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…
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.
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.
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.
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!)