Girl Power

Meet a few heroines, both classic and contemporary, certain to inspire kids of all ages.

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  • Edited by
    Darren Elms


The Secret Garden

By Frances Hodgson Burnett

Ages 8 to 12

After the death of her parents, Mary Lennox is sent back from India to live in her uncle’s huge, gloomy house on the English moors. Mary is lonely and miserable until she stumbles upon her disabled cousin Colin, hidden away from the world by his troubled father. Together they discover the door to a secret garden and open up a world of freedom and enchantment that they could have never imagined.



By Roald Dahl

Ages 7 to 12

Matilda is a sweet, exceptional young girl, but her parents think she’s just a nuisance. She expects school to be different, but there she has to face Miss Trunchbull—a kid-hating terror of a headmistress. When Matilda is attacked by the Trunchbull, she suddenly discovers she has a remarkable power with which to fight back. It’ll take a superhuman genius to give Miss Trunchbull what she deserves, and Matilda may be just the one to do it.


Rosie Revere, Engineer

By Andrea Beaty and David Roberts

Ages 5 to 7

Rosie may seem quiet during the day, but at night she’s a brilliant inventor of gizmos and gadgets who dreams of becoming a great engineer. When her great-great-aunt Rose (Rosie the Riveter) comes for a visit and mentions her one unfinished goal—to fly, Rosie sets to work building a contraption to make her aunt’s dream come true.


The Diary of a Young Girl

By Anne Frank

Ages 14 to 17

Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl is among the most enduring documents of the 20th century. Since its publication in 1947, it has been read by tens of millions of people all over the world. It remains a beloved and deeply admired testament to the indestructible nature of the human spirit.


From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess

By Meg Cabot

Ages 8 to 12

Olivia Grace Clarisse Mignonette Harrison is a completely average 12-year-old: average height, average weight, average brown hair of average length, average brown skin and average hazel eyes. One day a limo containing Princess Mia Thermopolis of Genovia pulls up to invite her to New York to finally meet her father, who promptly invites her to come live with him, Mia, Grandmère and her two fabulous poodles. Maybe Olivia Grace Clarisse Mignonette Harrison isn’t so average after all.