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Old 01-06-2003, 12:23 AM
Shirley Ujest is offline
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Recommend kids books with strong female character, please.

I know how much dopers love their books.

I need recommendations for books for children (3-late teen in age) to keep as a reference for my growing library. Any genre.

If you have a particular story that you are passionate about, give it a mention here and why you like it.
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Old 01-06-2003, 12:58 AM
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I always like Judy Blume as an author for teen girls:

Are you there God? It's me, Margaret.


Blubber were two of my favorites.

For older teen girls, Margaret Atwood, has some very strong female leads. I started reading Margaret Atwood at about 17 - The Edible Woman has a particularly strong female lead. Atwood does tend to be a tad bitchy; however, so I guess it would depend on the teen. I know that The Handmaid's Tale is taught in many Canadian high school English curriculums.
Old 01-06-2003, 01:02 AM
grendel72 is offline
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For teenagers, you can't beat Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird as a great female character IMHO.

I'll second Are You There God, It's Me Margaret as well.
Old 01-06-2003, 01:05 AM
scablet is offline
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It's been a while since I read it, but A Wrinkle in Time is pretty universally enjoyed amongst the 'tweens set.
Old 01-06-2003, 01:19 AM
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13 Never Changes was a book I enjoyed as an early teenager. It's about a 13 year old girl who inherits her grandmother's diaries.

The Secret Garden is always a favourite.

Jacob Have I Loved is about a young teenaged girl growing up in Maine. She's a tomboy who loves being on her father's crabboat, but feels that everyone prefers her feminine twin sister.

The Witch of Blackbird Pond is the story of a young girl transplanted into Puritan America from the Carribeans.

The Thunder-Pup is about an almost ten year old girl who wants a dog for her birthday. What she gets instead is her first lesson about growing up.

Everyone loves Little House on the Prairie and the Anne of Green Gables books. There are more Anne books than most people think, too. I have 9 dealing with Anne and her family, plus four more about her hometown after she is gone.
Old 01-06-2003, 01:21 AM
Glory is offline
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Does the scale go from age 3 to late teens? If so:

No Flying in the House - Betty Brock
Adorable heroine is a secretly a fairy princess! Guaranteed to have small girls attempting to lick their elbow (don't ask).

Ballet Shoes - Noel Streatfeild
Paulina, Petrova and Posey are three orphans who find success! Paulina becomes a film star, Petrova becomes a pilot and Posey becomes a ballerina, one of my favorite books growing up.

A Little Princess - Frances Hodgson Burnett
Sarah goes from pampered schoolgirl to having to work for mean spirited Miss Michin, but never loses her imagination.

Anne of Green Gables - L.M. Montgomery
Loved Anne, can't say enough good things about this series.

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler - E. L. Konigsburg
Wouldn't it be cool to run away and live in a museum and sleep in the fancy beds? Claudia does!

Dragonsinger - Anne McCaffrey
Menolly just wants to be a harper. She ends up living in a cave and adopting a flock of fire lizards!

A Wrinkle in Time - Madeline L'Engle
Meg and her brothers fight to save their dad.

Of Nightingales That Weep - Katherine Paterson
Takiko lives through the The Genji Wars, Yoritomo and the sea battles for dominance of Japan while living in the court of the Emperor.

The Sea Fairies - L. Frank Baum
My favorite of all his books, I love Trot and her adventures with the mermaids.

The Witch Family - Eleanor Estes
Loved this book when I was a kid, the author is great. I would also recommend 100 Dresses for younger kids, it's a great story about how kids pick on other kids.

Starring Sally J. Friedman As Herself - Judy Blume
My favorite of all the Blume books, Sally has a wonderful imagination.

