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Booklist: Strong Young Women in Teen Fiction

December 28th, 2007 (07:03 pm)

Current Mood: sleepy
Current Song: Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends score music

firstgold asked for authors like Laurie Halse Anderson (Speak). Here are my recommendations.

(Click an author's name for my special Author Spotlight posts.)

Sarah Dessen (ages 12 and up: That Summer, Keeping The Moon; ages 14 and up: The Truth About Forever, That Lullaby, Just Listen, Someone Like You; ages 16 and up: Dreamland)
Deb Caletti (ages 14 and up: The Queen of Everything, Honey, Baby, Sweetheart, Wild Roses, The Nature of Jade, The Fortune of Indigo Skye)
Rachel Cohn (ages 10 and up: The Steps, Two Steps Forward; ages 14 and up: Gingerbread, Shrimp, Cupcake)
Melissa Lion (ages 14 and up: Swollen, Upstream)

She also asked for novels with strong female protagonists.

(If a title is linked, click it for my review.)


The Body of Evidence series by Christopher Golden and Rick Hautala - Ages 13 and up - A college freshman becomes a pathology assistant. She is smart and intuitive. How Chris was able to channel a 19-year-old girl so well, I'll never know. This series is amazing. If you like the autopsies of CSI, the twists of Law & Order, and the wit of House, you'll love these books. There are ten novels in this series. Read them. Read them in order. Start with Body Bags.

The Key to the Golden Firebird by Maureen Johnson - Ages 13 and up - Three sisters deal with the loss of their father.

A Room on Lorelei Street by Mary E. Pearson - Ages 12 and up - A teenage girl decides to live on her own.

The Tillerman Cycle by Cynthia Voigt - Ages 14 and up - When their mother abandons them, the eldest sibling, Dicey, must take care of her younger siblings. She is determined to keep the remains of her family together. Start with Homecoming. (Thanks to dshep for thinking of Dicey.)

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin - Ages 8 and up - Tabitha-Ruth Wexler, better known as Turtle, is sassy, smart, and bold. Think of her as a mix of me and Tinker Bell.


The Anne Shirley series by L.M. Montgomery - She's an orphan. She's spunky and sassy. She's a dreamer and a daredevil. She's Anne of Green Gables. Read the eight books in order and see Anne grow up. From her days as a student in a one-room schoolhouse to going to college to becoming a teacher, her school smarts are just as important as her people smarts.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll - Is there ever a time when I cannot recommend these books? No, not really. They hit so many genres and concepts. One of the many reasons why Disney's animated version of Alice in Wonderland upset me is because they made her a weepy little thing on many occasions. She cries to create the Lake of Tears. She doesn't cry and whine all of the time. She is curious, and that curiosity makes her keep looking around. She is determined, and that determination keeps her moving forward.


His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman - Lyra and Alice would be buddies. This British series may have the general genre classification of fantasy, but that does not even begin to cover it. What other books can boast the inclusion of shapeshifting animals, literal soul searching, religion, politics, spies, angels, spirits, and multiple dimensions? Not to mention truth, lies, parentage, coming-of-age, life . . . So brilliant. This is one book split into three, really. You have to read them in order. In the United Kingdom, the first book is called Northern Lights, whereas the title in the United States is The Golden Compass. The second book is The Subtle Knife and the third is The Amber Spyglass.


Posted by: queen_of_ocd (queen_of_ocd)
Posted at: May 8th, 2006 03:01 pm (UTC)

All excellent choices!

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: May 8th, 2006 06:56 pm (UTC)

Thank you.

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: May 8th, 2006 06:57 pm (UTC)

Alice RULES.

Posted by: Eileen (eiwrite69)
Posted at: May 9th, 2006 07:49 pm (UTC)

If you are referring to Anne of green gables, I concur! She is one of my favorite characters of all time. I've read the first two books and they were both awesome.


Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: May 9th, 2006 08:03 pm (UTC)

I encourage you to continue reading the series.

Posted by: Eileen (eiwrite69)
Posted at: May 10th, 2006 12:18 pm (UTC)

Oh I will! i would actually read the first one again and i have the next two. Have you read the other series that LM Montgomery wrote? I have yet to tried. I originally read the first because I was going to Prince Edward Island for vacation and I thought the book would give me an idea of what it was like. HOwever, at that time i didn't have time to read the whole thing before we went up there.
It is really beautiful country up there.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: May 10th, 2006 06:09 pm (UTC)

Yes, I have read the Anne octet; the Emily trilogy; Magic for Marigold; and others.

Posted by: Eileen (eiwrite69)
Posted at: May 11th, 2006 05:56 am (UTC)

Do you own them?

someday i will read more. i have the next two anne books but have yet to read them. i'm in a book club, but already finished the book we're reading so i'm reading 'blue shoe' by anne lamott.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: May 11th, 2006 06:23 am (UTC)

I do own the Anne set and others.

Posted by: Melissa (mango_firefly)
Posted at: February 3rd, 2007 05:22 pm (UTC)
Strong chick list

Nice choices. I also really like Kaye in Holly Black's Tithe, and Val in Valiant.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: February 3rd, 2007 06:17 pm (UTC)
Re: Strong chick list

Thanks! Holly's books are fab.

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: February 7th, 2007 04:52 pm (UTC)

I like this suggestions. Loved the classics and am working through some of these other books. Thanks also for offering to let Callipygia e-mail you for other book suggestions. I really apprecite it.


Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: February 7th, 2007 06:10 pm (UTC)
Re: Thanks

You are welcome. Not a problem. :)

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: February 8th, 2007 03:27 am (UTC)
Re: Thanks

Little Willow, Thanks for the additional titles over at Jen's blog. I just reserved them at the library. I'll let you know what I think. If I cry too much, it'll be all your fault.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: February 8th, 2007 03:28 am (UTC)
Re: Thanks

You are welcome! Let me know which ones you like best.

Posted by: Melissa (mango_firefly)
Posted at: February 21st, 2007 03:02 am (UTC)

Love your list!

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: February 21st, 2007 03:07 am (UTC)


Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: March 28th, 2009 11:26 pm (UTC)
Harriet the Spy

Harriet seems like a good role model for girls and someone I would like to meet.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: March 28th, 2009 11:35 pm (UTC)
Re: Harriet the Spy

Harriet is a great character. If I ever make a similar list for juvenile fiction, I might include her.

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