Looking for encouragement and inspiration for a special girl (or woman!) in your life? Check out this list of 25 empowering books for girls!
From preschoolers to young girls, tweens to teens, on up to grown women, you’ll be sure to find plenty of inspiring titles here!
by Eva Chen & Derek Desierto
An alphabet board book for little ones, this A, B, C compilation highlights influential females who have positively impacted our world. Amelia Earhart, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Tina Turner are just a few of the 25 women featured.
A fun way to introduce dynamic women to little ones!
by Isabel Sanchez Vegara
Another collection of board books with such fantastic illustrations! This particular set includes Maya Angelou, Marie Curie, Frida Kahlo, Coco Chanel, and Amelia Earhart.
Truly a diverse and creative collection of women!
by Vashti Harrison
This nonfiction picture book highlights the incredible achievements of 36 amazing women.
Some of these women are well known, while others are less familiar or even unknown to many people. I really appreciate the inclusion of these lesser-known but equally important women. Each individual has a biography and portrait dedicated to her life and contributions.
Includes a list of 18 other incredible women and additional resources worth checking out!
by Misty Copeland and Christopher Myers
In this inspiring picture book, ballerina Misty Copeland tells the story of a young girl, lacking in confidence and doubting her ability to achieve her goals and aspirations. Misty encourages her to continue working hard and believing in herself to eventually reach her dreams.
For older girls, check out Misty’s memoir Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina (young readers edition) and for teens, the original version.
by Grace Byers & Keturah A. Bobo
This books is ideal for elementary school ages. As a child, Grace Byers was bullied and this has instilled in her a passion for uplifting girls who are struggling to feel adequate. This book explores the importance of accepting yourself and loving who you are, including the things that make you different.
An empowering book for all girls.
by Patrick McDonnell
What can I say, Jane Goodall has been one of my personal heroes since college. So of course I had to include her on this list!
This lovely picture book tells Jane’s story. From a young girl growing up to the time spent in Africa, and her continued work as an environmentalist and animal activist, we learn about her important life’s work and purpose.
A heartwarming and compassionate book about one of the planet’s greatest champions.
by Jess Keating & Marta Alvarez Miguens
An eye-opening and inspiring book about Eugenie Clark, (a.k.a. “Shark Lady”). Eugenie loved sharks from the moment she first saw them. But she soon realized that many people feared and hated sharks.
She decided to learn everything she could about sharks and devoted her life to educating people about their importance and beauty. During her lifetime, she became a highly revered marine biologist and marine conservationist.
An inspiring glimpse into the scientific and environmental contributions made by a remarkable woman.
by Francesca Cavallo & Elena Favili
This compilation includes stories about scientists, painters, engineers, judges, artists… and it also includes portraits by female artists from around the world.
Just like the title suggests, this is a great book to have on hand for meaningful bed time stories!
by Katherine Halligan & Sarah Walsh
An awesome compilation celebrating the achievements of fifty amazing women who left their mark on history… (HERstory!)
In this inspiring book, we learn about the childhoods, challenges, and achievements of each of these women.
Packed with the stories of dynamic and influential women.
by Rachel Ignotofsky
This beautifully illustrated book highlights fifty women athletes from the 1800s to the present day.
Including Olympians and record-breakers in more than forty sports, well-known women athletes are highlighted but lesser-known champions are included as well.
The book also contains information including a timeline of women’s participation in sports, pay and media statistics, and muscle anatomy.
A celebration of incredible women athletes who have achieved greatness in their sports.
by Rachel Ignotofsky
This edition by Rachel Ignotofsky highlights the scientific contributions of fifty remarkable women, including technology, engineering, mathematics, and the variety of sciences.
In addition to gorgeous artwork, details about lab equipment, the current rates of women working in STEM fields, and an illustrated scientific glossary are also included.
A celebration of the female scientists who have paved the way for the next generation.
by Rachel Ignotofsky
Alright, this is the last Rachel Ignotofsky recommendation, I promise! But, Women in Art!?! Of course, I have to include this one too!
This collection explores fifty artists from well-known women but also women many of us have never heard of.
