Children’s Book Tuesdays :: Strong Girls

Hi! Welcome to the first of the Children’s Book Tuesdays link up {first Tuesday of every month}. Hopefully this becomes a thing!

What children’s books have you been reading/writing/loving/quoting?

We’ve been reading lots of books by, or about strong girls. And I think of it because I have two daughters, and although {or maybe regardless of the fact that} they have a penchant for tutus and princess dresses, they are both very strong.

One is physically strong, with a deep voice. She has the will of a… something that has a strong will. She is so determined and powerful. Suffice to say, she dresses up as Pippi Longstocking every day she’s not being a princess.

The other is strong in mind and character. She too will usually get her way using sheer negotiation skills alone. Strong, wilful daughters are wonderful things.

Incidentally, or maybe it’s completely intentional, but we’ve come across lots of strong female characters lately.

When Tara Moss launched her book Speaking Out recently, she flagged the fact there are still significantly more male than female protagonists in books.

But there are of course lots of strong female protagonists. A few we’ve been reading…

Pippi Longstocking


Pippi has to be our all time favourite girl or anything character. She is so unique, and funny, and independent… and strong! Pippi lives alone in Villa Villekulla. She is the daughter of an angel, and a sea captain, who was blown to sea by the wind. Pippi returned to Villa Villekulla with a bag of gold, a horse and a monkey. Pippi’s neighbours, Tommy and Annika, think Pippi is the best thing that’s ever happened to them.

Apart from being able to lift a horse, cook a hundred cookies and throw bullies into trees, Pippi is strong in herself. She visits her neighbours for a coffee party, and while the ladies talk of their maids, Pippi chips in with her own ludicrous stories, undeterred by polite murmurs to behave herself. Pippi goes to school, but entirely on her own terms. And when it doesn’t suit her, she leaves. Pippi could be a nightmare of a child from a parent’s point of view. Luckily, Pippi doesn’t have parents. So she gets to be the sweetest and coolest friend Tommy and Annika could ever have.

I am secretly glad my three-year-old has finally ditched Elsa as her role model, and is pursuing Pippi dreams…

Princess Sue

the worst princess

We came across the funniest picture book in our local Dutch library recently, called The Worst Princess, by Anna Kemp and Sara Ogilivie.

Princess Sue {in a tower near you} is hanging out for her prince. She’s read the books, she knows the score, she’s grown her plaits down to the floor. She really needs to get some air, to see the world and cut her hair.

The prince turns out to be a twit, who locks her in his tower. Sue combats the boring and dreary life of a princess, by befriending a dragon to blow down the tower and set the princely shorts alight.

We have this one memorised…


how i live now

Daisy from How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff is a fifteen year old from Manhattan, who is sent to live with cousins she has never met in England. Daisy falls in love with a new life {and a person}, and feels happiness and belonging she’s never experienced before. That is until the war breaks out…

Daisy is courageous in a way you can’t imagine is possible for a fifteen year old. But maybe war would do that to a person. She’s brittle, witty, and passionate. And so brave.

This book is for older kids. YA.

Hazel Edwards


Hazel Edwards is the narrator and protagonist of The Fault In Our Stars, a romantic YA tragedy by genius John Green.

Hazel has terminal cancer. But that’s not a spoiler. In the first scene is in support group, and meets Augustus. Together, Hazel and Augustus have the quip and the wit to outsmart cancer.

Knowing you are dying must be the hardest battle. Hazel has all the resources to face it head on.

I have The Hunger Games too sitting in my to-be-read stack. I am sure Katniss would be perfect for this list.

What strong female protagonists have you been reading?

Link up your children’s book blog posts here, or join us on social media #ChildrensBookTuesdays

  • Zanni, these look great! I completely forgot about children’s book Tuesday. What a ditz. I will have to think about something to write next time. I really want to read Pippi with the girls. At the moment, we’re reading a Nancy Clancy chapter book that my mum bought for A.

  • Hi, I am new to you blog,and wanted to say thanks for sharing these book titles. I have just placed a hold for How I Live Now from my local library as I think my eldest daughter will enjoy it. I have recently started a book blog (mainly adult fiction, but I will be reviewing some children’s books shortly with my three daughters).

    • I hope she enjoys it!

      • Though it’s a bit harrowing… enjoy might not be quite the right word

  • I loved Pippy Longstocking as a child! My daughter did too. The fault in our stars was a gorgeous movie, I imagine the book to be very well written.

  • I have so many books I want to read with the kids. They often want to divert straight to their favourites though. Loved the Fault in Our Stars movie. I bet I’d cry reading the book!

    • I still have to see the movie… The book was heart wrenching!

  • Katniss for sure! Also the Divergent series by Veronica Roth has a great female lead. These sound great Zanni 🙂

  • These looks like some great books. I tried to link it but it says that the link has expired.

    • Hey! Thanks for linking up. I think it’s just my account has expired. Have tried to update…but cannot work it out. Linky still should work though 🙂

  • I think it is time Pippy Longstocking joined our family, and perhaps an extra copy for my niece – I could talk about books for days on end Zanni, days and days and days……

  • Great post! We adore The Worst Princess in this house. And little man is the main reason for that. He just loves cheeky Princess Sue! And, of course, the dragon. “He blew the tower clean away!”
    (Ditto the link expired message. x) #teamIBOT

    • Ah yes, thanks Em. I think it means my account has expired. Cannot work out how to update. But I think the linky still works! x

  • Sara Khamkoed

    I love this book theme! Pippi is a favourite in our house too. Jackie French has also written a fantastic series of YA novels with strong female characters, including ‘Waltzing Matilda’, ‘Road to Gundagai’, ‘The Girl from Snowy River’, and one I am currently reading ‘To Love a Sunburnt Country’.

  • Pippi is one of my childhood favourites! I’m currently working on a post about strong girls in picture books- hard to whittle it down, but still even more difficult to believe that there are more male protagonists than females! My eldest is 3, so I’m hoping we can surpass the Elsa phase…. please!!

  • I loved Pippi Longstocking as a kid! I need to look it up for my own girls.
    I’ve just finished the Obernewtyn Chronicles and the protagonist in that is very strong. Annoying too at times when she’s being stupidly stubborn. 🙂