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Women’s History Wednesday #2: Jane Goodall

It’s Wednesday, so it’s time for more Women’s History!

[One of my favorite things about writing historical fiction is getting to explore the lives of real, and sometimes famous, women—like Alice Roosevelt. When Audrey Met Alice allowed me to spend a lot of time researching the women who have made 1600 Pennsylvania a home in addition to a historic site. (Check out the Resources page of my website for more information on my research, along with a Women’s History Month lesson plan!) But this month, I wanted to devote some words to other female historical figures I find inspiring. Each Wednesday this March, I’m sharing a short post about a fascinating woman in honor of Women’s History Month. I’d love to hear which women interest and inspire you–please tell me in the comments! I’ll (randomly) choose one commenter on each post to win a preorder of the new When Audrey Met Alice paperbackTweet about the women who inspire you with the hashtag #WomensHistWednesday for an extra entry.]

Last week, I wrote about Bessie Coleman. Rachel Sullivan won a WAMA preorder with her comment about nurses like Clara Barton and Florence Nightingale, and strong single working mothers everywhere. Thanks to everyone who shared about the women who inspire them!

Inspiring me today is: Jane Goodall


Jane and Jubilee (Source: Jane Goodall Institute)

As a child, Jane’s father gave her a toy chimpanzee, Jubilee. It sparked her interest in and love of animals. Jane went on to become an expert primatologist, and now knows more than probably anyone else on earth about chimpanzees. She completed a famous 45-year study on chimpanzee social and family life at Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania, sharing with the world that other primates can show the personality, emotions, and rational thought that humans do. Today she advocates for animal rights and the environment through the Jane Gooddall Institute. And she still keeps her toy chimpanzee, Jubilee, on her dresser.

Learn more about Jane:

Jane Goodall: A Retrospective (a short National Geographic video)

The Jane Goodall Institute

Jane Goodall’s Journey (an interview with a Scholastic News kid reporter)

Jane’s Favorites

Which women inspire you?

5 Responses to Women’s History Wednesday #2: Jane Goodall

  1. Giora says:

    Yep, it’s Wednesday. Last week I gave you the names of two inspiring historical women from Europe. Today I like to highlight an inspiring historical Mexican woman from the 17th, who is in my Mexican YA fiction. Her name is Juana Ines de la Cruz. She was a nun, poet, writer and probably the first feminist in North America. Fascinating woman that Americans should get to know, following that Mexican Americans are the dominant minority group and growing. So to the first feminist in North America, I salute to Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz. To anyone reading this blog, read about this amazing historical Mexican woman on Wikipedia. Best wishes, Rebecca, for your novel to do well.

    • Rebecca says:

      I love this suggestion! I majored in Spanish literature, and we covered Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz in one of my classes. She is amazing! Actually, I was trying to remember last week the “proto-feminist” nun I remembered studying and got sidetracked by thinking about the mystic Maria Vela y Cueto in Spain.
      Now I’m very excited about your YA fiction, Giora!

  2. Giora says:

    You are welcome. Not sure how much you are into feminism, but if you are, then next Wednesday I will highlight the mother of feminism from Europe, an historical British woman from the 19th century. My other YA fiction which is more directly about feminism pays tribute to her and to Malala. Next week ….:)

  3. Jennifer Pickrell says:

    Miep Gies because without her, the world may never have known about Anne Frank and her diary.

    • Rebecca says:

      Yes! Now I am Googling her to learn more about the woman who made such a powerful book available.