Most Empowering Books for Girls 1 of 15
Most Empowering Books for Girls 2 of 15
1: Sally Jean, the Bicycle Queen, by Cari Best, illustrated by Christine Davenier
Sally Jean was born to ride. Her passion for cycling is sportiness at its best. When challenges threaten to stop her wheels from turning, Sally Jean keeps her passion alive, riding onward with inspiring resourcefulness. A great book for kids who love bicycles, stories about heroines who never give up, and characters who know their way around a toolbox.
Most Empowering Books for Girls 3 of 15
2: Brave Irene, by William Steig
Cultivates: Commitment and perseverance
Ah, if only every daughter was as helpful as Irene Bobbin. Her mother, the dressmaker, is feeling ill, and the beautiful gown she has sewn for the duchess must be delivered for the gala ball. Leave it to Irene, who literally braves a storm to save the day and is duly rewarded for her commitment
Most Empowering Books for Girls 4 of 15
3: Annie Bananie, by Leah Komaiko, illustrated by Laura Cornell
Cultivates: Friendship and loyalty
A heartfelt ode for a best friend who is moving away and will be sorely missed. Annie Bananie comes alive through simple rhymes and pitch-perfect illustrations. Shes a devil-may-care kind of girl, as is her best friend, who narrates the tale. A definitively female commitment to friendship threads its way through this beautiful gem of a book.
Most Empowering Books for Girls 5 of 15
4: Tar Beach, by Faith Ringold
When Cassie Louise Lightfoot "flies," all below is hers for the taking. Soaring above bridges, buildings, and city streets, Cassie dreams of a better life for her family. This young heroine makes the hottest of urban nights magical. She believes in the power of imagination and the promise of something better. And most of all, she inspires her readers to think beyond their own earthbound lives.
Most Empowering Books for Girls 6 of 15
5: I Like Myself! by Karen Beaumont, illustrated by David Catrow
Cultivates: Self Esteem
A book with a clear message of "to thy own self be true" that avoids the preachy-teachy trap. The little girl narrator is adorable and relentlessly self-loving in the best of possible ways. Beaumonts snappy rhymes are fun to read, and Catrows illustrations jump off the page with exuberance and confidence. This is the kind of book to read over and over again, especially when
a childs self-confidence is shaky.
Most Empowering Books for Girls 7 of 15
6: Sheila Rae, the Brave,
by Kevin Henkes
Sheila Rae may be the sister who everyone thinks is cool, but baby sister Irenes ingenuity is way beyond cool. Sheila Rae pushes a bit too far, travels home from school a new way, and gets terribly and frighteningly lost. Its tiny Irene who leads her trembling big sister home to safety. This book is a shout-out for all younger sisters who watch big sisters carefully, learn by example, take
what they need, and forge their own unique paths.
Most Empowering Books for Girls 8 of 15
7: Madeline Books,
by Ludwig Bemelmans
Talk about a girl who knows how to make the most out of a bad situation. When her appendix operation leaves her with a scar, she shows it off like a new tattoo. Madeline is arguably the bravest of all classic childrens book heroines. She loves mice, walks on bridge railings, and "pooh-poohs" a lion at the zoo. In subsequent books in the Madeline series, "the smallest one" stands up to all manner of bad guys. No question: Madelines one tough little broad.
Most Empowering Books for Girls 9 of 15
8: Eloise Books, by Kay Thompson, illustrated by Hilary Knight
Cultivates: Thinking outside the box (er hotel room)
The perfect thing about Eloise is that shes far from perfect. Shes the ultimate mischief-maker and a bit of a spoiled brat. But her incredible imagination, boundless energy, and canny persuasiveness make up for her shortcomings. The perfect pairing of Thompson and Knight in all of the Eloise books sets the bar high for future generations of writer/illustrator pairings. Has any other duo done it as well since?
Most Empowering Books for Girls 10 of 15
9: 17 Things I'm Not Allowed To Do Anymore, by Jenny Offill, illustrated by Nancy Carpenter
Cultivates: Independent thinking
Even Eloise would gasp at the trouble this little girl gets into. The star of this book takes naughtiness to a new level. Shes a whirling dervish of hilarious destruction. Even though she fibs, shes violent, and shes a bit of a pyromaniac, readers will end up loving her. Bring a sense of humor and grounded perspective. And keep an eye out for the sequel 11 Experiments That Failed, due out late September 2011. This ones a real live wire!
Most Empowering Books for Girls 11 of 15
10: Strega Nona, Her Story,
by Tomie dePaola
Cultivates: Understanding elders
Talk about role models Strega Nona has more power than a speeding bullet. This later book in the Strega Nona series tells the story of Nonas journey from little baby to big time strega, an old- fashioned doctor/shaman/herbalist/
magician who is loved and revered by all. Read all the Strega Nona books to your kids to show how even elderly, eccentric women can rock the world.
Most Empowering Books for Girls 12 of 15
11: Amanda's Perfect Hair, by Linda Milstein, illustrated by Susan Meddaugh
Cultivates: Self expression
Amandas hair might seem wonderful to everyone else, but for her its a burden. Her mass of blonde curls is the only thing anyone ever mentions, and Amanda is tired of being defined and controlled by haircare. When she takes matters into her own hands, the results are shocking, but quite empowering. A lesson to girls and boys everywhere that beauty is only skin or hair follicle deep.
Most Empowering Books for Girls 13 of 15
12: Imogene's Last Stand, by Candace Fleming, illustrated by Nancy Carpenter
Cultivates: Taking a stand
How could we not love a girl whose first words were: Four score and seven years ago...? Imogene Tripp is passionate about history. When "progress" threatens her beloved Liddleville Historical Society, she follows in the footsteps of her heroes and becomes a bona fide heroine herself. Peppered with historical facts and references, this book is educational and inspiring. But more than anything, its tons of fun!
Most Empowering Books for Girls 14 of 15
13: Now Everybody Really Hates Me, by Jane Read Martin and Patricia Marx, illustrated by Roz Chast
Cultivates: Strategic thinking
Patty Jane Pepper provokes her younger brother Theodore at his birthday party and her parents give her a time out. But if Patty Jane has anything to say about matters (and she has a LOT to say about matters), the decision to stay in her room is all hers. She is NEVER coming out. But how will she walk her beloved dog? How will she eat? The schemes and compromises Patty Jane imagines as she whiles away the time are brilliant and outlandish in the best of all ways.
Most Empowering Books for Girls 15 of 15