Great Books for Girls: More than 600 Recommended Books for Girls Ages 3-14


Give girls books with images of strong females who are leaders, adventurers, scientists, artists, problem-solvers, and more!

This guide provides an invaluable list of more than six hundred titles—picture books, novels, mysteries, biographies, folktales, sports books, and more—that will encourage, challenge, and ultimately nurture in girls the strong qualities our culture so often suppresses. First published in 1997, it has been updated and issued again in 2002 with more than 300 new titles.

Great Books for Girls describes hundreds of books starring bold, confident heroines for children from toddlers to age fourteen. Here are old favorites such as Eloise, Harriet the Spy, Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, and Ramona the Pest; new inspirations such as Cinder Edna, Sheila Rae the Brave, Herculeah Jones, and Princess Smartypants; and real-life admirable women such as Eleanor of Aquitaine, Jane Goodall, Toni Morrison, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Helen Keller.

In these books, girls and women are creative, capable, articulate, and intelligent, solving problems, facing challenges, resolving conflicts, and going on quests. They are not sidekicks or tokens, waiting to be rescued; they are doing the rescuing. Nor are they waiting for a male to provide a happy ending; they are fashioning their own stories and their own endings.

Packed with expert guidance, Great Books for Girls is an essential volume that counteracts the distorted picture of women seen in the media and offers instead the kind of capable, courageous females we hope our daughters will be.

Praise for Great Books for Girls:

“When I was a girl, books were my teachers, my friends. They gave me hope, dreams, direction, and eventually power—power to become who I wanted to be. This guide-book, compiled by a knowledgeable, story-spirited woman, will allow adults to help girls find the great books that nourish the spirit. I recommend it for all those who wants girls to grow up strong, free, bold, and kind.”
- Mary Pipher, author of Reviving Ophelia

“With superb literary taste and an eye for books depicting strong-minded girls and women, [Odean] recommends more than 600 outstanding titles.”
- U.S. News & World Report

“This is an excellent resource for home and school libraries and for many parents, it no doubt will become a dog-eared tome carried to libraries and bookstores.”
- Children’ Literature

“Highly recommended.”
- Library Journal

“An invaluable resource.”
- Ms. Magazine