Books & Beyond

Girls Take the Lead

By Anna B., Isaac F., Lisa T.
March 6, 2022

We’ve gathered together books for kids that feature girls and women taking the lead in their story. From nonfiction to chapter books, these stories center on the empowerment of women. Click on the book covers to be taken to our catalog, where you can place holds. If you have a recent title to recommend for this list, we’d love to hear from you.

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Picture Books

What are little girls made of? / by Jeanne Willis

A feminist reimagining of classic nursery rhymes depicts a Georgie Porgie who never dares to make the girls cry, a Little Bo-Peep who takes no-nonsense care of her sheep and a woman doctor who puts Humpty Dumpty together again.

Mary Wears What She Wants / by Keith Negley

Once upon a time (but not too long ago), girls only wore dresses. And only boys wore pants. Until one day, a young girl named Mary had a bold idea: She would wear whatever she wanted. And she wanted to wear pants!

A Girl’s Bill of Rights / by Amy Mucha

In a world where little girls must learn to stand tall, A Girl’s Bill of Rights boldly declares the rights of every woman and girl: power, confidence, freedom, and consent.

The Proudest Blue / by Ibtihaj Muhammad

Faizah relates how she feels on the first day her sister, sixth-grader Asiya, wears a hijab to school.

Chapter Books

Girls Survive series / by various authors

Each book in the series follows a different girl during a significant moment in history as she is thrown into survival mode.  Featuring nonfiction support material, a glossary, and reader response questions, Girls Survive stories take readers to history’s most important moments.

Rebel Girls Chapters / by various authors

Introducing stories based on the lives of extraordinary women in global history, each stunningly designed chapter book features beautiful illustrations from a female artist as well as bonus activities in the backmatter to encourage kids to explore the various fields in which each of these women thrived.

Amina’s Voice / by Hena Khan

A Pakistani-American Muslim girl struggles to stay true to her family’s vibrant culture while simultaneously blending in at school. After her local mosque if vandalized, she is devastated. Amina need to become more “American” and hide who she really is?

Troubled Girls of Dragomir Academy / by Anne Ursu

Marya is sent to the Dragomir Academy, a school for wayward girls– a school where she finds friendship and ultimately discovers her own talents.


111 trees : how one village celebrates the birth of every girl / by Rina Singh

In rural India, where many people cling to age-old customs and gender inequality and discrimination are encouraged, Sundar manages to convince the people of his village to welcome every girl born with the planting of 111 trees.

She Persisted series / by various authors

Inspired by the #1 New York Times bestseller She Persisted by Chelsea Clinton and Alexandra Boiger this chapter book series is about women who stood up, spoke up and rose up against the odds!

Muslim girls rise : inspirational champions of our time / by Saira Mir

Long ago, Muslim women rode into battle to defend their dreams. They opened the doors to the world’s oldest library. They ruled, started movements, and spread knowledge. Today, Muslim women continue to make history.

Women in… / by Rachel Ignotofsky

Charmingly illustrated, each book celebrates 50 women in their fields, from the well-known to the lesser known, who continue to inspire future generations.

Fly girls : how five daring women defied all odds and made aviation history / by Keith O’Brien

This Young Readers’ edition of the untold story about pioneering women, including Amelia Earhart, who fought to compete against men in the high-stakes national air races of the 1920s and 1930s–and won.

A kids book about feminism / by Emma Mcilroy

It tackles ideas around equality, bias, and discrimination because of gender. It also empowers young girls and boys to embrace feminism and show up for others when they’re being treated unfairly.

Finish the fight! : the brave and revolutionary women who fought for the right to vote / by Veronica Chambers

On the hundredth anniversary of the historic win for women’s rights, it’s time to celebrate the names and stories of the women whose stories have yet to be told

Reaching for the Moon : the autobiography of NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson / by Katherine Johnson

She worked on many of NASA’s biggest projects including the Apollo 11 mission that landed the first men on the moon. Now she tells her own story for the first time, in a lively autobiography that will inspire young readers everywhere.

Latinitas: Celebrating 40 Big Dreamers / by Juliet Menéndez

Discover how 40 influential Latinas became the women we celebrate today. They followed their dreams–and just might encourage you to follow yours!