Books Recs for Strong Girls

A school librarian I know has two 8th grade girls looking for female protagonists akin to the kick-assery of Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games.

I asked my friends for YA recs with strong heroines. This is what I have so far.

Contemporary
Shrinking Violet – Danielle Joseph
Tokyo Heist – Diana Renn
The Good Braider – Terry Farish
Nowhere Girl AJ Paquette

Historical
Bloody Jack – LA Meyer
The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle – Avi
Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
Scarlet – AC Gaughen
Climbing the Stairs – Padma Venkatraman
Catherine called Birdy – Karen Cushman
Love in the Haight – Susan Carlton

Fantasy
Song of the Lioness – Tamora Pierce
Graceling Realm – Kristin Cashore
The Chaos Walking Trilogy – Patrick Ness
Howl’s Moving Castle – Diana Wynne Jones


The Princess Bride – William Goldman
Valiant – Holly Black
Mortal Engines – Philip Reeve
The Court of the Air – Stephen Hunt
Ella Enchanted – Gail Carson Levine
Croak – Gina Damico
Diamond Age – Neil Stevenson
Daughter of Smoke and Bone – Laini Taylor
His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
The Mortal Trilogy – Cassandra Clare
Sabriel – Garth Nix
The Book Thief – Marcus Zusack
The Goose Girl – Shannon Hale
Coraline – Neil Gaiman
Un Lun Dun – China Mieville
The Blue Sword – Robin McKinley
Ash – Malinda Lo
Wise Child – Monica Furlong
So you Want to be a Wizard – Diana Duane
Shadow and Bone – Leigh Bardugo
Cinder – Marissa Meyer
Something Strange and Deadly – Susan Dennard
Legend – Marie Lu
Throne of Glass – Sarah J. Maas
The Iron Fey – Julie Kagawa

Disagree or have any titles to add? Older books from your childhood or new books you love? Please comment below so we can give them a great list!

7 responses to “Books Recs for Strong Girls

  1. Can I add all of Tamora Pierce’s heroines to this list? We at least need Alanna from the Song of the Lioness quartet. I’d also add Charlotte Doyle from The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle; Ani from The Goose Girl; Sophie from Howl’s Moving Castle; and Liesel from The Book Thief. Can’t wait to see everyone’s suggestions!

  2. Graceling, Fire, and Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore have strong leading ladies.

    Viola from The Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness is a fabulous strong woman as well.

  3. Definitely Tamora Pierce’s stuff. I loved The Daughter of Lioness especially. As for new stuff, these have great, strong girlies:
    Shadow and Bone (Especially since they’re making it into a movie)
    Cinder
    Something Strange and Deadly
    Legend
    Throne of Glass
    Endurance
    The Iron Fey
    Just to name a few 😄

  4. Thanks for coming out of the shadows to comment, Lurker-girl.

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