Books For Girls


See also the Smooch Books list.

Aidinoff, Elsie. The Garden. 
This retelling of the tale of the Garden of Eden is from Eve's point of view, as Serpent teaches her everything from her own name to why she should eat the forbidden fruit. Eve is then left with Adam and the knowledge that her choice has made mankind free.

AviThe True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle
"Not every thirteen-year-old girl is accused of murder, brought to trial, and found guilty," but Charlotte Doyle is such a girl.  In this suspenseful tale of Charlotte's voyage to America aboard the Seahawk, almost everything goes wrong.  The captain, though nice at first, is a cruel and evil man, and the crew has mutiny on their minds. 

Barrett, TracyAnna of Byzantium
Based on the real life Anna Comnena, heiress to the Byzantine emperor, until her younger brother is designated the next emperor.  Great historical fiction, with loads of intrigue and plotting.

Bauer, JoanRules of the Road (other books by this author are also good)
Jenna Boller isn't that pretty or all that good in school, but boy can she sell shoes.  When Mrs. Gladstone, the president of Gladstone Shoes, chooses Jenna as her driver on a business trip to visit the other Gladstone Shoe stores, Jenna becomes involved in a race to save the company and find herself.

Billingsley, FrannyFolk Keeper
Corinna has disguised herself as a boy and taken on the job of Folk Keeper, the person who placates the fairy-like Folk and directs their anger away from spoiling crops and souring milk. When she gets a new position, though, her self-taught Folk Keeper abilities may not be enough to save the crops, the milk or even herself.

Brashares, Ann.  Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.
Four best girlfriends spend the biggest summer of their lives enchanted by a magical pair of pants.

Bray, Libba. Great and Terrible Beauty.
After the suspicious death of her mother in 1895, sixteen-year-old Gemma returns to England, after many years in India, to attend a finishing school where she becomes aware of her magical powers and ability to see into the spirit world.

Brooks, Martha.  True Confessions of a Heartless Girl.
A confused seventeen-year-old girl, a single mother and her young son, two elderly women, and a sad and lonely man, with their own individual tragedies to bear, come together in a small Manitoba town and find a way to a better future.

Castellucci, Cecil. Boy Proof.
She always knows the right answers, she's always in control, and she's far too busy to be bothered with friends. Then Egg meets a boy named Max, a boy who's smart and funny and creative and cool...and happens to like Egg. Could this be the end of the world - at least as Egg knows it?

Creech, Sharon
Chasing Redbird
Zinnia's uncovering of an overgrown trail inadvertently involves her family in a set of well-concealed family skeletons in this powerful story of a girl's search for meaning.

Cushman, Karen. Catherine Called Birdy
The thirteen-year-old daughter of an English country knight keeps a journal in which she records the events of her life, particularly her longing for adventures beyond the usual role of women and her efforts to avoid being married off.

Danziger, PaulaP.S. Longer Letter Later.
Twelve-year-old best friends Elizabeth and Tara-Starr continue their friendship through letter-writing after Tara-Starr's family moves to another state.  Sequel: Snail Mail No More

Davidson, Dana. Jason & Kyra.
Preppy Jason and brainy Kyra are paired together for a science project. An unlikely couple, they become close friends and eventually fall in love, much to the surprise of everyone in school.

Donnelly, Jennifer. Northern Light.
Mattie Gokey has a word for everything. She collects words, stores them up as a way of fending off the hard truths of her life, the truths that she can't write down in stories. Yet when the drowned body of a young woman turns up at the hotel where Mattie works, all her words are useless. Based on the story that inspired Theodore Dreiser's An American Tragedy.

Fletcher, Susan. Shadow Spinner
When Marjan, a 13-year-old crippled girl joins the Sultan's harem in ancient Persia, she gathers for Shahrazad the stories that will save the queen's life. A story about courage and the ultimate sacrifices for love.

Fredericks, Mariah. The True Meaning of Cleavage.
When Jess and Sari, best friends since seventh grade, begin their freshman year of high school and Sari becomes obsessed with a senior boy, Jess wonders if their friendship will survive.

George, Jean CraigheadJulie of the Wolves.
After running away from home and an unwanted arranged marriage, 13-year-old Julie becomes lost in the Alaskan wilderness and is adopted by a pack of wolves.

