My 10-year-old daughter Grace loves to read. I'm always looking for books with strong female protagonists, books that model bravery and smarts, books with characters who are worthy of admiration and emulation. It's been fun to watch Grace fall in love with some of my old favorites, and equally interesting to observe her discover new titles that I didn't know, from recommendations from friends, ideas suggested by teachers, or afternoons wandering in the library.
As Grace gets older, my ability to shape her environment and control her influences loosens. One place she still likes my input, though, is on books. There are plenty of girls in literature who are preoccupied with their looks and weight, with boys and things. I try to help guide her towards a different set of books, those whose message are about being yourself, about strength and humor, about guts and intelligence. These are also books that I wrap up and give friends, nieces, and goddaughters for their birthdays and holiday gifts. This list of some of our favorites -- which includes a range of picture and chapter books -- is by no means comprehensive but will offer wonderful fodder for your daughter's fearless exploration:
Image credit: Lindsey Mead