly has been an amazing month of inspiring #kidlitwomen posts.

Although March ends today, we all, hopefully, move forward into April more enlightened and ready for change.

But, perhaps you are limping into April, a little fatigued about the inequalities women face in this industry. Perhaps your head is spinning with frustration, disappointment, and helplessness. For some of you, these last thirty-one days were overwhelming, bringing to the forefront battles you didn't even know we had to fight. Some of the issues may seem insurmountable.

If you are even a tad fatigued, I want to take a moment to highlight the great tradition of female children’s authors that we are part of. Those women who went before us and despite these inequalities, rose above to bring their work, their voices to children. They paved the way for us and today I celebrate them so that we may be strengthened and encouraged.

See, we are part of the great bedtime tradition, like Margaret Wise Brown.

We create characters who are adorably flawed like Beverly Cleary, Louise Fitzhugh, and Margret Rey.

We are the older sister, trusted aunt, and understanding mother to teens everywhere like Judy Blume.

And there are many who are “doing it” today. Who, regardless of the lack of awards won or lists made, create books that touch children and change lives.

We are a part of a great tradition of magical wordsmiths like Amy Krouse Rosenthal.

We dabble in puns like Tara LazarTammi Sauer, and Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen.

We use brushstrokes of rhyme like Sue FliessAndrea Beaty, and K. A. Holt.

We build worlds with various combinations of only 26 letters, like Grace Lin and Tracey Baptiste. 

We light unknown biographies like Candace Fleming, Nancy Churnin, and Andrea J. Loney.

We bring science to life like Jennifer Swanson and Ruth Spiro.

We twist familiar tales with our own imagination to create something fresh and new like Corey Rosen Schwartz or Penny Klosterman or Danielle Paige.

We conjure characters so life-like they jump right off the page and into the hearts of those who read us. Like Kelly Light, Kat Yeh, Celia C. Perez, and Lynda Mullaly Hunt.

We have kids and parents alike rolling on the floor in laughter like Samantha Berger,  JulieFalatkoDev Petty, and Ame Dyckman (without the need of loud or boisterous schtick, may I add).

We inspire blockbuster films and television shows like Angie Thomas, Becky Albertalli, and Anne Marie Pace.

We give voice to the otherwise unheard like Hena Khan, Sally Pla, and Jaye Robin Brown.

And on that same white paper, with Times New Roman text, we inspire and explore like Kate Messner, comfort like Esther Ehrlich, quiet like Deborah Underwood, and tug at the heart strings like Cori Doerrifield

There is power and value in our words, in what we have to say.

We come from a long tradition of storymakers.

These women are our heritage. 

She is you. 

Read her. Support her. Value her.

Got it?

Now, go celebrate. Feel strong and move forward with the strength of sisterhood behind you.

Raise that glass of wine for the hard work done this month. And ready yourself for the work that is still to be done.

We are #kidlitwomen.  And we aren’t going anywhere.

*drops mic*


  1. This list is woefully inadequate, Marcie. Perhaps you might even give a shout out to your fellow KidLit TV team members, Lesa Cline-Ransome, Pat Cummings, Roxie Munro, Annabeth Bondor-Stone, Tracey Cox, who are seldom celebrated as much as others with higher profiles in the kid lit world.

  2. Thank you, Marcie. There are thousands of us out our artistic lives. Finding that room of our own. Juggling plates and flaming torches. I lift a glass to us all.