PDA

View Full Version : Stories For Strong Girls



Serpentine
2011-10-29, 05:37 AM
The title's taken from a book I own, Stay True: Short Stories for Strong Girls.

I've been thinking for a while of putting together a list of good books and series for young people. Today, a man came into work at the library looking for a book "like Pippi Longstocking - with a strong female main character". I couldn't really think of many - Tamora Pierce is slightly older than what he was looking for (for a 10 year old), and although I suggested the Winding Circle books anyway they were on loan :smallsigh: I haven't read them, but I mentioned Anne of Green Gables, but he didn't seem too keen on it, and I also suggested Enid Blyton but he vetoed that as not having any good female characters (I don't remember them especially not having them, but it's been a while). So, I told him I'd do some research and see what I could rustle up. And this seems like as good a place as any to start my "books for young people" list.

Sooooo. What are some good children's and young adult fiction (thinking, about ages 8-14) with strong female protaganists? If the library doesn't have them, I'll put in a "recommended purchase" form.

Tamora Pierce is a given.
Stay True is also probably a one.
I have another book of short stories called She's Fantastical, a book of fantasy stories with prominent female characters.
At the older end there's the Tomorrow series and other John Marsden books - for some reason most of his have female main characters, but for the most part they're definitely teenage books.
Deltora Quest might count - 2/3 main characters are male, but the girl is disproportionately competent.

What else is there?

edit:
The Ordinary Princess
The Wizard of Oz?
The Dragon Chronicles by Susan Fletcher


edit mk. 2:
The Official List
A Little Priness, Frances Hodgson Burnett.
Island of the Blue Dolphins, Scott O'Dell
Deltora Quest
Ronia the Robber's Daughter
The Children of Noisy Village, Kajsa Kavat
Enchanted Forest Chronicles
A Series of Unfortunate Events, Lemony Snicket
The Wizard of Oz (esp. after #1)
Mistborn trilogy and Elantris, Brandon Sanderson
Winding Circle series, Tamora Pierce
Old Kingdom trilogy, Garth Nix
Matilda, Roald Dahl
Momo/The Grey Gentlemen, Michael Ende
The Dreaming Place and The Blue Girl, Charles de Lint
The Ordinary Princess
Cry of the Icemark, Stuart Hill
Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling
The Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis
Alice in Wonderland, Alice Through the Looking Glass
Wee Free Men, A Hat Full of Sky, Wintersmith, and I Shall Wear Midnight, Terry Pratchett
The Dragon Chronicles, Susan Fletcher
Howl's Moving Castle, Diana Wynne Jones
Tortall series, Tamora Pierce
Redwall series, Brian Jacques
The Unexpected Dragon, Mary Brown
The Tanaquil Series, Piratica and The Claidi Journals, Tanith Lee
Un Lun Dunn, China Mievelle
Abarat, Clive Barker
Ella Enchanted
The Silver Crown and Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, Robert C. O'Brien
The Girl With The Silver Eyes, Willo Davis Roberts
Nicobobinus, The Knight and the Squire, Terry Jones
A Wrinkle in Time and A Wind In The Door, Madeleine L'Engle
The Menace From Earth, Heinlein
The Last Dragonslayer, Jasper Fforde
Coraline, Neil Gaiman
My Brother Michael, Mary Stewart
Little Women
7 Little Australians
Jerry Was A Man and Friday, Heinlein
Monstrous Regiment, Unseen Academicals, Sourcery and Maskerade, Witches books, Terry Pratchett
Z for Zachariah, Robert C. O'Brien
Animorphs, K.A. Applegate
Graceling and Fire, Kristin Cashore
Earthsea series, Ursula K. Le Guin
A Swift Pure Cry, Soibhan Dowd
The Ship Who Sang, Anne McCaffery
She's Fantastical
Stay True: Short Stories for Strong Girls
Witch Child and Sovay, Celia Rees
The Ship Who Sang, Anne McCaffery
The Blue Sword and The Hero and the Crown, Robin Mckinley
The Banned and the Banished, James Clemens
His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman
Davita's Harp, Chaim Potok
Tanglewreck, Jeanette Winterson
Uglies Trilogy, Scott Westerfield
Leviathan, Scott Westerfeld
The Westing Game, Ellen Raskin
Heralds of Valdemar, Vows & Honour and The Mage Winds, By the Sword, Oathbound Oathbreakers and Oathblood, Mercedes Lackey
Acorna, Anne McCaffery
Chaos Walking Trilogy, Patrick Ness
I, Robot and Robot Dreams, Isaac Asimov
Boneshaker and Dreadnought, Cherie Priest
Crystal Singer series, Anne McCaffery
The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins
Neverwhere, Neil Gaiman
The Deed of Paksenarrion, Elizabeth Moon
Keeping It Real, Justina Robson
Tales of the Otori, Lian Hearn
The Hungry City Chronicles, Phillip Reeve
Dreamsnake, Vonda McIntyre
John Marsden
A Song of Ice and Fire, George R. R. Martin

I'm going to try to put these in rough order of (suitable for) youngest to oldest. Please correct me if I get anything wrong.

Nameless
2011-10-29, 06:19 AM
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. Alice is actually a pretty strong character for such a young person in such a... umm... queer place, to say the least.

Mauve Shirt
2011-10-29, 07:43 AM
The Enchanted Forest Chronicles, perhaps.And Ella Enchanted.
The Oz books, well, Dorothy behaves like a distressed damsel quite a bit in the first one. In the rest, once she adapts a "Yes, this is weird, but it's also cool and about a billion times better than home" attitude, she's about as strong as Alice in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

Cheesegear
2011-10-29, 07:44 AM
The Heralds of Valdemar, Vows & Honour and The Mage Winds by Mercedes Lackey. As well as the standalone By The Sword, although the latter does connect a couple of plots if you read the whole Valdemar series. In fact, with one exception, most of the Valdemar series deals with female characters.

I'm also a fan of Acorna series by Anne McCaffery, I'll also tentatively suggest the first couple of Pern novels by the same.

Serpentine
2011-10-29, 07:47 AM
Oo! I forgot about Ella Enchanted!
I saw a few Enchanted Forest Chronicles at work today. They're good?
I suppose The Ship Who Sang by McCaffery counts, although the titular character is... almost neutered, I guess.

Cheesegear
2011-10-29, 07:49 AM
Does Polgara the Sorceress count? Maybe a bit for older reading...

