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Strong Female Characters in Books

If you think "girl books" are just about princesses, romance, gossipy schoolgirls, and vampires, think again. There are plenty of great books featuring strong female main characters in compelling stories that are sure to appeal to boys as well as girls. We've selected a pile of books with universal appeal for kids of different ages and tastes, from adventure and fantasy to sci-fi and historical fiction to family and school dramas. Check 'em out!

Browse Strong Female Characters in Books

AGE
4
QUALITY
 
A spunky girl explores the wonders of her everyday world.
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By Angela Johnson
(2011)
AGE
4
QUALITY
 
Spirited Eloise delights her young readers.
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By Kay Thompson
(2003)
AGE
6
QUALITY
 
Kid genius gets revenge on stupid, mean adults.
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By Roald Dahl
(2005)
AGE
7
QUALITY
 
Brave girl seeks missing friend in exciting graphic novel.
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By Ben Hatke
(2011)
AGE
7
QUALITY
 
Chapter book mystery promises more fun for Fancy Nancy fans.
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By Jane O'Connor
(2012)
AGE
8
QUALITY
 
Strange, surreal tale sure to creep kids out.
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By Neil Gaiman
(2004)
AGE
8
QUALITY
 
Great novel about a girl, her chickens, and her best friend.
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By Ellen Airgood
(2012)
AGE
8
QUALITY
 
Fun, exciting tale of Thai girl who rescues an elephant.
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By R.P. Harris
(2012)
AGE
8
QUALITY
 
Riveting and moving account of girl's struggle for survival.
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By Caroline Starr Rose
(2012)
AGE
9
QUALITY
 
Utterly charming tale of Berkeley girl in search of father.
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By Kathryn Fitzmaurice
(2013)
AGE
9
QUALITY
 
Exciting story of murder-solving heroine with superpowers.
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By Kathy Reichs
(2011)
AGE
9
QUALITY
 
Super-imaginative adventures of girl whisked to elf world.
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By Shannon Messenger
(2012)
AGE
9
QUALITY
 
Fantastic, creepy tale for tweens features fierce big sis.
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By Lauren Oliver
(2012)
AGE
9
QUALITY
 
Exciting enchanted forest adventure to save baby brother.
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By Colin Meloy
(2011)
AGE
9
QUALITY
 
Lengthy but rich fantasy great for book-loving tweens.
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By Cornelia Funke
(2005)
AGE
9
QUALITY
 
Brilliant tale of girl's enchanted-woods search for friend.
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By Anne Ursu
(2011)
AGE
9
QUALITY
 
Unforgettable 12-year-old girl battles the Great Depression.
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By Christopher Paul Curtis
(2012)
AGE
9
QUALITY
 
Girl becomes spy in absorbing American Revolution tale.
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By Avi
(2012)
AGE
9
QUALITY
 
Great young sleuth helps kids be true to themselves.
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By Louise Fitzhugh
(2003)
AGE
9
QUALITY
 
Newbery honoree about life with an autistic sib.
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By Cynthia Lord
(2007)
AGE
10
QUALITY
 
Brave heroine faces danger with help of magic and friends.
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By Barbara Mariconda
(2012)
AGE
10
QUALITY
 
Teen girl homesteads alone in Newbery Honor book.
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By Kirby Larson
(2011)
AGE
10
QUALITY
 
Depression-era story teaches history, meaning of family.
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By Jennifer Holm
(2011)
AGE
10
QUALITY
 
A violent fantasy, with elements of mystery.
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By Philip Pullman
(2005)
AGE
10
QUALITY
 
A smart girl learns how to survive alone.
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By Scott O'Dell
(2003)
AGE
11
QUALITY
 
Classic novel of four brave children looking for a home.
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By Cynthia Voigt
(2003)
AGE
11
QUALITY
 
Beautiful classic filled with magic and realism.
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By Frances Hodgson Burnett
(2004)
AGE
11
QUALITY
 
Cold War kids use magic to save world in brilliant novel.
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By Maile Meloy
(2011)
AGE
12
QUALITY
 
Exciting, provocative tale of lethal reality show.
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By Suzanne Collins
(2008)
AGE
12
QUALITY
 
Intricate historical novel contrasts Dust Bowl, fairy world.
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By Sarah Zettel
(2012)
Editors' pick
AGE
12
QUALITY
 
Manga, art, and life lessons in topnotch mystery adventure.
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By Diana Renn
(2012)
AGE
12
QUALITY
 
Richly conceived dragon fantasy with stellar young heroine.
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By Rachel Hartman
(2012)
AGE
13
QUALITY
 
Strength of character triumphs in Bronte's masterpiece.
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By Charlotte Bronte
(2011)
AGE
13
QUALITY
 
Powerful testament to humanity in Nazi Germany.
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By Markus Zusak
(2006)
AGE
13
QUALITY
 
Fun story of math whiz girl who fights crime, finds romance.
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By Annabel Monaghan
(2012)

Other great lists from our editors