Age 9-12 yrs Charlotte's web image - one of the classic kids books with strong female characters.

Published on May 6th, 2014 | by Bright Kids Books


Classic kids books with strong female characters – age 9-12

This list of classic kids books with strong female characters have inspired and delighted generations of readers. And no doubt for many generations to come.

The characters depicted (both girls and women) are feisty, daring, clever, creative, thoughtful, opinionated and insightful. All the things we value and encourage in our own children. So enjoy this selection of classic kids books with strong female characters.


Beyond the Paw Paw Trees: The Story of Anna Lavinia
by Palmer Brown

It all began on a lavender blue day—the kind of day when anything can happen. It was on such a day that Anna Lavinia’s father saw a double rainbow and went chasing after it. And it is on such a day that she and her cat, Strawberry, set off on their journey beyond the walled garden where the pawpaw trees grow, to a place where the buttercups bloom pink and the laws of gravity don’t always apply. Here Anna Lavinia will test her mother’s advice “Never believe what you see,” against her father’s wise words “Believe only what you see,” and just maybe she’ll finally be able to use the mysterious silver key her father left behind when he went chasing after rainbows. One of the truly classic kids books with strong female characters.


Charlotte’s Web
by E.B. White

E. B. White’s Newbery Honor Book is a tender novel of friendship, love, life, and death that you and your kids will simply adore. This is the story of a little girl named Fern who loved a little pig named Wilbur – and of Wilbur’s dear friend Charlotte A. Cavatica, a beautiful large grey spider who lived with Wilbur in the barn. With the help of Templeton, the rat who never did anything for anybody unless there was something in it for him, and by a wonderfully clever plan of their own, Charlotte saved the life of Wilbur, who by this time had grown up to be quite a pig. But be forewarned, you may need a box of tissues within close reach. Definitely one of the finest classic kids books with strong female characters.


The Diary of a Young Girl
by Anne Frank

Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl is among the most enduring documents of the twentieth century. Since its publication in 1947, it has been read by tens of millions of people all over the world and is one of THE classic kids books with strong female characters. It remains a beloved and deeply admired testament to the indestructible nature of the human spirit. This new edition restores diary entries omitted from the original edition, revealing a new depth to Anne’s dreams, irritations, hardships, and passions. Like many young girls, she often found herself in disagreements with her mother. And like any teenager, she veered between the carefree nature of a child and the full-fledged sorrow of an adult. Anne emerges as more real, more human, and more vital than ever. If you’ve never read this remarkable autobiography, do so. If you have read it, you owe it to yourself to read it again.


From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiller
by E. L. Konigsburg

After reading this book, you will never visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art (or any wonderful, old cavern of a museum) without sneaking into the bathrooms to look for Claudia and her brother Jamie. They’re standing on the toilets, still, hiding until the museum closes and their adventure begins. Such is the impact of timeless novels . . . they never leave us. E. L. Konigsburg won the 1967 Newbery Medal for this tale of how Claudia and her brother run away to the museum in order to teach their parents a lesson. Little do they know that mystery awaits! One of the classic kids books with strong female characters.


The Secret Garden
by Francis Hodgson Burnett

This timeless classic is a poignant tale of Mary, a lonely orphaned girl sent to a Yorkshire mansion at the edge of a vast lonely moor. At first, she is frightened by this gloomy place until she meets a local boy, Dickon, who’s earned the trust of the moor’s wild animals, the invalid Colin, an unhappy boy terrified of life, and a mysterious, abandoned garden…

For anyone who has ever felt afraid to live and love, The Secret Garden’s portrayal of reawakening spirits will thrill and rejuvenate. Frances Hodgson Burnett creates characters so strong and distinct, young readers continue to identify with them even 85 years after they were conceived.


Little Women
by Louisa May Alcott

The novel follows the lives of four sisters — Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy March — detailing their passage from childhood to womanhood. Little Women was an immediate commercial and critical success, and readers demanded to know more about the characters. Alcott quickly completed a second volume, entitled Good Wives. It was also successful. The two volumes were issued in 1880 in a single work entitled Little Women. Although Little Women was a novel for girls, it differed notably from the then-current writings for children, especially girls. The novel addressed three major themes: “domesticity, work, and true love, all of them interdependent and each necessary to the achievement of its heroine’s individual identity.”

Little Women is an outstanding achievement of nineteenth-century American literature, and the first children’s novel written in the United States to have become one of the most enduring classic kids books with strong female characters.


The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
by L. Frank Baum

This classic American fairy tale is one of the staples of American literature.The story chronicles the adventures of a young girl named Dorothy Gale in the Land of Oz – after being swept away from her Kansas farm home in a Tornado. Since it’s publication in 1900, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has stimulated the imagination of young and old for generations. Interestingly, the film adaptation didn’t come about until 1939 – a full 39 years since the book was first published! The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is most definitely one of the classic kids books with strong female characters.


Anne of Green Gables
by L. M. Montgomery

“She’ll have to go back.” Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert had decided to adopt an orphan. They wanted a nice sturdy boy to help Matthew with the farm chores. The orphanage sent a girl instead – a mischievous, talkative redhead who the Cuthberts thought would be no use at all. But as soon as Anne arrived at the snug, white farmhouse called Green Gables, she knew she wanted to stay forever. Anne was not like anybody else, everyone at Green Gables agreed; she was special – a girl with an enormous imagination. And the longer Anne stayed, the harder it was for anyone to imagine Green Gables without her.


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