The famous children’s author Hans Christian Anderson was born on 2 April 1805. Known for his fairy tales, International Children’s Book Day is now celebrated on (or around) his birthday each year and has been going for more than 50 years.
It is never too soon to help children discover a love of books with a range of strong female characters, that they can identify with, learn from and respect.
We believe the adults of the future are the children who read today. So whether it is a book for your child, niece, or nephew, help them in their journey to empowerment with a book that helps them know their potential and grow up with a belief that we are all equal.
Girl power starts with a book!
Children's Feminist Reading List
- Lightning Mary by Anthea Simmons – Mary Anning is a poor girl in Victorian England who is fascinated by fossils. Despite the risks, she longs to go on fossil hunts with her father. When tragedy strikes, Mary grabs the opportunity to overcome personal obstacles and to pursue her dreams as a palaeontologist. A true story.
- Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman – When Grace discovers that the school production will be Peter Pan, she knows the leading role is the part for her. But her schoolmates have other ideas: Grace is a girl and she is black – she cannot play Peter Pan. Inspirational and a children’s classic for more than 30 years, Amazing Grace is a wonderful reminder that neither gender or race should be a barrier in a person’s life.
- Franny’s Father is a feminist by Rhonda Leet – Cheer on Franny’s father as he encourages the females in his life to not conform to gender stereotypes, from encouraging Franny’s mother with her career to teaching Franny how to fix her bike. A helpful reminder of the role men can play in supporting feminist causes.
Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery – A much loved children’s classic and the first in a series of books following the antics and adventures of a red-headed orphan girl called Anne. The Cuthberts are expecting an orphan boy to show up at their home, instead they get Anne, a lively and imaginative girl who quickly makes an impression on the town of Avonlea.
- Look Up! By Nathan Byron – Rocket is a young black girl who is passionate about space. Her hero is Mae Jamison, the first African-American woman to become an astronaut. Her brother does not share her enthusiasm; he is more interested in his mobile phone. But Rocket is not deterred by his apathy, her excitement is infectious as she gets ready for the approaching meteor shower. A beautifully illustrated picture book that will encourage readers to ‘look up’ and to aspire to greatness.
- Not All Princesses Dress in Pink by Jane Yolen – If you are tired of books that reinforce the same gender expectations again and again, then this rhyming book will encourage your princess that it is okay to be more comfortable climbing trees than playing with dollies. You can jump in muddy puddles and still wear a crown!
- Malala’s Magic Pencil by Malala Yousafzai – Malala has a very special wish. She wants a magic pencil so she can change the world around her, from the smell of rubbish near her home to being able to sleep for an extra hour! But Malala has many wishes as she sees there are many problems around her: her wish list just keeps growing! Malala will have to find a way with or without a magic pencil to improve her life and others.
- Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli – If bedtime reading has become fairy tale after fairy tale and you are worried that your daughter is beginning to think that girls are meant to spend their lives waiting for a guy to rescue them, then this book (which now has a sequel) will add a bit more ambition and excitement to your reading. With 100 women included, ranging from Elizabeth 1 to Serena Williams, fill your child’s dreams with ambition!
If you are thinking about buying any of the books listed above from Amazon UK, make sure to use Amazon Smile and choose Women for Women International as your selected charity.
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This inspiration-filled reading list will help you tap into your inner strength and transform the world around you.
Play our bingo of must read books by female authors! How many of these books have you read? How many will you add to your list this Women's History Month? Feed your mind and get inspired by authors whose powerful words and stories will inspire you to use your #PowerToChange.
Every woman has the power to transform her own life — and the lives of girls around her. On International Day of the Girl Child, we are spotlighting the barriers to equality facing girls in Nigeria and the women working to clear the way.