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Good feminist books for 12-13 yo?

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#1 Illiterati

Posted 16 February 2013 - 08:38 PM

Any one know or can recommend some feminist literature for pre and early teen girls?

#2 Lyra

Posted 16 February 2013 - 09:01 PM

What do you mean by feminist literature?

#3 Lucrezia Borgia

Posted 16 February 2013 - 09:02 PM

Hi, are you after literature about the feminist movement? I can't help you there (although I am sure someone will be along shortly who can).....some suggestions..fiction, but with strong female characters....and what I would view as a feminist message ....

The golden compass
Harriet the spy
A wrinkle in time
My brilliant career

The book which really stuck in my mind and "raised my conscience" (so to speak) is Virginia Woolf "a room of ones own" ...I read it at 17 though....(and every yr since...)

#4 katiebear26

Posted 16 February 2013 - 09:10 PM

for fiction i loved trixie belden, she started her own 'detective' group with another female and although there are main male characters i liked her more than nancy drew. it is a little old fashioned i guess for today so not sure how 'feminist' it really is.

#5 Illiterati

Posted 16 February 2013 - 09:13 PM

QUOTE (Lyra @ 16/02/2013, 10:01 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
What do you mean by feminist literature?

Not necessarily about the feminist movement or history. Can be fiction or non fiction. I am not sure exactly what I mean. Something to help adolesant girls open their eyes to feminist issues or messages. Fiction books with strong central female characters is good too.

Edited by SlowEmotionReplay, 16 February 2013 - 09:19 PM.

#6 VintageEyes

Posted 16 February 2013 - 09:33 PM

I loved reading Anne of Green Gables and other books by LM Montgomery. Full of strong minded female characters, I found them very inspiring ast that age.

#7 libbylu

Posted 16 February 2013 - 09:34 PM

Kaz Cooke is a great modern feminist and has a book for girls this age:

It is not so much about feminism, but about how to be teenage girl and maintain your self respect - which is pretty important I think!

#8 libbylu

Posted 16 February 2013 - 09:36 PM

QUOTE (katiebear26 @ 16/02/2013, 10:10 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
for fiction i loved trixie belden, she started her own 'detective' group with another female and although there are main male characters i liked her more than nancy drew. it is a little old fashioned i guess for today so not sure how 'feminist' it really is.

I loved Trixie Beldon too and she was a bit of a trail blazer for her time, but those times were certainly not feminist! The girls still prepare all the food and the boys do all the outdoor stuff etc.  It's pretty traditional really - not that it's not worth a read.

#9 kadoodle

Posted 16 February 2013 - 09:49 PM

Would she be keen on non-fiction?

Biographies of Ann Frank, Helen Keller, Marie Curie and Florence Nightingale were all ones I enjoyed as a pre-teen.

#10 AMPSyd

Posted 17 February 2013 - 06:13 AM

Are Nancy Drew books around any more?

Also - unsure if this is exactly feminist but I enjoyed Ruth Park - though may be more for 14-15 yrs old.

Harry Potter - OK, the main character is obviously Harry but Herminone is definately a strong female character in the book and she features strongly.

#11 bebe12

Posted 17 February 2013 - 06:33 AM


There is a series of books called "my story"  it is fact based fiction on people in history.

My DD 11 has read many of them. There are girls and boy stories but my DD didn't care about that.


#12 Lyra

Posted 17 February 2013 - 07:03 AM

QUOTE (SlowEmotionReplay @ 16/02/2013, 10:13 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Not necessarily about the feminist movement or history. Can be fiction or non fiction. I am not sure exactly what I mean. Something to help adolesant girls open their eyes to feminist issues or messages. Fiction books with strong central female characters is good too.

She's probably too old for it but Pippi Longstockings certainly forges her own path

Phillip Pullman also wrote some stories set in Victorian England with the main protagonist being a young woman. It *might* be called Ruby in the smoke. While she is not overtly feminist she can and can't do things based on her gender which shows how difficult it was for woman and girls back then and how much easier we have it today

I haven't read it but the chick in the Hunger Games seemed pretty kick-a*se. Also, Ellie in 'Tomorrow when the war began' wasn't exactly sitting around to be rescued either

#13 Seven of Nine

Posted 17 February 2013 - 07:05 AM

I love the women Terry Pratchett writes and Tiffany from The Wee Free Men is such a great character. It is written for teens.

#14 BetteBoop

Posted 17 February 2013 - 07:13 AM


This is a US magazine that has no image focussed content and also tries to educate girls about inequality. It says it's for girl 8-12 but it's fairly high level IMO.