I love reading, I don't have any kids of my own so I asked my boss if I could be the "book worm" for his 9 year old daughter. Like my aunt who started the practice when I was a little girl, once a month I choose a book that I loved as a child and give it to my boss to hide for his daughter, along with a pretty bookmark and a note signed "The Bookworm." His daughter is an avid reader and is delighted to have a secret friend. I've met her several times at various office functions, but I know she would have NO idea it's me. The above books were all books I gave to her over the past year, all books I loved as a kid.
Old 01-06-2003, 01:25 AM
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Pippi Longstocking (Astrid Lindgren)
Old 01-06-2003, 01:31 AM
Arden Ranger is offline
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Mandy by Julie Andrews.
Old 01-06-2003, 01:43 AM
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Emily Climbs by L.M. Montgomery. Most people know her Anne of Green Gables series best, but I like the Emily books. Emily of New Moon is the first (when she is a little kid) (Hawklette likes this one best), Emily Climbs has her teen years and the last one Emily's Quest is the weakest, IMO. But Emily's a wonderful character, strong, proud, passionate, intense, complex, creative.

I don't know how appropriate these are for "late teens," whom I wouldn't exactly call "kids." People seem to be recommending stuff for the younger set. I read Emily through several times throughout my teen years.

The other book I loved was A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

Hawklette (who is 16) recommends C.J. Cherryh's Merovingen Nights series - (Angel with the Sword is the first) as well as The Ghatti Tales, a series by Gayle Greeno. Also Bridge to Terebithia and The Woman in the Cloak which is about St. Margaret of Metola. Actually, many historical novels about strong females are good. Behold Your Queen by Gladys Malvern, about Queen Esther is wonderful, if you can get your hands on it.
Old 01-06-2003, 02:13 AM
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I'm getting so many great flashbacks from these titles!

Glory, I love what you're doing. She's a lucky girl.

How about the Oz books?
Old 01-06-2003, 02:33 AM
Glory is offline
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There are so many great books for kids, I have a blast doing it.

Caddie Woodlawn - Carol Ryrie Brink

Strawberry Girl - Lois Lenski

The Betsy-Tacy-Tib stories - Maud Hart Lovelace
(these start off for very young readers, but as the girls grow up, so do the books)

Old Fashioned Girl - Louisa May Alcott
I loved this one so much better than Little Women. Good old Polly and her bronze toed boots!

Island of the Blue Dolphins - Scott O'Dell
Ultimate in Girl Power.

Midwife's Apprentice - Karen Cushman
Pretty gritty, but very interesting.

Number the Stars - Lois Lowry
The story of the evacuation of the Jews from Denmark to Sweden. The Giver is a good story as well, although the protaganist is male.

The Diary of Anne Frank

Five Little Peppers and How They Grew - Margaret Sidney
I had this weird fascination with impoverished British children while growing up, couldn't get enough of it.

The Borrowers - Mary Norton
Okay, this might be getting away from your idea of "strong females" but darn it, I used to love books about little people. See The Littles by John Peterson for more along these lines.

See, this is why I had to start the "bookworm" game, I have so many beloved childhood books to share.
Old 01-06-2003, 04:55 AM
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Not something you'd want for younger readers, but Consider Phlebas, by Iain M. Banks, may not have a female in the "main character" role, but the two female primary characters have more gumption, strength, and backbone than most other characters in the book.
Old 01-06-2003, 05:39 AM
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Many of the Terry Pratchett comic fantasy books focus on strong female characters: Equal Rites and Wyrd Sisters in particular.
Old 01-06-2003, 05:46 AM
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The Silver Crown, by Robert C. O'Brien.

Fantastic children's book, and Ellen, the main character, is as tough as they come under trying circumstances.
Old 01-06-2003, 05:52 AM
China Guy is offline
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Princess Smartypants by Babette Cole is probably right up your alley and age group.
China bambina loves it at 2.5 years old. She crushes all the princes who come for her hand, until finally the dashing prince that passes all the tests receives her kiss and turns into a frog (the prince turns into a frog)
Old 01-06-2003, 06:47 AM
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"speak" by Laurie Halse Anderson (older kids only, but this won several awards)

"Friday's Tunnel" by John Verney. Humorous, modern, even insightful. About a British family. (8 and up. Also won an award or two, at least some of the series did: February's Road, ISMO)

"The Face on the Milk Carton". Maybe not excellent, but has some good stuff about family loyalty.
Old 01-06-2003, 08:28 AM
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The Lord of the Rings books have that major character Arwen. The way she stands down those black riders at the ford of Rivendell!