Mauve Shirt
2011-10-29, 07:57 AM
I saw a few Enchanted Forest Chronicles at work today. They're good?


I loved them when I was young. IIRC, the princess lets herself be captured by a dragon because princessing is quite dull, she befriends the dragons and defeats an evil wizard. She then defeats evil wizards in all of the other books. I read and reread and reread them.

Astrella
2011-10-29, 08:02 AM
Hmm, I read the first two novels in the The Banned and the Banished series, by James Clemens. It features a good amount of strong female characters, including the main character Elena.

The_Snark
2011-10-29, 08:04 AM
I saw a few Enchanted Forest Chronicles at work today. They're good?

They are! They're not too difficult to read, so I wouldn't hesitate recommending them for your library patron's daughter. They're pretty entertaining even if you're above the target age, actually; I first read them as a teenager and was amused. 2 out of 4 feature female protagonists (the point-of-view character shifts between every book). Parodies a lot of classic fairy tale stuff.

Nerzi
2011-10-29, 09:38 AM
Just a few off the top of my head but I might have a look through my old kids books later for more. I agree with the guy though - Enid Blyton is a terrible author to go to for strong female characters. Also her stories are all the same and they weren't that good to begin with.


Nicobobinus by Terry Jones. Pretty awesome and slightly oddball fantasy. The main character is a boy but his best friend Rosie is there throughout the whole story being awesome. Used to be one of my favourite books as a kid. Hard to find now though, might be out of print.

The Knight and the Squire Terry Jones again. Though saying it's a book with a strong female character (she's still not technically the 'main character') actually kind of spoils the ending... Set during the 100 years war and mainly straight historical fiction though a few more fantasy elements creep in too. The Sequel The Lady and the Squire is not as good but still pretty great. Think these might be out of print though.

The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde. Better known as an adult author this is his first childrens book and the first of what looks to be a pretty awesome trilogy (the second The Song of the Quarkbeast came out this week but haven't had time to read it yet). Fantasy (obviously) but modern fantasy and very quirky so might not be to everyone's taste - it's set in the 'Ununited Kingdoms' and the main character (and narrator) is 15 year old orphan Jennifer Strange who manages an employment agency for magicians. Would really recomend this one as Jennifer is a very strong character who repeatedly stands up for herself and for what she believes is right. And unlike Tomora Pierce no big deal is really made of the fact she's female. She just is.

Dexam
2011-10-29, 09:44 AM
Naturally I have to suggest the Tiffany Aching series of Discworld novels from Terry Pratchett: The Wee Free Men, A Hat Full of Sky, Wintersmith, and I Shall Wear Midnight.

Nerzi
2011-10-29, 09:55 AM
Matilda by Roald Dahl.

The Grandmother in The Witches is also pretty badass but unfortunately not the main character.

Traab
2011-10-29, 09:58 AM
The Heralds of Valdemar, Vows & Honour and The Mage Winds by Mercedes Lackey. As well as the standalone By The Sword, although the latter does connect a couple of plots if you read the whole Valdemar series. In fact, with one exception, most of the Valdemar series deals with female characters.

I'm also a fan of Acorna series by Anne McCaffery, I'll also tentatively suggest the first couple of Pern novels by the same.

In addition to these id recommend Oathbound Oathbreakers, and Oathblood. The first two are a series involving two women, a mage and a warrior, going off and doing their own thing. Its got some bad stuff in both their pasts, but they rose above it and became strong. The last one is a collection of short stories that involve those two characters. It jumps around alot in the time line.

Friv
2011-10-29, 10:05 AM
Yes, Tiffany Aching!

Un Lun Dunn by China Mievelle - it was his only foray into teen lit, and it is a roaring success for both youngsters and adults to read.

Also, Flora Segunda was a book that I vaguely recall being good for kids and featuring a kickass girl as a lead. I would probably recommend it for only the more mature people in your requested age range, though, because it can get pretty dark.

Fri
2011-10-29, 10:33 AM
Checking my list of favourite books, here are some of the top one with that criteria.

Momo, or also known as The Thief of Time by Michael Ende (neverending story's author). Still one of my favourite book of all time.

Neil Gaiman's Coraline.

Tales of Desperaux is also one of my favourite book of all time. Though I'm not sure whether the female character fits your idea of 'main character' and/or 'strong.'

I wholly recommend Tiffany Aching's Discworld books as well as Roald Dahl's Matilda.

Clive Barker's Abarat is also good, if somewhat surrealistic in the line of Un Lun Dun.

Well... Un Lun Dun.

Those are what I got on top of my head. I'll post again if I remember more.

Kalinda
2011-10-29, 10:44 AM
Robin Mckinley's The blue sword and the prequel The hero and the crown. are a couple of classics.

Jerthanis
2011-10-29, 10:45 AM
The Blue Sword and The Hero and the Crown are two books by Robin McKinley featuring female leads who do classic fantasy heroic acts throughout their adventures. It's been a long time since I read them, but I read them when I was between 8 and 14 and I recall them having strong female characters.

An Enemy Spy
2011-10-29, 10:52 AM
Tiffany Aching.

Starbuck_II
2011-10-29, 11:46 AM
Dr. Quinn medicine woman books?

Icewalker
2011-10-29, 02:34 PM
Ahaha, oh man, Deltora Quest. That is an excellent choice. Yeah, sure, 2 of the 3 main characters are male, but the girl saves everybody like at least 3 times per book while the other two keep messing up. I remember looking back and finding it almost funny how impressively more competent and heroic she was than like, both other main characters combined. Fun books.

I don't think I know of any viable suggestions to add to your list unfortunately!

H Birchgrove
2011-10-29, 02:41 PM
I only know it from the film, but what would you say about Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones?

Mando Knight
2011-10-29, 03:27 PM
Not sure about the rest of her novels, and I'm not entirely sure what age group they're appropriate for (probably young adult, at least), but Cherie Priest's Boneshaker and Dreadnought are two good novels with strong female leads. And steampunk alternate history with a two-decade-long American Civil War. And zombies. There's a few more she's written since, Ganymede and Clementine, that take place in the same setting, but I haven't read them.

endoperez
2011-10-29, 03:55 PM
I only know it from the film, but what would you say about Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones?

Ah, I knew I was forgetting something!