#15 cinnabubble

Posted 17 February 2013 - 07:22 AM

In used to love a book called Miss Rivers and Miss Bridges about two teenage girls who assumed adult identities to become part of the suffragette movement in England in the early 20th century. Unfortunately, it's out of print these days but if you get your hands on a copy, buy it.

#16 Lyra

Posted 17 February 2013 - 07:46 AM

QUOTE (Beetlebop @ 17/02/2013, 08:13 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

This is a US magazine that has no image focussed content and also tries to educate girls about inequality. It says it's for girl 8-12 but it's fairly high level IMO.

Thanks for that! I've been looking for something for my daughter when she is a bit older and that looks really good. I remember reading Dolly when I was growing up and it really did make me feel inadequate sad.gif   I have bookmarked it for later

#17 Feral_Pooks

Posted 17 February 2013 - 07:56 AM

QUOTE (Ehubrydd @ 17/02/2013, 08:05 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I love the women Terry Pratchett writes and Tiffany from The Wee Free Men is such a great character. It is written for teens.

I was going to suggest this too, I think he is up to 4 Tiffany books now.

Here is a good list http://b**chmagazine.org/100-young-adult-b...feminist-reader

#18 JJ

Posted 17 February 2013 - 09:10 AM

For a basic introduction on feminism itself, this might be a good one: Introducing Feminism: A Graphic Guide

Being a very visual person I really like these graphic guides and have a whole bunch of them. I got the feminist one with my 8yo in mind. I've noticed they appeal to her as they have pictures, and she's started browsing though some of them.

QUOTE (Madame Protart @ 16/02/2013, 09:27 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
OP, I found this quite extensive list for young adults http://www.goodreads.com/list/tag/feminist

Thank you, that looks like a great list.

Edited by JJ, 17 February 2013 - 09:16 AM.

#19 Slint

Posted 17 February 2013 - 11:43 AM

In terms of literature, my 8 year old likes Cornelia Funke's books especially the Inkheart series.  They are probably for slightly older children but DD really comprehends and enjoys them.

I haven't read them but they seem to have strong female characters.  I have read good things about Igraine the Brave and will purchase that for her.

#20 ComradeBob

Posted 17 February 2013 - 12:09 PM

Anything by Judy Blume or LM Montgomery - despite the fact that LM Montgomery wrote in a very conservative time, her female characters are all strong and don't necessarily take the traditional path. I you have a kindle, there are quite a number of the available on Project Gutenberg, and Project Gutenberg Australia.

#21 **Tiger*Feral**

Posted 17 February 2013 - 12:52 PM


Edited by Tyrone Finkelmeyer, 26 March 2013 - 08:00 PM.

#22 sedawson

Posted 17 February 2013 - 01:06 PM

Novels by Lynne Reid Banks for younger readers are very good. Not overtly feminist but sensitive, intelligent, female-oriented books.

Robin Klein was very big when I was younger and they are engrossing for that age group. 'Games' is really interesting, it's a bit Mean Girls - cliques and the odd girl out triumphs.

If your daughter is particularly bright and interested in non-fiction, Reviving Ophelia was pretty important when it came out and still is.

Queen Bees and Wannabes is another non-fiction; sociologically oriented and might be great for her at her age.

And you know what a real classic is, is Women who Run with the Wolves. Now I know a lot of readers might burn me for that one but I loved it. These all seem appropriate to me but I was a very advanced reader.

In a few years, I strongly suggest anything by Marge Piercy. Stuff like 'Woman on the Edge of Time' is highly feminist and a superb read.

#23 FeralandStompy

Posted 17 February 2013 - 01:18 PM

I recommend liking the "A Mighty Girl" page on facebook or following their website. They frequently post and discuss strong female, biography and feminist books for girls of all ages.

Oddly, their booklist of recommended books doesn't show to Australian browsers but IP blocker gets around that apparently.

#24 .Jerry.

Posted 17 February 2013 - 01:30 PM

When I was an early teen I read "Freedom for Priscilla" and loved it.  It is about a young girl's desire to study further and was one of the first girls to study medicine.
I was very motivated by the book.  I think it was fiction based on some reality.

I also loved My Brilliant Career.  Lots to discuss there about the role of women.

#25 Tesseract

Posted 17 February 2013 - 01:31 PM

I read The Beauty Myth at 14 and it absolutely. blew. my. mind. I was totally innoculated against the pressure the whole thin=value thing. It's getting a bit dated now, but still pretty relevant and a wonderful classic. Might be worth having it in the house for when she's ready.

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