Search This Blog

Books to Inspire

Mini Reviewer, Izzie, loves a good princess story. I used to frown upon filling her head with such "nonsense" but then I realised we all need to hear a few "happily ever afters" from time to time. Although I am now on board with the frilly fairy tales, I think it is really important that all my Mini Reviewers hear stories of real women. With this in mind, I started my search for Books to Inspire, stories of strong and brave women, women who did truly amazing things. I quickly came across these two new titles, which I would like to share today:

First up is Fantastically Great Women Who Changed The World published this year (2016) by Bloomsbury. This fantastic non-fiction book has been written and illustrated by Kate Pankhurst. It includes the amazing stories of 13 women throughout history, who did indeed change the world. These pioneers, from all walks of life, inspired fashion revolutions; fought for equality; went on great adventures; and made some incredible discoveries.

The book covers a hugely diverse range of individuals from literary great, Jane Austen, to Suffragette, Emmeline Pankhurst. From Mexican artist, Frida Kahlo, to Jewish teenager, Anne Frank.  The book is packed with interesting facts yet the clever presentation means the information is accessible and remains appealing to young readers. Visually the book is delightful and Pankhurts's illustrations are really fun and witty.

Izzie has been captivated by these stories of greatness and the book has taught me a thing or two as well! We have really enjoyed reading this together and it is one we keep returning to. At almost five, Izzie is a bit young for this book but all this has meant is a little more explaining on my part. The book has certainly prompted some very interesting conversations! Her personal favourites are the stories of scientist, Marie Curie and, paleontologist, Mary Anning. I just hope she is inspired to follow her own heart and dreams as she grows up.

The second book I would like to share is Ada Twist, Scientist written by Andrea Beaty, illustrated by David Roberts and published this year by Abrams Books.

This is a wonderful fictional story about a young girl, Ada Marie, who, we are told, doesn't talk until she is three years old. She then wastes no time in making up for her silence by asking questions about anything and everything. Endlessly curious, she drives her parents insane as she goes on fact-finding missions and even carries out her own experiments. The brilliant rhyming text and fantastically funny illustrations really appeal to the Mini Reviewers. They thought the pictures of Ada doing her smell tests were particularly hilarious! Izzie was also delighted to discover from the author's note that Ada Marie is named after two great women, scientist, Marie Curie and Ada Lovelace, the first computer programmer.

We would highly recommend both these books for inquisitive girls and boys everywhere!

Next month we will be reviewing the following Books to Inspire:
Swan: The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova - Laurel Snyder and Julie Morstad
Coco Chanel - Isabel Sanchez Vegara and Ana Albero

We would love to hear from you if you have any recommendations of Books to Inspire and we always enjoy reading your comments.

Disclaimer: We received free copies of both these books from the publishers for the purpose of these reviews. All opinions are as always our own.


  1. These do look really inspirational! What a fab selection. Thanks for sharing with #ReadWithMe

  2. The Great women book by Kate Pankhurst is fabulous! Lots of information and extremely well presented. Just out of interest is she related to Emmeline?

  3. These books sound wonderful and I just love how they still managed to capture young Izzie'so attention. I think it's great that you're reading such independent and inspiring books together. Xx

  4. We love Fantastically Great Women, it such a fab book. I really want to get my hands on a copy of Ada too #readwithme

  5. Both these books look absolutely brilliant, we're huge fans of Rosie Revere and are looking forward to reading Ada Twist.


  6. These books look and sound truly delightful. I'll watch out for their release. #TriedTested

  7. I am so jealous that you have these books! I really want both! For me, not BookBairn!