Diana Wynne Jones in general is awesome. Or was. :smallfrown: I liked Howl's Moving Castle, but I don't remember if she had other books with strong female leads. Well... strong, human female leads. The protagonist of Year of the Griffin is a female griffon. Not a bad book, but the references to the previous book (Dark Lord of Derkholm) might be a tad confusing.

Xondoure
2011-10-29, 07:06 PM
The Wee Free Men, and its sequels are all fantastic books (well, discworld, so yeah.) It follows the story of Tiffany Aching who is one of my personal favorite characters.

Edit: Gah, what I get for not reading all of the submissions. Is it ninja'd if it was already there? I'll go with skimja'd.

Vaynor
2011-10-29, 07:12 PM
The His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman.

Hawriel
2011-10-29, 07:31 PM
A Wrinkle in Time By Madeleine L'Engle.

It's about a young girl whose father, a research scientist for the government has gone missing. I think L'Engle wrote other books with the same family of characters.

I read this is one of the few books I read for the age range your looking for. After Hichhicker I kinda jumped into more adult books.

Star Wars the young Jedi Knights series. It's a cast of characters mostly men. However it has Jaina Solo and Tenel Ka, a girl from Dothomer, two strong female characters.

H Birchgrove
2011-10-29, 07:32 PM
Two controversial entries here: Podkayne of Mars and Friday by Robert A. Heinlein. Probably more for readers who are used to science fiction and/or books "for adults".

JSSheridan
2011-10-29, 07:50 PM
Davita's Harp by Chaim Potok (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Davita%27s_Harp)

It's not my favorite of Potok's novels, but it's the first I read and still good.

Serpentine
2011-10-30, 01:10 AM
Keep 'em coming, folks!

Dhavaer
2011-11-01, 03:37 AM
Graceling and Fire. (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Graceling)

hamishspence
2011-11-01, 03:45 AM
I'd suggest Monstrous Regiment as an addition to the Discworld novels.

pita
2011-11-01, 05:49 AM
I loved Animorphs as a kid, and the main cast is a mixed gender/ethnicity/species group.
Damnit, I still love Animorphs.
It's been 13 years and it's still the single greatest work of literature I've ever read.
NOT NOSTALGIC AT ALL.

llamamushroom
2011-11-01, 06:03 AM
It's probably a bit violent for your exact purpose, but the Mockingjay series (The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay) is fantastic, with a young female protagonist.

My other suggestion is A Series of Unfortunate Events, which I skimmed many years ago and vaguely remember having a female protagonist, but I'm not sure. Is anyone else more familiar with them? Would they be ok for a 10-year-old?

Chambers
2011-11-01, 10:32 PM
I read Leviathan (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leviathan_(Westerfeld_novel)) recently (WWI steampunk for YA readers) and I think the female protaganist would qualify as a strong lead for girls. There are the issues of her having to pretend to be a boy in order to join the Air Force, but she consistently shows that she's intelligent and is able to use her smarts and skills to solve problems on her own.

Serpentine
2011-11-02, 04:25 AM
Updated the list!

Cespenar
2011-11-02, 04:39 AM
Unseen Academicals by Pratchett.

Also Maskerade by Pratchett.

Seriously, the man has to write an uninteresting character still, regardless of gender, age, race, etc.

Although I'm not sure about the "young adult" part, I don't recall any Pratchett book having material that would be unsuitable for younger people.

Dr.Epic
2011-11-02, 04:42 AM
Does Felicia Day in the Guild count? What about Felicia Day in Dragon Age: Redemption?

Serpentine
2011-11-02, 04:51 AM
The character might. But Felicia Day isn't a character.
And Dragon Age certainly doesn't, because 1. it's a game, not a book, and 2. it's rated fricking M or so!

kamikasei
2011-11-02, 05:09 AM
And Dragon Age certainly doesn't, because 1. it's a game, not a book, and 2. it's rated fricking M or so!
Redemption is a web series running on YouTube.

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman might qualify. I can't recall precisely how protagonisty Door is. It does have a definitely-more-main male character, though, so may not do what you're looking for.

Serpentine
2011-11-02, 05:11 AM
Then it still isn't a book *shrug*

I'll wait for a relevancy second on Neverwhere.

llamamushroom
2011-11-02, 06:11 AM
Great as Neverwhere is, I wouldn't recommend it for a 10-year-old. It's a bit darker than I'd say is appropriate (and not dark in the way kids like, which is very different), and (more importantly) isn't written in a style that would be accessible for a young girl, and the constant references to London landmarks would go way over the head of her (I presume - for all I know, she's memorised the tube map).

And, regarding Cespenar's question, while the material might not be inappropriate for young readers, most of the jokes in Pterry novels would go over their heads, so it wouldn't be as enjoyable. For instance, without seeing all the MacBeth (and other Shakespeare) references in Wyrd Sisters (that is the name, right?), it would just be a fairly predictable story that occasionally does weird, inexplicable stuff.

Knaight
2011-11-02, 06:27 AM
Then it still isn't a book *shrug*

I'll wait for a relevancy second on Neverwhere.

They're both web series, and neither could be classified as anything less than R, using the U.S. system. Terrible suggestions really.

You mentioned the Lioness Quartet and The Winding Cicle, but Protector of the Small fits just as well, and I'd argue its written better than The Lioness Quartet was. Other than that, these require verification (I'm really bad at guessing what is appropriate for what ages). Skin Hunger by Kathleen Duey has two main characters, one of whom is female - the rest of the series probably follows suit. The Lions of Al-Rassan by Guy Gavriel Kay is one I'd only reccomend if the person in question reads a bit ahead of their level, it has several main characters, one of whom (in my opinion, the most interesting, and arguably the central character) is female. The Mists of Avalon is worth reading, but that gets filed into the "very mature for her age" and "high level reader" categories.

EDIT: Like a moron, I managed to miss the Mistborn trilogy, which follows a female main character, is a pretty good read, is totally appropriate for ten year olds, and is basically awesome. I also missed Elantris, in which there are three protagonists who get fairly equal screen time, one of whom is female.

Serpentine
2011-11-02, 06:32 AM
Nah, I've just separated the Tamora Pierce ones into Tortall (Lioness, Protector, etc.) and Winding Circle (Winding Circle, Circle Opens, etc.). I think the former has very slightly more mature themes than the latter, so I've already recommended Winding Circle to the customer (it just happened to be on loan :/).
And I agree. I think you can literally see Pierce getting better at writing as you read through all the series.

