Top Ten Reads for Young Feminists

Recently I was asked by Scottish Book Trust to come up with my top ten books for young feminists.  Now, maybe you’re wondering what would make a girl’s book a feminist book? Well, I had to think about that for a while…

Mmm… What makes a book feminist?

Until I finally realised that this was one of the questions best turned on its head. In other words, what makes a book NOT feminist?

So let’s take one you all know. Yes. THAT one. Twilight.

Think about Bella. Now, maybe you like the stories, but surely Bella is a RIGHT WIMP? She could write her own Wimpy Kid series.

Oh dear… I’m so-o-o-o in love. Oh dear….

On the other hand, think about Katniss in The Hunger Games. Katniss is the TOTAL OPPOSITE of  droopy Bella. Katniss is a real feminist kick-ass heroine.

Katniss – a girl who makes her own decisions

She’s the girl I wanted to be when I was a teen. Though, thank goodness, I never had to live through what she did. All I had to do was survive a pretty rough comprehensive!

So a feminist teen read is one where the main girl character takes control of her own life. Even though she might be in a pretty bad place through a lot of the story, like the heroine of SPEAK. (Not one for the faint-hearted.)

I’ve put my TOP TEN FEMINIST READS FOR TEENS below. But what would you put on it? And what about feminist books for younger girls? What would you recommend? I’d love to know.

Maggi xxx

1. Speak –  Laurie Halse Anderson

2. Gingerbread – Rachel Cohn

3. How I live now – Meg Rosoff

4. I wouldn’t thank you for a Valentine (poetry anthology) – ed Carol Ann Duffy

5. Jinx – Margaret Wild   ( A novel in poems) (NOT the Meg Cabot book by same name!)

6. Stargirl   Jerry Spinelli

7. I’m Alice, I think – Susan Juby

8. The Bride’s Farewell – Meg Rosoff

9. Seriously Sassy – Maggi Gibson

10. The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins (The whole trilogy!)

11 thoughts on “Top Ten Reads for Young Feminists

  1. Hi, Maggi.
    I agree with many of the books on your list- THE . Here are a few of mine.
    ‘Paper Towns’ by John Green (a great book about shaping your own destiny.)
    ‘Skin Deep’ by Laura Jarret (shows you it’s OK to be who you are.)
    ‘Deenie’ by Judy Blume- ditto
    Karen MacCombie’s ‘Ally’s World’ series (strong female rolemodels galore!)
    ‘Charm School’ by Anne Fine (for slightly younger readers this one- but, I ADORE Bonnie, she’s so feisty!)
    The ‘Tillerman Saga’ by Cynthia Voigt ( Dicey Tillerman is a real matriarch and a GREAT big sister. I wanted to be her growing up.)

  2. Hey Maggi! :) My books are as follows:

    1. Hunger Games (Susanne Collins)

    2. Catching Fire ”

    3. Mockingjay ”

    4. Loving Spirit (Linda Chapman)

    5. Seriously Sassy (Book1) (you!)

    6 I’m Dreaming (book 2) ”

    7. Crazy Dayz (book 3) ”

    8. ICE (Sarah Beth Durst)

    9 Dizzy (Cathy Cassidy)

    10. MarshMellow Skye ”

    See you on Twitter friend! :)

  3. I have to say I totally agree with number 9 ;D I LOVE a strong heroine – the Vampire Academy novel’s have a great feminist heroine, they’re another series to add to the list :)

    • Are you suggesting Twilight, Zozo? Because if you are I have to disagree strongly. Bella is not a strong role model for girls. She only exists in relation to the boy in the story. She’s a passive wimp! I’ll check out Numbers though.

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