<ducks and runs>
Old 01-06-2003, 08:30 AM
Shirley Ujest is offline
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Oooooh, these are all great!

Some I have, all I will look into.

. Like my aunt who started the practice when I was a little girl, once a month I choose a book that I loved as a child and give it to my boss to hide for his daughter, along with a pretty bookmark and a note signed "The Bookworm."
This is just so cool and a wonderful idea!
Old 01-06-2003, 08:37 AM
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Also (I think somebody mentioned these in another thread recently) Tamora Pierce's Alanna books are good. They're about a girl who wants to be a knight in the mythical realm of Tortall. She disguises herself as a boy and goes to live at the palace. There are four books in the series, and Pierce has done some other fantasy series as well.
Old 01-06-2003, 08:38 AM
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The Perilous Gard by Elizabeth Marie Pope. It's a realistic fairy tale based in part on the ballad of Tam Lin and set in early Elizabethan England. The heroine, Kate, is wonderful -- she's intelligent, sensible, modest, quietly brave, self-sacrificing, and kind. She's also plain and clumsy, and very self-conscious of her flaws, having always been compared unfavorably to her beautiful (and vapid) sister. But the core of the book involves Kate having conversations with the hero, Christopher, in the dark, where her looks don't matter but her personality and intelligence do. (Christopher is also a great character.) Kate ends up saving Christopher from the dangerous situation they're in, and the book ends happily -- and refreshingly unsappily -- for the both of them.

The book is very well-written and well-researched, and I'd say it was suitable for anybody over the age of 11 (even adults). It's also my favorite book ever.
Old 01-06-2003, 08:48 AM
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Another vote for the “Anne of Green Gables” books.

But I would forget “Little House” in favor of the much more vigorous Caddie Woodlawn.

The Betsy-Tacy-Tib stories are a must.
Old 01-06-2003, 09:01 AM
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Yay, I get to mention my favorites!

For the nature-lover, you can't beat Jean Craighead George's books. Julie of the Wolves is probably her most famous (and won a Newberry, IIRC), but many of her books revolve around strong female protagonists and their relationships with the natural world. (The remainder of her books revolve around strong male protagonists and their relationships with the natural world).

For the fantasy reader, you gotta check out The Hero and the Crown, by Robin McKinley. While all her books are fairly good, and all (IIRC) have female protagonists, not all of them are appropriate for children. The Hero and the Crown is a classic sword-and-sorcery novel with a buttkicking heroine; it also won a Newberry.

Those are my fvaorites. Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising series has a bunch of leads, some of whom are female, but I think the main protagonists are male. Le Guin's Earthsea series alternates between male and female protagonists until the fifth book in the series, when it switches to an ensemble cast. And for older kids, Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy has a great female lead.

Someone recommended Jacob Have I Loved. I'll extend the recommendation to most of Katherine Paterson's works: they tend to have female leads and are very well-written.

Finally, you could do a lot worse than Mildred Taylor's Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. It's a harrowing account of a Southern Black farm family in the early twentieth century, beautifully written and heartbreaking.

Old 01-06-2003, 09:31 AM
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Oh, I almost forgot, the American Girls series. I'd say that is for 8, 9, & 10 year olds. The series follows the lives of maybe 15 different girls living in America at different times in history.
Old 01-06-2003, 09:49 AM
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Harriet the Spy! I loved it when I was a kid. Harriet is a wonderful sort of anti-heroine--she's not pretty, she can be mean, and, of course, she spies on all her neighbors and classmates, but she's really brainy and brave and fun.

Joan Aiken also has a wonderful series of adventures set in 19th century New England starring Dido Twite, a very clever and resourceful girl. Nightbirds in Nantucket is the one I remember best--it involves an obsessed captain searching for a giant pink whale.

