Story time is about more than just practicing comprehension skills. The books we read and the stories we tell can impress moral messages, like gender roles and stereotypes by the age of just three years old
. So it’s important that when choosing books for your daughter that you choose children’s books with strong female leads and world ready values at the core – encouraging her to believe that anything is possible.
We’ve made a list of our top 5 children’s books with strong female leads, and they’re equal parts inspiring and entertaining.
Author Sam Turnbull created this 5 book series when she was disappointed with the book choices available to her young daughter.
This series follows four best friends; Emily Martin, Bella Singh, Grace Bennett and Chloe Karalis as they navigate what it’s like to be a modern 10-year-old girl with no interest in princesses or the colour pink.
One story follows Grace as she teaches her sports coach that some girls would prefer to be kicking goals on the football team than dancing on the cheer squad. Another sees Grace battling with her mother to try and enter a math competition over the local beauty contest.
Every story teaches their reader that there’s more than one way to be a girl, and that’s A-OK!
7-10 years old
2. Rosie Revere, Engineer
Told in poetic rhyme, Rosie Revere, Engineer is just one in an awesome series of ambitious books for kids. The story follows Rosie, a quiet child with a passion for tinkering, creating and inventing. When Rosie’s great, great Aunt Rose (Rosie the Riveter) comes to visit, she inspires Rosie to invent a flying machine.
The lesson Rosie learns through the story is that you can only fail if you don’t give things a go. It’s an inspiring read that teaches us that young girls can do anything they want, like becoming an engineer – a career field where women are terribly underrepresented.
Other books in this series include Ada Twist, Scientist and Iggy Peck, Architect.
6-7 years old
3. Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls
The best way to show girls what’s possible is to lead by example, and Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls does exactly that. It’s a compendium of short stories that follow 100 change-making women, like the Brontë sisters, Malala, Marie Curie and Ada Lovelace. Illustrated with a unique portrait for each subject, the book is big enough to offer an endless choice of inspiring female figures, and diverse enough to portray all walks of life.
5-10 years old
This Roald Dahl classic has stood the test of time as a children’s book with a strong female lead and world-ready values. Written in 1988, the novel follows Matilda, a bright young girl who is neglected by her family because she doesn’t like to watch tv like they do, and instead prefers reading many books.
She’s an intelligent young girl who discovers telekinetic powers resulting from a lack of mental stimulation at school and at home. Matilda uses those telekinetic powers for good, teaching her parents and her nasty headmistress some valuable lessons about why you shouldn’t underestimate a little girl.
: 8-12 years old
Olivia is a well-established story book series about a young piglet named Olivia with big dreams and lots of energy.
The best thing that Olivia can teach us is to have determination and drive; Olivia won’t let anything get in the way of pursuing her dreams. She’s charming, curious and goes on many different adventures which means there’s plenty of choice when it comes to story time with Olivia!
: 3-6 years old
The MLC Library has plenty of resources for reading with your child. Click here to access our Library resources
; simply use your MLC login to access.