Books About Girls Who Have No Time to Wait For Princes!

Date :
October 7, 2019

Children’s and young adult books featuring a female lead have changed dramatically over the past few decades – no longer are they the glittery pink tomes of old where the beautiful princess waits dutifully in her castle for the valiant prince to rescue her. Now, the princesses save themselves. The protagonists in these stories are strong, smart girls who use their wits, their talents, and their strength to overcome the odds and defeat the evil Queen, the dragon, or overthrow dystopian societies.

They are the Katniss Everdeens, the Hermione Grangers, and the Meg Murrarys that will stay with your child forever.

Read on to find out more about books starring fearless girls!

May Gibbs reading Dickens' 'Bleak House' 1889

May Gibbs reading Dickens’ ‘Bleak House’ 1889 by Herbert Gibbs

Books are now more than ever an important tool for encouraging the development of strong, healthy minds. It’s a well-known fact that children can be shaped by the books they read. Reading books about girls helps kids grow into empathetic, confident adults minus the narrow gender stereotypes.

Fiction in particular is effective when it comes to building empathy. When kids reads a book about a character who doesn’t look or live the way they do, they are able to understand them a little better. If young readers are exposed to books about a range of characters – from girls who love adventure, science, cooking, writing, art or maths, and girls who are talented at sport or who stand up to bullies or who follow their own path rather than what others might tell them, they are given a gift. This gift will last not only their lifetimes, but well beyond that.

Little girls who read books about these characters become the scientists, the politicians, the writers, the leaders of tomorrow. They carry the lessons they learned from the books they read as children with them. They grow up with a much more powerful sense of empathy and understanding, and a keen desire for equality.

And just because these stories feature girls as leads, that doesn’t mean that boys are excluded. Books like Harry Potter and Dairy of a Wimpy Kid feature boys, but are read by everyone. Encouraging and supporting boys to read stories about girls helps build empathy for girls and break down narrow gender stereotypes not only about girls, but about boys who like to read stories about girls.

Kids just want a good story. The books you read as a child stay with you in a way that books you read later in life really don’t. Help the young people in your life grow into empowered, confident, empathetic adults by choosing smart books about girls.

Australian kids books



Mamie by Tania McCartney

Mamie by Tania McCartney

A beautiful picture book about our beloved May Gibbs, an inspiring Australian woman of many firsts, as a child. Perfect for early readers.

The Girls by Lauren Ace and Jenny Lovlie

A picture book about four little girls who meet under a tree and share their hopes, dreams, worries, and fears. A wonderful book about the power of friendship and the bond that forms when we are brave enough to be ourselves.

Nasreen’s Secret School by Janette Winters

After Nasreen’s parents disappear from their home in Afghanistan, she stops speaking. Desperate to help, her grandmother enrols Nasreen in a secret school for girls. With a devoted teacher, a new friend, and the wonderful books she discovers, will Nasreen speak again? Based on an incredible true story.

Nevermoore by Jessica Townsend

A magical tale about a girl who discovers she has magical power and must make her way in a new, exciting, but often scary world. Heralded as the new Harry Potter, but with a strong female protagonist, this series is just as fun, magical, and funny as J. K Rowling’s brilliant series.

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls by Elana Favilli

Introduces young girls to the remarkable lives of 100 extraordinary women.

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

A classic sci fi novel in which a young girl must travel through space and time, through different dimensions, to rescue her father.

Books for girls

For more information on book recommendations for children, check out the May Gibbs news page!