Children looking for inspiration will surely find it here. This fun and inspiring collection of influential stories tells the tales of strong, independent girls who grew up to make a profound impact on the world. Each story has its own life lesson alongside a positive message. It’s never too soon to start making a difference, and these stories are exhilarating examples of power in action to make for ideal motivation. Every single one of these individuals overcame adversities and changed the world, building a way for others to live better lives. Each one worked hard and maintained self-confidence, even when others expressed doubt or said their dreams couldn’t be achieved. What better way to remind our children that “We Are Masters of Our Own Destiny”, than to tell them the stories of ordinary girls who grew up to change the world.
Agatha Christie’s first book was turned down by many publishers, but her persistence was rewarded. She is known as the best-selling novelist of all time. Angela Merkel grew up when the Berlin Wall separated East and West Germany. As chancellor of Germany she was a determined leader who knew the pain walls could cause and never wanted her people to be divided again.
Today we set sail on a high seas adventure and learn about a legendary girl pirate who was ahead of her time. The 18th century was still a time when men made all important decisions, a time when women did not have many rights. In this men’s world, it was hard for Anne Bonny to become an equal crew-member and a respected pirate – but, she did it! You’ll also read about a timeless icon, humanitarian and actress, Audrey Hepburn, who’s sophistication, elegance and grace remains unrivalled in the movie and fashion scenes.
As a child, Beatrix Potter spent her time making up imaginary characters. Her imagination helped her become one of Britain’s foremost children’s authors, famous for her character ‘Peter Rabbit’. After more than two decades in the spotlight, Beyoncé has become much more than a pop icon. She’s a cultural force who has routinely defied expectations and transformed the way we understand the power of art to change how we see ourselves and each other.
You’ll find Billie Jean King in the international Tennis Hall of Fame for winning a record 20 Wimbledon championships. Probably the most influential athlete of her time. Dr Brenda Milner is Canada’s preeminent neuropsychologist, having pioneered research into the human brain. Many consider her a founder of the field of clinical neuropsychology and cognitive neuroscience.
“A woman is like a tea bag; you never know how strong it is until it’s in hot water; do one thing every day that scares you; the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” These are some of the well known quotes by Eleanor Roosevelt – a remarkable woman who shows how decency, determination and generosity of heart can change the world. Clara Schumann, the power woman of classical music, was a virtuosic pianist and a brilliant composer who’s music is still widely heard around the world today.
You might know her as the “Be Kind Lady” but that’s not all she is. Ellen Degeneres is also a standup comedian, actress, producer, brand ambassador and host of The Ellen DeGeneres Show who has millions of fans all around the world. Georgia O’Keeffe is one of the most significant artists of the 20th century, renowned for her contribution to modern art.
Ever wondered which Hogwarts house you’d belong to? We sure do! In the wizarding world, J.K. Rowling is known for her brilliance and mastery in awakening the magical world of fantasy. Find out how her seven-volume children’s fantasy series, Harry Potter, came to life. And then read about Hortensia, who was the daughter of a famous orator, and how she decided to put her heritage and her education to good use.
Joan Beauchamp Procter was a British scientist who studied reptiles and amphibians. Her brilliance as a scientist was internationally recognised in the early 1900s—a time when women were not encouraged to be scientists. Although Lilian Bland had a short-lived career as an aviator, she certainly made a distinctive mark on aviation history. She not only flew Ireland’s first powered biplane, but was also the first woman in the world to design, build and fly an aeroplane.
Marie Tharp was an oceanographer and geologist who helped create the first map of the ocean floor, proving that it was not just the flat surface most people believed it to be. Mary Seacole was a pioneer nurse and leader in public health care. She worked in the Crimean War, caring for wounded British soldiers. She became a heroine of the war, her strength of character and kindness compared to that of Florence Nightingale.
Pioneering mathematician, Maryam Mirzakhani was one of the greatest mathematicians of her generation. She made monumental contributions to the study of the dynamics and geometry of mathematical objects called Riemann surfaces. Mata Hari was a professional dancer who became a spy for France during World War I. Suspected of being a double agent, she was executed in 1917.
Dr Merrit Moore shattered stereotypes by pursuing a dual career as a professional ballerina and a quantum physicist. With her ballet, physics and astrophysics background, Dr Moore’s focus has led her to programming and dancing with robots. Oprah Winfrey is a world-renowned talk show host and philanthropist. Her achievements are especially impressive given the obstacles she’s overcome.
Rosalind Franklin made a crucial contribution to the discovery of the double helix structure of the DNA. She worked across biology, chemistry and physics with a focus on research that mattered to society. Samantha Cristoforetti, Italy’s first female astronaut, set a record for single-mission duration by a woman in space—and that achievement was just one in a lifetime of them.
Sara Seager is one of the top astrophysicists in the world. She is a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and is known for her work on extrasolar planets and their atmospheres. Sofia Ionescu-Ogrezeanu was the first female neurosurgeon in the world. Sofia’s teachers didn’t think she was smart enough for medical school, but she studied hard. Through her long and distinguished career, she saved many lives.
Sophia Loren, an Italian actress, was named by the American Film Institute as one of the greatest female stars of Classical Hollywood cinema. Virginia Hall who had a wooden leg, was a master of disguise and a very determined lady. She was declared America’s greatest female spy and received a medal for her bravery during World War II.
Sophia Scholl was a German student and anti-Nazi political activist, active within the White Rose non-violent resistance group in Nazi Germany. She was convicted of high treason after having been found distributing anti-war leaflets. Steffi Graf is a German former professional tennis player. She won twenty-two Grand Slam singles titles, captured Olympic gold medal and was voted German sports personality of the year a record-breaking five times!
Valentina Tereshkova, a Soviet Cosmonaut, became the first woman to travel into space in 1963. After 48 orbits and 71 hours, she returned to earth, having spent more time in space than all United States astronauts combined to that date. Valerie Thomas, an astronomer, came up with a brilliant invention called the illusion transmitter, which is still used in NASA’s space exploration programmes.
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