Second Story Press
Second Story Press is a publisher of feminist-inspired books for young readers and adults. They are dedicated to publishing stories that feature strong female characters and explore themes of social justice, human rights, diversity, abilities, and children’s empowerment.
Second Story Press was co-founded in 1988 by Margie Wolfe and three other women dedicated to publishing feminist-inspired books for adults and young readers. For over 25 years this company has been publishing great books that matter; books that have been translated into over 50 languages, won many awards, and have been adapted for film and stage.
Some of the many amazing diverse books from Second Story Press include titles like:
Sign Up Here: A story about friendship By Kathryn Cole and Illustrated by Qin Leng
There seems to be a club for everyone… everyone except Dee-Dee
It seems like every kid in Dee-Dee’s class has joined a club but her. It’s not that she doesn’t want to join a club, it’s that no one will let her! Because of her disability, she doesn’t walk fast enough for the walking club and the Strong-Arm Wrestling Club became the All-Boys Strong-Arm Wrestling Club when she beat Joseph easy-peasy in a match. Dee-Dee knows that friends shouldn’t leave you out and that she is a very good friend. So she and her teacher come up with a plan to show what good friends are and how they should treat each other.
The Water Walker, Written and Illustrated by Joanne Robertson
Nokimis – our grandmothers – walk to protect our water, and to protect all of us.
The story of a determined Ojibwe Grandmother (Nokomis) Josephine Mandamin and her great love for Nibi (water). Nokomis walks to raise awareness of our need to protect Nibi for future generations, and for all life on the planet. She, along with other women, men, and youth, have walked around all the Great Lakes from the four salt waters, or oceans, to Lake Superior. The walks are full of challenges, and by her example Josephine challenges us all to take up our responsibility to protect our water, the giver of life, and to protect our planet for all generations.
“Josephine Mandamin has inspired countless adults to care passionately about protecting the waters of the earth. Now through Joanne Robertson’s magical book, Josephine will inspire children to know they can change the world.” – Maude Barlow, The Council of Canadians and Water Activist
Where Will I Live? By Rosemary McCarney
Where do you go if your home is no longer safe?
Every child needs a home. They need somewhere safe where they can be happy, eat their meals with their family, play with their toys, and go to sleep at night feeling unafraid.
But many children all over the world have had to leave their homes because they are no longer safe. Because of war and conflict, they and their families have become refugees. For them life is hard and full of questions. In spite of everything, they find time to laugh, play, and make friends. And most importantly, they have hope that somewhere, someone will welcome them to a new home.
Written by Rosemary McCarney, Canada’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Where Will I Live? will help children whose lives are not directly affected by this crisis think about the importance of home, and what life is like for a child refugee who does not have a permanent, safe home to shelter them and their family. The beautiful photographs in this book were taken by the UNHCR—the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees—and include images of children on the move and in refugee camps in countries such as Lebanon, Rwanda, Iraq, Niger, Hungary, Jordan, South Sudan, and Greece.
Zoe’s Extraordinary Holiday Adventures By Christina Minaki
Zoe mostly has it good. Her parents are nice, her brother isn’t half bad, and her dog Ella is amazing. But Zoe thinks her life is boring, nothing ever changes. She’s stuck in her wheelchair and her parents never let her do anything fun. And it really bugs her that some of the kids think she’s not smart just because her body doesn’t always do what she wants.
Then in the midst of the holiday season, Zoe learns about the diverse cultures of her friends at school, and realizes she’s not the only different one in class. While celebrating the traditions of Christmas, Hanukkanh, Kwanzaa, Divali and Eid, she realizes that excitement can arrive in weird and challenging ways. Will Zoe succeed when she needs to take charge for the first time? Or, is having adventures really not as great as she thought?
Hand Over Hand by Alma Fullerton and Illustrated by Renné Benoit
Who says girls can’t fish?
When Nina asks her grandfather to take her fishing with him on his old banca boat, his answer is always the same: “A boat is not the place for a girl.”
But Nina is determined to go. She knows that if her lolo will show her how to jig the lines, to set the hook, and to pull in a fish, hand over hand, she can prove to everyone in their Filipino fishing village that she deserves her turn in the boat, girl or no!
Violet by Tania Duprey Stehlik and Illustrated by Vanja Vuleta Jovanovic
Violet’s mother is red and her father is blue, which leads her to ask… Why am I Violet?
Violet is happy that her father has come to pick her up after her first day at a new school. But as she races over to meet him, one of the other kids asks, “How come your Dad is blue and you’re not?” Violet has never even thought about this before. Her mother is red, and her father is blue so why isn’t she red or blue? Why is she violet? Upset and confused, Violet goes to her mother. Using paints, her mother shows her that when you combine red and blue, you get violet! Like many people in the world, Violet is a beautiful mix of colors.
A wonderfully original story about acceptance and the beauty of being different, with illustrations that beautifully capture Violet’s off-kilter and colorful world.
Terrific Women Teachers By Helen Wolfe
Profiles of ten inspiring women educators from around the world.
Each chapter includes photographs, sidebars and fascinating facts about these groundbreaking women:
Maria Montessori, founder of the Montessori method of self-directed learning
Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan, Helen’s “miracle worker”
Christa McAuliffe, a high school teacher who died in the space shuttle Challenger disaster
Dorval Onesime, a Métis educator in the early 1900s from Saskatchewan
Denise Fruchter, a special education teacher with Tourette Syndrome from Toronto
Malalai Joya, campaigning for girls’ education in Afghanistan
Erin Gurswell, founder of Freedom Writers USA
Raden Ayu Kartini, who campaigned for the education of women in Indonesia
Marva Collins, an African-American teacher dedicated to improving schools in US cities
Dear Baobab by Cheryl Foggo and Illustrated by Qin Leng
Maiko knows what it is like to be small and to feel planted in the wrong place…
Maiko has left his village in Africa far behind, moving to North America to live with his aunt and uncle. When he thinks of home, he thinks of the beautiful big baobab tree at the center of the village. In his new home, Maiko feels a connection to the small spruce tree in the front yard – it’s seven years old, the same age as he is. The tree sings to Maiko and shares his secrets. When he learns that the roots of the tree are growing too close to the house, putting the little spruce in danger of being cut down, Maiko tries to save it. He knows all too well what it’s like to be small, and planted in the wrong place.
While Maiko tries to keep his sadness to himself, his aunt and uncle quickly realize that something is wrong. Together, they work out a solution that saves the tree, seeing it transported to a new forest. Just like Maiko, his tree will learn to grow and thrive in its new home.
I Am Not a Number. By Jenny Kay Dupuis and Kathy Kacer and Illustrated by Gillian Newland
Indigenous educator Dr. Jenny Kay Dupuis teams up with award-winning author Kathy Kacer to tell a true and personal story of Canada’s residential school past.
When eight-year-old Irene is removed from her First Nations family to live in a residential school she is confused, frightened, and terribly homesick. She tries to remember who she is and where she came from, despite the efforts of the nuns who are in charge at the school and who tell her that she is not to use her own name but instead use the number they have assigned to her. When she goes home for summer holidays, Irene’s parents decide never to send her and her brothers away again. But where will they hide? And what will happen when her parents disobey the law?
Based on the life of co-author Jenny Kay Dupuis’ grandmother, I Am Not a Number is a hugely necessary book that brings a terrible part of Canada’s history to light in a way that children can learn from and relate to.
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