Knaight
2011-11-02, 06:41 AM
And I agree. I think you can literally see Pierce getting better at writing as you read through all the series.

I agree entirely. Which reminds me, I should reread Protector of the Small, particularly as the 15th century stuff I've been reading recently has pushed it way into the light reading category.

Cespenar
2011-11-02, 08:04 AM
And, regarding Cespenar's question, while the material might not be inappropriate for young readers, most of the jokes in Pterry novels would go over their heads, so it wouldn't be as enjoyable. For instance, without seeing all the MacBeth (and other Shakespeare) references in Wyrd Sisters (that is the name, right?), it would just be a fairly predictable story that occasionally does weird, inexplicable stuff.

A valid point, but the existence of references (which could be picked up by a keen young person, IMHO) could prove intriguing and even further her interest in books, perhaps moving her to the targets of the said references.

But it's not a clear cut thing, just a possibility. Your point is still valid.

Serpentine
2011-11-02, 08:17 AM
Also: Sourcery.
I think 14-15 year olds should be able to manage with Pratchett, even if they don't get everything (I still don't...). I am specifically gathering this list for that customer, but also generally a list of these books for young adults/tweens in general.

Radar
2011-11-02, 09:47 AM
If we're talking Pratchett and if the protagonist doesn't have to young, then there is no stronger female character out in Discworld then Granny Weatherwax - any book in the series, that involves witches should be good. The same goes for Susan Sto Helit (Mort's daughter). There are many more strong female characters in Discworld, but they have most often secondry roles.

No brains
2011-11-02, 11:01 PM
Maybe a little bit above the age group but most of the stuff with Neil Gaiman's Death are nice, IIRC, been years.

I do believe she even has stories that are more specifically for YA.

Traab
2011-11-02, 11:15 PM
Anne Bishop's Black Jewels Trilogy has strong women..... but you wouldnt want to emulate most of them. Its a dark series, lots of pain and horror and torment of the human spirit. To put things in perspective, (and confuse you a bit) one of the best of the good guys, is Saeten SaDiablo, the High Lord of Hell. Yep, ruler of hell, good guy. High priestess of the living lands? Evil. Very very evil. Mind numbingly, horrifyingly, evil. Makes people who eat orphaned puppies while still alive seem saintly.

Dont fret though, there are some strong GOOD women as well. Just takes awhile for them to get there and start being able to help. There is some humor too, but its at the very best only close to the amount of badness. Despite all that I really liked the series. It wasnt a comfortable read, but it was a good one. Plus it was a different setup of rules towards magic than I had ever read before, and the hierarchy was very cool.

*EDIT* Awww shoot. I didnt notice this is for a 10 year old. No way in HELL is this suitable for a 10 year old. The lead antagonists? Their idea of an amusing past time is sitting around drinking tea, eating cookies, and watching a man have his entire bait and tackle slowly removed right in front of them, for no other reason than because they can.

Avilan the Grey
2011-11-03, 12:27 AM
Well being Swedish and all, since you mentioned Pippi: ... Ronia the Robber's Daughter.

Feytalist
2011-11-03, 02:56 AM
Maybe a little bit above the age group but most of the stuff with Neil Gaiman's Death are nice, IIRC, been years.

I do believe she even has stories that are more specifically for YA.

The two I can think of is Death: The High Cost of Living and Death: The Time of Your Life.

It's two graphic novel series, and it is quite dark, both of them. I wouldn't say it's for younger readers. Gaiman's Death is a strong female character, but being one of the Endless might disqualify her. Anthropomorphic personification, and all that.

They are two brilliant stories, nonetheless.

You might be thinking of The Little Endless Storybook, a picture book involving the Endless in chibi form. Whether it's actually marketed for younger readers, I'm not quite sure. Note that Gaiman wasn't actually involved in its writing process.

Hida Reju
2011-11-03, 06:19 AM
Wow a list of strong stories of female leads and no Mention of Honor Harrington?

Well Military SciFi might be a bit old for this crowd but considering you have some of the more mature Mercedes Lackey novels you might want to check it out.

Wiki link (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honor_Harrington)

Check it out.

Partysan
2011-11-03, 06:35 AM
Heh, yeah, Anne Bishop is pretty much adult stuff. But those two trilogies by Trudi Canavan (Age of the Five and Black Magician) should be possible - well maybe not for a 10-year old but for a teen anyway. But I have no idea in hell what to give to a 10-year old, especially since when I was ten I couldn't understand Alice in Wonderland at all, it was just weird and didn't make sense, but it seems like a prominent suggestion here.

Kris on a Stick
2011-11-03, 07:37 AM
What about the Old Kingdom Trilogy (Sabriel, Lirael and Abhorsen) by Garth Nix? Three fantasy books with badass female main characters. Though in the latter two Lirael shares duty with Prince Sam.

Fri
2011-11-03, 07:42 AM
Great as Neverwhere is, I wouldn't recommend it for a 10-year-old. It's a bit darker than I'd say is appropriate (and not dark in the way kids like, which is very different), and (more importantly) isn't written in a style that would be accessible for a young girl, and the constant references to London landmarks would go way over the head of her (I presume - for all I know, she's memorised the tube map).


Indeed, Neverwhere is my favourite book of all time, but I didn't recommend it because it's not really one of neil gaiman's young adult books like coraline.

And anyway, a quick wikipedia search told me that Momo is known in english as The Grey Gentlemen, not the thief of time. Just a quick now, that might give you easier time as a librarian.

Knaight
2011-11-03, 07:50 AM
What about the Old Kingdom Trilogy (Sabriel, Lirael and Abhorsen) by Garth Nix? Three fantasy books with badass female main characters. Though in the latter two Lirael shares duty with Prince Sam.

I've been trying to track these down from vague memories for years. Thank you for bringing them up. They are absolutely appropriate for young children, and I quite liked them when I read them (age 8 or thereabouts).

Partysan
2011-11-03, 08:12 AM
Going back into literature aimed at children, the Redwall saga has a share of strong female characters and I think it's pretty nice overall. Not high literature but as a kid I loved it dearly.

Shadow of the Sun
2011-11-03, 08:37 AM
I'll agree with Partysan. While there aren't exactly a lot of Redwall books where a female is the main character, pretty much every good female character shown is a strong character, either emotionally, martially, or both.

