Stories About Girls: Readers’ Recommendations (GeekDad Weekly Rewind)

Geek Culture

The kids reading togetherThe kids reading together

"The kids reading together" photo by Flickr user Valerie Everett

I hope my series of Stories About Girls has given you a good place to start — but honestly, I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface. There are tons of classic books that I haven’t mentioned yet (Judy Blume’s books, the Little House on the Prairie series and Bridge to Terabithia are just a very short list) and piles of newer books that deserve to be included as well. There are webcomics (like Girl Genius recommended by Jeff Cooper or Gronk) and iPhone apps (7Wonderlicious or a few others that I’ve reviewed) that feature girls as main characters. And obviously I haven’t had time to read them all myself … yet.

So, here’s a collection of suggestions that you have sent to me. I can’t vouch for these personally but these are all books that GeekDad readers have praised, so I’ll let the readers speak for themselves! In the meantime, be sure to check out the first five installments if you haven’t already (links at the bottom of this post), and stay tuned for more in a couple months!

Protector of the Small quartetProtector of the Small quartet
Protector of the Small Quartet by Tamora Pierce, recommended by Brian Little

Pierce writes with honesty and conviction about the coming of age of Keladry of Mindelan (aka The Protector of the Small). It’s swords and sorcery, so naturally there’s violence involved. Pierce doesn’t flinch from matter-of-fact descriptions, but she’s not gory about it, either. Pierce also discusses, in more or less general terms, menstruation, breasts, pregnancy and similar biological aspects centering around puberty. Kel and Alanna’s relationships with various males—mostly emotional, only very occasionally physical to the slightest degree—are frequent topics. Again, though, the discussions are very matter-of-fact, and not painted in graphic or off-putting ways.

My daughter adores Keladry. She’s tough-minded, independent, and takes no guff from anyone, boys or girls. She stands up for herself, and teaches others to do the same. She’s brave not because she’s fearless, but because she learns to overcome her fear. Keladry grows into the kind of adult I hope my own daughter will become, and I’m glad Pierce gave me the chance to introduce the kiddo to both fantasy and a worthy role model.

[Read the rest of Jonathan Liu’s article from Tuesday.]

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