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_Långstrump

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…

Daisy 

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

The_Fault_in_Our_Stars

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?

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