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Books With Female Protagonists

October 15, 2015 Leave a comment Go to comments

A compilation of booklists focusing on female protagonists.

Always check here first!:
The Amelia Bloomer Project: Recommended Feminist Literature for Birth Through 18, created annually by the Feminist Task Force of the Social Responsibilities Round Table of the American Library Association. Here’s the current list.

Mostly Picture Books:
Beyond Female Protagonists: Female voices in Picture Books by Kay E. Vandergrift
Non Traditional Princess Books to Empower Our Daughters at The Artful Parent
Six Princess Books for Parents Who Really, Really Hate Princess Books at Building a Library
Spunky Girl Characters at There’s a Book for That
Strong, Brave, Courageous Girls: Picture Book Characters for Our Daughters at Creekside Learning

Elementary Grade Chapter Books:
Early Chapter Books with Fierce Female Characters at Brightly

Mostly Middle School:
Books for Strong Girls in Middle School at Flashlight Worthy 
Empowering Books for Middle-School Girls at PBS Parents
Girl Scientists in Middle-Grade Fiction at The Booklist Reader
Middle Grade Novels about African American Girls listed by Becky Birtha
Top Read Aloud Books Starring Mighty Girls at A Mighty Girl
Top Ten Girl Power Books: Middle Grade at Nerdy Book Club

Mostly Young Adult:
8 YA Books With Kickass Girls You Need To Read This Year at Gurl.com
10 Books With Female Leads and No (or Little) Romance at Book Nut
100 Young Adult Books for the Feminist Reader at Bitchmedia
Comics and Graphic Novels: Strong Female Protagonists Win the Day by Brigid Alverson at School Library Journal, May 5, 2014
Comics with Strong Female Characters at Booklist Online
Five Books Where the Girl Saves the Boy at Tor.com
Girl Power! Fiction at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
STEM Girls: Books with Girls Rocking Science and Math (fiction) at School Library Journal
What We Talk About When We Talk About “Strong” Heroines in Young Adult Fiction at YALSA’s The Hub
YA Books with Strong Female Friendships at OH! the books.com

Mostly Nonfiction, or Mixed Lists:
6 Nonfiction Books about Strong Girls at On How to Be Lovely
Girls with Gumption: Books with Strong Female Characters at Moore Memorial Public Library, TX
Kid’s Books on the Women’s Suffrage Movement at Books Kids Love

Articles of interest:
Gender Bias Uncovered in Children’s Books with Male Characters, Including Animals, Leading the Fictional Pack at Science Daily, May 4, 2011
Gender by the Numbers by Roger Sutton at the Horn Book, March 31, 2015
I Hate Strong Female Characters by Sophia McDougall at New Statesman, August 15, 2013
Must Every YA Action Heroine Be Petite? by Julianne Ross at The Atlantic, March 21, 2014
The Princess and the Poor Self-Image: An Analysis if Newbery Medal Winners for Gender Bias and Female Underrepresentation Leading into the Twenty-first Century by Melissa A. McCleary & Michael M. Widdersheim in Pensylvania Libraries: Research & Practice, Spring 2014.
Reading and Critiquing: An Analysis of Talk about Strong Books for Girls by Renita Schmidt, Amanda Thein, and Kathryn F. Whitmore (Talking Points, May 2013 – copyright NCTE)
What Does it Mean that Most Children’s Books Are Still About White Boys? by Soraya Chemaly at The Huffington Post Blog, November 7, 2013
Where Are the Girls in Children’s Lit? by Adriane Allan at Ms. Magazine Blog, May 25, 2011
Where are all the Heroines in YA Fiction? at The Guardian

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