Today is Harry Potter’s birthday. It is also J.K. Rowling’s, who is very possibly one of the world’s most successful female writers. Yes, Harry Potter is about the BOY who lived but it would be unfair not to count the series as an ensemble piece chalk full of strong girls and women. When I first read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone I was enamored with Hermione, finally a girl who was like me. Smart, brave, and to be honest a little frumpy. I related to that frizzy hair. Let’s not forget Professor McGonagall, Tonks, Fleur, Luna, and let’s not forget Molly Weasley and her daughter Ginny. Harry held the company of many intelligent women throughout the seven books.
Anyway, in honor of one of my personal favorite author’s 50th birthday, this is a round up of some really great books featuring girls who get ish done and love themselves and disprove the urban myth that friendships between girls have to be catty. These girls are strong, smart, and clever. They overcome, climb over, out wit, and out run. These are all books that I can either personally recommend or books that have been recommended to me by sources I feel are trustworthy. This post contains affiliate links. Happy reading!
Blueberry Girl : The story of an infant who grows into an adventurous, bold, young woman. Beautiful art and poetic lilting prose makes this book an homage to bright, brave little girls everywhere.
I Love My Hair : A little girl falls in love with one of the attributes that makes her special while bonding with her mom during an evening braiding session.
The Midnight Library: A female librarian owns the night by keeping her library open from midnight to dawn where she is joined by her patrons, the creatures of the night.
Grace for President: A little girl decides to be America’s 1st female president after she learns there has yet to be a women in the oval office.
Rosie Revere, Engineer: By day, Rosie is a quiet girl who doesn’t ask for too much attention but by night she’s a brilliant inventor with her heart set on engineering. When Rosie finds out her aunt dream is to fly, she sets out to build the ultimate flying machine.
Madeline : Madeline is the a classic children’s book about a little girl living in a boarding school in Paris with 11 other girls.
Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match: Marisol is a mashup of different cultures. Her red hair and beautiful brown skin, her peanut butter and jelly wrapped into a burrito, and she loves to match stripes with polka dots. This on is a story about loving your true self in a world that’s desperate to label you.
Me…Jane: The story of a young Jane Goodall and her stuffed toy chimp Jubilee as told and illustrated by Mutts creator, Patrick McDonald.
The Paper Bag Princess: The Paper Bag Princess is a story of a damsel not so much is distress. When she’s captured by a dragon, she sets out to outwit the dragon and rescue her prince instead of the other way around.
A Chair For My Mother: Three generations of a family in the form of a grandmother, mother, and a child set their heart on a new comfy chair after their possessions are all burned in a house fire. They work to make this dream a reality by saving coins in a big glass jar.
Girl with a Brave Heart : Set in an unnamed Middle Eastern country, this is a Cinderella story with a twist that doesn’t involve a prince, just time, patience, persistence and a kind heart.
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon: A little girl living in poverty with her family leaves to find the Old Man on the Moon so he can change their fortune.
Howl’s Moving Castle Sophie is a normal girl, the oldest of three sisters, but when she accidentally gets cursed she’s turned into an old women and seeks out a moving castle, the known home of a wizard named Howl who could help her undo the spell.
Esperanza Rising: Esepranza lives on a beautiful ranch in the Mexican countryside but when tragedy finds her family, she is forced to move to California to work as a migrant farm worker.
Matilda : Unloved and uncared for but brilliant beyond her years, Matilda, finds a way to stand up against the bullies in her life with her superhuman genius.
Ronia, The Robber’s Daughter: Ronia is raised amongst robbers who live in a castle that was split it half by lightning. When a rival band of robbers moves into the other half, her idea of who is good and who is evil is challenged. This story is about sticking up for what you know is right even when no one else agrees.
Tua and the Elephant : A Thai girl makes a friend in an elephant and does everything in her power to free him.
Ivy + Bean : A series of books revolving around two girls who are so different they seemingly have nothing in common but end up becoming inseparable partners in crime.
Roxie and the Hooligans : Roxie is ready for anything, anything except being stuck on an island with a herd of bullies and two escaped criminals. Proof that girls are made for quick thinking and adventure.
Julie of the Wolves : Thirteen year old Miyax, known as Julie to her pen pal, is running from an unhappy marriage. Attempting to make it from Alaska to San Francisco she ends up alone without any provisions on the harsh tundra, where she adapts and learns to live amongst a pack of wolves.
What brilliant kids books featuring strong female characters did I leave out? Any girl strong recommendations?