Having a daughter of my own has made me think about the kind of example I want to set for Honor and the empowering books I can read to my daughter. I want to be able to empower her to believe she can be anything she wants to be. I want to teach her that her dreams are never too big and she can overcome any obstacle or challenge that she faces. Most importantly, I want Honor to understand the importance of girl power: uplifting one another, defending each other, praising each other’s accomplishments and helping each other out. If one of us rises, we all rise. As a bookworm myself, I love that Honor already gets excited whenever it’s story time and so I love educating her about female empowerment early on through reading. I have discovered some truly empowering and uplifting books that teach young girls about the importance of girl power, whether it’s through examples of brilliant trailblazing women in history or fictional stories about independent and courageous girls who carve out their own paths in life. I’ve rounded up a few of my favorites below that I have read to Honor or gifted to special young ladies in my life!
She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed The World by Chelsea Clinton
This book is a celebration of 13 incredible and inspiring women in American history who fought for what was right, and persisted in the face of adversity. It reminds young girls to never give up and make sure their voices are heard.
Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty
I love reading this book to Honor. The story is told through rhyme which makes it fun to read aloud and the illustrations are cute and colorful. An enthusiastic young girl is encouraged by her wise great-great aunt to pursue her dream of becoming an engineer. No dream is too big!
Grace for President by Kelly DiPucchio
After discovering the United States has never had a female president, Grace decides she wants to change that and become the first female President. It’s a wonderful book that is a really enjoyable read, but also teaches children about the American electoral system and the value of diversity, courage, and hard work.
The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch
I love this book because it totally turns the traditional fairytale stereotype on its head. Rather than a strong prince saving a helpless damsel in distress, the independent, brave, and strong Princess Elizabeth, wearing nothing but a paper bag after all her clothes are burnt by a dragon, outsmarts the fierce dragon and heads out to rescue her prince. Best of all, when Prince Ronald is rude and ungrateful, Princess Elizabeth rejects him and happily decides to live her own life, totally redefining the classic “happily ever after” ending.
Free to Be…You and Me by Marlo Thomas and Friends
This is the most beautifully illustrated book full of the same songs, poems, and stories that I read as a child. The 35th Anniversary edition is filled with magical drawings and it continues to celebrate individuality, encourage self-determination and respect, and challenge stereotypes. The book’s ideas and lessons are just as relevant today as they were thirty-five years ago and it’s so exciting for me to get to read Honor an updated version of a book that was a favorite of mine when I was her age.
Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls by Francesca Cavallo
This book contains one hundred bedtime stories about 100 trailblazing women, with illustrations by female artists from across the globe.The stories inspire young girls to be whoever they want to be as the sky really is the limit!
The Little Trailblazer: A Girl Power Primer by Joan Holub
This colorful book teaches young children about the contributions of the influential women who came before them. It educates girls about important moments in history and how these inspirational women have shaped the world in which we live. What I love most about this book is that it empowers young girls to become trailblazers themselves and to continue paving the way for females, just like the incredible women featured in this book have.
Lady Legends Alphabet by Beck Feiner
This book features women from all walks of life who have had an impact on the world. It’s full of gorgeous pictures and vivid colors and makes for a super easy read. Lady Legends Alphabet is educational in more ways than one, teaching little ones about girl power and confidence as well as the letters of the alphabet. It’s one of my personal favorites to read to Honor as I love and admire all of the strong, independent women included.
ABC for Me: ABC What Can She Be?: Girls can be anything they want to be, from A to Z by Jessie Ford
This book is an entertaining approach to learning the alphabet and simultaneously highlights twenty-six diverse career paths, including software engineer, neurosurgeon, and deep sea diver. The artwork is vibrant, bold and eye-catching too!
I Can Do It Too! By Karen Baicker
The words “I can do it too” are repeated throughout the book so it teaches little ones to recognise these words and start to say them. It’s the ultimate message of positivity and empowerment for young children seeking independence. The story is heartwarming and relatable for toddlers as it celebrates the simple tasks such as pouring juice and riding a bike that grown-ups take for granted.
Shop the Books:
What are your favorite empowering books to read to your little ones? Are there any that Honor and I are missing out on?!