Good Reads for Girls Ready to Lead

We've rounded up a selection of books for girls to ignite their leadership ambitions and introduce them to civic engagement, government, activism, and more. 

 


Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Immigrant Women Who Changed the World | Elena Favilli 

Packed with 100 bedtime stories about the lives of 100 extraordinary immigrant women from the past and present, Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Immigrant Women Who Changed the World recognizes those who left their homeland to seek refuge, to realize their dreams, and to share their invaluable contributions with the world. Readers will fight climate change with Xiye Bastida-Patrick, captain a cricket team with Lisa Sthalekar, strategize global affairs alongside Madeleine Albright, launch a music, beauty, and fashion career with Rihanna, and much more. All of the stories are accompanied by gorgeous, full-page, full-color portraits, illustrated by female artists from all over the globe. Order this book


Girl CEO | Katherine Ellison and Ronnie Cohen

A brilliant book with mini-biographies of leading women entrepreneurs - from Oprah, Diane Furstenberg, Venus Williams, Sheryl Sandberg and more! This empowering read offer unique insight into what it takes to succeed, with a particular focus on the challenges faced (and overcome) by girls and women. Each success story provides different lessons in life and leadership. Order this book.


Marley Dias gets it Done: And So Can You! | Marley Dias

In this accessible "keep-it-real" guide, Marley explores activism, social justice, volunteerism, equity and inclusion, and using social media for good. Drawing from her experience, Marley shows kids how they can galvanize their strengths to make positive changes in their communities, while getting support from parents, teachers, and friends to turn dreams into reality. Focusing on the importance of literacy and diversity, Marley offers suggestions on book selection and delivers hands-on strategies for becoming a lifelong reader. Order this book.


Leah Goes to Washington | Leah Roddenberry

Leah Roddenberry, an IGNITE alumna and Miss Tampa 2020, wrote a children’s book to inspire young girls to get civically engaged. The book follows the title character, Leah, a young girl who aspires to become President of the United States, on her journey within her local community, all the way to Washington D.C. to meet the President. Download this book from Leah’s website.


No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference  | Greta Thunberg

The history-making, ground-breaking speeches of Greta Thunberg, the young activist who has become the voice of a generation'Everything needs to change. And it has to start today' In August 2018 a fifteen-year-old Swedish girl, Greta Thunberg, decided not to go to school one day. Her actions ended up sparking a global movement for action against the climate crisis, inspiring millions of pupils to go on strike for our planet, forcing governments to listen, and earning her a Nobel Peace Prize nomination.This book brings you Greta in her own words, for the first time. Collecting her speeches that have made history across Europe, from the UN to mass street protests, No One Is Too Small to Make A Difference is a rallying cry for why we must all wake up and fight to protect the living planet, no matter how powerless we feel. Our future depends upon it. Order this book.


Grace for President | Kelly DiPucchio 

"Where are the girls?" When Grace's teacher reveals that the United States has never had a female president, Grace decides she wants to be the nation's first and immediately jumpstarts her political career by running in her school's mock election! The race is tougher than she expected: her popular opponent declares that he's the "best man for the job" and seems to have captured the votes of all of the class's boys. But Grace is more determined than ever. Even if she can't be the best man for the job, she can certainly try to be the best person! Order this book.


Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History | Vashti Harrison

This beautifully illustrated New York Times bestseller introduces readers of all ages to 40 women who changed the world. An important book for all ages, Little Leaders educates and inspires as it relates true stories of forty trailblazing black women in American history. Illuminating text paired with irresistible illustrations bring to life both iconic and lesser-known female figures of Black history such as abolitionist Sojourner Truth, pilot Bessie Coleman, chemist Alice Ball, politician Shirley Chisholm, mathematician Katherine Johnson, poet Maya Angelou, and filmmaker Julie Dash. Order this book


Sonia Sotomayor: A Judge Grows in the Bronx | Jonah Winter

The inspiring and timely story of Sonia Sotomayor, who rose up from a childhood of poverty and prejudice to become the first Latino to be nominated to the US Supreme Court. Before Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor took her seat in our nation's highest court, she was just a little girl in the South Bronx. Justice Sotomayor didn't have a lot growing up, but she had what she needed -- her mother's love, a will to learn, and her own determination. With bravery she became the person she wanted to be. With hard work she succeeded. With little sunlight and only a modest plot from which to grow, Justice Sotomayor bloomed for the whole world to see. Order this book.


I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark | Debbie Levy

Get to know celebrated Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg—in the first picture book about her life—as she proves that disagreeing does not make you disagreeable! Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has spent a lifetime disagreeing: disagreeing with inequality, arguing against unfair treatment, and standing up for what’s right for people everywhere. This biographical picture book about the Notorious RBG, tells the justice’s story through the lens of her many famous dissents, or disagreements. Order this book


Hillary Rodham Clinton: Some Girls Are Born to Lead | Michelle Markel

In the 1950s, it was a man’s world. Girls weren’t supposed to act smart, tough, or ambitious. Even though, deep inside, they may have felt that way. And then along came Hillary. Brave, brilliant, and unstoppable, she was out to change the world. They said a woman couldn’t be a mother and a lawyer. Hillary was both. They said a woman shouldn’t be too strong or too smart. Hillary was fearlessly herself. It didn’t matter what people said—she was born to lead. Order this book.


Lillian's Right to Vote: A Celebration of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 | Jonah Winter

An elderly African American woman, en route to vote, remembers her family’s tumultuous voting history in this picture book publishing in time for the fiftieth anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. As Lillian, a one-hundred-year-old African American woman, makes a “long haul up a steep hill” to her polling place, she sees more than trees and sky—she sees her family’s history. She sees the passage of the Fifteenth Amendment and her great-grandfather voting for the first time. She sees her parents trying to register to vote. And she sees herself marching in a protest from Selma to Montgomery. Veteran bestselling picture-book author Jonah Winter and Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award winner Shane W. Evans vividly recall America’s battle for civil rights in this lyrical, poignant account of one woman’s fierce determination to make it up the hill and make her voice heard. Order this book.


Shaking Things Up: 14 Young Women Who Changed the World | Susan Hood 

This nonfiction picture book is an excellent choice to share during homeschooling, in particular for children ages 4 to 6. It’s a fun way to learn to read and as a supplement for activity books for children. Fresh, accessible, and inspiring, Shaking Things Up introduces fourteen revolutionary young women—each paired with a noteworthy female artist—to the next generation of activists, trail-blazers, and rabble-rousers. Order this book.


Sofia Valdez, Future Prez | Andrea Beaty 

Every morning, Abuelo walks Sofia to school . . . until one day, when Abuelo hurts his ankle at a local landfill and he can no longer do so. Sofia (aka Sofi) misses her Abuelo and wonders what she can do about the dangerous Mount Trashmore. Then she gets an idea—the town can turn the slimy mess into a park! She brainstorms and plans and finally works up the courage to go to City Hall—only to be told by a clerk that she can’t build a park because she’s just a kid! Sofia is down but not out, and she sets out to prove what one kid can do. Order this book.