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Mighty Girls

As parents and educators, it is important for us to reflect on the messages we present to our children through literature. Unfortunately, female characters have been historically underrepresented in children’s books and are often an easy target for gender stereotyping. Gender stereotypes are flawed because they are incomplete and marginalize those who don’t “fit” with the label. If we truly want books to be “windows, mirrors, and sliding glass doors” for children (as described by Rudine Sims Bishop), then we must look for books that shatter gender stereotypes and reflect the diversity of the world we live in.

That’s why we are shared books during April that feature mighty female characters—girls who are smart, strong, brave, adventurous, scientific, athletic, and messy. By choosing kids books that go against gender stereotypes, we can redefine what it means to act “like a girl.”

 Thanks to Jamie from @smallysbookshelf for choosing our mighty theme!



Ada Twist, Scientist, by Andrea Beaty and David Roberts 

“There’s still going to be barriers, but if kids have Ada’s persistence, nothing will stop them. Ada positivity, her passion and self-belief is what gets her through, keeps her going. She’s a role model for every kid, so are her namesakes, Ada Lovelace and Marie Curie.” — Summer from @readingisourthing

Over the Ocean, by ​​Taro Gomi

“This is a mighty girl not for her physical strength or outright bravery, but because of the power of her imagination. This girl chooses to think outside of herself for the entirety of the book, wondering about life on the other side of the ocean.” — Mel from @spiky_penelope

How to Hide a Lion, by Helen Stephens

“Just the type of role model I would choose for my own mighty girl..” — Claire from @alittlebookhabit

Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code, Laurie Wallmark and Katy Wu

Boys and girls need to know that women are equally as important and integral to the growth of our nation and the world around us.” — Leah from @astoryaday

Little Big Girl, by Claire Keane

Matisse is small but can do many things and doesn’t let the fact she is little stop her.” —  Kim from @bookbairn

Meet Georgia, by Marina Muun

This workbook is an invitation to beginning artists to create using O’Keeffe inspired techniques.” — Miranda from @bookbloom

Ada Lovelace, Poet of Science by Diane Stanley and Jessie Hartland

Ada Lovelace was the first computer programmer.” — Arielle from @childrensbooksgalore

Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music, by Margarita Engle 

“Inspired by the childhood of Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, a Chinese-African-Cuban girl who broke Cuba’s traditional taboo against female drummers, Drum Dream Girl tells an inspiring true story for dreamers everywhere.” — Rossa from @curiouslittlepeople

Lucia the Luchadora, by Cynthia Leonor Garza and Alyssa Bermudez

I adore this story of bravery, courage, cultural legacy and crushing gender stereotypes. Lucia is the perfect example of a mighty girl with lots of moxie and spunk.” — Charnaie from @hereweeread

Extra Yarn, by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen

There are mighty actions that are loud and visual. But there are also small actions that people can take to help those around them. These actions are just as important and just as mighty. If you’re ever in doubt, all you need to look to is Annabelle.” — Wendy from @homegrownreader

Fantastically Great Women who Changed the World, by Kate Pankhurst

“It’s about women who have achieved amazing things by following their hearts and dreams.” — Mel from @kids.books.we.love

The Worst Princess, by Anna Kemp and Sara Ogilvie

Picture books are such an important part in the battle against reimagining what is “not for girls.” — Shannon from @ohcreativeday

The Paper Bag Princess, by Robert Munsch and Michael Martchenko

In The Paper Bag Princess, the prince is the one who needs saving and the princess doesn’t need the fancy dress and accessories to know she’s a rock star.” — Jamie from @smallysbookshelf

I Am series, by Brad Meltzer and Christopher Eliopoulos

How inspiring to know these normal everyday people changed people’s opinions on things that we never knew were possible. How lucky to share these lives with our children and let them know they can be anything and do anything!” — Michelle from @the.book.report

Georgina and Dad the Dragon by Kathleen Pickles and Lauren Merrick

It’s a gentle story made even more powerful by how subtle it is. A girl pretending to be a sword-wielding knight and having rough-and-tumble play with her dad.” — Liam from @words.and.illustrations

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