When you are raising a daughter, I believe it’s really important
that you introduce feminist talking points as often as you can. And one way to do that is by selecting some
feminist books to read to your daughter. Enjoying empowering books with your child is an easy way to ignite conversations about women’s
rights and equality, using terms and examples she can identify with. I have used books so many times to shepherd
my daughter through tough situations, or to help illustrate ideas, I feel she needs to
understand. If she is to live a happy life, confident in her own power as a
woman, she needs to have her very own literary females to relate to .
But reading with your daughter won’t just help shape her world view. Studies have
shown that reading aloud can help
language skills and improve child-parent relationships; it’s a parenting win-win.
My own mom is a very smart
feminist, and made sure my bedside table was always stocked with tales that
included girl’s fighting oppression, being leaders, and never allowing
themselves to play second fiddle to a man. This is a tradition I’m keen to
carry on with my daughter.
By adding feminist books to your daughter’s
bookshelf, you are handing her a world of relatable feminist archetypes, who she
can call on whenever life gets tough. Not sure where to start? Here are some great
books to read with your daughter.
1 'Matilda' by Roald Dahl follows a is a super
intelligent girl with awful parents and a vindictive bully of a headmistress. Despite such a horrible environment, she teaches herself to read,
discovers the public library and uses her huge intelligence to dole out some
justice, to the evil adults in charge. This book plays out really well to children’s
natural obsession with right and wrong, and also illustrates that brains will
often overcome brawn. Matilda Click here to buy. 2 'Rosie Revere, Engineer' by Andrea Beaty
Rosie is a wannabe
engineer, who loves to invent and create gadgets and gizmos. When her great aunt
mentions she would love to fly, Rosie attempts to make a flying machine. The invention
is a bust, but all is not lost. As the story so wisely points out, you only fail if you stop trying.
perfect antidote to stories featuring chicks in nice dresses, waiting for men to
make their dreams come true. I love it and so does my daughter. Rosie Revere, Engineer Click here to buy.
3 'Coraline' by Neil Gaiman
Gaiman is one of my favorite authors and my
. After entering a parallel universe containing everything she could dream
of (including parents who wait on her hand and foot) Coraline has to use all
her wits and courage to return back to reality. This is a great book for
encouraging girls to always question the status quo. Coraline Click here to buy.
4 'Madeline' by Ludwig Bemelmans
Our copy of this charming rhyming book is well
thumbed, as it’s been read many times. Madeline is an orphan who gets into lots
of scrapes and is totally fearless. From tackling tigers to having her appendix
out, she just powers on through.
, and all of the follow ups, are perfect for young girls. Madeline Click here to buy. 5 'Room On the Broom' by Julia Donaldson
I love how the witch
plays against stereotypes. Yes, she has the typical haggish looks we
associate with evil crones, but she is actually generous and fun. Room on a Boom proves that a woman’s appearance is rarely an indicator of her heart. Room on the Broom Click here to buy. 6 'Olivia' by Ian Falconer
Olivia is a
precocious, energetic little pig who surrounds
herself with interesting friends. If you are determined your little girl should
hold onto her sense of individuality,
is the perfect read. The main character's confidence and life force makes you believe she could do anything she sets her
mind to. Olivia Click here to buy. 7 'Dustbin Baby' by Jacqueline Wilson
Wilson’s books are wonderful
for conveying the confusion and mixed emotions that young girls can feel.
's protagonist, April, deals with abandonment, bullying and frustration, in a
way that's very easy for young girls to relate to. Dustbin Baby Click here to buy.
8 'Too Many Princes' by Valerie Sekula
If you are sick to the
back teeth of the Cinderella complex, then
needs to be added to your daughter’s
bookshelf. It is a great retelling of classic fairy tale, and rejects the idea that women
need to be saved by men, whilst cleverly deconstructing ideas of social
hierarchies. Too Many Princes 9 'Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone' by J.K. Rowling
Although the main
protagonist in the Harry Potter books is a boy, J.K. Rowling’s books are rich in
strong female characters. From the ultra clever Hermione, to the stern but kind Professor
McGonagall, there is a wonderful sense of equality between the sexes in these
wizardy tales. Women
are shown as nurturers, creators and bringers of destruction. Start your daughter off with
, and fall into a series of magic and feminism. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Click here to buy.