Eight Podcasts That Celebrate Remarkable Women

Get ready for Women's History Month with this playlist spotlighting trailblazers including Shirley Chisholm, Frida Kahlo, Ángela Peralta, and others. For ages five and up.

Kidcasts logo with art for women's history topic

Librarians can use the audio storytelling in kidcasts to help young listeners explore the lives and issues of extraordinary, yet often unseen and unheard, women. Young, curious minds can build knowledge, grow empathy, and draw inspiration from these remarkable outliers that were often described as being "ahead of their time."

The Women’s History Month playlist

Dorktales Storytime Podcast, "Ángela Peralta, Hidden Hero of History" 
Ages 5-10 –Listeners of all ages will enjoy the playful nature and spirit of Dorktales Storytime’s approach. Voiceover actor host Jonathan Cormur portrays two characters named Jonathan and Redge the Hedgehog who discuss "Hidden Heroes of History" with infectious curiosity about the historical figures and their fields of interest. This episode honors the remarkable Peralta, who made her debut as a Bel Canto–style opera singer when she was only 15 years old.

What Will She Do Next? "Frida Kahlo—Bite-Sized Bios" 
Age 6 Up –This musical podcast features stories about women in history who persevered in their lives and became pioneers in their fields. This short but immersive episode brings young listeners into the world of Kahlo, even giving the Mexican artist a voice, courtesy of guest actress Kimberly Castañeda, speaking in Spanish and English, and muses on themes of self-confidence and resilience.

The Past and the Curious, "Episode 53: Sophie and Willa" 
Ages 6-12 —Aeronaut Sophie Blanchard flew higher in a balloon than anyone before her, while Willa Brown was the first Black woman to receive her pilot’s license. These audio narratives filled with intriguing insights about their awe-inspiring journeys are easy to listen to and fully immerse audiences in these brave women’s lives.

BBC Discovery, "Mary Anning and Fossil Hunting"
Ages 8 Up –BBC’s Discovery is not specifically for kids and is mostly comprised of general audience content created for radio programming. The episode "Mary Anning and Fossil Hunting" is a fantastically crafted audio documentary that invites listeners to get to know more about a young outlier named Mary Anning, an English palaeontologist who made important fossil discoveries in cliffs by the English Channel and in Southwest England while she was a teenager and young woman.

Who, When, Wow! "Shirley Chisholm: U.S. Congresswoman"
Ages 9-12 –Writer and host Rebecca Sheir narrates each episode and banters with historical figures, brought to life by a ­rotating cast of voice actors and working with the team from Wow in the World. The show’s first episode introduces listeners to Shirley Chisolm, "who brought her leadership skills and fighting spirit to Washington, D.C., as the first elected Black Congresswoman of the United States. As a Congresswoman, Shirley continued her lifelong work of fighting for civil rights and women’s ­equality, even when she was met with criticism and discrimination from her peers."

Forever Ago, Skateboards: "When Roller Skates Met Surfboards"
Ages 10-14 –Forever Ago investigates "the origin of just one thing while teaching listeners to think critically about history." In this episode, we take to the air with 12-year-old Minna Stess, the youngest U.S. skateboarding national champion. Co-hosting with Joy Dolo, Minna discusses being a girl and youth skater, tackles surprising skateboard trivia, and talks with a reporter Chris Greenspon, who lines up ­thrilling interviews with skateboard experts and athletes.

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls, ­"Octavia Butler Read by Amita Parikh," "Get to Know Amita Parikh"
Ages 12-16 –Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls the podcast (and now a ­podcast app) is based on best-selling book series of the same title. The episodes with historical female figures read by famous ­modern-day women activists each have an additional ­companion episode that focuses on famous, modern-day female activists who have a connection to those historical figures. Octavia Butler, the award-winning ­Black American science fiction novelist, had a tough time finding a place for her writing. She overcame struggles with social anxiety and dyslexia during her lifetime. Amita Parikh, a writer who has also faced challenges, narrates Butler’s story but also tells her own struggles to embrace her identity as a writer.

Ages 10 UpWomanica has around 600 five- to 10-minute episodes about women who have made a difference. The bite-sized biographies introduce listeners to "pioneers, villainesses, ­scientists, warriors, and more." Themed months and weeks that focus on "Indigenous Women"and "Troublemakers" ­introduce listeners to many recognizable and lesser-known historical figures with nearly daily episodes that invite students to imagine what it could have been like to walk in these women’s shoes. Womanica’s lesson planning ­resources provide guidance to help practitioners choose episodes aligned with various themes or time periods.

Anne Bensfield is an educational consultant focusing on librarians and new media. Phoebe Owens is a freelance librarian and writer, and co-creator of the podcast The Adventures of Power Dog in Dogland.

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