This list of 8 empowering picture books for girls is one that is close to my heart. The books we read to children are just as, if not more important than what we say to them or what they watch on a screen. As a kindergarten teacher, these are books that I read to my students. The girls always connect and have a sense of camaraderie. To help the boys connect to the stories, we don’t just say “well, girls can do anything.” Instead we use the words everyone, anyone, and we. These 8 books encourage girls to be who they are, strive for their dreams, and to never let a discouraging word turn them away from who they are meant to be.
12 Empowering Books for Young Girls (and Boys)
Grace for President by Kelly DiPucchio is the story of a young girl who questions the absence of a female president. Her curiosity ignites a class lesson in the form of a mock election with Grace as a candidate.
Brad Meltzer’s I am Amelia Earhart and entire Ordinary People Who Change the World series is fantastic. I especially love I am Amelia Earhart because Earhart was adventurous and brave. She defied society’s rules for girls to follow her dreams.
Sweet Molly Lou Melon is an odd looking girl quirky little girl who basks in the confidence her grandmother instills in her. When Molly Lou is bullied by Ronald Durkin, she handles herself with grace. Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon teaches a valuable lesson in confidence and determination.
Beautiful by Stacy McAnulty uses the texts and illustrations to create a discussion about beauty. In her words, McAnulty uses the traditional ideals of a girl while her illustrations portray a more free, adventurous, and modern girl.
Rosie Revere, Engineer is a popular children’s book about a young girl named Rosie who loves to build things. As she becomes discouraged, she is reminded that you only fail if you give up. I love Andrea Beaty’s message about perseverance.
Here we have another Andrea Beaty story of perseverance. Ada Twist, Scientist follows her passion without letting anyone tell her otherwise. She is an inspiration to all children to continue to question and discover their world through science.
In this story, Jane Yolen takes that prim, proper, and “ladylike” concept of a princess and tells girls that princesses can be other things, too. Not All Princesses Dress in Pink tells girls that we are so different and enjoy different activities, dress in different ways, and everything is always going to be alright.
This is my favorite book on this list! Robert Munsch’s The Paper Bag Princess is obviously not your typical fairy tale. She daring, smart, and sassy… she’s my kind of girl.