Author Topic: Books for girls  (Read 2290 times)

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Offline Tobi-Wan

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Books for girls
« on: September 25, 2017, 08:02:18 PM »
I'm looking for suggestions of sci-fi/fantasy books that would be a good introduction to the genre for my 10 year old Niece. Bonus points if it also includes some critical thinking and skepticism, but for now I'm mostly concerned with trying to find something in the genre that has a young female lead character that will get her excited about reading.  I've tried googling for ideas, and I thought maybe A Wrinkle in Time was the right book, but I listened to the audiobook and found it a bit boring (though maybe that's only because I'm not a young girl?). I'd love to get her The Golden Compass, but I'm worried her mother would see it as being anti-religion.  At this point, I'm thinking of getting her the Harry Potter books, I mean who's a better role model than Hermione?  But if anyone has any other book suggestions, I'd love to hear them.

Offline Calinthalus

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Re: Books for girls
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2017, 08:11:30 PM »
The Wee Free Men followed by the rest of the Tiffany Aching subseries of Discworld.
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Offline Calinthalus

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Re: Books for girls
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2017, 08:17:31 PM »
I might as well list the titles in the series....


The Wee Free Men
A Hat Full of Sky
Wintersmith
I Shall Wear Midnight
The Shepard's Crown






For scifi I'd like to give a mention to the "Helva" and "Brain and Brawn Ship" series by the late genius Anne McCaffrey, which is a series of short stories starting with "The Ship Who Sang".  Depending on the child, that might be a bit advanced for that age group.
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Offline aleks335

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Re: Books for girls
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2017, 02:20:45 AM »
The Narnia books is always a classic option too.

A couple of things that I remember from my own childhood is:
Mio, My Son, The Brothers Lionheart, and Ronia the Robbers Daughter by Swedish author Astrid Lindgren. Best known for Pippi Longstockings internationally I think, but Ronia is way, way cooler. Her fantasy books are categorized as high fantasy.

Not really fantasy, and not really "skepticism" preciscely, but more philosophy, to get some proper thinking going on I would also suggest:
The Solitaire Mystery and Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder. Sophie's World is the famous one, but the Solitaire Mystery is an easier read and introduces some of the same philosophical issues that Sophie's World really engages with. 

I also remember being endlessly fascinated by reading Momo by Michael Ende

If she is an eager enough reader and you wanna throw her out into the deep end of epic fantasy I just finished "The Final Empire" and it has a very good female protagonist. She starts of a little passive, due to her circumstance, but learns to trust herself (and use magic). Very interesting setting. May be on the long side with its 650-ish pages. I would give it to my nephew (11 years) if he read English well enough and exhibited the patience for books that long.
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“That the earth was not a rhombus,
But I am a little annoyed
To find it an oblate spheroid.”

Offline arthwollipot

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Re: Books for girls
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2017, 06:35:32 PM »
The fantasy genre in particular is full of feminist-influenced works. Look for books by Marion Zimmer Bradley, Diana L. Paxon, Mercedes Lackey, Morgan Llewellyn and C. J. Cherryh.

Granted, you won't find a great deal of science and skepticism there, but they're all great authors.
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Online Tassie Dave

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Re: Books for girls
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2017, 05:31:50 AM »
Don't forget the classics "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland", "Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There " and "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz"

The fantasy genre in particular is full of feminist-influenced works. Look for books by Marion Zimmer Bradley, Diana L. Paxon, Mercedes Lackey, Morgan Llewellyn and C. J. Cherryh.

Granted, you won't find a great deal of science and skepticism there, but they're all great authors.

I wouldn't recommend Bradley. She is not a great role model for girls.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marion_Zimmer_Bradley#Child_sex_abuse_allegations
http://deirdre.net/marion-zimmer-bradley-its-worse-than-i-knew/

Offline arthwollipot

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Re: Books for girls
« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2017, 06:25:28 PM »
I wouldn't recommend Bradley. She is not a great role model for girls.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marion_Zimmer_Bradley#Child_sex_abuse_allegations
http://deirdre.net/marion-zimmer-bradley-its-worse-than-i-knew/
Have you actually read her books?

There's definitely an aspect of separation between the artist and the art.
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Online Tassie Dave

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Re: Books for girls
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2017, 02:46:05 AM »
I wouldn't recommend Bradley. She is not a great role model for girls.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marion_Zimmer_Bradley#Child_sex_abuse_allegations
http://deirdre.net/marion-zimmer-bradley-its-worse-than-i-knew/
Have you actually read her books?

There's definitely an aspect of separation between the artist and the art.
I read "Mists of Avalon" a long time ago.

