The Second Shelf and Beyond | National Humanities Center

Humanities Moments

The Second Shelf and Beyond

July 17, 2020

Hill, Kathryn (President, The Levine Museum of the New South)

Libraries; Reading; Children's Literature; Children; Biography; Women's History

In elementary school, Kathryn Hill itched to move beyond the first shelf of the library books. When she finally reached the second shelf, a new world awaited her: biographies of historical figures. The lives of women such as Harriet Beecher Stowe, Harriet Tubman, and Dorothea Dix led her to understand that history was all about stories. She realized that her own life “needed to be about something”—and that it could be.


History / Libraries / Reading / Children's Literature / Children / Biography / Women's History /

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