Empowering Books for Young Girls

Hi Tracy,


Yes, this is a great topic to share with parents. I also loved the Super Bowl commercial yesterday about empowering young girls! ( “Run Like A Girl!”)


So here are a few of my favorites from our Barefoot Books collection, attached. None of these picture books have the word, “princess” in the titles but they do a great job of depicting young girls with bravery, compassion and integrity. I also included a book at the end of the list, The Barefoot Book of Princesses, however these are wonderful stories about princesses drawn from sources from all over the world. Each of the 7 stories highlight princesses who triumphed over their challenges and trials, also with integrity, compassion and bravery.


You and your readers will love these books!

Thanks so much Tracy! Great Topic!


The Girl with a Brave Heart

Shiraz, a kindhearted young girl growing up in Tehran, has a miserable life at home with her stepmother and stepsister, who treat her like a servant. When the wind blows Shiraz’s ball of wool into the garden next door, she spends the day helping and caring for the old lady who lives there, with miraculous results. Then her stepmother sends her own daughter off on the same mission . . . but will the results be the same?

“Taken altogether, the book is a heartwarming vindication of good-heartedness, something that doesn’t always get celebrated in a girlhood culture of snark.” -The New York Times

Also featured in The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, Publisher’s Weekly and more! Please see our Press & Awards page for more stellar reviews of this book.


Ages 4 to 10 years

Written By: Rita Jahanforuz

Illustrated By: Vali Mintzi

Chandra's Magic Light

Join sisters Chandra and Deena at the market in Nepal. A man is selling lamps that are powered by the sun instead of kerosene, and Chandra knows the magic solar lamp would help her baby brother's cough. But how will they afford one? This lyrical tale is brought to life with luminous acrylic artwork, and comes complete with seven pages of endnotes, including an illustrated map of Nepal, notes on Nepali daily life and instructions for making a pizza box solar oven.

This book was developed with the help and advice of SolarAid UK and ECCA (Nepal).


Ages 6 to 10 years

Written By: Theresa Heine

Illustrated By: Judith Gueyfier


Emily's Tiger

Watch out - Emily is off and running again! This little girl has a problem with her temper, and every time she gets angry she turns into quite the little tiger. This quirky picture book addresses behavioral issues with humor and an emphasis on intergenerational relationships.


Ages 3 to 7 years

Written By: Miriam Latimer

Ruby's School Walk

Ruby’s morning walk with Mom on her first day back to school is far from ordinary. With a tiger ready to pounce and mighty beasts that loom and lurk, getting to school seems like an impossible task. Will she find the courage to make it there and begin her real adventure?


Ages 3 to 7 years

Written By: Kathryn White

Illustrated By: Miriam Latimer

Ruby's Sleepover

Ruby and Mai are camping out in the backyard. As the night draws in, all sorts of scary characters head towards their tent. Luckily, Ruby has some magical objects in her backpack, but will they be enough to keep the girls safe?


Ages 3 to 7 years

Written By: Kathryn White

Illustrated By: Miriam Latimer

Ruby's Baby Brother

Ruby’s mom is having a baby, but Ruby is not very happy about it. She knows that
babies are smelly and noisy, and she is sure that he will steal all her toys! When baby
Leon comes along, will she change her mind about having a baby brother?

"White once again captures Ruby’s creative energy in rhythmic couplets, while Latimer’s double-page illustrations, done in acrylic paints and watercolor, reveal both the actual and imagined adventures. . . . Even though shelves are crowded with new-sibling books, this one is a strong addition." - Kirkus Reviews

"Throughout this plucky character’s flights of fancy, readers experience a very real, recognizable child’s voice and perspective. . . a refreshing take on the universal experience of an only child gaining a sibling." - School Library Journal


Ages 3 to 7 years

Written By: Kathryn White

Illustrated By: Miriam Latimer

Shopping with Dad

Venture to the grocery store with this father-daughter duo on a very lively shopping trip. As their cart swings down the aisles, the pair create minor calamity left and right. The rhyming, bouncy text teaches an important lesson about accidents and responsibility, all with a healthy dose of humor.


Ages 3 to 7 years

Written By: Matt Harvey

Illustrated By: Miriam Latimer

The Barefoot Book of Princesses

Meet seven very strong and special princesses in this collection drawn from sources from around the world. Each faces challenges and trials, and each finds a way to triumph with bravery, compassion, ingenuity and a little bit of luck. Book with CD editions include stories read by Margaret Wolfson.

Smithsonian Magazine Notable Book for Children


Ages 4 to 9 years

Retold By: Caitlín Matthews

Illustrated By: Olwyn Whelan

Narrated By: Margaret Wolfson

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