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Books with a female lead character

Discussion in 'Primary' started by purplehands, Dec 14, 2010.

  1. I was looking for a new book to read to my class yesterday and decided that I wanted something that appealed to both girls and boys (so things like adventure/fantasy/comedy) but that had a female lead as all the books we've read so far have had males. Well I seriously struggled! Fortunately I came across Mr Stink by David Walliams which fits the bill perfectly, but when I thought about it I could only think of these:
    Matilda - Roald Dahl
    His Dark Materials and The Firework Maker's Daughter - Philip Pullman
    Famous Five - Enid Blyton
    And that was about it! I'm sure there must by more, so does anyone has any suggestions to add to my list for future reference?
     
  2. I was looking for a new book to read to my class yesterday and decided that I wanted something that appealed to both girls and boys (so things like adventure/fantasy/comedy) but that had a female lead as all the books we've read so far have had males. Well I seriously struggled! Fortunately I came across Mr Stink by David Walliams which fits the bill perfectly, but when I thought about it I could only think of these:
    Matilda - Roald Dahl
    His Dark Materials and The Firework Maker's Daughter - Philip Pullman
    Famous Five - Enid Blyton
    And that was about it! I'm sure there must by more, so does anyone has any suggestions to add to my list for future reference?
     
  3. Turbulent term of Tyke Tyler by Gene Kemp. It's good because of the twist at the end.
     
  4. rouseau22

    rouseau22 New commenter

    Garth Nix's Sabriel, Lirael and Abhorsen trilogy are brilliant. The lead is a female but there are a few really good male characters too. Check if it's suitable for your age range tho. But if Philip Pullmans suitable, then this should be.
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sabriel-Garth-Nix/dp/0007137311/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1292346541&sr=1-1
    If it isnt, read it yourself, its really good!
    Coraline by Neil Gaiman is good, bit spook but not too scary at all. Its not too long either.
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Coraline-Neil-Gaiman/dp/0747597308/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1292346779&sr=1-1

    There's a book called poison by Chris Wooding that's pretty good too. It's dark, but fun. and not too
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Poison-Chris-Wooding/dp/0439982456/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1292346480&sr=8-1
    I read Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce when I was younger. I's also really good, fantasy/adventure.
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Magic-Point-Fantasy-Tamora-Pierce/dp/0590551795/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1292346633&sr=1-3-spell

    Some of the Redwall books by Brian Jaques have a female lead, and dont forget Mrs Frisby and the Rats of Nimh.
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Frisby-Rats-NIMH-Puffin-Books/dp/0140307257/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1292346853&sr=1-1
    Theres the film Secret of Nimh too, so u can watch it afterwards and compare!
    Alice in Wonderland! Very current too!
    Ill try to think of some more for you! x
     
  5. I love that book. But if you do decide to read it to the class make sure you've read it yourself first because it strongly influences how you discuss the book with the children.
     
  6. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    "Heidi" - Johanna Spyri
    "Anne of Green Gables" - Lucy Maud Montgomery
    "Pollyanna" - Eleanor H. Porter
    "Little Women" - Louisa May Alcott
    etc.,
    etc.,
     
  7. maximum ride
     
  8. E Nesbit has some pretty feisty female characters. And there's Holly Short in the Artemis Fowl series.
     
  9. Some good suggestions that I've never heard of here, particularly like the look of Tike Tyler. I think one of things I was thinking that it's pretty sad in this day and age that most 'gender neutral' books actually have male lead characters, and so to have a female one is unusual or relegates it to being a 'girls' book. I have to say that I looked at Nomads list and instantly thought that they were 'girls' books, not exactly sure why but I can't imagine any of my boys sitting down to read them!
     
  10. inq

    inq

    Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys series.
     
  11. rouseau22

    rouseau22 New commenter

    Tyke Tyler! I was read that by my teacher when I was in year 1. Went straight over our heads that the twist was that she was a girl, but we liked it.
    Most of the books I suggested are High Adventure and have either a dark or spooky element (except WIld Magic which is closer to trad fantasy) and would certainly keep the boys on board.
    How old are your class?
     
  12. rouseau22

    rouseau22 New commenter

    -- most of them were written this decade too!
     
  13. Gloriousness

    Gloriousness New commenter

    Adolphus Tipps by Michael Morpurgo. It's got a girl as a lead but is set in WW2 so the kids absolutely love it. My class always really enjoy it
     
  14. rouseau22 I liked your suggestions, particularly the fact that they are modern. They are Year 5 but lots of EAL and SEN so I need to keep it fairly simple. I just feel it's sad that comparatively speaking there are so few!
     
  15. Gratzia

    Gratzia New commenter

    Journey to the River Sea by Iva Ibbotson. My class loved it. Links with the Amazon.
     
  16. rouseau22

    rouseau22 New commenter

    Purplehands, Theres probably lots, but, like female artists and comedians, we just dont get to hear much about them. Famale leads certainly seem more common as the reading age goes up.
    I'll keep wracking my brains for you!

    The Folk Keeper (good, but might be a bit slow tbh)
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Folk-Keeper-Franny-Billingsley/dp/0747560544/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1292363474&sr=8-1

    Before there was Hogwarts, there was Cackle's Academy! Remember The Worst Witch? That's fun, but a bit simpler than some of the other books.
    Pippi Longstocking!
    Cant remember if u said Matilda or not, but I have wondeful memories of being read this by my teacher, hating the Trunchbull and rooting for Matilda to go live with Miss Honey! (Same teacher gave me a life long love of books!!)
    Snow White and the Seven Aliens. Havnt read this book, but I like the look of the seriously silly stories series.
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/White-Seven-Aliens-Seriously-Stories/dp/1841214027/ref=pd_sim_b_44

    A series of Unfortunate Events by Leomny Snicket have two girls and a boy in them but Im not sure how they are weighted in terms of who is the lead.

    Just heard about Grim Gruesome Viking Villain series, that apparently has a female lead and are easy to read. - dont know much about them other than that though!
     
  17. The Narnia series
    The Worst Witch series
    Alice in Wonderland
    Enid Blyton had several series with female lead characters as part of the group, not just The Famous Five; Five Findouters and Dog; Malory Towers, The Adventure series; The Mystery series; Secret Seven to name but a few
    Harry Potter series - Hermione Granger
    Various fairy tales - Cinderella, Snow White, The Dancing Princesses; The Princess and the pea etc
    Handa's Surprise
    Grinny
    Mill Girl - The diary of Eliza Helsted, Manchester 1842-1843
    The Wolf's Footprint
    Jenny and the Wreckers
    I'd say Tyke Tyler was best suited for Y5/6 because of the twist

     
  18. jellycowfish

    jellycowfish New commenter

    'The Angel of Nitshill Road' by Anne Fine. A bit easy for Y5/6, but plenty of scope for discussion.
     
  19. Time4Tea

    Time4Tea New commenter

    The Lily Quench series by Natalie Prior are the only books with a female heroine which my own boys not only loved but even bought out of their own pocket money. Lily Quench is a gutsy heroine who discovers she is descended from a long line of Dragon Quenchers - good adventures and some excellent baddies. I did some work on the first book with a year 3 class and they loved it, think it would work for older class as well. Not that old but now out of print - but still available on Amazon.
     
  20. If reading Tyke Tyler to your class try and remember where you are up to when reading it, unlike my year 5 teacher who said to us just as we were sitting down one afternoon "so we know Tyke's a girl" just a few pages before we should have found that out! One of my lasting memories of school. We were so gutted to have the book ruined - can't imagine how our teaacher must have felt!
     

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