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Christmas Gifts: Five inspiring books written for girls

Written By | Dec 18, 2018
Inspiring Stories, Books for Girls, Christmas Presents, Brigid Moret

LAUREL, MD – With the holidays upon us, gift ideas are in the forefront of most people’s minds. Whether you are a parent who likes the idea of giving a book as a present, or you are just looking for last minute gift ideas for the girls in your life, here are some inspiring books from picture book to middle school.

Girls Can Do Anything – written by Carol Hart, Illustrated by Ali Pye

This picture book sets out to instill in girls at an early age that they can do anything. Positive messaging has a powerful effect on who people become. This books seeks to ensure girls hear that message. The illustrations showgirls of all ages and cultures taking on tasks and jobs of all kinds. While the book sends the empowering message that they can do anything, it also says that every girl is different. It acknowledges that different people prefer different things and celebrates those different interests.

Ali Pye’s illustrations are bright, fun, and energetic. She depicts girls in all manner of activities, sometimes on the same page, juxtaposing the expected with the less common. The cartoon type style is sure to engage young children.

Girls Can Do Anything was published on August 1, 2018 by B. E. S. Publishing as a hardcover picture book. ISBN: 9781438050621. It is recommended for ages 3-7. 

Rosie Revere and the Raucous Riveters – written by Andrea Beaty, Illustrated by David Roberts

Following on the success of her picture books for title character Rosie Revere, Engineer, and friends Ada Twist, Scientist and Iggy Peck, Architect, Andrea Beaty has branched out from picture books into young reader chapter books. This is the first book in the new Questioneers series, which follow the adventures of the characters from her picture books. In book #1, Rosie, Ada, and Iggy are enlisted by the Raucous Riveters to invent an aid for an artist who can’t paint due to an accident but wants to enter an art competition.

The girls experiment and learn through their failures until they find a solution that works.

This is a fun STEM-focused book with characters that girls may recognize from their earlier picture books. The series promises to be a fun way to continue their stories and also show how their skills impact everyday life.

Rosie Revere and the Raucous Riverters was published on October 2, 2018, as a hardcover by Amulet Books, and is recommended for ages 6-8. ISBN: 9781419733604

Power to the Princess – written by Vita Murrow, illustrated by Julia Bereciartu

Presented as the rest of the story that isn’t normally told, this clever book has decided to take 15 classic fairy tale princesses and gives them the spunk, intelligence, and power they deserve.

Belle is Belle the Brave who is a fearless girl and not intimidated by the Forbidden Forest or the Beast. The Little Mermaid is concerned about litter polluting the ocean and tries to find a solution. Rapunzel becomes tired of using her hair to let people in and out of the tower. So, she uses her design skills to make changes to the tower, like adding steps. Zade is a businesswoman, and the princess from the princess and the frog (called Evangeline in this tale) is a zoologist.

Other popular favorites, such as Cinderella, Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty, also have their own new stories. Readers also get some forgotten princesses, like the Princess and the Pea and Thumbelina.

While the publisher recommends this book for ages 5-8, the number of words per page lends itself to readers on the older end of that age range. Power to the Princess was published as a hardcover on September 6, 2018, by Lincoln Children’s Books.  ISBN: 9781786032034

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls – written by Elena Favilli

From Queens, to artists, to scientists, Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls provides 100 short, one-page stories about a remarkable woman who made a significant contribution to her field. These women are not chosen from one point in time or from one culture. They range across history and around the world.

Similarly, they are not limited to traditional roles, or even solely STEM jobs that are so in focus today. While Queen Elizabeth I and Marie Curie are covered, so are Serena Williams, Freida Khalo, Cleopatra, Hypatia, and Lakshmi Bai.

The Illustrations are not provided by a single person. Over 60 female artists contributed to the portraits of these inspiring figures.

This book is intended to be read aloud, one profile at a time, and the publisher recommends it for ages 5-8. For an adult reading out loud to a child, that age range would be suitable. However, the content of the book makes it a good page a day read for independent readers 8-10 as well. In truth, this book, and its follow-up, Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls 2,  contain inspirational profiles of remarkable women that many adults could learn from as well.

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls was published May, 26, 2017 as a hardcover by Timbuktu Labs, Inc. ISBN: 9780997895810

ProudYoung Reader’s Edition  – written by Ibtihaj Muhammad

You may or may not of have heard of her, but Ibtihaj Muhammad made a big impact on the sporting world. As a member of the 2016 US Women’s Olympic Sabre Team, Ms. Muhammad became the first American woman to compete wearing a hijab. At the same time, she also became the first Muslim American woman to win an Olympic medal.

However, even before her Olympic debut, she has been an entrepreneur and activist. She has her own apparel line called Louella, and Barbie has even modeled a fencing doll after her. Despite her current success, growing up as a Muslim in New Jersey, especially as a female Muslim athlete, was a challenge.

Proud is her memoir. There are two editions available, the standard edition, but also a young reader’s edition. Named a New York Public Library Best Book of 2018, this is a good book to show girls that they can overcome challenges without compromising who they are.  For non-Muslim girls, it provides insight and understanding into a different lifestyle.

Published on July 24, 2018, as a hardcover by Little Brown Books for Young Readers, Proud – Young Reader’s Edition is best suited for ages 10-13. ISBN: 97803164770005

Brighid Moret

Brighid is a freelance writer, mother and reader. She holds an MA in Writing from Johns Hopkins University. Find her on Twitter @BrighidMoret, or follow @BigReadsLittleH for the latest children's book reviews.