Girl Power Book List
Anita begged her parents to let her go to the local school as one of the only girl students. They finally agreed, but after 5 years, school fees became too expensive and they were not able to pay anymore. So at just 10 years old, Anita decided she would raise money for her own school fees by tutoring other students. A few years later, her family found themselves in debt, so Anita learned how to be a beekeeper to make more money! Now Anita is 20 years old and paying her own college tuition. She’s training other girls to be beekeepers too, and now that her story has been broadcast across India, millions of girls are being inspired by Anita.
Being a girl of the world is not easy, and it’s especially hard if you’re growing up in a developing nation. Girls can’t give back to their communities if they can’t become doctors, political leaders, business owners, artists, writers, television producers, engineers, architects, teachers, librarians, beekeepers. . . the list goes on and on. And most importantly, girls are people, too! They deserve the same opportunity for a good life as everybody else. Today’s Kid Power post is about girls who overcame hardships and changed the world in their own way. Here are some books to inspire you to make a difference:
by Pam Munoz Ryan
Esperanza thought she’d always live with her family on their ranch in Mexico; she’d always have fancy dresses and servants. But a sudden tragedy forces Esperanza and Mama to flee to California during the Great Depression, and to settle in a camp for Mexican farm workers. Esperanza isn’t ready for the hard labor, but when their new life is threatened, Esperanza must find a way to rise above her circumstances.
by Mitali Perkins
10-year-old Naima is desperate to earn money for her family, both to save her mother’s golden bangle, and to fix her father’s rickshaw which she accidentally ruined. Her talent as a painter is no use and she doesn’t know what to do, until she meets an unusual repair shop owner.
by Gloria Whelan
Like many girls her age in India, 13-year-old-Koly is getting married. Full of hope and courage, she leaves home—forever. But in a grim turn of events Koly finds herself cast out into a current of cruel tradition. Her future, it would seem, is lost. Yet this rare young woman, bewildered and brave, sets out to forge her own exceptional future.
Words in the Dust
by Trent Reedy
Zulaikha hopes for peace, a good relationship with her stepmother, and one day even to go to school, or to have her cleft palate fixed. Then the Americans come to the village, promising opportunities and even surgery to fix her face. These changes could mean a whole new life for Zulaikha – but can she dare to hope they’ll come true?
by Barbara Greenwood
At the dingy, overcrowded Acme Garment Factory, Emily Watson stands for 11 hours a day clipping threads from blouses. Every time the boss passes, he shouts at her to snip faster. But if Emily snips too fast, she could ruin the garment and be docked pay. If she works too slowly, she will be fired. She desperately needs this job. Without the 4 dollars a week it brings, her family will starve. When a reporter arrives, determined to expose the terrible conditions in the factory, Emily finds herself caught between the desperate immigrant girls with whom she works and the hope of change. Then tragedy strikes, and Emily must decide where her loyalties lie.