More than 600 Books to Inspire Today's Girls and Tomorrow's Women

by Kathleen Odean

A Ballantine Trade Paperback
February 1997

$12.95 ($17.95 in Canada)

The first reference of its kind, Great Books for Girls is an invaluable list of more than six hundred titles--picture books, novels, mysteries, biographies, folktales, sports books, and more--that will encourage, challenge, and ultimately nurture in girls the strong qualities our culture so often suppresses.

Kathleen Odean, a librarian and former member of the prestigious Caldecott and Newbery Award committees, has gathered and annotated a list of books starring bold, confident heroines for children from toddlers to age fourteen. Here are old favorites such as Eloise, Harriet the Spy, Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, and Ramona the Pest; new inspirations such as Cinder Edna, Sheila Rae the Brave, Herculeah Jones, and Princess Smartypants; and real-life admirable women such as Eleanor of Aquitaine, Jane Goodall, Toni Morrison, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Helen Keller.

In these books, girls and women are creative, capable, articulate, and intelligent, solving problems, facing challenges, resolving conflicts, and going on quests. They are not sidekicks or tokens, waiting to be rescued; they are doing the rescuing. Nor are they waiting for a male to provide a happy ending; they are fashioning their own stories and their own endings. Packed with expert guidance,Great Books for Girls is an essential volume that will give girls of all ages the power of hope.

"When I was a girl, books were my teachers, my friends. They gave me hope, dreams, direction, and eventually power--power to become who I wanted to be. This guidebook, compiled by a knowledgeable, story-spirited woman, will allow adults to help girls find the great books that nourish the spirit. I recommend it for all those who want girls to grow up strong, free, bold and kind."
--Mary Pipher, author of Reviving Ophelia

"With superb literary taste and an eye for books depicting strong-minded girls and women, a Rhode Island librarian recommends more than 600 outstanding titles."
--U.S. News & World Report

"What parents don't want their daughter to be as confident and independent as, say, Eloise, or Harriet the Spy? School librarian Odean here compiles more than 600 children's books that feature girls in exactly such strong, central roles."
--Entertainment Weekly (A)

"An invaluable resource."
--Ms. magazine

[Great Books for Girls is] well worth buying and reading... suggestions are meaty, well-thought-out and varied."
--Houston Chronicle

"This long overdue list helps counter what psychologist Mary Pipher calls 'our girl-poisoning culture' by helping to safeguard a positive literary sense of self in young female readers."
--San Francisco Chronicle

[Great Books for Girls] should be welcome in a home with one or more girls."
--Minneaoplis Star Tribune

some great books * book activities * how to empower your daughter

about the author * a conversation with the author

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