This week, as summer starts in earnest, I would like to offer up some great books for your daughters’ summer reading. The Girls Leadership Book Club is, in my opinion, the go-to resource for finding empowering, age-appropriate reads for your girls. I highly recommend you join their Facebook group to get their fall 2018-2019 school year recommendations when they come out.
This list is from their recommendations for the last school year by age group. My daughter has read several on their middle school list and loved them. I’m sure you will too.
Who knows, maybe you’ll be inspired to form a book club of your own!
Have a wonderful and fulfilling summer and I’ll be back in August.
GRADES 2 & 3
Year of the Book by Andrea Cheng – 4th grader Anna finds it easier to connect with characters in books than with real-life friends. As she pushes herself to think of others, she finds her sense empathy and connections deepening.
Babymouse by Jennifer Holm and Matthew Holm – A graphic novel about a glamour-loving mouse who is eager to be invited to the popular girl’s slumber party.
Make Way for Dyamonde Daniel by Nikki Grimes – Dyamonde Daniel approaches her new school with unsinkable optimism and confidence.
The Great Cake Mystery by Alexander McCall Smith – When a classmate is accused of stealing, Precious Ramotswe senses that something isn’t right, and concocts a plan to find the real thief.
Lola Levine Is Not Mean! by Monica Brown – When Lola accidentally kicks her friend during a soccer game, she gets a reputation for being mean. She makes amends, but she also shows that being competitive is not the same thing as being mean.
Magnificent Mya Tibbs: Spirit Week Showdown by Crystal Allen – Mya can’t wait for Spirit Week, but things go wrong when she’s partnered with the school bully instead of her best friend.
GRADES 4 & 5
Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan – Amina wants things to stay the same – in her family, and in her friendships. She certainly doesn’t want her friend to take on an American name and invite new girls into their comfortable routine.
Gaby Lost and Found by Angela Cervantes – When Gaby’s mother is deported to Honduras, the 11-year-old has never felt more alone. Through a service project at an animal shelter, Gaby learns about finding home and family.
The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich – Through many changes and struggles, Omakayas finds comfort and constancy in nature. This character has a lovely balance between self-sufficiency and connectedness with those around her.
The Blossoming Universe of Violet Diamond by Brenda Woods – Bi-racial Violet always took after her dad but, after he passed away, she doesn’t quite know where she belongs. She conspires to meet her father’s family, hoping to discover herself by getting to know her relations.
First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Perez – 12-year-old Malù is trying to figure out where she belongs, whether it’s with her Mexican mom or the kids at her new middle school. As she tries to figure it out, she follows the first rule of punk: Always be yourself.
Stella By Starlight by Sharon Draper – This historical novel follows Stella, a young girl who discovers KKK activity in her segregated Southern town. Her community defends itself while continuing to fight for equality and, all the while, Stella works toward her ambition of becoming a writer.
GRADES 6, 7 & 8
Awkward by Svetlana Chmakova – A graphic novel about a girl trying to make friends at a new school.
Full Cicada Moon by Marilyn Hilton – This historical novel in verse tells the story of middle-schooler Mimi. Half-Japanese, half-black, and obsessed with going to the moon, Mimi struggles to find acceptance at her new school.
Habibi by Naomi Shibab Nye – Liyana isn’t terribly excited to move to Palestine, but her father is determined that his wife and children get to know his culture. She deals with culture shock, having to figure out how she can belong in her new home and stay true to herself.
Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson – A young slave named Isabel is sold to a New York couple, despite having been promised her freedom by her deceased master. She becomes a spy for the American Revolution.
The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz – Joan escapes grueling life on a farm to find work with a wealthy Jewish family in Baltimore. Life at the Rosenbachs’ opens the naive, romantic Joan’s eyes to new experiences. The reader gets to know Joan’s passions and fears through the diary format of this historical novel.
Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith – This historical novel tells the story of Ida Mae Jones, a young black woman who uses her light skin to pass for white, in order to be a pilot in World War II.