I have to agree with what most others have recommended. The Betsy-Tacy-Tib books are especially good. My dad used to read them to me when I was a wee lass, and I still love them.
Old 01-06-2003, 10:00 AM
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There's a great list of them at Heartless Bitches International (don't worry, the site isn't as harsh as the name suggests). There's lists of adult books with strong female leads as well as movies and women singers, too.
Old 01-06-2003, 10:12 AM
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I read this for a children's lit class I took years ago and loved it so much I had to buy a copy for myself. The title is Don't Bet on the Prince: Contemporary Feminist Fairy Tales in North America and England by Jack David Zipes. They're all fairy tales with strong female characters and male characters who recognize their strength and support them as equals.
Old 01-06-2003, 10:16 AM
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I just wanted to come in and say "yay! Someone else loved "Ballet Shoes" by Streatfield!" I never owned it, but my school library always had it available (foolish students didn't know what they were missing), and I took it out several times a school year. I still remember the light yellow hardcover, with the red lines on the spine spelling out the title and a wispy pair of pointe slippers, and how each line was slowly fading and being rubbed away each time I took it out, but you could still make out what it said if you looked hard enough....
Old 01-06-2003, 10:37 AM
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The Anastasia Krupnik books by Lois Lowry are good.

Also, while Harry Potter might be the star of his epynomous book series, Hermione Granger is easily as strong and smart as Harry is. Definitely a book series to read if you want a strong female heroine.
"Sherlock Holmes once said that once you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the answer. I, however, do not like to eliminate the impossible. The impossible often has a kind of integrity to it that the merely improbable lacks."
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Old 01-06-2003, 10:43 AM
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The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi

Who Stole the Wizard of Oz? by Avi.

His best books for other audiences are Sometimes I Think I Hear My Name and No More Magic.
Old 01-06-2003, 11:02 AM
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Seconding recommendations for The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Island of the Blue Dolphins, The Dark is Rising series and the Anne series.

Also, Streams to the River, River to the Sea by Scott O'Dell (Island of the Blue Dolphins) is the story of Sacagawea, the Native American woman who acted as a guide for Lewis & Clark.

For the offbeat, modern fairytale, try Emma Donoghue's Kissing the Witch and Francesca Lia Block's books (Weetzie Bat, Girl Goddess #9, etc.).

The Young Wizards series by Diane Duane ROCKS--strong female characters, intense storyline. The first one in the series is So You Want to Be a Wizard. This is the most awesome set of books--highly underappreciated IMHO.

For more, check out Great Books for Girls by Kathleen Odean.
Old 01-06-2003, 11:20 AM
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Most of my favorites have already been mentioned, but my all time favorite hasn't: it's The Upstairs Room by Joanna Reiss. It's about a young (maybe 10 IIRC) girl in Holland during the Nazi occupation who goes into hiding with a Dutch family. I enjoyed this book more than The Diary of Anne Frank (perhaps because this girl survives, which was important when I was 10 and first read them both).

It's very well written in a sort of choppy style that works well for a younger reader. The characters are real--they're not absolute heros but have their own faults and weaknesses. However, they all show the power of the human spirit and the strength people can muster when forced to by circumstances.
Old 01-06-2003, 11:49 AM
Salieri2 is offline
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run from what? the mad elf seamstress?

Originally posted by Dinsdale
The Lord of the Rings books have that major character Arwen. The way she stands down those black riders at the ford of Rivendell!

<ducks and runs>
Very funny, Dinsdale...I guess sitting at home in Rivendell, sewing jewels on banners with your mouth shut makes for a dull movie.

Now that I think of it, does she actually get even a single line of dialogue in the books proper? I know she speaks in the Appendix--maybe two lines when Elessar is dying--but I don't think she gets a word out otherwise.

I recommend checking out Jennifer Roberson's fantasy series about Tiger and Del, SwordSinger through SwordSworn, for older teens. [Isn't it sad how many fantasy/scifi books we've had to recommend?]