Some would say the books are a bit violent, what with impalements and sword-swinging and the like, but I started readin' 'em at the age of 8 and I'm, well...mostly normal.

H Birchgrove
2011-11-03, 08:43 AM
Well being Swedish and all, since you mentioned Pippi: ... Ronia the Robber's Daughter.

Good call. Also (though may not be in English translations):

Kajsa Kavat

Most Beloved Sister

In English translation: The Children of Noisy Village

Morph Bark
2011-11-03, 12:32 PM
If you count Deltora Quest, I don't suppose you'd count the Harry Potter series? Hermione often does a lot of the work after all, and she's often cited as a strong female character and inspiration to young girls.

Traab
2011-11-03, 12:46 PM
If you count Deltora Quest, I don't suppose you'd count the Harry Potter series? Hermione often does a lot of the work after all, and she's often cited as a strong female character and inspiration to young girls.

I dunno, she starts off as an authority worshiping bibliophile who is more worried about getting into trouble than about getting killed. Its been awhile since I read the books themselves, but doesnt she basically stay the level headed worrywart of the group? Im trying to think of times when she truly kicked ass and took names, but can only think of that one time she pimp slapped draco in school.

Morph Bark
2011-11-03, 01:09 PM
I dunno, she starts off as an authority worshiping bibliophile who is more worried about getting into trouble than about getting killed. Its been awhile since I read the books themselves, but doesnt she basically stay the level headed worrywart of the group? Im trying to think of times when she truly kicked ass and took names, but can only think of that one time she pimp slapped draco in school.

In the first two books she barely does anything "badass" I suppose, but is that a requirement for being a strong female character?

In book three and from book five onwards she's much more frontline, though battle-wise Harry of course still has her beat (though I think she has one up on Ron later on).

Either way, I was mostly going off the apparent general perception of the character and how a book with 2 main male characters and one main female character counts, so I figured it might count too.

bluewind95
2011-11-03, 03:25 PM
Oh, goodness. Someone that is NOT me mentioned Acorna!? Wow!

Anyways, for children? "A Little Princess". I always liked that one. Another one that's fairly obscure would be "The Girl with the Silver Eyes" and I think "Heidi" is also a classic where the protagonist is a fairly strong girl.

Knaight
2011-11-03, 07:51 PM
I'll agree with Partysan. While there aren't exactly a lot of Redwall books where a female is the main character, pretty much every good female character shown is a strong character, either emotionally, martially, or both.

There are a decent amount, and these include some of the best of the series.

Feytalist
2011-11-04, 02:32 AM
The Redwall series is also specifically intended for younger readers, so it's a definite good choice.

Another Anne McCaffrey series that could be mentioned is the Crystal Singer trilogy. I think it's more of a "young adult" series, but nevertheless quite good.

Sunken Valley
2011-11-04, 06:09 AM
A swift pure cry by Soibhan Dowd. That is all.

Also Chaos Walking Trilogy and Tales of the Otori have good female Protagonists, if you don't mind them sharing screen time with the guys.

Xondoure
2011-11-04, 12:39 PM
A swift pure cry by Soibhan Dowd. That is all.

Also Chaos Walking Trilogy and Tales of the Otori have good female Protagonists, if you don't mind them sharing screen time with the guys.

Tales of the Otori loses a bit of its cred when its so strongly tied to historical japanese gender roles. The women are portrayed as people trapped within societies expectations but its still not a very strong example in my opinion.

Sunken Valley
2011-11-04, 02:55 PM
Tales of the Otori loses a bit of its cred when its so strongly tied to historical japanese gender roles. The women are portrayed as people trapped within societies expectations but its still not a very strong example in my opinion.

Tell that to Shizuka Xondoure, I dare you. But it makes a change of pace from the other stories here. Besides it's called stories for strong girls. Kaede becomes a great diplomancer in a man's world. Although, ignore Harsh Cry of the Heron (book 4). If it was more popular, it would probably become a trope codifier for "it got worse". 15 years after book 3 (in universe) and it got worse.

More books!
Tanglewreck by Jeanette Winterson
Anything by Justina Robson (Keeping it real), Anne Aguirre and Celia Rees (witch child, Sovay).

Hope your typing these down Serpy, I'm on a roll.

pita
2011-11-04, 03:54 PM
My other suggestion is A Series of Unfortunate Events, which I skimmed many years ago and vaguely remember having a female protagonist, but I'm not sure. Is anyone else more familiar with them? Would they be ok for a 10-year-old?

The three protagonists of A Series of Unfortunate Events are a girl, a boy, and a baby whose gender I don't remember, but it's most definitely a baby. It's more than suitable for a 10 year old, but it is kind of bleak, and the ending isn't one of the best ones out there.

Mistborn is a bit of a weird rec. The author is Mormon, and as such avoids all mentions of sex and profanity, and violence is somewhat dialed back, but it's more than a 10 year old's level unless the 10 year old has exceptional reading skills (Not impossible, I know more than enough people who read LOTR when they were 10, myself included. It's more difficult than Mistborn by far). But it has a very strong, very awesome female protagonist, and it's a lot of fun.

Traab
2011-11-04, 08:06 PM
A wrinkle in time, and a wind in the door both involve a strong female main character. Madeleine L'Engle is the author. The books are part of a decent sized series that spins off in odd directions, but its a well written young adult set of novels.

Serpentine
2011-11-04, 08:17 PM
Updated the list and printing it off for the library, but please feel free to keep 'em coming.

TheThan
2011-11-04, 08:18 PM
How about the Nancy drew Mysteries (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nancy_Drew) series. I didn't see it on the official list. Its been in print for a long time and age appropriate to boot.

Xondoure
2011-11-04, 10:57 PM
Tell that to Shizuka Xondoure, I dare you. But it makes a change of pace from the other stories here. Besides it's called stories for strong girls. Kaede becomes a great diplomancer in a man's world. Although, ignore Harsh Cry of the Heron (book 4). If it was more popular, it would probably become a trope codifier for "it got worse". 15 years after book 3 (in universe) and it got worse.

More books!
Tanglewreck by Jeanette Winterson
Anything by Justina Robson (Keeping it real), Anne Aguirre and Celia Rees (witch child, Sovay).

Hope your typing these down Serpy, I'm on a roll.

