In the long, and incredibly insightful thread about misogyny that was spawned by the tragedy in California, I had a moment, going through my book collection, whereupon I realized that I had very few books with strong female characters that I would be comfortable giving to the kids. (Mine, and the crew that seems to live here during summer; boys and girls, ranging in age from 11-13.) I asked for recommendations, and the wealth of suggestions was amazing. I would feel selfish keeping it to myself, and wanted to share, so that other people with tween kids would also have them.
posted by dejah420 to MetaFilter-Related at 9:18 AM (71 comments total)
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Suggestions were made by Deoridhe, fever-trees, NoraReed, emjaybee, spacewaitress, pharm, jeather, Jeanne, and brokker.
In no particular order, the books/authors/sites recommended were:
Authors (given without books, or who were recommended for entire bodies of work)
Diana Wynne Jones
Carrie Vaughn (NOT the werewolf books)
Ursula Le Guin's Annals of the Western Shore
Cynthia Voight Homecoming (and sequels)
City of Embers
Neil Gaiman - Coraline
The Westing Game
The Enola Holmes mysteries(Sherlock and Mycroft have a much younger sister)
China Mieville - Un Lun Dun
Rachel Hartman - Seraphina
Terry Prachett's Tiffany Aching books
Gail Carson Levine's books
From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E Frankweiler
Katherine Paterson's books
Liesl & Po
Harriet the Spy
Miss Marple books
Robin McKinley, "The Blue Sword," "The Hero and the Crown."
Tamora Pierce, the Alanna series and other books;ave girl and boy co-protagonists.)
Catherynne Valente, "The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making" series
Grace Lin, "Where the Mountain Meets the Moon"
Hiromi Goto, "Half World" and the upcoming sequel
Kirsten Miller, Kiki Strike series
Ally Carter - there's a spy series that starts with "I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have To Kill You" and a heist series.
Rebecca Stead, "When You Reach Me"
Adam Rex, "The True Meaning of Smekday"
Clare Vanderpool, "Moon over Manifest," "Navigating Early"
Rita Williams-Garcia, "One Crazy Summer," "P.S. Be Eleven"
Scott O'Dell, "The Island of the Blue Dolphins"
Jacqueline Kelly, "The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate"
Sheila Turnage, "Three Times Lucky"
Avi, "The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle"
Cynthia Kadohata, "The Thing About Luck"
Susan Patron, "The Higher Power of Lucky"
Kirby Larson, "Hattie Big Sky"
Rachel Hartman - Seraphina
Sangu Mandanna's The Lost Girl, but it might skew too old, I forget
Dragonriders of Pern
Lev Rosen's All Men of Genius
Elizabeth Wein's Code Name Verity
Garth Nix's Old Kingdom trilogy
"My Sister Sif" by Ruth Park
"Matilda" by Roald Dahl
"The Golden Compass" by Philip Pullman,
"The Song of the Lioness" by Tamora Pierce
"Feeling Sorry for Celia" by Jaclyn Moriarty,
"The Magicians of Caprona" by Diana Wynne Jones.
The OZ series
The Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger.
Jane Lindskold's Thirteen Orphans series, which has the added bonus of being racially diverse
Teresa Edgerton's Green Lion trilogy; high fantasy
Dreamsnake by Vonda N. McIntyre; has the added bonus of contraception mentioned in sex scenes
Raina Telgemeier's graphic novels
Faith Erin Hicks's graphic novels
Links and Sites:
Fever-trees shared the following note and links:
More broadly, a few things that have made me more aware of what I'm reading:
1. The Australian Women Writers Challenge http://australianwomenwriters.com/about/background-to-challenge/
2. The Writer and the Critic (a podcast where two books are reviewed each month, the discussions they have about female characters has made me much more aware of these things as I read) http://writerandcritic.podbean.com/
3. Galactic Suburbia (a longer running podcast and harder to dip into, I suppose - focused on speculative fiction) http://galactisuburbia.podbean.com/
Notes from mefites in their suggestions:
Dragonriders of Pern (OOP Note: I wouldn't be comfortable giving this series to 11 year olds. The female characters are abused for refusing to obey. It felt yucky to me when I recently tried to reread it. That may be me though. )
I think Kristen Cashore's trilogy starting with "Graceling" is a little bit too much sex for that age group but watch out for it in a few years; it's one of my favorite feminist fantasy series.
Tamora Pierce, the Alanna series and other books; there's discussion of sex and contraception but it's not at a level that's inappropriate for that age range IMO.
Also said about Ms. Pierces' books:
I'd go for Tamora Pierce's circle of magic quartet and circle opens (no further than those 8 because sex and war)
China Mieville - Un Lun Dun is nothing like his adult books.
Sangu Mandanna's The Lost Girl might skew too old, parents should review it first. The same is true for Elizabeth Wein's Code Name Verity.
Patricia McKillip, though she may be a bit dense for someone his age; her Fool's Run is one of my favorites, and the Forgotten Beasts of Eld is jaw dropping.
You may need to vet for age, but anything by Seanan McGuire / Mira Grant is really quality. Mira Grant is her horror pseudonym.
I apologize if I've duplicated anything, it's quite a long unordered list of goodness.