Top Ten Girl Power Books: Picture Books & Early Readers

Princess Elizabeth

from The Paper Bag Princess written by Robert Munsch, illustrated by Michael Martchenko

Elizabeth is no ordinary princess. Munsch takes a simple quest tale and turns it on its head. The dragon destroys the castle and carries off Prince Ronald! It is up to Princess Elizabeth to rescue him, which she does with humor and wit.


from Here Come the Girl Scouts! written by Shana Corey, illustrated by Hadley Hooper

Juliette Gordon Low, Daisy, saw that boys were getting more opportunities than young girls, so she decided she wanted to give young girls the chance to have the same adventures that young men had and nothing was going to get in her way. This was the birth of Girl Scouts which has lasted over 100 years and still allows young ladies to have adventures and make a difference.

Jane Goodall

from Me…Jane written and illustrated by Patrick McDonnell

Jane Goodall is a pioneer in primatology, anthropology and ethology and all of it started when she was a young girl and dreamed of a life of helping animals like her stuffed chimp Jubilee.


from Babymouse: Cupcake Tycoon (and many others) written by Jennifer L. Holm, illustrated by Matthew Holm

Babymouse won’t let anything get in her way for getting what she wants.  Although there are times that Babymouse can be self-centered and sometimes makes bad choices, she always ends up doing what is right including saving the library.

Marty McGuire

from Marty McGuire and Marty McGuire Digs Worms! written by Kate Messner, illustrated by Brian Floca

Marty would rather play Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey with her friend Annie or try to catch frogs than pretend to be a princess. Marty is a strong, independent, funny, smart young woman who I wish I’d been friends with when I was younger.

Jennet MacKenzie

from Tam Lin written by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Charles Mikolaycak

Feisty Jennet MacKenzie knows no fear. She sets out to save her ancestral home from the Queen of the Faeries, and finds and rescues her true love along the way.

Velma Gratch

from Velma Gratch and the Way Cool Butterfly written by Alan Madison, illustrated by Kevin Hawkes

Velma is the youngest of the Gratch sisters but she wants to be known for who she is apart from her older sisters. Finally, on a trip to the butterfly garden, she discovers that by being herself, she’ll discover a way to stand out.

Molly Lou Melon

from Stand Tall  Molly Lou Melon written by Patty Lovell, illustrated David Catrow

Molly Lou Melon is proud of her quirky self until she moves to a new town and a new school and has to contend with Ronald Durkin. With the memory of her grandmother’s words in mind, Molly Lou Melon doesn’t let Ronald Durkin shake her.


From Fancy Nancy: Nancy Clancy, Super Sleuth (and many others) written by Jane O’Connor, illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser

Nancy is determined to take everything in her world and make it fancy – she adds tiaras and glitter and anything sparkly to her wardrobe. She knows who she is and with the help of her family, can do anything she sets her mind to – even solve mysteries!


from the Magic Tree House: Pirates Past Noon (and many others) written by Mary Pope Osborne, illustrated by Sal Murdocca

Jack and Annie are a  brother and sister duo who are sent on adventures into the past and future. Annie is the impetuous, adventurous soul; dragging her bookish brother into and out of countless scraps.

Kellee Moye teaches middle school reading in Orlando, FL, Jennifer Vincent is a national board certified teacher in Illinois and Maria Selske is an elementary gifted resource teacher in Pennsylvania.  Both Jen and Kellee blog at Teach Mentor Texts and Maria blogs at Maria’s Melange.  This blog post came along because we all kept finding great girl protagonists and we wanted to share our favorites.