Also included is information about artistic movements throughout history, statistics about women’s representation in museums, and other important works by women.
A gorgeous book exploring the creativity and accomplishments of female artists.
by Alexandra & Scott Eidens
I LOVE Big Life Journal and whole-heartedly support this awesome company! And while this was created for both girls AND boys, it’s definitely a powerful resource for girls.
Back in 2017, founder Alexandra Eidens and her husband Scott, launched a Kickstarter project with the hopes of raising enough money to create the first edition of Big Life Journals.
Their mission was to create a journal for kids, incorporating stories, creativity, suggested projects, and imagination, which would help to empower kids, encourage a growth mindset, and build resilience and self-esteem.
I remember hearing about it from a fellow homeschool blogger and I immediately wanted to help support their project. It sounded like something I could 100% support! So I donated and once enough funding was raised and the journals were created, I received two copies for each of my children.
And they are fantastic!
A powerful way to instill growth mindset and confidence in girls!
by Michaela DePrince & Elaine DePrince
This memoir is ideal for tweens and up.
While ballerina Michaela DePrince isn’t quite as well known as Misty Copeland, she is a talented and internationally recognized professional ballerina with a truly remarkable story.
As an orphan in West Africa, she was ostracized and tormented due to a skin condition she had. As bleak as her life was, she one day discovered a picture of a ballerina in pointe shoes that captured her imagination and was to become her lifelong inspiration.
At four years old, Michaela was adopted by an American family. Her adopted family supported her love of dancing and she went on to become an accomplished ballerina, eventually becoming professional.
An emotional and inspiring memoir!
by Malala Yousafzai with contributions by Patricia McCormick
This is the Young Readers Edition, ideal for tweens. For teens, be sure to check out the original edition.
When Malala Yousafzai was ten, the Taliban took control of her region in Pakistan. They inflicted terrorism, demanding that girls be denied an education and removing the rights of women.
But Malala fought for her right to be educated and as a result, was eventually shot in the face by the Taliban, while riding the bus on her way home from school.
Despite the odds, Malala survived. She is now an international role model advocating for education for girls worldwide. She is also the youngest person to ever win the Nobel Peace Prize.
Full of hope, inspiration, and purpose, this is a must-read!
by Sonya Renee Taylor & Bianca I. Laureano
This is an ideal book for upper elementary age and tweens.
There is no doubt that puberty can be a scary and unsettling time for girls. This book provides answers to common questions and concerns, from providing an overview of physical changes to explaining fluctuations in mood and relationships,
Including plenty of easy-to-understand and accurate medical information, this book provides support and encouragement for girls everywhere.
An excellent companion as girls begin to have questions about puberty.
by Valorie Schaefer & Josee Masse
This was a “go-to” book for my daughter when she was younger and I’d recommend it for younger tweens (approximately ages 8-10).
Packed with illustrations, tips, how-to’s, and medical facts from experts, a wide range of relevant topics are addressed. From periods, pimples, bras, hair care, and nutrition, “tough” topics are handled with dignity and compassion.
There is also a version for older girls, The Care and Keeping of You 2 which I also highly recommend!
by Dr. Lynda Madison and Josee Masse
Recommended for tweens, this is an excellent introduction to all of the changes that puberty brings.
Explaining the power of hormones and the intensity of feelings, the information helps in understanding complex emotions and offering tools for how to manage them in positive ways.
An empowering way to receive education on emotions and learn how to manage them!
19. The Confidence Code for Girls: Taking Risks, Messing Up, and Becoming Your Amazingly Imperfect, Totally Powerful Self
by Katty Kay, Claire Shipman, JillEllyn Riley, and Nan Lawson
This is a fantastic books for tweens and teens!
While girls have opportunities like never before and are achieving at incredible rates, they are still often plagued with doubt and insecurities.
From worrying about how they look to how they are being perceived, tween and teen girls still have a lot of challenges they must learn to navigate.
Referencing cutting-edge science and research, and introducing proven methods of behavioral change, information is presented in fun and practical ways.
