Women's History Week

Advice and strategies to help your children read

March 11, 2001

Editor's Note: Today Jerdine Nolen gives us the evolution of Maryland Women's History Week.

A bill sponsored by Maryland Delegate Barbara Mikulski (now a U.S. senator) designated the week beginning March 8, 1981, as National Women's History Week. Gov. Harry Hughes and the state Board of Education issued proclamations recognizing the contributions of Maryland's women and urged observances throughout the state.

March 8 was chosen to start the week because it is International Women's Day. This day began in 1857, when women workers from the textile and garment industry demonstrated in New York to protest low wages, the 12-hour workday and increasing workloads.

Women's history resources:

National Women's History Project 7738 Bell Road Windsor, Calif. 94592-8518 707-838-6000

Maryland State Department of Education Equity Resource Center 2000 W. Baltimore St. Baltimore, Md. 21202 410-767-0433

Maryland Historical Society 201 W. Monument St. Baltimore, Md. 21201 410-685-3750

Maryland Women's Hall of Fame c / o Maryland Commission for Women 311 W. Saratoga St. Baltimore, Md. 21201 410-767-7137

Distinguished Women of Past and Present: www.distinguishedwomen.com

National Women's Hall of Fame: www.greatwomen.org

Women's International Center: www.wic.org

Women's Rights National Historical Park, Seneca Falls, New York: www.nps.gov / wori / wrnhp. htm

A resident of Ellicott City, Jerdine Nolen is the award-winning children's book author of "Harvey Potter's Balloon Farm" and "Raising Dragons." Her most recent book is "Big Jabe." She is a former teacher and administrator in elementary education and has personally field-tested her suggestions on her son and daughter.

Women who made a difference

Though the spotlight of history often falls on men, "herstory" focuses on the integral part "womyn" play, often in opposition to the status quo of patriarchal society. Acquaint your child with some of them:

"Cool Women: The Thinking Girl's Guide to the Hippest Women in History" by Dawn Chipman et al. An MTV-style assortment of international heroines.

"Lives of Extraordinary Women: Rulers, Rebels (And What the Neighbors Thought)" by Kathleen Krull. Continuing her "Lives of" series, Krull once again nails her subject matter under the premise, "Well-behaved women rarely make history."

"Amelia and Eleanor Go for a Ride" by Pam Munoz Ryan. This black-and-white picture book entertains readers with an intriguing real-life Thelma and Louise scenario with the famous aviator and first lady.

-- Athima Chansanchai

New York Times Children's

Paperback Book Best Sellers

Editor's Note: The children's best-seller list has three categories -- picture books, chapter books, and paperbacks -- which are published in rotation, one category per week.

1. "Harry Potter and the Chamber Of Secrets" by J.K. Rowling (weeks on list: 25)

2. "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" by J.K. Rowling (68)

3. "Holes" by Louis Sachar (25)

4. "It's Snow Problem" by Nancy Butcher (1)

5. "The Legend of Luke" by Brian Jacques (2)

6. "Chicken Soup for the Preteen Soul" compiled by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Patty Hansen and Irene Dunlap (18)

7. "Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul III" compiled by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and Kimberly Kirberger (34)

8. "Which Witch?" by Eva Ibbotson (5)

9. "Life Strategies for Teens" by Jay Mcgraw (12)

10. "Jedi Apprentice: The Evil Experiment" by Jude Watson (3)

Contact us

The Sun invites readers to send in tips about encouraging children to read, and we will print them on this page or on sunspot.net, our place on the Internet. Please include your name, town and daytime phone number. Send suggestions by fax to 410-783-2519; by e-mail to sun.features@baltsun.com; or by mail to Reading by 9 Parent Tips, The Sun, Features Department, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278.

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