May 2023
Dear Friends of Women & Children First,
May is just around the corner, bringing with it a jam-packed calendar of events for readers of all ages!

In conjunction with Indie Bookstore Day this Saturday, come out to support our Bake Sale for Abortion with all proceeds benefiting Chicago Abortion Fund!

In addition to all the freshly announced events you'll see below, you probably heard that our Emily St. John Mandel event had to be rescheduled due to Covid. We are wishing Emily a speedy recovery! There are still tickets available for the rescheduled event on Sunday, May 7 at 6 p.m.

Romance is blooming at W&CF! Our streak of fabulous (and fantastically popular) romance events continues with New York Times-bestselling author, Ali Hazelwood! GET YOUR TIX BEFORE WE SELL OUT!

With love & gratitude,

But it's not May quite yet! Indie Bookstore Day is this Saturday! And the best way to celebrate IBD is to participate in the Chicagoland Indie Bookstore Crawl. Use this handy Google map to plan your route for visiting 10 to 15 stores in a single, fantastically book-filled day!

Also in celebration of Indie Bookstore Day, a $1,000 match has been offered for all wishlist purchases for Chicago Books to Women in Prison. Friday, April 28 through Monday, May 8, anything you buy for CBWP from the wishlist HERE or in store will count toward the $1,000 match goal. CBWP, an all-volunteer, donation-funded 501(c)(3) nonprofit, sends free books to women and trans people in prisons nationwide. CBWP and W&CF appreciate the support of friends like you.
Subscriptions Boxes are open!
The new Baby Bookworm Box is open until May 1! When you subscribe, you'll receive a thoughtfully curated box of 3 to 4 recently published board books for ages 1 to 3 and other goodies!
Orders for the Romance Subscription Box are now open until May 22! We are opening the box up for one last round for 6 months ($150 + shipping) before we take a little break!
May Events
Tue, May 2, 2023 12:00 PM CST
Virtual Event: MOMFLUENCED by Sara Petersen
Please join us for a virtual event celebrating the release of Momfluenced by Sara Petersen! For this event, Sara will be in conversation with Kate Baer

On Instagram, the private work of mothering is turned into a public performance, generating billions of dollars. The message is simple: we're all just a couple of clicks away from a better, more beautiful experience of motherhood. 
Linen-clad momfluencers hawking essential oils, parenting manuals, and baby slings, and sponsored content for Away Suitcases, make us want to forget that the reality of mothering in America is an isolating, exhausting, almost wholly unsupported endeavor. In a culture that denies mothers' basic human rights, it feels good to click “purchase now” on whatever a momfluencer might be selling. It feels good to hope.

Tue, May 2, 2023 6:00 PM CST
In-Store Event: ELLIE ENGLE SAVES HERSELF by Leah Johnson
Women & Children First, Chicago
Join us for an in-person event celebrating Ellie Engle Saves Herself! by Leah Johnson! For this event, Leah Johnson will be in conversation with Julian Randall.

Ellie Engle doesn’t stand out. Not at home, where she's alone with her pet fish since her dad moved away and her mom has to work around the clock. Not at the bakery, where she helps out old Mr. Walker on the weekends. And definitely not at school, where her best friend Abby—the coolest, boldest, most talented girl in the world—drags Ellie along on her never-ending quest to “make her mark.”

Wednesday, May 3 at 10:30 a.m.
Monthly Story Time with Miss Linda!
Women & Children First, Chicago

Join us for in-person story time with Miss Linda! This event is held the first Wednesday of every month. Doors open at 10:15 am. Stories start at 10:30 a.m.

Story time is designed for 2-to-5-year-olds who are ready to sit, listen, and participate, but children of all ages are welcome. W&CF Co-Founder Linda Bubon reads and performs 5 or more stories along with songs and finger plays. Story time is free, but cash donations are appreciated.

Sun, May 7, 2023 6:00 PM CST
In-Person Event: SEA OF TRANQUILITY by Emily St. John Mandel
Chicago Waldorf School, Chicago
Women & Children First is excited to welcome New York Times-bestselling author Emily St. John Mandel for a reading, conversation, and book-signing in honor of the paperback release of Sea of Tranquility. For this event, Mandel will be in conversation with producer and host of the WBEZ podcast Nerdette, Greta Johnsen.
The award-winning, best-selling author of Station Eleven and The Glass Hotel returns with a novel of art, time travel, love, and plague that takes the reader from Vancouver Island in 1912 to a dark colony on the moon five hundred years later, unfurling a story of humanity across centuries and space.
Tue, May 9, 2023 7:00 PM CST
In-Store Event: SIDE NOTES FROM THE ARCHIVIST by Anastacia-Reneé
Women & Children First, Chicago
Join us for an in-person event celebrating the release of Side Notes from the Archivist by Anastacia-Reneé. For this event, Anastacia-Reneé will be in conversation with avery r. young, the newly announced Chicago Poet Laureate. 

