Discrimination/Obstacles/ Barriers/ Challenges facing women in today's society


Before I Die by Jenny Downham (2007) – 16 year-old girl with leukaemia works through a list of things she wants to achieve before she dies
Over a Thousand Hills I Walk With You by Hanna Jansen (2007) – based on the true story of an 8-year old Rwandan girl genocide survivor

Jinx by Margaret Wild (2001) – verse novel of a teenage girl dealing with a boyfriend’s suicide, friends’ issues, mother issues, down syndrome sister, new step-mother . . . a real gem

Where the Heart Is by Billie Letts (1995) – 17 year-old girl finds her own way in life after being abandoned, unemployed and homeless and seven months pregnant; another absolute gem.

Purple hibiscus / Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Half of a yellow sun / Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The blood of flowers / Anita Amirrezvani

The vanishing act of Esme Lennox" by Maggie O'Farrell

Captive wife / Fiona Kidman

The poisonwood bible / Barbara Kingsolver

The Red tent Anita Diamant


Emancipation of Women/Beauty of Women Theme


Farewell speech by Rachel McAlpine – a novel on Ada Wells, Kate Sheppard, and other early Christchurch feminists.

A question of courage by Marjorie Darke (Also A Rose from Blighty by the same author)

The next two titles are on that theme, but may be a bit too young:
Be counted! : the diary of Amy Phelps, Dunedin, 1893 / by Janine McVeagh

Badge of honour by David Wiseman

Tamora Pierce – The first two books in her best-selling Song of the Lioness quartet are available again. For longtime fans and new converts, here is a chance to discover a land of enchantment, legend, and adventure. In "Alanna: The First Adventure, " Alanna of Trebond follows her dream of becoming a knight.

Changing roles of women, theme

Am not sure if it fits completely, but the "Outlander" series by Diana Garabaldon (First one is called Cross Stitch, or Outlander depending where you come from). When Claire travels back in time she experiences first hand the different way women were treated in the 1500s. (warning: there is a controversial scene where her husband beats her because that is "his duty as a husband" when she disagrees with him, but then in private he admits he agrees with her and she just needs to keep her opinions to herself until they are alone!) . But I think it fits the topic - ok time travel might not be a reason for change you come across very often!! but her role changes dramatically depending on the time period she is in.

There is always Sylvia Plath’s semi-autobiographical novel, The Bell Jar, which narrates a woman’s descent into madness through her inability to fit into the role that her family and society demand of her. Not cheerful reading but certainly addresses many issues regarding the roles of women.

You could also try novels by Doris Lessing, Margaret Atwood, Virginia Woolf and even Margaret Mahy (particularly The Other Side of Silence and, perhaps The Catalogue of the Universe). A lot of these writers’ stories are more about women trying out different roles to the ‘normal’ ones of their place and time and the effect that this has on their families.

Madame Doubtfire by Anne Fine discusses the roles of women by having a man taking on such a role.

Pirates! the true and remarkable adventures of Minerva Sharpe and Nancy Kington, female piratesby Celia Rees is a ripping yarn about two young women who take to the high seas as pirates in the 16th century and is based (loosely, I gather) on real stories of women pirates.

In non-fiction there’s Wild Swans by Jung Chang which is a long but deeply interesting book looking at three generations of women in China.

The rector's wife by Joanna Trollope.

Domination / Denigration or restriction of women (Level 3)


The cure for death by lightning by Gail Anderson-Dargatz
The secret life of bees by Sue Monk Kidd
The handmaid's tale by Margaret Atwood
The colour purple by Alice Walker


Evil women, Year 13


Titles that deal with the theme of an evil woman – Year 13

Almost moon by Alice Sebold

The cleaner by Paul Cleave.

The main character is a male and he's pretty evil, but in the middle of the story a new female character appears who is even more evil.

Mad or Bad?: The Life and Exploits of Amy Bock 1859-1943 by Jenny Coleman

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood
Cat’s eye by Margaret Atwood
Bodily harm by Margaret Atwood
The robber bride by Margaret Atwood

Film
Heavenly Creatures