21 Children’s Books With Compelling Girl Leads

Children’s books have long been a vehicle for showing kids who and what they can be. Thanks to classic characters like Beverly Cleary’s Ramona and Beezus and Barbara Park’s Junie B. Jones, little readers have long seen that girls are more than sidekicks and can be just as adventurous as boys.

Over the past decade, a variety of titles have come out starring more girls who are unapologetically feisty, brave and full of spunk. They feature girls who challenge the norm and save the day. And most importantly, they put the spotlight on girls who embrace their differences and forge their own paths.

Here are a handful of these inspiring and fun titles, from picture books to graphic novels to middle grade and young adult reads. Check them out below.