Also, as previously noted, anything by Robin McKinley but definitely read them yourself first for age-suitability. She does not aim her writing for youth though her publisher keeps slotting her books into those sections at the bookstore, and you probably don't want your ten-year-old reading Deerskin.
Old 01-06-2003, 11:58 AM
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Originally posted by Nightingale
Also (I think somebody mentioned these in another thread recently) Tamora Pierce's Alanna books are good. They're about a girl who wants to be a knight in the mythical realm of Tortall. She disguises herself as a boy and goes to live at the palace. There are four books in the series, and Pierce has done some other fantasy series as well.
I popped in to mention Tamora Pierce's books. Others include the Immortals series and the Protector of the Small series. For strong female characters, I'd go with these over the Alanna series - the second one I mentioned in particular. While the Alanna books do have a strong female character, she hides her identity as female through the first two books. The Protector books cover the next woman to become a knight in Tortall - with everyone knowing she's female from the beginning.

I also like Gail Carson Levine's Ella Enchanted and The two princesses of bamarre (this may just be titled The Princesses of Bamarre, I'm not sure). Both have great female characters.
Old 01-06-2003, 12:35 PM
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I obviously misunderstood the "3-late teen" designation. You meant "age 3 to age 17 or 18 or so". Expands things enormously. I don't think anyone's mentioned Ramona and Katie John (Beverly Cleary and Mary Calhoun, respectively).

More sf: Tanith Lee's Black Unicorn and it's Gold and Red sequels.
Old 01-06-2003, 12:42 PM
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Another by Susan Cooper (author of the Dark is rising series) is Westward. The story balances nicely between equally strong male and female leads, who wind up working together for the same goal. Intensely imaginative book.

I'll also vote for L. M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables and Emily of New Moon series. Actually, any book by that author features strong female characters, and are all the more refreshing for having been written and published when Women's Lib was just an idea.

For the older girls, Marion Zimmer Bradley has some great female characters, particularly in [i]The Mists of Avalon[/b]. Also for older girls, Louise Cooper's Indigo series centers on a very strong female lead.
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Old 01-06-2003, 12:45 PM
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I see that Glory already recommended The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. I second that one heartily. It's not an easy book to read, but I think it should be read by anyone. Girls will find it especially moving, I think, as it's a very honest book in so many ways.

A series my eldest daughter has recently discovered is The Royal Diaries, wherein each book centers around a different historical princess or queen, from Cleopatra to Eleanor to Jahanara. I like the fact that all the books are about women, and each takes on a different culture and time period. Well worth reading.
Old 01-06-2003, 01:53 PM
Jonathan Chance is offline
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For the smaller children:

The Paperbag Princess, byMichael Martchenko and Robert Munsch.

Elizabeth is a princess (about age 12 or so) who lives in a castle and is engaged to prince Ronald. When a Dragon burns down the castle and runs off with Ronald Elizabeth sets off to rescue him wearing only a paper bag (her clothes had been burned up). She confronts the dragon and rescues Ronald whereupon ol' Ron upbraids Elizabeth for not having nice clothes and smelling of ash and soot (having confronted a dragon). Elizabeth calls him a jerk and the last line is, "And they didn't get married after all."

That, my friends, is the best form of strong female character. I once heard a four-year old girl say, "I'm glad they won't get married. He didn't treat her right!"

Doesn't that say it all?
Old 01-06-2003, 02:51 PM
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Cynthia Voigt has a number of books with strong female heroines. _Homecoming_, _Dicey's Song_, and _Come A Stranger_ are excellent. The last has an African-American lead character as well.
Old 01-06-2003, 03:05 PM
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"Ella Enchanted" is still one of my favorite books, about a little girl who gets the fairy 'blessing' of obedience- she has to obey every order given to her- and her journey to try to undo the spell. She's clever, resourceful, and, when it comes down to it, ethical enough to sacrifice everything she really wants for what she knows is right.
Old 01-06-2003, 03:37 PM
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Oh hey, for younger readers, Beverly Cleary has any number of excellent ones (and funny, too)-- the Ramona books are fantastic, as well as others, like Ellen Tebbits and Beezus and Henry.
Old 01-06-2003, 05:14 PM
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The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman
Old 01-06-2003, 05:16 PM
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I'd reccomend the Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander (The Book of Three, The Black Cauldron, The High King, not so much The Castle of Llyr and Taran Wanderer, though). Eilonwy's not the main character, but she's definitely got a mind of her own.

