Books for Strong and Smart Girls

grace-books-thumb.jpgToday, Lindsey (also of A Design So Vast) shares a wonderful roundup of books for strong and smart girls:

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:

  • A Wrinkle in Time - Madeleine L'Engle (incidentally, my favorite book from my own childhood)

  • Harriet the Spy - Louise Fitzhugh

  • Pippi Longstocking - Astrid Lindgren

  • The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate - Jacqueline Kelly

  • Penny Dreadful - Laurel Snyder

  • The Hundred Dresses - Eleanor Estes

  • the Ramona books - Beverly Cleary

  • Miss Rumphius - Barbara Cooney

  • the Harry Potter series - J.K.Rowling

  • Firefighters in the Dark - Dashka Slater

  • the Alice Miranda series - Jacqueline Harvey

  • My Very UnFairy Tale Life - Anna Staniszewski


    Image credit: Lindsey Mead