Book Reviews For Category: Inspiring for Girls

At a certain age, boys seem to outgrow the fairy realm and girls still love them. Also these books have girl protagonists.

Listen to the Nightingale

Children's Book - Listen to the nightingale

Published: 1992
Theme: Following Your Dream
Best for: Girls 9-12

“They had walked up a drive with a notice: QUEEN’S CHASE. HER MAJESTY’S BALLET JUNIOR SCHOOL, and stood gazing at the big cream-stuccoed and porticoed house with pavilions on either side…” The classic British author, Rumer Godden, probably had one very specific audience for this little children’s book: young girls who love the ballet. However, times have changed…why wouldn’t a boy who loves dance enjoy this equally well?

Posted in Ages 9-12, Contemporary, Inspiring for Girls, Waldorf-Aligned

Rowan Hood Returns

Children's Book - Rowan Hood Returns

Published: 2005
Theme: Loyalty and Overcoming Anger
Best for: 10 and older

“Like a larger embrace, her comrades encircled her. Far more than the strands of the ring bound them all together. And it was this thought that made Rowan’s heart feel warm and full.” This particular book was interesting in that Rowan loses touch with her magical powers for most of the book, as she seeks vengeance. Without saying it directly, young readers are allowed to explore the price one pays for carrying hatred in their hearts…

Posted in Ages 9-12, Contemporary, Inspiring for Girls

Not One Damsel in Distress

Not One Damsel in Distress - Children's Book

Published: 2000
Theme: Heroines
Best for: ages 8 and up

“Burd Janet threw the green mantle around him to shade him from fairy sight. Then she .. took out the earth from her garden. She spread it around the two of them in a great circle of protection against the Fair Folk.” This book is a collection of folk tales where the hero is female. However, this book is for boys as well, since they too need to know that women can be heroes.

Posted in Ages 5-8, Ages 9-12, Classics, Inspiring for Girls, Read-Aloud, Waldorf-Aligned

Rowan Hood

Rowan Hood - Children's book

Published: 2001
Theme: Women’s Strength
Best for: Girls, age 11 and up

“Her band might somehow help folk to help themselves, Rowan thought, rather than just giving them gold stolen from rich men’s packs, gold soon spent. But she could not say that, for she loved everything about Robin Hood.” The book has a wonderfully clever premise — that Robin Hood actually fathered a daughter by an aelfen woman… If you love tales of Robin Hood, this is a perfect complement, bringing in the feminine…

Posted in Ages 12-14, Ages 9-12, Contemporary, Inspiring for Girls

Mary, Queen of Scots

Mary Queen of Scots Children's Book

Published: 2002
Theme: History
Best for: girls 9 and older

“There was a soft chorus of ayes, and the three other Marys dropped to their knees and vowed as well to follow me through tumult and repose and never to marry until I have so done. Did any person have a luckier charm than these four steadfast friends?” This is one of many in a series called The Royal Diaries. What an absolutely fabulous way to learn history. Reading a diary is always fun, and even more so when it chronicles history…

Posted in Ages 9-12, Biography, Contemporary, Historical Fiction, Inspiring for Girls, Waldorf-Aligned

Moon Over Manifest

moon over manifest

Published: 2010
Theme: Community, Honoring the Past
Best for: 11 and older

“Death is like an explosion,” Miss Sadie said, her accent thick, like the humid air that hovered heavy around me. “It makes people take notice of things they might have overlooked.” This is a serious historical fiction children’s book, covering some pretty intense topics, all set in 1936 and earlier. From bootlegging to the Ku Klux clan, from immigrants to war casualties, this book is no light reading.

Posted in Ages 12-14, Ages 9-12, Contemporary, Historical Fiction, Inspiring for Girls

Frogged

Frogged - children's book

Published: 2013
Theme: Don’t be Gullible
Best for: Pre-teen girls

“Either the witch would be reasonable, or she would not. Imogene had read enough fairy tales to worry that a royal decree on the matter was less likely to soften the witch’s heart and more likely to make her stubborn.” If you are looking for a fun, light-weight summer children’s book, one to take on a trip, this new book is a good choice. It’s a silly little take-off on the princess-kissed-frog story, with amusing and sometimes dangerous twists of the plot.

Posted in Ages 9-12, Contemporary, Inspiring for Girls

Anne of Green Gables

Anne of Green Gables Children's Book

Published: 1908
Theme: Growing up
Best for: Girls 9-12

“There’s such a lot of different Annes in me. I sometimes think that is why I’m such a troublesome person. If I was just the one Anne, it would be ever so much more comfortable, but then it wouldn’t be half so interesting.” It is a cliche to say things are timeless, but books like this really are. There’s nothing awkward reading it today. The emphasis on character development, and the growing pains of a young girl…

Posted in Ages 9-12, Classics, Inspiring for Girls

Me in the Middle

Children's Book Me in the Middle

Published: 2002
Theme: Valuing the Past
Best for: Girls up to 12

“We speak the same language, but sometimes it’s hard to believe. Some things have changed so much that it’s hard for us to understand each other at all.” Finally — a multicultural story to enrich my list of children’s books. This book reminds me how much we deprive children of interesting experiences when we don’t invite them into other worlds.