Pretty much anything L. M. Montgomery has ever written. Almost every single one of her stories/books revolves around an Anne or Emily-like character.
Old 01-06-2003, 05:36 PM
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My all-time favorite book ever, Indian Captive, the Story of Mary Jemison by Lois Lenski. Calico Captive by Elizabeth George Speare is a similar story (pre-Revolution girl captured by Indians) but not as good. (advanced grade school and up)

Caddie Woodlawn, already mentioned has a "sequel", Magical Melons, by Carol Ryrie Brink. (advanced grade school and up)

Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire. This is a different take on Cinderella. (middle school and up)

Bread and Jam for Frances, Bedtime for Frances, and A Bargain for Frances (and other Frances books) by Russell Hoban. Frances is actually a badger, but clearly female. This is definitely at the age-3 end of the spectrum.
Old 01-06-2003, 07:20 PM
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I don't think anyone has mentioned Patricia Wrede's series. It begins with Dealing With Dragons and there are 3 others, but I cannot remember the titles at the moment. They all have strong female characters, but I believe only the first has a female main character. They were possibly my favorite books ever for quite a long time. I need to re-read them!

Dealing with Dragons is about a princess who runs away and goes purposely to live with a dragon. They continue with her finding a husband, defeating various enemies, and end with a book about her son. They are all excellent - funny and well written without being condescending.

She also wrote Maerelon the Magician, and The Magician's Ward, about a street rat adopted by a performing magician who turns out to be a real magician. It is set in a pseudo-Victorian/Regency England.

Another book about dragons was Susan Fletcher's Dragon's Milk and series. A young girl has to rescue baby dragons, basically. It's not as ickily sentimental as you might think.

Diana Wynne Jones is my favorite YA author. Some of her books feature strong female protaganists, for example:

Howl's Moving Castle - The eldest daughter in a family of 3 knows it is her duty to be the wicked step-sister, not to go on adventures. But when she is turned into an old woman by a Wicked Sorceress she loses her inhibitions and goes to work for the Evil Wizard. Very good stuff. Contains one of my favorite poems as a plot point: Song by John Donne. It's apparently going to be made into a movie, created by Studio Ghibli (!) i.e. the anime studio that created Spirited Away.

Dogsbody - The stars are people, and when Sirius is set up he is punished for a crime he didn't commit by being sent to earth as a dog. He is adopted by a kindly Irish (female) orphan and must survive in dog form and absolve himself of the crime. I have a signed copy! Hurrah!

The Dalemark Chronicles - A series of 4. I say series, but that's not really the right word. It's difficult to explain. At any rate, 2 of them have female protaganists. Spellcoats is set in prehistoric Dalemark and is a prequel of sorts. In this land, magic can be done by weaving an ancient language into fabric. Tanaqui (my namesake) is a master weaver. The other, The Crown of Dalemark, is set in modern day Dalemark - until the protaganist is sent back into Dalemark of what would probably correspond to the 1700-1800's of our time. The plot is impossible to explain, really.

Witch Week - About a school that is the perfect opposite of Hogwarts. An alternative world where witches are real and still burned and "at-risk" students are sent to schools like these.

I'm getting tired and DWJ has incredibly complicated plots so I'll just list a few others with female main characters:

Hexwood, A Tale of Time City, Year of the Griffin, Fire and Hemlock, Aunt Maria...

Sherwood Smith wrote a series of fantasy books about a girl called Wren as well as another duo of books called, I believe, Crowd Duel and Court Duel, also featuring a female protaganist.

Someone mentioned Lloyd Alexander but I don't think s/he mentioned the Vesper Holly books. These are not so much fantasy as adventure. They feature, essentially, a young, female, Indiana Jones, told from the POV of her retired adventurer and now respectable adopted uncle. They are set in the early 1900's.

Also, I prefer the Westmark series to the Prydain books myself. The gals have a bigger part there than in the Prydain books, I think. They are somewhat more mature books however, with no magic and so on. The Kestrel in particular is a sobering book, about war.