Again not saying it doesn't have strong female characters, just that the attitudes in a lot of the books towards women may not be the best exposure for a ten year old. Plus if memory doesn't fail me it had its share of explicit content violence and sex wise.

Sunken Valley
2011-11-05, 06:56 AM
Serpy, Chaos Walking is by Patrick Ness! And Witch Child is by Celia Rees!

Serpentine
2011-11-05, 08:00 AM
Well, maybe you should've said so... I'll fix it later.

Hazzardevil
2011-11-05, 08:52 AM
The Deeds of paksenarrion. (I will almost definitively have spelt that wrong) Has a strong female lead, but it does mention rape, some violence in a lot of detail and a chapter of the lead being tortured.

H Birchgrove
2011-11-05, 10:48 AM
Has Ursula K. Guin written a story with a female protagonist? :smallconfused:

Isaac Asimov's I, Robot and Robot Dreams collections have robopsychologist Susan Calvin.

Serpentine
2011-11-06, 12:50 AM
There, updated again.

Mr.Bookworm
2011-11-06, 01:07 AM
The Hungry City Chronicles by Phillip Reeve (four books, the first one is Mortal Engines) are excellent and have several strong female protagonists.

They are listed as children's fiction in the United States, as far as I know (I've found them twice, both times in the kid's section at a library), and whoever decided that hadn't actually read the books, or just wanted to mentally scar some young kids.

They're set in a vaguely steampunk (with some more straight sci-fi elements) post-apocalyptic world where cities sit on giant tracks, moving around the landscape, literally eating other cities (this is called municipal darwinism) to gain parts and manpower.

The first book starts out soooooort of okay, with hints of grimness, then you get to the end of Mortal Engines when a city of millions is completely annihilated, and it's a bit of a grimfest from there on out.

In tone, mind you. The books are fantastic. Just very dark. I'd say they're suitable for 12+ (they have some fairly explicit violence, some heavily implied sex, and lots of horrifying things happen).

Brewdude
2011-11-06, 03:09 AM
Oh lets not forget Heinlein's "the menace from Earth."

Melayl
2011-11-06, 09:22 AM
Thanks for compiling this list, Serpentine! My oldest daughter is about the same age, and into fantasy novels (thank goodness). I'll be looking into many of those listed. From the perspective of someone who has read pretty much all of Mercedes Lackey's works, I'd definitely put them on the "young adult" end of things at least -- heavy on the "13" portion of PG-13. Her Elemental Masters series may be more PG, though.

I'm afraid I can't contribute any novels to the list -- you've pretty much covered any and all that I know of, plus a great many more.

Sunken Valley
2011-11-06, 09:41 AM
Serpentine

You might want to bump Keeping it Real up higher on the list. Has very adult themes.

Chaos walking you might want to lower. It has slavery, sexism, segregation, torture, war, racism, genocide and implied rape, but it's not as bad as Hunger Games. Likewise, Celia Rees goes a lot lower. Witch Child is about Salem Witch hunts and Sovay is about 1790s England and eventually becomes a French Revolution story.

In other News, Uglies trilogy by Scott Westerfield

Serpentine
2011-11-06, 09:54 AM
Great. Thanks guys. I'll fix it later.
Melayl: I hope it's helpful for you! I kinda wanna push Robert C. O'Brien, dude needs more love. Z for Zachariah is only highish up the list because of darkish themes (it's about the supposed last person alive after a nuclear holocaust...) and a bit of violence and threatened (not actual) rape. The other two should be fine for lower ages - and you can get the animated film Mrs Fisby and the Rats of NIMH (they changed the name...). I haven't read his fourth book.

H Birchgrove
2011-11-06, 10:08 AM
Oh lets not forget Heinlein's "the menace from Earth."

Seems like a great story!

On that note: I liked the short story "Jerry Was a Man" ("http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerry_Was_a_Man) which happens to be in the collection Assignment in Eternity ("http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assignment_in_Eternity). (I read it in the Swedish SF magazine NOVA though.)

Traab
2011-11-06, 10:29 AM
About His Dark Materials. I just want to say, it was an awesome series, but the religious overtones are so psychotically heavy handed, even I, a person who misses every subtle commentary in a book, was choking on it.

Serpentine
2011-11-06, 07:37 PM
Seems like a great story!

On that note: I liked the short story "Jerry Was a Man" ("http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerry_Was_a_Man) which happens to be in the collection Assignment in Eternity ("http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assignment_in_Eternity). (I read it in the Swedish SF magazine NOVA though.)Wait... Don't forget these are meant to have strong female protaganists. Do either of Heinlein's?

H Birchgrove
2011-11-06, 09:23 PM
Wait... Don't forget these are meant to have strong female protaganists. Do either of Heinlein's?

Yes both do. Brewdude's example is more fitting genre and age wise (the story is a reconstruction of the romance story, with a strong female teen protagonist), but I like the point made in my example. (The female protagonist in it is adult, possibly middle-aged, and rich. Still awesome though.)

I note that Friday and the other Heinlein novel I mentioned didn't pass your scrutiny. Friday was, if that sort of thing is interesting, a homage to Uhura in Star Trek. (Stupid book covers always lie.) Still, more for the somewhat older readers.

AslanCross
2011-11-08, 10:19 PM
The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin.

zeratul
2011-11-09, 06:53 PM
Not kid friendly at all but if the person is a teenager I'd reccomend the A Song of Ice and Fire Series. With Arya, Daenerys, Asha, Brienne, Melisendre, and various others it's probably the series with the most strong female characters of any that I've read.


For more kid friendly fair I'd recommend Narnia for sure since it has Susan and Lucy who fit the bill as well as a female main antagonist in a few of the books. Lord of the Rings might be a good one too since even though it's generally pretty male centric you have Galadriel and Eowyn who are both extremely strong female characters, as well as Luthien if you feel like going all the way back to the silmarilion.

Serpentine
2011-11-10, 12:51 AM
Updated.

Lord of the Rings is not even close.

AtlanteanTroll
2011-11-10, 01:14 AM
To Kill a Mockingbird. Not kid friendly at all of course.

Knaight
2011-11-10, 01:18 AM
To Kill a Mockingbird. Not kid friendly at all of course.
Its usually assigned in ninth grade or so in the U.S. school system, so it should be fine. Its a bit depressing though.

AtlanteanTroll
2011-11-10, 01:39 AM
Its usually assigned in ninth grade or so in the U.S. school system, so it should be fine. Its a bit depressing though.