I can forgive questionable politics, but MZB's crimes go way past having her as a role model for anyone, particularly children.

Read those posts and poems by her daughter. They are heart wrenching.

Offline aleks335

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Re: Books for girls
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2017, 09:23:45 AM »
I wouldn't recommend Bradley. She is not a great role model for girls.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marion_Zimmer_Bradley#Child_sex_abuse_allegations
http://deirdre.net/marion-zimmer-bradley-its-worse-than-i-knew/
Have you actually read her books?

There's definitely an aspect of separation between the artist and the art.
I read "Mists of Avalon" a long time ago.

I can forgive questionable politics, but MZB's crimes go way past having her as a role model for anyone, particularly children.

Read those posts and poems by her daughter. They are heart wrenching.

Yeah. I will usually argue that we should be able to enjoy the good works of people we otherwise don't agree with, or dislike or whatever. Like, I don't avoid Wagner, Hamsun or Heidegger or Nietzsche because of their questionable (alleged) relations to Nazism.
But I did read the second link you shared and that was some of the most painful writing I have ever read and really makes it hard to imagine reading any of those books.
“I quite realized,” said Columbus
“That the earth was not a rhombus,
But I am a little annoyed
To find it an oblate spheroid.”

Offline arthwollipot

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Re: Books for girls
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2017, 06:02:41 PM »
Well, I can still listen to Michael Jackson too, so we'll just have to deal with that. I read the Darkover series before I even knew what feminism was.

ETA regardless, there are plenty of other authors in the genre so you're unlikely to miss this one.
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Offline aleks335

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Re: Books for girls
« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2017, 07:22:09 PM »
Well, I can still listen to Michael Jackson too, so we'll just have to deal with that. I read the Darkover series before I even knew what feminism was.

ETA regardless, there are plenty of other authors in the genre so you're unlikely to miss this one.

I do not find fault with anyone who is able to make such distinction. Absolutely not. Usually I think not doing it is more of a problem (and it annoys me when I am unable my self)
“I quite realized,” said Columbus
“That the earth was not a rhombus,
But I am a little annoyed
To find it an oblate spheroid.”

Offline Noisy Rhysling

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Re: Books for girls
« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2017, 07:37:10 PM »
Harry Potter books. Hermione is the one person who really makes personal development in the books.
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Offline MTBox

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Re: Books for girls
« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2017, 02:31:17 PM »
Definitely "A Wrinkle in Time" before seeing the movie, which is out soon.

The Phantom Toolbooth.

If you don't mind a bit of Fantasy, the Eragon series

If she is an advanced reader for her age, then I would include Seven Eves. It is female-centric without detracting from the story. Ursula Le Guin books; I would start with The Lathe of Heaven. Jean Auel's "Cave Bear" series.

Offline Jaloopa

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Re: Books for girls
« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2017, 11:06:44 AM »
Divergent is a pretty good YA book told from the perspective of a very strong female character. The movie is fairly true to the book as well.

Might be a bit too old for a 10 year old though

Offline daniel1948

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Re: Books for girls
« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2017, 12:27:26 PM »
I have no idea what a ten-year-old would enjoy or is capable of reading. Personally, I loved The Golden Compass. (The movie was horrid. The book was wonderful. The sequels were not as good, but still fun.) I would think that a Bible-thumper would be less offended by The Golden Compass than by Harry Potter. No science or skepticism but Temeraire was a fun book, along with the first few sequels. I got tired of them after a while. In the world of Temeraire women in the Air Force are the equals of men, and treated as such, even though not in the wider society. (The Air Force in this fantasy consists of people riding on dragons. Female dragons will only accept female riders. In other respects, it's basically the story of the Napoleonic wars, the heroes being British.) For fantasy with strong female leads (but no science or skepticism) I like the Jane Yellowrock series (first book is Skinwalker). Also the Mercy Thompson and Anita Blake series have strong female leads. Touched by an Alien is the first book in another fantasy series with a strong female lead. The series is whimsical, funny, and a lot of fun in spite of the romance. I'm not a fan of romance, but maybe a girl would feel differently.

Or you could go with the classics. Alice is of course wonderful, and should be suitable for a ten-year-old since it was written for a child, though it's also deep enough to fascinate adults. Moby Dick has no women in it, but what an exciting story! Maybe too advanced for a ten-year-old. I've never been a fan of the Bronte sisters, but maybe a little girl would like them?

Whale Rider was a book before it was a movie. I've not read the book, but it should be a great story for girls.

A good resource is always your public library. Tell them what you're looking for and they'll drown you in recommendations.
Daniel
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