01 April 2013

Girls get to have adventures, too

I found a cool website called amightygirl.com which has "the world's largest collection of books, toys and movies for smart, confident, and courageous girls." That's a good thing, because puberty is just around the corner. I'm not looking forward to surviving it a second time, even at once removed. I'm always on the look out for stuff for ThePinkThing (who is strenuously objecting that moniker, since she no longer likes pink, but anyway...). They have book recommendations, which are many and varied. That's all fine and good, but I like knowing what my friends (or their daughters) have read or are reading. And so, I asked the Facebook Mind for book suggestions for TPT.

This request arose from a comment she made after reading two books: Hatchet by Gary Paulsen and My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George. She wondered why boys always get to have the really fun adventures in books. I remember wondering exactly the same thing, when I was girl and around her age. Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden weren't cool, Little Women was BORING, and The Secret Garden lost me when it got all religious in the latter half. I never got an answer to my question or a list of good books where girls had the adventures and boys were extraneous. Eventually, I started reading my mom's adult SF/Fantasy books and though I still noted the dearth of smart, adventurous girls, I didn't look specifically for girl-centric books.

So I asked the FB Hivemind on behalf of TPT. I got a bunch of cool suggestions from family, friends and friends of friends. I didn't include the ones where the main character is a boy (only girls allowed in this club, dudes), though some of the books have adventures with mixed company. I'm pretty positive that TPT will not enjoy some of them (we can forget Little Women and The Secret Garden), and others are too advanced for her at this point (the Sabriel series and The Book Thief). I read Julie of the Wolves when I was about 10 and was completely freaked out by a specific scene. I know she will be, too, and will hold off on that one for another year or two, though it would seem exactly the kind of book she wants. TPT now has reading material for the next couple of years...

Please note that these were suggestions from a variety of people, and I have not read many of them. Some I've added. Also, my categorization are, perhaps, a bit arbitrary.

A Matter of Magic by Patricia Wrede
A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
A Wrinkle in Time (and sequels) by Madeleine L'Engle
Athena: Grey-Eyed Goddess by George O'Connor
Coraline by Neil Gaiman
Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett
Gilda Joyce, Psychic Investigator by Jennifer Allison
Girl Genius by Phil Foglio and Kaja Foglio
Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton Porter
Gunnerkrigg Court by Tom Siddell
Holly Vesper books by Lloyd Alexander
Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
Podkayne of Mars by Robert Heinlein
Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen
Sorcery and Cecelia by Patricia Wrede
The Amulet series by Kazu Kibushi
The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
The Courageous Princess by Rod Espinosa
The Courtney Crumrin series by Ted Naifeh
The Fairy Tale Detectives (The Sisters Grimm, Book 1) by Michael Buckley and Peter Ferguson
The Genius Files series by Dan Gutman (comment from TPT: The main characters in this book are siblings, and the brother is the ringleader, not the sister.)
The Girl Who Owned a City by OT Nelson
The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
The Gurgazon series by Ray Fawkes
The Harper Hall trilogy by Anne McCaffrey
The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place by Maryrose Wood
The Runaways series (only the ones by Brian Vaughn)
The Sabriel series by Garth Nix
The Strictest School in the World (and sequels) by Howard Whitehouse
The Tiffany Aching series by Terry Pratchett
Alana: The First Adventure (and sequels) by Tamora Pierce
The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi
The Oz books by L. Frank Baum
The Oz graphic novel versions by Eric Shanower and Skottie Young
The Wolves of Willoughby Chase (and sequels) by Joan Aiken
Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos (and sequels) by RL LaFevers
Thirteenth Child by Patricia Wrede
Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke

Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiMillo
Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich
Bridge to Teribithia by Katherine Patterson
Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink
Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan
Gone-Away Lake by Elizabeth Enright and Joe & Beth Krush
Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson
Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
The Case of the Missing Marquess: an Enola Holmes mystery (and sequels) by Nancy Springer
The Great Gillie Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
The Wanderer by Sharon Creech
To the Summit by Claire Rudolf Murphy

Anne of Green Gables (and sequels) by LM Montgomery
Charlotte's Web by EB White
Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott
From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by EL Konigsburg
Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell
Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Little Witch by Anna Elizabeth Bennett
Matilda by Roald Dahl
Nancy Drew books by Carolyn Keene
National Velvet by Enid Bagnold
Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself by Judy Blume
Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome
The Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
The Rescuers by Margery Sharp
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Trixie Belden books by Julie Campbell

TPT has read A Wrinkle in Time, 10 of the Series of Unfortunate Events books, the first Girl Genius book, the entire Amulet series, the Runaways series, Zita the Spacegirl, Charlotte’s Web, From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, Little Witch, The Courageous Princess, and Matilda. She’s tried Harriet the Spy, Nancy Drew, and The Secret Garden and didn't finish.

I've read A Wrinkle in Time (and all of the sequels plus some of her other books), The Courageous Princess, A Matter of Magic, the first Girl Genius book, Charlotte's Web, From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, Matilda, Harriet the Spy, a whole bunch of Nancy Drews, The Secret Garden, Podkayne of Mars, Sorcery and Cecelia (and its sequels), Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself, The Blue Sword (and its prequel), The Harper Hall trilogy (plus the rest of the Pern books), The Sabriel series, all of the Oz books, the graphic version of The Land of Oz, The Wolves of Willoughby Chase (and 1 sequel), Thirteenth Child, the Anne of Green Gables series (plus the majority of her other books; The Blue Castle is my favorite), Julie of the Wolves, Little Women (and its two sequels), Little Witch, National Velvet, Pippi Longstocking, The Courageous Princess, The Goose Girl, Eight Cousins, and a few Trixie Beldens.


David said...

My daughters enjoyed Jasper Fforde's The Last Dragonslayer series, and they assure me that the main adventurer is a girl.

Unknown said...

I will definitely use this list for my daugther and also for myself. So this blog is now officially one of my favorites! Thanks!!


Phiala said...

Also many of the books by Tamora Pierce (though some series give boys equal time, they all have strong girls), and Diane Duane's Wizard series (some boy POV, but especially the first few are girl protagonist).

You've already got a fair number of the other things I would have suggested if I were part of the Facebook Mind.

neurondoc said...

Rats. I forgot to add that one.

David said...

I just finished Half Magic by Edward Eager, and really enjoyed it. It's about four siblings (three girls, one boy [not the leader]) who find a magic coin that only grants half wishes. The math gets very complicated, very quickly, as do the adventures.

Eager's writing is light and charming. It's an old book (written in 1954, set in the 20s), but a fun one.

Tom said...

I always liked (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telzey_Amberdon) the Telzy and Trigger stories by James H. Schmitz. He also wrote the Witches of Karres, which contain one of my favorite characters, The Leewit.