The last time I went to the bookstore with my youngest niece, I noticed that all the books she pulled off the shelves featured female characters — A Computer Called Katherine; The Hike; Mina vs. the Monsoon. When I asked her about her choices, she told me that because she is a girl, it’s more interesting and “funner” to read about girls — especially girls who share her interests or introduce her to exciting new things. Her older sister agreed that it’s empowering to see yourself represented in a book or a video. As she put it, “When you see another girl doing something cool, you think ‘Oh, I can do that too!’”
As a parent, I want to share books with the girls (and boys) in my family that encourage their interests, introduce them to characters full of determination and strength, spark conversation about issues that concern them, and make them aware of broader issues that affect them. Here are a few titles featuring a variety of diverse girls that we’ve put on our shelves to help encourage our young readers to investigate the world, find their voice, take action and follow their dreams.