I wouldn't call a 14/15 year old a child ... Also, isn't Serp looking for stuff suited to 10 year olds?

Serpentine
2011-11-10, 04:53 AM
For that specific customer, about 10 years old, yeah. But I want to make this a broader list, around 8-15.

Knaight
2011-11-10, 07:33 AM
I wouldn't call a 14/15 year old a child ... Also, isn't Serp looking for stuff suited to 10 year olds?

Ah. Allow me to clarify.

It is usually assigned around 9th grade in the U.S. The U.S. school system is a joke, and most people are probably several levels ahead in reading and such when they are reading what they actually want to read. As such, I figure something assigned to 9th graders can totally be read by people ages 9 to 10 who has reading as a hobby.

Xondoure
2011-11-10, 12:42 PM
Ah. Allow me to clarify.

It is usually assigned around 9th grade in the U.S. The U.S. school system is a joke, and most people are probably several levels ahead in reading and such when they are reading what they actually want to read. As such, I figure something assigned to 9th graders can totally be read by people ages 9 to 10 who has reading as a hobby.

Yeah reading in public schools tends to be targeted towards the worst readers in the age demographic, especially pre highschool and 9th to 10th grade. Not that the books are bad, but they aren't always very demanding and most are kept to a certain level of inoffensive material.

Mando Knight
2011-11-10, 01:45 PM
Yeah reading in public schools tends to be targeted towards the worst readers in the age demographic, especially pre highschool and 9th to 10th grade. Not that the books are bad, but they aren't always very demanding and most are kept to a certain level of inoffensive material.
Another affirmative here... and my high school was a private one. In my case, the school still had us complete book reports my first two years (from a list of books, rather than having a specific one assigned). Nearly all of the books fell into two categories: ones I had already read, or ones that were way longer and/or drier than I had any intention of reading (Les Miserables, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and a few others...).

...Though I enjoyed To Kill a Mockingbird, which was one of the few exceptions to the main categories. If a 9-10 year old girl has a good sense of nerves and sensibility about her (like a properly adventurous girl should), she won't have problems with it.

Knaight
2011-11-10, 01:54 PM
...Though I enjoyed To Kill a Mockingbird, which was one of the few exceptions to the main categories. If a 9-10 year old girl has a good sense of nerves and sensibility about her (like a properly adventurous girl should), she won't have problems with it.

Its quite good, but it could be assigned earlier.

Dragor
2011-11-10, 10:06 PM
Cry of the Icemark (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cry_of_the_Icemark) by Stuart Hill? Thirrin Freer Strong-In-The-Arm Lindenshield is a thirteen year old Viking warlord, essentially. When I was a young teen reading this, there was serious nothing cooler.

Plus snow leopards. And werewolves. And vampires. And pseudo-Romans.

(It's most definitely in the early-teen lit category, if not earlier, but certainly an enjoyable read. Plus, the guy is from my hometown and worked at my Waterstones. :smallsmile:)

KingofMadCows
2011-11-11, 01:28 AM
Batgirl, specifically the Cassandra Cain collected editions.

Batgirl: Silent Running
Batgirl: A Knight Alone
Batgirl: Death Wish
Batgirl: Fists of Fury
Robin/Batgirl: Fresh Blood
Batgirl: Kicking Assassins
Batgirl: Destruction's Daughter

Velaryon
2011-11-11, 02:47 AM
It's been a very long time since I read it, but I think The Unexpected Dragon trilogy by Mary Brown (available as an omnibus under that name, or as three separate books called Pigs Don't Fly, Master of Many Treasures, and Dragonne's Eg) qualifies. The main character Summer starts off as not particularly strong, and with severe self-confidence issues, but grows throughout the series.

The only hitch is that the book begins with the line "My mother was the village whore and I loved her very much," so it might not be suitable for really young kids. The book isn't graphic in any way as far as I can remember, and the mother ceases to play much of a role after the first couple chapters, but even the mention of such a thing might be a sticking point for some people.

Slinkyboy
2011-11-11, 02:46 PM
Thanks for updating/maintaining this list, Serpentine.

I've been thinking about it for a while, and I've come up with some additions.

Tanith Lee has written several YA novels with female protagonists, most of whom I would call strong. Specifically:

The Tanaquil Series
Black Unicorn
Gold Unicorn
Red Unicorn

Piratica
Piratica: Being a Daring Tale of Girl's Adventure upon the High Seas
Return to Parrot Island
The Family Sea

and
The Claidi Journals
Wolf Tower
Wolf Star
Wolf Queen
Wolf Wing

I think some of Charles de Lint's Newford novels would also be appropriate. Specifically:

The Dreaming Place
The Blue Girl

Seeing The Girl with the Silver Eyes on the list made me think of Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell. Seems to me I read both of those when I was about 9 or 10 and thought they were great. Right around the same time I was reading Enid Blyton in fact. I think that was pretty good suggestion, Serpentine, and just because this particular patron rejected it, that doesn't mean she shouldn't be included.

And now this post is officially waaaaay longer than I intended, so let me add just one more, then I will quietly resume lurking.

Vonda McIntyre's Dreamsnake. This book won both the Hugo and Nebula award, and I vaguely recall reading somewhere that it was pretty controversial at the time just because the female protagonist didn't sit around waiting to get rescued by a man. Itís not written to a YA audience, but I donít remember anything in it being particularly inappropriate for younger readers. Anyone else read this that might remember better?

AtlanteanTroll
2011-11-11, 03:29 PM
Ah. Allow me to clarify.

It is usually assigned around 9th grade in the U.S. The U.S. school system is a joke, and most people are probably several levels ahead in reading and such when they are reading what they actually want to read. As such, I figure something assigned to 9th graders can totally be read by people ages 9 to 10 who has reading as a hobby.

/is American. :smallannoyed:

Knaight
2011-11-12, 12:55 AM
/is American. :smallannoyed:

So am I. That doesn't mean that books are assigned to people well after the point where they could easily read them.

Fri
2011-11-12, 07:08 AM
Just noticed the 'age level' of your list. In my opinion, Momo should be waaaay higher, higher than harry potter at least, since it's written in a 'fairy tale' style, completely inoffensive (not even a single act of violence!), and the protagonist is really young.

