If there was ever a time to celebrate the strength and creativity of girls on the printed page, this would be it. It’s been a banner year for published stories of women and girls of ALL stripes — as seen in for example, Turning Pages: My Life Story by Sonia Sotomayor and Game Changers: The Story of Venus and Serena Williams by Lesa Cline-Ransome and Rad Girls Can, a treasure trove of short profiles of bold and brave young women accomplishing great things before the age of 20.


There are new books being published about female pilots, zoologists, activists, artists, scientists and community organizers. Athletes, librarians, immigrants, journalists, suffragettes and even a board book– for boys– about feminism– yay!


And while this is all good news, publishing still has further to go to represent the cultural, socio-economic and gender realities of all of our children. So, if you’re able, give the industry a nudge by using your purchasing power–give the gift of books that are written by authors from diverse backgrounds and that represent children from diverse backgrounds this holiday season. Because whether you’re providing a window or a door– to a child, they both really matter.


Here are some wonderful reads (heavy on the female energy) to get you started:


Picture Books (for any age):

My First Book of Feminism (for boys) by Julie Merberg

Bold & Brave: 10 Heroes Who Won the Right To Vote by Kirsten Gillibrand and Maira Kalman

Skyward: The Story of Female Pilots in WWII by Sally Deng

Julian Is a Mermaid by Jessica Love

Dreamers by Yuyi Morales

We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga by Traci Sorrell and Frane Lessac


Chapter Books and Graphic Novels:

The Season of Styx Malone by Kekla Magoon (VT author)

Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed

The Serpent’s Secret by Sayantani DasGupta

Merci Suarez Changes Gears by Meg Medina

The Witch Boy by Molly Knox Ostertag

The Cardboard Kingdom by Chad Sell

Sanity & Tallulah by Molly Brooks

Jane Knight is a member of CLiF’s Board of Advisors, as well as the Children’s Book Buyer at Bear Pond Books in Montpelier, VT, where you can purchase 15% off children’s books for the kids CLiF serves this holiday season.

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