Giff, Patricia Reilly. Lily's Crossing
In the summer of 1944, 10-year-old Lily Mollahan grows increasingly irritated with the war overseas and its threat closer to home.  Staying with her grandmother in Rockaway while her father heads for France and fighting, Lily becomes increasingly intrigued by another child, a Hungarian refugee.  "Albert could really be a Nazi spy," she fantasizes. Imagination is one thing, lying another, and as her vacation draws on, Lily learns what the power of love, family, and friendship can accomplish.

Griffin, Adele The Other Shepards
"Their three older siblings were killed in an accident years before they were born, yet Holland and Geneva Shepard are still coping with the effects of this family tragedy. Encouraged by a mysterious mural painter, the sisters run away to the Caribbean adventure that helps them abandon old ghosts and unite as a family."

Haddix, Margaret PetersonJust Ella (other books by this author are also good)
A retelling of the Cinderella story, in which Ella finds out that sometimes "happily ever after" isn't.

Hanley, Victoria. The Seer and the Sword. (Sequel: Healer's Keep)
Princess Torina, who has the ability to see the future, and her friend Landen, who seeks a sword that belongs to his conquered kingdom, are separated when a treacherous murderer gains power, but from exile each works to restore peace and the rightful rulers. (Fantasy)

Hesse, Karen. Out of the Dust
In a series of poems, fifteen-year-old Billie Jo relates the hardships of living on her family's wheat farm in Oklahoma during the dust bowl years of the Depression.

Hogan, Mary. The Serious Kiss.
Relates the angst-ridden life of fourteen-year-old Libby Madrigal as she tries to deal with her unhappily married alcoholic father and overeating mother, moving to a new town, and finding the perfect boy to "seriously" kiss.

Holt, Kimberly WillisMy Louisiana Sky (other books by this author are also good)
Tiger Ann Parker's parents are different.  They are more like children than adults, but they love her just as much as regular parents, and Tiger's grandmother holds the family together.  The only problem is that in a small town like Sattier, Louisiana, it's hard to be different, especially if you are in seventh grade.

Ji-li JiangRed Scarf Girl:  A Memoir of the Cultural Revolution.
With the detention of her father during the Cultural Revolution, Ji-li was faced with the most dreadful decision of her life: denounce him and break with her family, or refuse to testify and sacrifice her future in her beloved Communist Party. (nonfiction)

Kindl, PatriceOwl in Love.
Falling in love, making friends, and trying to figure out who and what she is bring Owl nearly to the end of her wits

Konigsburg, E.L.  The View from Saturday
How could a group of four sixth graders beat out teams of seventh and eighth graders to win the statewide academic bowl championship?  The answer is not so simple.  It involves sea turtles, a crazy wedding, a teacher who needs to figure out how she chose her team, and a little magic. 

Levine, Gail Carson. Ella Enchanted
Ella is "cursed" with the gift of obedience by a well meaning fairy.  She must comply whenever anyone issues her a direct order.  Now she must learn how to break the curse, or else put the prince (and the kingdom) at risk.

Lowry, Brigid.
Guitar Highway Rose.
Rosie is bored ; she wants something different. Then she meets Asher, who has dreadlocks and a guitar, and breaks the school dress code every single day. When Asher decides to run away, Rosie goes with him. Their lives are turned upside down as they take to the road to discover the world and learn the darker and lighter sides of their own identities.

Lowry, LoisNumber the Stars. (other books by this author are also good)
In 1943, during the German occupation of Denmark, ten-year-old Annemarie learns how to be brave when she helps shelter her Jewish friend from the Nazis.

Moriarty, Jaclyn. Feeling Sorry for Celia.
Letters between friends, refrigerator notes from a madcap mother, and darkly comic epistles from the heroine's internal voice of self-doubt tell Elizabeth's story as she is outgrows a friend, discovers a great new friend, kisses the sexiest guy alive, and runs in a marathon.

Naylor, Phyllis ReynoldsAlice In-Between.
When motherless Alice turns thirteen she feels in-between, no longer a child but not yet a woman, and discovers that growing up can be both frustrating and wonderful.  (Other books from the "Alice" series would also be good choices.)

Paterson, Katherine.  Jacob Have I Loved.
Feeling deprived all her life of schooling, friends, mother, and even her name by her twin sister,Louise finally begins to find her identity.

Pattou, Edith.  East.
A young woman journeys to a distant castle on the back of a great white bear who is the victim of a cruel enchantment.