I also remember another book. The Conch Bearer by Chitra Banarjee Divakaruni. The main character is male, but he has a resoruceful female partner of some sort, you know the type. Dunno if this is close enough.

AtlanteanTroll
2011-11-13, 11:03 AM
So am I. That doesn't mean that books are assigned to people well after the point where they could easily read them.

You think a 9 year old can handle TKAM? Really? It's about rape and murder. What the Hell, man.

Serpentine
2011-11-20, 09:05 PM
Updated and printed off. I worked out which ones the library already has - most of them, fortunately - and ordered the rest. Don't expect all of them getting bought (especially not, say, all the Animorphs books), but I think a fair few should. My colleague is going to put the list on the library website or something.

Thanks a lot for your help, everyone! I declare this a success!

Maxios
2011-11-20, 09:10 PM
To Kill a Mockingbird. Not kid friendly at all of course.

I read that at the age of eleven.

H Birchgrove
2011-11-20, 10:40 PM
Well done Serpentine!

BTW:
This is relevant to fans of Pippi Longstocking and Astrid Lindgren. (http://www.thelocal.de/society/20111108-38739.html)

Feytalist
2011-11-21, 03:57 AM
This is a good list. And handy, too. Worth keeping around, I reckon.

Perhaps also worth updating again every so often?

Serpentine
2011-11-21, 04:44 AM
Sure, I'll keep updating it if people keep suggesting things.

pita
2011-11-24, 07:54 PM
A really sick and sadistic part of me wants to offer Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence, but I think I should go to sleep and tell you NEVER LISTEN TO ME AGAIN

Surfing HalfOrc
2011-11-24, 08:02 PM
I'll add in my favorites: The Bloody Jack (Jacky Faber) series by L. A. Meyer.

H Birchgrove
2011-11-25, 01:15 AM
The Moomin books by Tove Jansson, especially the short story collection Tales from Moominvalley. "The Invisible Child" is very relevant to young children.

bluewind95
2011-11-25, 06:41 PM
Oh! I just remembered one. The Moorchild. It's a story where a girl changeling is the main character, and she is indeed emotionally very strong. It's really a very nice book.

AtlanteanTroll
2011-11-26, 12:55 AM
I read that at the age of eleven.
I have no doubt an 11 year old could handle the writing, it's the bloody content.

---

The Webmanga Angeldevil (http://angeldevilmanga.deviantart.com/) by Grace Ogawa. Good for ages 12+, maybe a bit younger. I can't recall any particular gore, but I may be forgetting something.

KnightDisciple
2011-11-26, 02:52 AM
At first I thought this suggestion was at the edge of the age range.

Then I saw Song of Ice and Fire on the list (talk about kid-unfriendly :smallyuk:).

So, yeah.

I think the Honor Harrington series by David Weber is an excellent "strong female character" story. Honor is very much shown as a strong (but not totally flawless) heroine who does in fact go through struggles, but endures and thrives. She's respected and feared (depending on who you ask).
The series is sci-fi, does have some politics in it (so if you disagree notably with the author's views, it may be problematic), tends to have a lot of technical information here and there, and is long. Still, I've enjoyed all of them, and find it a rather solid series in the end.

Artemis97
2011-11-26, 03:22 AM
I remember a book series from when I was younger, called the Royal Diaries. They're all historical fiction, written in the form of diaries of powerful women through history, as they were young girls. I remember reading one about Cleopatra, and another about a princess in either China or Korea who would grow up to build an observatory. That story in particular would be good to give a girl interest in astronomy, and any of them would be good for fostering interest in history, as well as giving strong rolemodels. The ones I read, I definately liked, and I think they'll fit the age range you're looking for pretty well. They all have gold-colored spines, too, so they should be easy to spot in the bookstore.

There was another series in a similar vein, not royal figures, but more diaries from history aimed at a younger audience. I think we had to read one about a girl from the Plymouth colony in school. If I can find it, I'll edit it in.

Edit: I found the one I read, and the series is called Dear America. So, you're going to just get American history there. But the Royal Diaries have quite an international spread.

Knaight
2011-11-26, 04:38 AM
I have no doubt an 11 year old could handle the writing, it's the bloody content.

I think you underestimate children. Plenty of them see some very ugly things up close and personal, and not just in a book, and even those who see the very ugly things up close and personal are usually not permanently traumatized by it or anything. TKAM won't be a fun read necessarily, but it isn't as if it is going to damage children, or spoil their innocence or anything. Most everyone who can read it can handle it.

Serpentine
2011-11-26, 05:36 AM
At first I thought this suggestion was at the edge of the age range.

Then I saw Song of Ice and Fire on the list (talk about kid-unfriendly :smallyuk:).It's way up at the upper end of the list. As in, "15 year olds should be able to handle it".

pendell
2011-11-29, 08:34 PM
Check out the "Young Wizards" series by Diane Duane, starting with "So you want to be a wizard". The latest installment is "A wizard of Mars".

The main protagonist is Juanita Callahan, female and the major player. She does have a male sidekick -- Kit Rodriguez -- but she is front row center for most of the novels and is the person who usually saves the day. Bonus points in that Diane Duane is a science fiction author also, and so the "magic" of the Young Wizards universe is very well thought out. It's quite close to the "hard fantasy" of Heinlein's Glory Road.

ETA: Also, for SF strong female leads, check out David Weber's "Honor Harrington" series , starting with "On Basilisk Station". The protagonist is female and is a quite effective military commander in the mold of Horatio Hornblower.

Respectfully,

Brian P.

Maxios
2011-11-29, 08:41 PM
I have no doubt an 11 year old could handle the writing, it's the bloody content.

---

The Webmanga Angeldevil (http://angeldevilmanga.deviantart.com/) by Grace Ogawa. Good for ages 12+, maybe a bit younger. I can't recall any particular gore, but I may be forgetting something.

It's a matter of maturity. I fully understood everything that happened in the book, and I turned out fine. Really, people nowadays think that every kid is the picture of innocence; and have no concept of mature themes :smallannoyed:. At the age of seven, my grandfather went into cardiac arrest in front of me. And trust me, that was worse then ANYTHING in To Kill a Mockingbird.

Knaight
2011-11-29, 11:40 PM
Check out the "Young Wizards" series by Diane Duane, starting with "So you want to be a wizard". The latest installment is "A wizard of Mars".

I can verify the quality of these. They did a lot right, though I was younger when I read them.