Booklist: The Life of Girls

We looked at boys’ life books so now it’s the girls’ turn.  These are books which depict a girl’s life and/or in which girls are the main characters.

To keep things as simple as possible, I divide the books into four ages ranges: preschool to early elementary; elementary; middle years (roughly 5th-8th grades); and teens. Keep in mind that many harder books can be read aloud to younger children and that older ones can still enjoy and get a lot out of easier books.

Girl’s Life Books

Alcott, Louisa May. Little Women. A classic girls’ book. Middle years +.

Banks, Lynne Reid.  Farthest Away Mountain. From the author of The Indian in the Cupboard. Fantasy. Elementary-Middle years.

Birdsall, Jeanne. The Penderwicks (series). We loved these (the boys too). Middle years.

Burnett, Frances Hodgson. A Little Princess, Sarah Crewe and  The Secret Garden. More classic girl books. Elementary-middle.

Creech, Sharon. Ruby HollerChasing Redbird, et. al. Creech is a modern author with lots of good books featuring girls. Elementary-middle.

Enright, Elizabeth. Thimble Summer. Enright has lots of good books. This is one of my favorites. Elementary-middle.

Estes, Eleanor. One Hundred Dresses. Estes has lots of good books. Elementary.

Gaiman, Neil. Coraline. For the most macabre girl.  Middle years.

Gates, Doris. Blue Willow. Elementary-middle.

George, Jean Craighead, Julie of the Wolves. A well-known book about an Eskimo girl. The plot includes a rape scene. Middle years.

Hirsch, Odo. Hazel Green (series). My youngest loved these. Elementary.

Horvath, Polly. Canning SeasonEverything on a Waffle, and One Year in Coal Harbor. Horvath has a lot of good books. Elementary-middle.

Lenski, Lois. Strawberry Girl. Old-time Florida. A classic. Middle years.

Lovelace, Maud Hart. Betsy Tacy (series). An older series which has seen a revival. Elementary-middle.

Lowry, Lois. Goonie Bird Greene  (series) and Anastasia Krupnik (series). My youngest loved the Goonie Bird books especially. Elementary.

MacLachlan, Patricia. Sarah, Plain and Tall. My oldest loved this one. Look for the sequels too. Elementary.

McCloskey, Robert. Blueberries for Sal. Classic picture book. Early elementary.

McKay, Hilary. Saffy’s Angel and sequels. We really liked this series. Middle ages.

Montgomery, L.M. Anne of Green Gables (series) and Emily (series). You know Anne of Green Gables, but my daughter tells me her other series are even better. Middle years.

Paterson, Katherine. Jacob I Have Loved, Paterson has a lot of good books. Middle years.

Porter, Eleanor. Pollyanna and Pollyanna Grows Up. Despite the negative connotation of the name Pollyanna, these are good books. Middle years (read aloud earlier).

Rylant, Cynthia. Cobble Street Cousins (series). I don’t love all Rylant’s books but these are decent easy chapter books. Elementary.

Snyder, Laurel. Up and Down the Scratchy Mountains. Elementary-middle.

Spyri, Johanna. Heidi. Classic. Middle years.

Stratton-Porter, Gene. Freckles and Girl of the Limberlost. Wonderful older books. Middle years.

Streatfield, Noel.  . . . Shoes (series). Older books with names like “Ballet Shoes.” Middle years.

Umansky, Kate. Clover Twig (series). Silly. She has a great boys’ series too. Middle years.

Vanderpool, Clare. Moon Over Manifest. Middle years.

Whelan, Gloria. Listening for Lions, et. al. Whelan has a lot of good books, often historical. Elementary-middle years.

What would you add to this list?

One response to this post.

  1. […] and I have been slowly writing them up for you. We have had adventure stories and animals stories, girls’ books and boys’ books (you can find all my lists of living books here). But there is one important […]


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