Great Girls in Children's Literature
Recommended by Sara, formerly a librarian in our Children's Department.
Check our other Fave Five lists, too!
Anastasia Krupnik was the coolest girl when I was in middle school. She had all the same problems I did--geeky parents, dumb boys at school, the usual preteen angst. Anastasias voice comes through loud and clear via her current writing project, which differs slightly in each book in the series. The subtlety of this writing process over the course of the story shows Anastasias growing maturity without bashing readers over the head with it or sounding preachy.
Sam is a little guy with a bit of trepidation and a whole lot of questions about the world. Its a good thing hes got his big sister Stella. Where a frozen lake is really a giant silver popsicle and a starfish comes from shooting stars that fell in love with the sea, readers will delight in Stellas lyrical imagination as well as the beautiful colorwash illustrations. Other books in this series are Stella, Queen of the Snow, Stella, Star of the Sea and Stella, Fairy of the Forest.
Maybe its her super human strength, or that she has no parental supervision and can do whatever, whenever she wants. Maybe its because she raids a candy store and shares sweets with all the kids in the neighborhood, even the bullies. Maybe its the tacky English-dub-over-Swedish in those great 70s Pippi movies I saw as a kid. Or those braids--yep, it musta been the braids. All I know for sure is that when I was a girl, I wanted to be Pippi.
Here is another gal with a lot of guts and independence, especially for the time in which the story was written. One of the reasons this series is classic is because of its timelessness. Many girls today still struggle over career vs. family. Anne has shown us for over a century that creativity, adventure, and responsibility to loved ones can go together.
This is one of the first books I remember reading all by myself. Given to me by my godmother and set in my home state of Minnesota, I thought these books were written just for me. Betsy and Tacy are such best friends and are seen so much together that everyone just calls them Betsy Tacy. The series follows the adventures of 12-year-old Betsy, Tacy, and their new friend and neighbor, Tib.