Hello! I've had quite a couple of days here. So far I'm happy with the set-up for my final semester at BYU-Idaho, so that's good. I also have been provisionally accepted to grad school through San Jose State's online Library Science program, pending my final undergrad grades, and I was interviewed for the Ch1Con Blog Tour on Christina's blog yesterday!
Now, welcome back to Top Ten Tuesday, a book blog tag hosted by The Broke and the Bookish! This is the topic last week that I missed: Top Ten Books That All _____ Should Read. Teen girls have to deal with a lot in their lives, and they deserve to be lifted up and supported. As such, I'm sharing ten books that Teen Girls should read for encouragement and inspiration.
1) Shut Out by Kody Keplinger. Kody does amazing work with witty, feminist, and sexually progressive stories. This one in particular I highly recommend for all girls because it addresses issues of sex, relationships, and feminism in a wonderfully open and empowering way. Whether you believe in refraining until marriage, as I do, or are totally free with sex, this book encourages you to be comfortable with yourself and trust in your choices. I wish I'd read this book when I was younger, because I totes needed it.
2) Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. Rainbow became an instant phenomenon as an author, and this hyper-realistic book shows why: the story of a (basically Harry Potter) fangirl with anxiety trying to find her place as a freshman in college. I couldn't read it at first because it hit too painfully close to home, but I gave it a second go and, like so many others, loved it. A great book to help girls feel more comfortable just being themselves.
3) Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. This award-winning novel is highly recommended for its portrayal of a teen girl struggling with the trauma of sexual assault. A vitally important topic addressed properly.
4) The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart. This book basically is feminism. It had me seeing in a new way how incredibly stacked society is against the success and happiness of girls. Intelligent and funny insights through the eyes of a teen girl attending a co-ed boarding school that encourages teen girls everywhere to stand up for themselves and not back down.
5) Dumplin' by Julie Murphy. This book is all about body positivity, which is an important subset of feminism--accepting and loving ourselves and our bodies as they are, rather than giving in to society's insistence that all women fit its standards. Plus, it's really fun and sweet!
6) Girls Like Us by Gail Giles. An intersectional book, as they say in the social justice world, this portrays the struggle of two neuroatypical girls in their adjustment to independent life as young adults. A vital and beautiful read, I think, in its depiction of how sexism and ableism colliding can create even more terrible results than either alone. This is a bit of an unusual pick, but as a disability rights activist, I believe all teen girls should have a keener understanding of these concepts.
7) Eon by Allison Goodman. Feminism meets high fantasy in this book about a young girl who has spent years pretending to be a boy in the hopes of becoming one of the powerful Dragoneyes of her kingdom--and how she learns to embrace her femininity, thus changing the status of women in her society. Super empowering choice.
8) Enchanted by Alethea Kontis. In this series, Alethea mashes together various fairytales in a clever, original way. Her books are full of strong and unique female characters who take destiny into their own hands, and I know it makes me feel empowered. Plus, these books are so much fun. They are smile-worthy.
9) A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle. This book did wonders by breaking into the male-dominated world of sci-fi with a story about a bookish teen girl exploring the universe in an attempt to save her family, a book which then, against the odds, became a classic. A++.
10) The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Katniss does fall into the Strong Female Character trope, and that can be damaging. I plan on writing more about that sometime. But she's not a stereotype, and that's the beauty of her--she's a traditionally strong female character who changes the world around her while being incredibly human, sometimes fragile, and at times, flat-out wrong about things. The most important thing writers can do for women is portray them as properly complex and human, and Suzanne does that. Plus, come on. It's the Hunger Games.
Also see: my post recommending various YA books featuring strong female characters, many of whom fall outside the trope in their form of "strength."
Thanks for reading, guys. I hope you check these out, and add any others you'd recommend in the comments! I'll see you tomorrow.
Image via ya-aholic.com.
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