Cinderella and Thumbelina had their day. Modern day children need women in literature they can emulate. When you chose stories for your child, do you want him or her to read books with passive women, forced into servitude, waiting for a fairy godmother or prince to save the day? Or would you rather they read stories about girls who stand up for what they believe in, help everyone around them, and still keep fighting, even when its hard? If you prefer the later, check out these three books with characters you would be proud to have your daughter admire.
Caddie Woodlawn is still relevant for girls today. Carol Ryrie Brink developed the historical fiction along with the original illustrator Kate Seredy. Set in the 1860’s, eleven-year-old tomboy Caroline Augusta Woodlawn, or rather, Caddie, does her best to navigate life as a young girl.
The book follows Caddie as she takes on harrowing acts of bravery which include warning her Native American friends about a planned massacre on their tribe, fighting a prairie fire, and even fighting for her own life when she fall through ice when she goes out skating. Filled with adventures, humor and real-life questions all adolescent girls struggle with, this book is sure to entrance the important young woman in your life and set her imagination aflame.
Hermione Granger is so much more than the movies. This young woman grows through the seven installments of the Harry Potter books from a up tight book worm to a daring woman capable to using her wits and her wand to fight some of the darkest wizards of all time. When she was eleven, she was able to solve all the magical obstacles set up by her teachers to defend the sorcerer’s stone. When she was twelve, she made a successful batch of Polyjuice Potion and figured out a Basilisk was traveling around Hogwarts through the pipe system. When she was thirteen, she took twice as many classes as her classmates and helped an innocent man escape.
By the time she was fourteen she created her own organization for Elf rights, kidnapped a slandering reporter and assisted her best friend as he got all the glory for his work in the Triwizard Tournament. At fifteen, she suggested creating a secret society to train underage wizards to defend themselves against a corrupt government. Finally, when she was sixteen, she defended the entire world from the darkest wizard of all time and still managed to earn eleven O.W.Ls with. Who doesn’t want to be the smart girl capable of saving the entire world?
If your child loves princesses, may we suggest Cimorene from the Enchanted Forest Chronicles? Begin reading Dealing with Dragons and watch as the main character goes from being a princess to a warrior. Cimorene decides she doesn’t want to deal with everything that comes along with being a princess so she goes to live with dragons. There she learns to defend herself, destroy evil wizards and make some unlikely friends.
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