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Kids books with strong female leads

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MipMipMip Sat 14-Jul-18 22:04:17

After reading a thread in FWR I've realised how many books have stereotypical women in them. Not something we want kids growing up with! So I thought I'd start a thread for books where girls and women rebel against their conditioning and show their strength of all kinds. Obviously strong males can be in there too, the ideal is both.

Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer (Her daughter!) Between The Lines: an outcast teen girl loves fairy tales and realises the handsome Prince in one is real. So she sets out to rescue him.

Eva Ibbotson on Journey To The River Sea: a Victorian(ish) girl gets sent to live with unpleasant relatives in the Amazon. She continues the facade of being girly but prefers to explore and make friends with locals. Ends up sailing off with a male friend to escape. There's also a strong male, a very strong governess and a male who is afraid of everything but is still a good friend.

OP’s posts: |
Stephisaur Sat 14-Jul-18 22:32:20

Monster Mission by Eva Ibbotson.

A young girl goes to live with 3 sisters who help care for monsters on an island. The women are pretty eccentric but I loved the way that they were unconventionally badass, but there were still mermaids etc.

There’s a young boy character too, but he’s portrayed as a bit useless and spoiled, so it really is all about the young girl.

I read it when I was about 8/9 smile

condepetie Sat 14-Jul-18 22:34:37

It's slightly dated but the Song of the Lioness series by Tamora Pierce. First book is Alana: The First Adventure.

Alana was my first female hero and I still think the series is amazing. Pierce wrote and is still writing a lot of other series but none of them as good as the Lioness quartet.

Namechanger1776 Sat 14-Jul-18 22:36:23

Hunger games, what age though? And of course there is Hermione.

NicoAndTheNiners Sat 14-Jul-18 22:37:06

The Ramona books.
Lots of the Swallows and Amazons books
Pippi Longstocking
Dated now I guess but The Chalet School books.

Walkerbean16 Sat 14-Jul-18 22:37:08

Not anseering your question but there was a couple/group of women who had noted the lack of strong female literary characters and fundraised to write a book called goodnight stories for rebel girls, i don't know if you have heard of it? My seven year old loves it.

noblegiraffe Sat 14-Jul-18 22:37:59

His Dark Materials.

condepetie Sat 14-Jul-18 22:40:19

Definitely His Dark Materials too, agreeing with pp. Lyra and Will are fantastic heroes.

Cleanermaidcook Sat 14-Jul-18 22:40:24

Terry Pratchett Discworld books.
The Tiffany Aching books for the older child/young woman also the ones with Susan StoHelit in - and then the witches, in particular Granny and Nanny Hogg.

madeyemoodysmum Sat 14-Jul-18 22:40:26

Hunger games if teen or Pre teen.

exexpat Sat 14-Jul-18 22:43:58

Dick King Smith's Sophie books are good for youngish readers (4-6ish).

I was brought up on the Clever Polly and the Stupid Wolf books, which may explain quite a lot about me, and DD also enjoyed them.

Evangeline Mudd is also a pretty good strong character for younger girls.

FesteringCarbuncle Sat 14-Jul-18 22:45:39

We have enjoyed chronicles of ancient darkness. A 6 book series. Although the lead character is a boy there is an equally feisty and intelligent girl

HelenaJustina Sat 14-Jul-18 22:49:22

YY to Pratchett, some great strong female characters.

And I loved Tamora Pierce, I recently bought all of hers second hand at great expense as they are largely out of print.

Nancy from Swallows and Amazons.

The Ordinary Princess is a lovely book.

Florizella and the Giant by Philippa Gregory, another great princess who rides off to sort out the giant.

Really depends on the age of the child!

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 14-Jul-18 22:50:37

Pretty much any teen fiction/fantasy book that has been written in the last ten years

Smellbellina Sat 14-Jul-18 22:52:30

Joan Aiken, any of her books

Xiaoxiong Sat 14-Jul-18 22:52:47

A Wrinkle in Time by Ursula K Le Guin.
Howl's Moving Castle and Fire & Hemlock, both by Diana Wynne Jones.
Song of the Lioness series by Tamora Pierce was wonderful for me as a teen. I still re-read them occasionally when I'm feeling blue.

We get a lot of good suggestions from the A Mighty Girl website/Facebook page. I only have sons but feel it's even more important for them to read books with female protagonists!

NastyCats Sat 14-Jul-18 22:53:26

My dd aged 8 loves books with a strong female lead.
The Book Shop Girl by Sylvia Bishop
Ballet Shoes
White Boots
The Elspeth Hart Trilogy by Sarah Forbes
Matilda
The Ramona books
Mary-Mary books
The Secret Garden
Heidi
Super Sister books
Pea's book of...series
Dory Pantasgamory
The Violet series by Harriet Whitehorn
Badly Drawn Beth books
Tracey Beaker
Daisy and the trouble with... by Kes Grey
Ruby in the smoke series by Philip Pullman
Maisie Hitchings series
Emily Button Wings & Co series
I could go on all night!

Xiaoxiong Sat 14-Jul-18 22:54:08

@HelenaJustina I got the tamora pierce books on kindle last year when I wanted to re-read them again

Xiaoxiong Sat 14-Jul-18 22:55:02

Oh my boys love Mango and Bambang and the Ottoline books as well.

NastyCats Sat 14-Jul-18 22:55:16

A Wrinkle In Time is by Madeleine L'Engle not Le Guin.

TopperHarley Sat 14-Jul-18 22:55:28

The Paper Bag Princess for young ones. She outwits the dragon herself and rejects the weedy prince grin

NastyCats Sat 14-Jul-18 22:56:20

Oh yes, Mango and Ottoline - and the Goth Girl Books, too!

Appin Sat 14-Jul-18 22:57:39

Cynthia Voigt's Tillerman saga.

NastyCats Sat 14-Jul-18 23:00:14

A Little Princess.
Not the End of the World by Geraldine McCaughrean
The Penderwicks series

IamReginaFalange Sat 14-Jul-18 23:03:34

Like a previous poster I would recommend this one, there’s a new version of it too.
www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/014198600X?psc=1&ref=yo_pop_mb_pd_title&tag=mumsnetforum-21

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