Alabama Spitfire: The Story of Harper Lee and To Kill a Mockingbird, by Bethany Hegedus

Here’s another one of our favorite books about strong girls for your kiddos. We adore this one about a very favorite author of ours here at Happily Ever Elephants!

Books About Strong Girls, Alabama Spitfire

Another one to add to our collection of books about strong girls! Picture book biographies are flooding our shelves these days, and each one seems to be better than the next. The women and men I have learned about from these books are both inspiring and courageous, and their legacies - their stories of hope and determination and perseverance -- are ones I love to share with my boys and students. But the one I've been most excited about recently is Alabama Spitfire: The Story of Harper Lee and To Kill a Mockingbird, written by Bethany Hegedus and illustrated by Erin McGuire.  Because, of course, as cliche as it may sound, To Kill a Mockingbird is my all time favorite book (yes, I still have my original version from 9th grade). And this new biography hit a perfect note - here’s to amazing books about strong girls.

Alabama Spitfire tells the story of Harper Lee, born Nelle Harper Lee, on April 28, 1926 in segregated Monroeville, Alabama.  An overall-wearing, tree-climbing tomboy, Nelle would spend afternoons at the courthouse watching her father, an attorney, fight for justice. From him, she learned to fight for what was fair and always took up for the underdog, including her good friend Truman Capote (yes, that Truman Capote!) Nelle and Tru both loved books, and with him, she began to embrace her love for words.  What follows is Nelle's evolution from feisty child to famous writer: her move to New York City, her dream of becoming an author, and the events that inspired her Pulitzer Prize winning novel, To Kill A Mockingbird, one of the seminal books of the twentieth century.  

Alabama Spitfire is such a phenomenal picture book to pair with any child holding To Kill a Mockingbird in their hands for the first time. It is also a wonderful story of being true to yourself and following your dreams.  With famous quotes from To Kill A Mockingbird woven throughout the text, this gem of a book is a testament to the power of words and an ode to the writer whose story become a classic in American literature. Two trunks up! 

Looking for more amazing books about strong girls? Check these out!

Want the link? Get it here! Alabama Spitfire: The Story of Harper Lee and To Kill a Mockingbird, by Bethany Hegedus. HEE received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher. However, all opinions contained herein are entirely our own. 

On a Magical Do-Nothing Day, by Beatrice Alemagna

Teaching digital rights and responsibilities to children should include one crucial element: taking time to unplug and disconnect. On a Magical Do-Nothing Day is a wonderful example of this notion!

Teaching Digital Rights and Responsibilities with On A Magical Do Nothing Day

Remember the days when we didn't worry about screens cracking or batteries dying and the only volume anyone was concerned about was whether kids were properly using their inside voices? I do. And sometimes, I wish we were back there. Yes, I love my phone and my gadgets, and yes, it's pretty fantastic that I can access all of my work and writing and scheduling from one simple device. But, gosh, how I hate when my kids only want to watch Daniel Tiger and Paw Patrol on my iPad! Enter On a Magical Do-Nothing Day, a whimsical new book written and illustrated by the great Beatrice Alemagna- a book that reminds us of simpler days and ranked high on my list of favorites from 2017.

In On a Magical Do-Nothing Day, a young boy wants nothing more than to destroy Martians on his device. But mom - smart mom! - eventually takes the device away and hides it. The boy finds the gadget though, and he goes to play with it outside in the rain.  But then, lo and behold, the device of all devices falls smack dab into the middle of a pond. Whatever will the child do to pass the time? Maybe, just maybe, with the help of some friendly snails and the use of his long forgotten imagination, the day will turn out ok after all.

Need I say more? If your kids are getting too much screen time, hide the phones, take away the iPads, snuggle up on the couch, and read this book. And then go outside, play hide and seek, and enjoy your beautiful, natural environment together. Sometimes we all need that reminder to unplug- and yes, I'm not just talking about the kids. I'm guilty- horribly so- of spending too much time on my phone. But I am so thankful for books like On a Magical Do-Nothing Day that remind us to slow down, look up, and enjoy life's simplest pleasures. There's nothing more beautiful than that.


Want the book? Get it here! On a Magical Do-Nothing Day, by Beatrice Alemagna.