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.

Like Carrot Juice on a Cupcake

Children's book - Like Carrot Juice

Published: 2014
Theme: Best Friend Dramas
Best for: 10 to 11 girls

“Then she said, “I don’t want you to be mad at me! You’re as important to me as paper is to pencil!” “You hurt my feelings,” I said. My voice was quivery, too. We both sat there, very miserable….” With the same simplicity, humor, and sensitivity that Sternberg’s other books have, this children’s book takes on the ‘bff’ problem of young girls head-on…

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

Here Lies The Librarian

Historical Fiction Children's Book

Published: 2006
Theme: Historical Fiction
Best for: 10 and up

“Any outrage as big as hiring a librarian was bound to bring everybody out of the woodwork. The hitching rail was chock-a-block with horses and wagons, and there was a farmer’s tin Lizzie…a Ford Model T.” Humor, eccentric characters, and a love of old cars flows through this historical fiction children’s book. The story unfolds creatively and unpredictably…

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

Igraine the Brave

Children's book: Igraine the Brave

Published: 2007
Theme: Bravery
Best for: 9 and up

“Twelve! And I haven’t had a single real adventure. How will I ever get to be a famous knight?… I’m going to die of boredom, you wait and see! Maybe not overnight, but definitely before my next birthday!” I love this children’s book. It has all the elements of fun, especially if you are a fan of books about knights. There’s humor, adventure, magic, and wonderful heroes and heroines…

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


Children's Book - Hawksmaid

Published: 2010
Theme: Bravery
Best for: ages 11 and up

“Mattie felt a sudden dizziness. Just for a second or two, it was almost as if she herself were tumbling through the air. And once again the boundaries that separated human beings from birds seemed to dissolve.” A wonderful creative look at the early life of Robin Hood and Maid Marian, with lots of equality for women thrown in…

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

East of the Sun, West of the Moon

Children's Book - East of the Sun

Published: 2013
Theme: Coming of age FairyTale
Best for: Girls 12 and up

“So her days and nights passed and rolled into weeks and months, and she lived in the enchanted palace with the bear. Each afternoon she would turn from whatever she was doing to see the bear standing, watching her…” With beautiful descriptive language of the landscape and the characters, this retelling of the classic fairy tale has a surprising ending…

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

Beware, Princess Elizabeth

Children's book - Beware Princess Elizabeth

Published: 2001
Theme: Queen of England
Best for: 12 to 14

“So my sister was now queen. And because she had triumphed, I was next! This was the moment, standing in the knot garden, when I realized that someday I, too, would become queen of England…” In this historical fiction children’s book, we get a very good look at the way power can corrupt even the best of people…

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

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate

Children's Book - Evolution of Calpurnia Tate

Published: 2009
Theme: Self-determination
Best for: ages 11 and up, especially girls

“Granddaddy and I sat motionless for a good five minutes and then quietly collected our things and moved on. On the way back, he spotted the rarest and most delicate object in the wild, an old hummingbird’s nest, fragile and expertly woven, smaller than an eggcup.” Imagine a children’s book which mixes together life in a rural southern town in 1899, a big dose of Charles Darwin, the natural world, and the coming of age of a young girl. If you think this is an implausible mixture for a children’s book…

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

Leaving Gee’s Bend

Children's Book Leaving Gee's Bend

Published: 2010
Theme: Courage, Racial Discrimination
Best for: 11 and older

“Would Mama like the colors I picked? Would she be mad about me taking them pieces from her apron? I turned the quilt in the air, looking at it this way and that. Soon I would be running out of thread.Wasn’t but a few inches hanging down like the tail of a kite.” Gee’s Bend is indeed a real place. The women of Gee’s bend have a tradition of creating quilts that dates back to early American history. In recent years, their quilts were discovered…

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


Heidi - children's book

Published: 1880
Theme: Healing Power of Nature
Best for: all ages

“Soon all the lively goats came leaping up the mountain, the nimble Distelfinck bounding ahead of the others. Heide was at once in the midst of the flock, which pushed her hither and thither with loud, stormy greetings.” It has been far too long since I re-read the classic children’s book, Heidi, and once I picked it up, it was impossible to put it down…

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

Katrin’s Chronicles: The Canon of Jacquelene Dyanne

Katrin's Chronicles- Children's book

Published: 2013
Theme: Inner Power and Mystery
Best for: 12 -14

“There are those who, unmistakably, have a powerful talent, able to access the sensory energy of the world around them.They can even learn to work with it, harness it, utilize it to make change. Your sister is showing clear signs that she has these talents.” A blend of inner power, African-American life in Chicago, and the thrill of solving mysteries makes this a very unusual book.

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

Catherine, Called Birdy

Catherine Called Birdy Children's Book

Published: 1994
Theme: 13th Century Life
Best for: girls 12 and older

“I am commanded to write an account of my days: I am bit by fleas and plagued by family. That is all there is to say.” It’s not often that I read a somewhat serious children’s book that makes me laugh out loud. This book certainly does that, due to the main character, a sharp, funny, sarcastic, and somewhat willful 13th century teenager.

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

Four Dolls: Impunity Jane, Fairy Doll, Holly & Ivy, Candy Floss

Four Dolls - Children's Book

Published: 1963
Theme: Imagination
Best for: 4 and over

“Dolls are not like us; we are alive as soon as we are born, but dolls are not really alive until they are played with. ‘I want to be played with,’ said Holly… ‘I wish! I wish!'” It is utterly entrancing in each story to be inside the heart and mind of a doll, or the little girl or boy who is taking care of the doll. Each story is unique, each doll is different, and yet …

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

Serendipity and Me

Serendipity and Me Children's Book

Published: 2013
Theme: Recovering from Loss
Best for: girls 11 and up

“She’s white as a snowball but she’s warm, not frozen. She’s squishy and soft and sweet as a marshmallow. But she’s delicate as an orchid graceful as a ballerina miraculous as an angel. I can’t believe my luck.” I found this book mesmerizing. I loved the very real descriptions of the effect of the kitten on the young girl, and how she continued to work on opening her dad’s heart, who is grieving…

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

The Girl Who Threw Butterflies

Children's Book: The Girl who threw Butterflies

Published: 2009
Theme: Grieving and Healing
Best for: ages 9 and up

“The knuckleball wasn’t just a pitch. It was an attitude toward life; it was a way of being in the world. It was a philosophy. “You don’t aim a butterfly,” her father used to say. “You release it.” This is a book anyone could love. Boys who love baseball could surely appreciate it. Girls who want to try something out of the ordinary could love it. I certainly loved it…

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

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 - 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
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