While Women’s History Month has come and gone, it’s never a bad time to learn more about the women who have helped change the world and empower the next generation of young female minds.

With some suggestions from our friends at Central Arkansas Library System, we’ve come up with a few must-reads for girls (and guys!) of all ages.

Tameka Lee at CALS helped compile this list of recommendations from the youth staff at the library. The selections range from fictional tales to stories of inspiring historical role models, with plenty of variety to choose from.

Click on the book titles below and discover which locations of CALS currently have the books on the shelves!

Let the summer reading begin!

“The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate”
by Jacqueline Kelly

Best for: Teens interested in feminism and naturalism.

In central Texas in 1899, 11-year-old Callie Vee Tate is instructed to be a lady by her mother, learns about love from the older three of her six brothers, and studies the natural world with her grandfather, the latter of which leads to an important discovery. The book is a magical dive into one young girl’s coming-of-age story.

“Pippi Longstocking”
by Astrid Lindgren

Best for: Young kids who like imaginative stories.

Dive into this classic story of one lucky little girl’s adventures with a horse and a monkey and no grown-ups at the edge of a Swedish village. This funny and delightful tale of Pippi’s independent spirit is one kids will ask for again and again.

“When Marian Sang”
by Pam Muñoz Ryan

Best for: Young kids with short attention spans (the illustrations will keep them engaged).

This book serves as an introduction to the life of Marian Anderson, extraordinary singer and civil rights activist, who was the first African American to perform at the Metropolitan Opera. This incredible and true story is filled with beautiful illustrations by Brian Selznick.

“Brave Girl”
by Michelle Markel

Best for: Young kids ages 4-8.

“Brave Girl” tells the true story of Clara Lemlich, a young Ukrainian immigrant who led the largest strike of women workers in U.S. history. This picture book follows the experience of immigrants in America in the early 1900s, tackling topics like activism and the U.S. garment industry in an easy-to-read format.

by Nikki Giovanni

Best for: Young kids ages 4-8.

Years after her refusal to give up her seat on a city bus, Rosa Parks is still one of the most important figures in the American civil rights movement. Kids will enjoy following along in this retelling of Rosa’s story with Bryan Collier’s beautiful cut-paper images.

“The Paper Bag Princess”
by Robert N. Munsch

Best for: Young kids ages 2-7.

This bestselling modern classic flips the typical fairy tale format by having the princess rescue a (rather snooty) prince. This book is often praised for its wonderful message of empowerment for girls, but that doesn’t mean boys won’t love it, too.

“100 Women Who Made History”*
by Stella Caldwell, Clare Hibbert, Andrew Mills and Rona Skene

Best for: Youngsters ages 10 and up.

This book covers awesome women who have helped change history across the globe. The inspiring book is broken up into easy-to-digest sections making it ideal for mid-elementary to middle-school aged kids.

“Strong Is the New Pretty”
by Kate T. Parker

Best for: Young kids ages 3-9.

“Strong Is the New Pretty” takes a look into the power and strength girls find when they are truly themselves. The big book contains stunning photography and short captions, which makes it a perfect bedtime story.

*Currently unavailable in Central Arkansas Library System.