Graphic novel strips, fun lists, quizzes, and true stories based on the lives of real girls, are all included in order to encourage girls to embrace risk, deal with failure, and know how to be true to themselves.
You may also want to check out, The Confidence Code for Girls Journal – a great companion to the book!
by Greta Thunberg
Greta Thunberg has certainly made a huge impact in a relatively short amount of time. She is an incredible leader and role model and this is a great book for tweens and teens!
Reflecting on Greta’s decision back in 2018 to skip school in order to protest the climate crisis, her activism ignited a global movement and earned her a Nobel Peace Prize nomination.
This book includes a collection of her inspiring and unifying speeches, as well as her historic address to the United Nations,
A powerful testament to the influence one person can have and a critical call to action as we fight for the future of our planet.
by Reshma Saujani
Another empowering book, excellent for teens!
Inspired by her popular TED Talk, Reshma Saujani, urges girls and women to embrace imperfection and live a more authentic life. She is the founder and CEO of Girls Who Code and has great practical tools to help foster growth and fulfillment.
Females worldwide find themselves living with the fear of not being good enough and the terror of making mistakes. Unrealistic expectations, people-pleasing, and insecurities keep girls and women stuck in a vicious cycle of doubt and paralysis.
And this makes sense because as girls, we are often taught to be quiet, polite, cautious, and modest. Unfortunately, this often leads to loss of ambition, low self-esteem, and fear.
But there is another way! This book points us in the direction of choosing bravery over perfection.
With simple but powerful practices and opportunities to grow bravery, tools are provided for females to live lives of joy and purpose!
by Melinda Gates
An excellent read for teens and adults, this eye-opening book provides examples from Melinda’s travels around the world and her encounters with women.
In addition to powerful personal stories, she presents data that points to the issues that need to be addressed most urgently. Things like child marriage, lack of access to contraceptives, and gender inequality in the workforce are dire obstacles to the safety and empowerment of women.
This is what has become clear to Melinda: In order to lift a society up, we must stop keeping women down!
As she introduces us to remarkable women and shows the power of connecting with one another, we realize how many opportunities we have to change the world – one woman at a time.
An incredible testament to the power of lifting women up!
by Michelle Obama
Fantastic for teens and women – I love this woman and I love this book!
In Michelle Obama’s memoir, she takes us on a journey through her life with all of the highs and lows, achievements and disappointments. She describes her childhood growing up on the south side of Chicago, takes us through her years as a professional executive, shows us the challenges and joys of motherhood, and offers us a window into seeing what life was like as First Lady.
And while learning about her life’s details is fascinating enough, the true gift of this book is experiencing her authenticity, sense of humor, compassion, and work ethic.
A powerful and uplifting memoir from a woman who is a true gift to the world.
by Nicholas D. Kristof & Sheryl WuDunn
I’m recommending this for teens and adults, especially because the subject matter is often heavy and dark, (although the message is ultimately one of action and hope!).
Pulitzer Prize winners Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn take us on a journey through Africa and Asia where we’re introduced to women suffering from inequality and poverty.
Tragically, throughout much of the world, girls and women are the greatest untapped economic resource. Through the examples in this book, we’re shown how educating, supporting, and encouraging females is the best way for us to strengthen economies worldwide and fight both poverty and injustice.
The book provides clear examples of how people across the globe have helped empower women as well as actions we can take to do our part.
by Marie Forleo
Another recommendation for teens and adults as some mature content is discussed.
“Everything is Figureoutable” is simply put, a remarkable mantra to use each and every day!
Marie Forleo, host of MarieTV and The Marie Forleo Podcast, offers clear instructions and encouragement for how to live a life of creativity, optimism, and growth.
This book emphasizes the importance of mindset and the willingness to believe that we can achieve our dreams as long as we’re willing to work hard and stay the course!
A must-read for practical advice infused with plenty of compassion, humor, and sass!
I hope that some of these 25 book suggestions have resonated with you, as you search for empowering books for the girls in your life!
Also, if you’d like ideas for how to celebrate the women in your life and those you admire, be sure to check out the post, 10 Ways to Celebrate Women’s History Month!
And if you have any other titles to add, please let me know in the comments below!