The award-winning, genre-crossing writer demonstrates her power as a funkadelic and formidable feminist voice in this rich and beautiful collection of verse and image—a multi-part retrospective that traverses time, space, and reality to illuminate the expansiveness of Black femme lives.

Wed, May 10, 2023 7:00 PM CST
In-Store Event: IF TOMORROW DOESN'T COME by Jen St. Jude
Women & Children First, Chicago
Please join us for an in-person event celebrating the release of If Tomorrow Doesn't Come by Jen St. Jude! For this event, Jen will be in conversation with Jas Hammonds

Avery Byrne has secrets. She's queer; she's in love with her best friend, Cass; and she's suffering from undiagnosed clinical depression. But on the morning Avery plans to jump into the river near her college campus, the world discovers there are only nine days left to live: an asteroid is headed for Earth, and no one can stop it.
Thu, May 11, 2023 7:00 PM CST
In-Store: UNDER THE HENFLUENCE by Tove Danovich
Women & Children First, Chicago
Join us for an in-person event celebrating the release of Under the Henfluence: Inside the World of Backyard Chickens and the People Who Love Them by Tove Danovich! For this event, Tove will be joined in conversation by Sophie Lucido-Johnson

Since first domesticating the chicken thousands of years ago, humans have become exceptionally adept at raising them for food. Yet most people rarely interact with chickens or know much about them. In Under the Henfluence, culture reporter Tove Danovich explores the lives of these quirky, mysterious birds who stole her heart the moment her first box of chicks arrived at the post office.

Fri, May 12, 2023 7:00 PM CST
In-Store Event: Casey Plett & Hazel Jane Plante
Women & Children First, Chicago
Please join us for an event celebrating the re-release of A Safe Girl to Love by Casey Plett and the release of Any Other City by Hazel Jane Plante!

A new edition of two-time Lambda Literary Award–winner Casey Plett’s acclaimed debut short story collection, A Safe Girl to Love, is something to celebrate! By the author of Little Fish and A Dream of a Woman, eleven unique short stories feature young trans women stumbling through loss, sex, harassment, and love in settings ranging from a rural Mennonite town to a hipster gay bar in Brooklyn.

Saturday, May 13 from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Outside the bookstore

Buy baked goods & support MAC!
Here's what your donations to MAC can do:
• $10: a ride-share from the train station to the clinic.
• $25: a short distance bus or a train ticket.
• $40: food stipend for a day.
• $75: child care stipend for a day. (Six in 10 women who have abortions are already mothers.)
• $100: one night in a low-cost hotel.
• $450: round-trip airfare for those who have to travel out of region.

Tue, May 16, 2023 7:00 PM CST
In-Store: BIANCA by Eugenia Leigh with Jameka Williams & C. Russell Price
Women & Children First, Chicago
Please join us to celebrate the release of Bianca by Eugenia Leigh! For this event, Eugenia Leigh will be joined by Jameka Williams and C. Russell Price

“I thought I forgave you,” Eugenia Leigh tells the specter of her father in Bianca. “Then I took root and became / someone’s mother.” Leigh’s gripping second collection introduces us to a woman managing marriage, motherhood, and mental illness as her childhood abuse resurfaces in the light of “this honeyed life.” Leigh strives to reconcile the disconnect between her past and her present as she confronts the inherited violence mired in the body’s history.

Thursday, May 18 at 7 p.m.
Mundelein Center for the Fine and Performing Arts
1020 West Sheridan Road

Three years after the release of the New York Times bestseller Wow, No Thank You, beloved author, celebrated comedian, and famed blogger Samantha Irby joins WBEZ's Nerdette host Greta Johnsen to discuss her new collection of essays, Quietly Hostile.

Join us on May 18th at the Mundelein Theater as Irby reveals all that is behind Hollywood’s mirage of glitz and glamor--from her experience in the writers’ room of the Sex and the City reboot to flop sweats on the red carpet.

Sat, May 20, 2023 10:30 AM CST
In-Person Storytime: J IS FOR JUSTICE by Veronica I. Arreola
Women & Children First, Chicago
Join us for an in-person story time and book release party celebrating J Is for Justice! by Veronica I. Arreola

From A to Z, discover your power to speak up for what you believe in and change the world! With empowering language and vibrant illustrations, this alphabet board book calls little ones to action with big and small steps that children can take to lead the way and become the next generation of activists.

Wed, May 24, 2023 7:00 PM CST
Women & Children First, Chicago
Join us for an in-person event celebrating the release of Period: The Real Story of Menstruation by Kate Clancy! For this event, Kate will be in conversation with Heather Corrina

Menstruation is something half the world does for a week at a time, for months and years on end, yet it remains largely misunderstood. Scientists once thought of an individual's period as useless, and some doctors still believe it's unsafe for a menstruating person to swim in the ocean wearing a tampon. Period counters the false narratives that have long defined the study of the uterus, exposing the eugenic history of gynecology while providing an intersectional feminist perspective on menstruation science.