Peck, RichardA Year Down Yonder.
During the recession of 1937, fifteen-year-old Mary Alice is sent to live with her feisty, larger-than-life grandmother in rural Illinois and comes to a better understanding of this fearsome woman.

Pierce, TamoraAlanna: The First Adventure.
Hoping to become a knight, 11-year-old Alanna, disguises herself as a boy to become a royal page.

Plummer, Louise. Unlikely Romance of Kate Bjorkman.
Hi, I'm Kate Bjorkman. What do you do if you've lived a real romance with a great guy and he loves you as much as you love him? Simple, I wrote a romance novel with help from THE ROMANCE WRITER'S PHRASE BOOK. Nothing is made up. I want truth and conflict even in romance. I'm betting you'll want the same.

Pullman, PhilipThe Golden Compass
Slowly and silently children are disappearing all over England, lured away or snatched by the Gobblers.  Lyra and the other children at Oxford have heard of the Gobblers but don't really believe in them yet - it's just an old wives tale, a story.  Then one day the Gobblers take Lyra's best friend Roger, and she is thrown into a search that takes her to the farthest North and introduces her to strange and powerful things.  Little does she know that her quest involves much more than finding Roger - the entire fate of her world may rest on her shoulders.  For good readers who like fantasy.

Rinaldi, Ann The Coffin Quilt
A suspenseful novel based on the true story of the feud between the Hatfields and the McCoys.

Sachar, LouisHoles. 
As further evidence of his family's bad luck, which they attribute to a curse on a distant relative, Stanley Yelnats is wrongfully convicted of stealing and sent to a horrible correctional camp in the Texas desert where he finds his first real friend, a treasure, and a new sense of himself.

Spinelli, JerryStargirl.
In this story about the perils of popularity, the courage of nonconformity, and the thrill of first love, an eccentric student named Stargirl changes Mica High School forever.

Staples, Suzanne FisherShabanu: Daughter of the Wind
The daughter of a desert dwelling Pakistani family, Shabanu's life depends on her learning to obey.  Shabanu is willful and a free spirit, but the time is drawing near for her to marry the boy her family has chosen for her.  Will she learn to be obedient, or will she follow her heart and put her family in danger?

Stein, Tammar. Light Years.
After a life as a soldier and the death of her boyfriend Dov in a suicide bombing, Maya leaves Israel to study astronomy at the University of Virginia, running from the violence, guilt, and memories of her past and attempting to reconcile her Israeli past with her American future.

Voigt, CynthiaIzzy Willy-Nilly.
A car accident causes fifteen-year-old Izzy to lose one leg and face the need to start building a new life as an amputee.  (Most other books by this author would also be appropriate.)

Whelan, GloriaHomeless Bird.
When thirteen-year-old Koly enters into an ill-fated arranged marriage, she must either suffer a destiny dictated by India's tradition or find the courage to oppose it.

Wilson, Diane LeeI Rode a Horse of Milk White Jade
Oyuna has a crippled foot that brings bad luck to her family in Kublai Khan's Mongolia.  Oyuna's grandmother believes differently, though, and tells Oyuna that she can make her own luck.  One day, when Oyuna was nearing her 13th birthday, Kublai Khan's soldiers raid her village and try to take her stepbrother.  Oyuna disguises herself as a boy and goes in her stepbrother's place.  But will the Khan's soldiers let her stay once they realize she is a girl? 

Wolff, Virginia Euwer Bat 6
In 1949, two classes of sixth grade girls prepare for the annual Bat 6 softball game - an event they've looked forward to their whole lives. A new girl arrives at the beginning of the school year who changes everything.

Wrede, PatriciaDealing With Dragons
Cimorene, princess of Linderwall, is a classic tomboy heroine with classic tomboy strengths--all of which are perceived by those around her as defects.  Tired of etiquette and embroidery, she runs away from home and finds herself in a nest of dragons.  She would rather keep house for the dragon Kazul than be bored in her parents' castle. With her quick wit and her stubborn courage, Cimorene saves the mostly kind dragons from a wicked plot hatched by the local wizards.

Young, Karen RomanoThe Beetle and Me: A Love Story.
Surrounded by her busy extended family and their many cars, fifteen-year-old Daisy pursues her goal of single-handedly restoring the car of her dreams, the old purple Volkswagen Beetle from her childhood.

Revised 3/2005

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Updated on 09/01/2015 09:10 AM
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