a timely 20 books about inspiring women who are American, not living, and of national importance

You know how sometimes a single piece of news can make you want to laugh and weep at the same time? Like the answers from the US Republican Presidential candidates when they were asked (16 September 2015) which woman they think belongs on the new $10 bill? There were a few decent suggestions - these:

1.  ROSA PARKS - a model of courage and that most elusive quality: the ability to know when to take a stand.

1.  ROSA PARKS - a model of courage and that most elusive quality: the ability to know when to take a stand.

2.  SUSAN B ANTHONY - who knew that when one is oppressed, all are oppressed. And who worked for abolition and for women's suffrage.

2.  SUSAN B ANTHONY - who knew that when one is oppressed, all are oppressed. And who worked for abolition and for women's suffrage.

3.  CLARA BARTON – who brought the Red Cross to America.

3.  CLARA BARTON – who brought the Red Cross to America.

4.  ABIGAIL ADAMS – who wrote to the Continental Congress in 1776 and told them to ‘remember the ladies’.

4.  ABIGAIL ADAMS – who wrote to the Continental Congress in 1776 and told them to ‘remember the ladies’.

But then there were … Ivanka Trump and Janet Huckabee! Both living breathing women who, therefore, wouldn’t qualify regardless of their achievements or lack thereof. And Sonya Carson – an inspiring woman who did great things, but one of millions of American mothers who did all they could for their families and rose above their circumstances. Mother Teresa, who might not see the amusing irony in putting the face of a woman who took a vow of poverty onto money! And Margaret Thatcher –  to laugh or to cry, that is the question. (I guess we’re calling that whole Revolutionary War thing bygones.) 

So we’ve come up with a list of impressive women who are American, not living and of national importance - with a picture book to read about each of them:

SOJOURNER TRUTH – who was fearless when being vilified and told a group of young men: “You may hiss as much as you please, but women will get their rights anyway.”  

SOJOURNER TRUTH – who was fearless when being vilified and told a group of young men: “You may hiss as much as you please, but women will get their rights anyway.”
 

HENRIETTA LEAVITT – whose discovery enabled us to measure the distance between Earth and outlying galaxies.  

HENRIETTA LEAVITT – whose discovery enabled us to measure the distance between Earth and outlying galaxies.
 

ELIZABETH CADY STANTON – who was tireless as a suffragette, abolitionist and mother.  

ELIZABETH CADY STANTON – who was tireless as a suffragette, abolitionist and mother.
 

HARRIET TUBMAN – who risked everything for freedom for herself and others.  

HARRIET TUBMAN – who risked everything for freedom for herself and others.
 

ANNIE JUMP CANNON – who classified the stars for the first time.  

ANNIE JUMP CANNON – who classified the stars for the first time.
 

JANE ADDAMS - founder of social work and winner of a Nobel Peace Prize

JANE ADDAMS - founder of social work and winner of a Nobel Peace Prize

RACHEL CARSON – who received the Presidential Medal of Freedom and was the mother of the environmental movement.  

RACHEL CARSON – who received the Presidential Medal of Freedom and was the mother of the environmental movement.
 

SACAGAWEA – who shared her knowledge and skills with Lewis and Clarke so that many could benefit.  

SACAGAWEA – who shared her knowledge and skills with Lewis and Clarke so that many could benefit.
 

JULIETTE GORDON LOW – who founded Girl Scouts of America because she knew what girls could do.  

JULIETTE GORDON LOW – who founded Girl Scouts of America because she knew what girls could do.
 

IDA B WELLS - who led the anti-lynching campaign and discredited many establishment views and excuses.  

IDA B WELLS - who led the anti-lynching campaign and discredited many establishment views and excuses.
 

EMILY DICKINSON – who brought so much beauty into the world.  

EMILY DICKINSON – who brought so much beauty into the world.
 

ELIZABETH BLACKWELL – who was the first woman to receive a medical degree.

ELIZABETH BLACKWELL – who was the first woman to receive a medical degree.

And, just in case none of those impressive women fit the bill*, here are a few anthologies. Some of the women in these books are living and some are not American – so the candidates could still go horribly wrong: 

GIRLS THINK OF EVERYTHING - Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women  

GIRLS THINK OF EVERYTHING - Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women
 

A is for ABIGAIL [ADAMS] - An Almanac of Amazing American Women

A is for ABIGAIL [ADAMS] - An Almanac of Amazing American Women

REMEMBER THE LADIES - 100 Great American Women  

REMEMBER THE LADIES - 100 Great American Women
 

AMELIA TO ZORA - Twenty-six Women Who Changed the World

AMELIA TO ZORA - Twenty-six Women Who Changed the World

PS: people in politics often serve up laugh-and-cry-at-the-same-time moments - heaven knows Australia’s revolving Prime Ministers are in the same boat.

* fit the bill - haha - get it?

Some of the names in these books - Rosa, Susan, Clara, Abigail, Rachel, Sojourner, Sacagawea, Juliette, Henrietta, Ida, Harriet, Elizabeth, Emily, Annie, Elizabeth, Jane