Fri, May 26, 2023 7:00 PM CST
In-Store: NERUDA ON THE PARK by Cleyvis Natera
Women & Children First, Chicago
Join us for an in-person event celebrating the paperback release of Neruda on the Park by Cleyvis Natera. For this event, Cleyvis will be in conversation with Jessamine Chan

An exhilarating debut novel following members of a Dominican family in New York City who take radically different paths when faced with encroaching gentrification.
The Guerreros have lived in Nothar Park, a predominantly Dominican part of New York City, for twenty years. When demolition begins on a neighboring tenement, Eusebia, an elder of the community, takes matters into her own hands by devising an increasingly dangerous series of schemes to stop construction of the luxury condos.

Tue, May 30, 2023 7:00 PM CST
In-Store Book Launch: TOWN AND GOWN by Jan English Leary
Women & Children First, Chicago
Join us for an in-person book launch celebrating the release of Town and Gown by Jan English Leary. For this event, Jan will be joined in conversation by Lynn Sloan

Two girls grow up in the same rural college town where class and family expectations guide them onto predictable paths: marriage for one, and college for the other. However, Wanda and Callie defy the expectations and make other choices, ones with serious consequences. What does it cost a young woman to determine her path in life?

Wed, May 31, 2023 7:00 PM CST
In-Store Event: WOMEN WE BURIED, WOMEN WE BURNED by Rachel Louise Snyder
Women & Children First, Chicago
Join us for an in-person event celebrating the release of Women We Buried, Women We Burned by Rachel Louise Snyder! For this event, Rachel will be joined by Elizabeth Taylor

For decades, Rachel Louise Snyder has been a fierce advocate reporting on the darkest social issues that impact women's lives. Women We Buried, Women We Burned is her own story.
Snyder was eight years old when her mother died, and her distraught father thrust the family into an evangelical, cult-like existence halfway across the country. Furiously rebellious, she was expelled from both school and her home at age 16. Living out of her car and relying on strangers, Rachel found herself masquerading as an adult, talking her way into college, and eventually traveling the globe.

Thu, Jun 1, 2023 7:00 PM CST
In-Store: EVERYBODY COME ALIVE by Marcie Alvis Walker
Women & Children First, Chicago
Join us for an in-person event celebrating Everybody Come Alive: A Memoir in Essays by Marcie Alvis Walker. For this event, Marcie will be in conversation with Jenny Booth Potter.

In her debut book, Everybody Come Alive, Marcie Alvis Walker invites readers into a deeply intimate and illuminating life story told in lyrical essays and remembrances of being a curious child of the seventies and eighties, raised under the critical and watchful eye of Jim Crow matriarchs who struggled to integrate their lives and remain whole.
Fri, Jun 2, 2023 6:00 PM CST
In-Store: DYKETTE by Jenny Fran Davis
Women & Children First, Chicago
Join us for an in-person event celebrating Dykette by Jenny Fran Davis. For this event, Jenny will be in conversation with Rivka Yeker!

An addictive, absurd, and darkly hilarious debut novel about a young woman who embarks on a ten-day getaway with her partner and two other queer couples.
Sasha and Jesse are professionally creative, erotically adventurous, and passionately dysfunctional twentysomethings making a life together in Brooklyn. When a pair of older, richer lesbians—prominent news host Jules Todd and her psychotherapist partner, Miranda—invites Sasha and Jesse to their country home for the holidays, they’re quick to accept.


Monday, June 5 at 7 p.m.
Jamie Loftus
In-person Book Launch with Superdawg bundles!

Wednesday, June 7 at 10:30 a.m.
Story time with Miss Linda

Wednesday, June 7 at 7 p.m.
Annabel Monaghan
In-person: Author Reading

Thursday, June 8 at 7 p.m.
Cody Daigle
In-person Panel Discussion

Friday, June 9 through Sunday, June 11
Andersonville's Annual Summer Street Festival

Monday, June 12 at 7 p.m.
Julia Fine
In-person Book Launch

Tuesday, June 13 at 7 p.m.
Lindz Amer
In-person Author Reading

Wednesday, June 14 at 10:30 a.m.
Queer Kids Stuff
Kids Musical Story time with Lindz Amer

Wednesday, June 14 at 7 p.m.
hosted by Jeremy Owens

Friday, June 16 at 7 p.m.
Ali Hazelwood
with Danielle Jackson, Sonali Dev & Shirlene Obuobi
Off-site ticketed Event
Women & Children First Book Groups
by Kay Dick
(and selection meeting)
Monday, May 15
at 7 PM 
(hybrid: in-person and Zoom)
Leon the Extraordinary
by Jamar Nicholas
Thursday, May 25
at 4:30 p.m.
via Zoom
Thank You, Mr. Nixon Tuesday, May 16
at 7:30pm
Virtual (just this month!)
via Zoom
Enormous Changes at the Last Minute
by Grace Paley
Sunday, May 7 at 10 a.m. 
(Hybrid: in-person and Zoom)
Swimming To Antarctica: Tales of a Long-Distance Swimmer
by Lynne Cox
Sunday, May 7 at 2 p.m.
(via Zoom)