Posted in Ages 5-8, Ages 9-12, Contemporary, Inspiring for Girls, Waldorf-Aligned

The Goose Girl

Children's Book- Goose Girl

Published: 2003
Theme: Finding One’s True self
Best for: ages 12-14

“It’s important to know stories. I felt the earth shift to make a place for you when you were born, and I came to tell you stories while you are young.” Just as Ani’s aunt knows the power of story, and passes it to her niece, so author Shannon Hale passes that same power to today’s young readers…

Posted in Ages 12-14, Contemporary, Inspiring for Girls

Princess Academy

Princess Academy - Chidren's book

Published 2005
Theme: Self-discovery
Best for: Girls 11 and up

“Miri woke to the sleepy bleating of a goat. The world was as dark as eyes closed, but perhaps the goats could smell dawn seeping through the cracks in the house’s stone walls. This beautifully written tale weaves fantasy, adventure and great lessons into a memorable read. Don’t let the title put you off!

Posted in Ages 9-12, Contemporary, Inspiring for Girls

Alanna: The First Adventure

Alanna - Children's book

Published: 1983
Theme: Knights, Women’s Equality
Best for: girls age 12 and up

“Maude said I should use my Gift of healing. She said I had the power to heal more than most people. She said if I didn’t heal, I wouldn’t make up for the killing I did as a knight.” In this series of four books, Tamora Pierce weaves an odd world of knights, magic, and the feminine in a way I haven’t encountered before…

Posted in Ages 12-14, Contemporary, Inspiring for Girls

Island of Blue Dolphins

Children's Book: Island of the Blue Dolphins

Published: 1990
Theme: Survival, Resilience
Best for: Classroom use, Home School, grade 5 and up

“Everyone in our tribe had two names, the real one which was secret and seldom used, and one which was common, for if people use your secret name, it becomes worn out and loses it’s magic.” This work of historical fiction, about a young girl left alone on an island, chronicles the ways she managed to survive..

Posted in Ages 9-12, Classics, Historical Fiction, Inspiring for Girls, Waldorf-Aligned

Dealing with Dragons

Children's Book- Dealing with Dragons

Published: 1990
Theme: Being Oneself
Best for: ages 10 and up, especially girls

“Being a dragon’s princess is a perfectly respectable thing to do, so my parent’s couldn’t complain. And it would be much more interesting than embroidery and dancing lessons.” An easy-to-read adventure with dragons, wizards, and a princess who breaks the mold…

Posted in Ages 9-12, Contemporary, Inspiring for Girls, Waldorf-Aligned

Ella Enchanted

Children's Book - Ella Enchanted

Published: 1997
Theme: Thinking for Yourself
Best for: Girls over 11

“Decisions were a delight after the curse. I loved having the power to say yes or no, and refusing anything was a special pleasure.” This lightweight modern fairytale explores what happens when a young girl can no longer think or choose for herself. An apt pre-teen subject….

Posted in Ages 9-12, Contemporary, Inspiring for Girls

The Wee Free Men

Chilren's Book - Wee Free Men

Published: 2003
Theme: Self-Reflection, Service to Others
Best for: 12 and older

“The secret is not to dream,” she whispered. “The secret is to wake up. Waking up is harder. I have woken up and I am real. This powerful fantasy book by Terry Pratchett has so much depth to it that one realizes it needs several reads…

Posted in Ages 12-14, Ages 9-12, Contemporary, Inspiring for Girls

Fairy Realm

Fairy Realm Children's Book

Published 2000
Theme: Fairies
Best for: 5 – 8 years old

I love the Fairy Realm series, stepping from our human world into the world of the fairies, where magic, beauty, goodness, and yes, also a bit of evil, mingle together…

Posted in Ages 5-8, Contemporary, Inspiring for Girls, Read-Aloud, Waldorf-Aligned

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

Children's Books - Konigsburg

Published 1967
Theme: Adventure in New York City
Best for: Girls age 10-12

Here’s a very funny, easy to read, yet somewhat profound children’s book that I stumbled across in my local bookstore. Obviously others found it before me, as it is a Newberry Medal book.

Posted in Ages 9-12, Classics, Inspiring for Girls

The Midwife’s Apprentice

Midwife's Apprentice Children's Book

Published; 1995
Theme: Women’s Historical Fiction
Best for: Girls, age 12 and up

A wonderful book to use as class reading for bringing history, especially women’s history, alive. Set in fourteenth century England, the story of an impoverished orphan and her role in the society of the day is compelling…

Posted in Ages 12-14, Ages 9-12, Contemporary, Historical Fiction, Inspiring for Girls, Waldorf-Aligned

A Little Princess

ALittlePrincess

by Frances Hodgson Burnett, first published 1905. “Perhaps there is a language which is not made of words and everything in the world understands it.” A Little Princess is one the best children’s books I’ve read so far. It turns out I’m not alone in my assessment, as it continually rates in the top 100 lists among teachers, education associations, and others. Illustrating through example the power of kindness and good thoughts, this book is a masterpiece…

Posted in Ages 5-8, Ages 9-12, Classics, Inspiring for Girls, Read-Aloud, Waldorf-Aligned

The Penderwicks

Penderwicks

by Jeanne Birdsall, published 2005 “This is what made a book great, she thought, that you could read it over and over and never get tired of it.”  The Penderwicks is another children’s book recommended by my young friend Meera. It reminded me somewhat of her other recommendation, The Saturdays, because

Posted in Ages 9-12, Contemporary, Inspiring for Girls

The Lioness and her Knight

lioness 2

by Gerald Morris, published 2005 “To have arrived for an indefinite stay in this luxurious castle, where she would wear the finest clothes and most of all get to know a real enchantress, was more than Luneta could ever have hoped for.” Here’s an unusual story from Morris’s wonderful collection

Posted in Ages 9-12, Contemporary, Historical Fiction, Inspiring for Girls, Waldorf-Aligned
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