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13 Feminist Books That Are Raising The Next Generation Of Feminists

Lindsay Tigar  |  October 19, 2022

From board books for babies to inspiring reads for pre-teens, these are the books that speak to us as women and nurture our inner voices.

Whether you’re raising a daughter or you’re a godmother or aunt or friend to a girl, we know you feel the drive to change their future for the better. And you hope they have more choices, better equality and the right to be whoever they want to be. If you have the funds to donate to a worthy cause that benefits young girls, that’s great. But if you want something more personalized for the little gal in your life, consider these activist books that send the right message, loud and clear. 

‘She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World’ by Chelsea Clinton

When you’re building your child’s collection of best-sellers, this one has to make the cut. It’s written by Chelsea Clinton, the daughter of the 42nd president of the United States, Bill, and the 2020 Democratic nominee, Hilary. In this page-turner, Chelsea details the fascinating stories of determined women who paved the road for other females, including Oprah Winfrey, Nellie Bly, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and many others.

‘I Am a Warrior Goddess’ by Jennifer Adams 

There are big ways to make ripples in the world, and then there are the everyday choices that make our lives happier. This book inspires girls to believe in themselves, even when they’re going to school and playing at home. As you go through these beautifully illustrated pages, the protagonist celebrates kindness, her body, the planet, her friends, her pets — and everything around her. 

‘I Am Enough’ by Grace Byers 

Even if you’re well into your 20s, 30s, 40s — and beyond — you’ve likely had (many) moments where you didn’t feel like you measured up. Maybe because expectations were too high or you were too hard on yourself, but we all feel less-than at times. Written by activist and actor Grace Byers, this book reminds young girls that their self-esteem matters, and yes, they are enough.

‘Rosie Revere, Engineer’ by Andrea Beaty

In the tech world — especially engineering — there is a wide gap between men and women. We need more female engineers, and this book sets out to inspire math lovers from the very beginning. In this book,. Rosie is a master inventor with a big imagination, but she doesn’t share her passion with anyone else for fear of failure. That is until her Great-Great-Aunt Rose (aka, Rosie the Riveter) teaches her the important lesson of keepin’ on, even when it’s hard. 

‘Shaking Things Up: 14 Young Women Who Changed the World Hardcover’ by Susan Hood  

This book of poetry is meant for older readers, and it magically weaves the tales of girls who accomplished miraculous feats. Like, six-year-old Ruby Bridges, who fought against segregation during the Civil Rights era or 13-year-old Mary Anning, who found a prehistoric fossil. In addition to these inspiring stories, this book features the artwork of award-winning artists from Emily Winfield Martin and Julie Morstad to Erin Robinson and more. 

‘The Paper Bag Princess’ by Robert Munsch

You might recognize this best-selling alternative fairytale if you’re a kid of the 1980s and 90s. As the story goes (spoiler!) Princess Elizabeth has been destined to marry Prince Roland… but, well, he’s not exactly her type. After being kidnapped by a mean dragon, she saves him, but he isn’t grateful for her effort. So what does she do? She dumps him since, hey, she has bigger adventures planned for herself than just marriage.

‘Little Feminist’ by Yelena Moroz Alpert 

For the smallest babe in your life, this Mudpuppy book can be an introduction to game-changing women. Young eyes will be drawn to the vibrant colors and enjoy the sound of your voice narrating the stories of Harriet Tubman, Jane Goodall, Josephine Baker, Maya Angelou and more. 

‘Kamala and Maya’s Big Idea’ by Meena Harris

Meena, the young author of this book, is the niece of current vice president Kamala Harris and the CEO of the Phenomenal Woman Action Campaign. This book records history-in-the-making, discussing historic firsts made by Kamala with Meena by her side. Part-fiction, part-non-fiction, it’s a fun way to teach girls about modern political history for females.

‘A Is for Activist’ by Innosanto Nagara

While a baby can’t read quite yet and they may not understand stories, this is an ABC book they can grow up to understand and cherish. In it, they will learn all about why it’s important to stand up for what they believe, for humanity and for equality. Young babes will learn that ‘A is for Activist’, and ‘B is for Banner Waving in the Sky’ — and other empowering messages, all the way to letter Z. 

‘Extraordinary Women with Cameras: 35 Photographers Who Changed How We See the World’ by Darcy Reed

Do you have a little gal who loves taking photos? Who dreams of going on safari or photographing the rich and famous? Gift her this inspiring book that shares the work and stories of female photographers who have captured everything from adorable babies to world wars and beyond. It also features photography terms, so it serves as an education, too. 

‘Pippi Longstocking’ by Astrid Lindgren

You might not have thought initially of Pippi Longstocking as a feminist, but isn’t she one of the OGs? She focuses on what she wants, she doesn’t let other people stand her way, she has a leg up on most adults in her life, and never gives up. We say that’s a role model for any gal these days.

‘I Like Myself!’ by Karen Beaumont

While we may all battle not feeling our best at times, the more we can remind younger generations to like themselves, the more we’ll set them up for a lifetime of happiness. This aptly named book illustrates in robust dialogue and pretty illustrations why loving the skin you’re in is so vital. 

‘Dear Girl, A Celebration of Wonderful, Smart, Beautiful You!’ by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Paris Rosenthal

Written by a mother-daughter duo, this is a sweet gift to give to your little gal (or niece). It aims to remind young women (and girls) they are unique, valuable, powerful, curious, kind and beautiful. It’s a keepsake to treasure for years to come.


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