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The Book the Librarian of Congress Wants Young Girls to Read

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On Tuesday night, TIME Magazine hosted the TIME Firsts panel discussion which featured four women who are changing the world. The panel, which discussed the roadblocks these women faced in building their careers, featured Carla Hayden, Sylvia Earle, Maya Lin, and Kathryn Smith, and was hosted by TIME editor-in-chief Nancy Gibbs.

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During the event, the discussion quickly turned to books that inspired the women when they were young girls. Carla Hayden, the first-ever woman Librarian of Congress, took this opportunity to suggest a recently-released title that she thinks girls should be reading:

“There’s a new book that’s out now, it’s called Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls, and it’s a great book,” Hayden said. “It’s filled with all types of girls and types of women doing all types of things. To see an 8 or 9 year old looking at that now and thinking, ‘Wow, I can do that.’”

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls, by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo, is a collection of 100 stories from real-life women, from Frida Kahlo to Jane Austen to Serena Williams, re-told as bedtime stories for kids. Each inspirational story shows young girls that they can be anyone they want to be.

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Hayden went on to mention that Anne Boleyn was one of the reasons she got interested in reading in the first place. When she saw her grandmother reading the book Brief Gaudy Hour: A Novel of Anne Boleyn by Margaret Campbell Barnes, her interest was piqued.

“I didn’t understand half of what Anne Boleyn was doing but she was this strong woman who just tricked everybody and did all this back then, and I’ve been an Anne Boleyn fan ever since,” Hayden said.

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls and Brief Gaudy Hour: A Novel of Anne Boleyn are both available on Amazon.

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