Garth Nix's Sabriel and an earlier book whose name escapes me are also very good. They are fantasy, set in a world where the dead hang around to come to life with the help of necromancers on a daily basis. I resisted reading them for a while because his earlier book, Shade's Children, scarred me for life, but I'm glad I finally got around to it.

The Perilous Gard is a wonderful book. The author (Elizabeth Marie Pope) also wrote one other book, The Sherwood Ring, which is good, though not as good as PG. It also features a female main character.

With non-fantasy books, I really can't tell you. I despised most of the "let's be as depressing as we can because hell, real life is depressing and kids need to figure that out as soon as possible" books about death, terminal illnesses, suicide, divorce, and other unpleasant things that seemed to be all the vogue in the 80's and 90's. There are enough depressing things in RL for me to deal with without reading about it, thanks.

They were apparently all considered great literature, though, because I never read a single fantasy book in school. I was inevitably forced into reading the "my parents got divorced and then my mom died and my dad ran away with the lady from the circus and I found out I had leukemia" type things. [/rant]
Old 01-06-2003, 07:49 PM
caveman is offline
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I'll recommend The Keeper of the Isis Light, and its sequels, The Guardian of Isis and The Isis Pedlar, all by Monica Huges.

Good sci-fi for young 'uns!
Old 01-06-2003, 07:53 PM
Gyrate is online now
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Originally posted by MaxTheVool
The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman
More specifically, the whole Northern Lights trilogy -- a very strong and resourceful young female main character without taking anything away from the various male characters. But be warned: Pullman's books may offend some religious sensibilities (not that it bothered me, but I know it bothers some people).
Old 01-06-2003, 08:11 PM
Polycarp is offline
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Let me add my strong endorsement for A Wrinkle in Time, which is one of the best fantasy novels of all time, never mind "children's book" or "strong female character" or any other qualifier. And Madeleine L'Engle has easily 20 other books out in two interrelated series covering two generations of two families, of which Meg Murry (Wrinkle's protagonist) is a member of one.

I asked Skulldigger for additional suggestions from her own childhood -- she noted the Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew, and Sue Barton series, and the Beezus and Ramona series (for marginally younger readers than the others, as Nancy Drew is for marginally older).

Amanda is not available for comment, but I know she thinks very highly of the Judy Blume novels, and claims that the Ashley and Mary Kate stories are much better reading than one might expect of a marketing-gimmick kids' book series.
Old 01-06-2003, 08:11 PM
caveman is offline
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Also: Enchantress from the Stars, and the assoaciated The Far Side of Evil, by Sylvia Engdahl
Old 01-06-2003, 08:30 PM
Mr. Blue Sky is offline
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Originally posted by Cessandra
Jacob Have I Loved is about a young teenaged girl growing up in Maine. She's a tomboy who loves being on her father's crabboat, but feels that everyone prefers her feminine twin sister.

Slight hi-jack:

This was made into an episode of PBS' Wonderworks and starred a relatively unknown Bridget Fonda.
Old 01-06-2003, 08:33 PM
monica is offline
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Virginia
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I'm midteen, although I happen to read at an adult level, so it's a bit difficult for me to judge what books would be good for other teens. Historical fictions happen to be my favorite, and your kids might be interested in reading some of the following:

A few years ago, I was reading:
The Royal Diary series by Scholastic books
The Dear America series by Scholastic books

Adult level books I love:
Pillars of the Earth (sorry, I can't remember the author)
The Memoirs of Cleopatra by Margaret George
Mary Queen of Scotland and the Isles by Margaret George (incidently, she's one of my favorite authors.)

The last two have a little bit of sex in them, but the emphasis of the book is not placed on that, and I'm mature enough that it doesn't bother me or send me into giggle fits. Also, you pick up some interesting facts while reading an enthralling book, which is wonderful for someone like me who has a passion for learning about people in history.

All of the above books have prevented me from getting the sleep I should because I simply could not put them down on occasion. I just got so caught up in the plot. (Just one more chapter. Alright, one more. Just another one. What harm can one more do?) I brought The Memoirs of Cleopatra with me when I went to Greece, and almost didn't want to leave the hotel room, I was so caught up in the book.



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