6 Books About Groundbreaking Women

Roseanne Montillo, author of Fire on the Track, recommends stories of women almost lost to history.

Groundbreaking Women

Tap the book covers to learn more

When 16-year-old Betty Robinson took her spot at the starting line of the 100-meter dash in the 1928 Olympic Games, it was only her fourth-ever organized meet. When she crossed the finish line, she did so as the fastest woman in the world. Fire on the Track chronicles Betty’s rise to fame and the near-fatal plane accident that set her on a path to recovery, set against the backdrop of other female trailblazers in the sport.

Betty’s story, like so many others of pioneering women, could have been lost to history, buried away beneath the accomplishments of men. But writers are uncovering extraordinary stories every day—women who forged their own paths and made their voices heard. These six stories about groundbreaking women are just the tip of the iceberg and will inspire readers of all walks of life.

Featured illustration: Tyler Spangler

Get recommendations for the greatest books around straight to your inbox every week.


ROSEANNE MONTILLO holds an MFA from Emerson College in Massachusetts, where she teaches as a professor of literature. She is the author of The Lady and Her Monsters and The Wilderness of Ruin.