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Career Online High School summer reading

Girl Empowerment Month: Mighty Books for Middle Schoolers

Celebrate Girl Empowerment Month with these novels and biographies about girls realizing their power and potential, overcoming obstacles, and inspiring others.

Find more reading suggestions at Books & Media.

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Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon & Dean Hale

In this Old West graphic novel retelling of the classic fairy tale, Rapunzel uses her hair as a lasso and to take on outlaws. 

Graphic Novel

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Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

Ally's greatest fear is that everyone will find out she is as dumb as they think she is because she still doesn't know how to read until she is inspired by a new teacher and discovers there's a lot more to her than a label. An emotionally-charged, uplifting novel that will speak to anyone who’s ever thought there was something wrong with them because they didn’t fit in. 

Fiction

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Rad American Women A-Z: Rebels, Trailblazers, and Visionaries Who Shaped Our History...And Our Future! by Kate Schatz

American history was made by countless rad—and often radical—women. This diverse array of female role models, artists and abolitionists, scientists and suffragettes, rock stars and rabble-rousers , offers readers many places to find inspiration and reminders that being smart and strong and brave is rad.  

Nonfiction

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The Daring Book for Girls by Andrea J. Buchanan

A manual for everything that girls need to know -- whether it's female heroes in history, secret note-passing skills, science projects, friendship bracelets & more -- this book is every girl's invitation to adventure. 

Nonfiction

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Becoming Naomi León  by Pam Muñoz Ryan

When Naomi's absent mother resurfaces to claim her, Naomi is challenged to discover who she really is and runs away to Mexico with her great-grandmother and younger brother in search of her father. 

Fiction

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Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper

Considered by many to be mentally retarded, a brilliant, impatient fifth-grader with cerebral palsy refuses to be defined by her condition and discovers a technological device that will allow her to speak for the first time. 

Fiction

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Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Using masterfully crafted free verse poems, the author tells her story of growing up as an African-American girl in South Carolina and Brooklyn in the 1960's and 1970's and also her journey of becoming a writer and finding her voice. 

Memoir

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Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera

As her beloved grandfather, chief of the Maori tribe of Whangara, New Zealand, struggles to lead in difficult times and to find a male successor, young Kahu is developing a mysterious relationship with whales, particularly the ancient bull whale whose legendary rider was their ancestor. 

Fiction

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Temple Grandin: How the Girl Who Loved Cows, Embraced Autism and Changed the World by Sy Montgomery

This portrait of Temple Grandin's life with autism and her groundbreaking work as a scientist and designer of cruelty-free livestock facilities describes how she overcame key disabilities through education and the support of her mother. 

Biography

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Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

In this story about the perils of popularity, the courage of nonconformity, and the thrill of first love, an eccentric student named Stargirl changes Mica High School forever. 

Fiction

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Shabanu: Daughter of the Wind by Suzanne Fisher Staples

When eleven-year old Shabanu, the daughter of a nomad in the Cholistan Desert of present-day Pakistan, is pledged in marriage to an older man whose money will bring prestige to the family, she must either accept the decision, as is the custom, or risk the consequences of defying her father's wishes. 

Fiction

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The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly

In central Texas in 1899, 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, and comes up against just what it means to be a girl at the turn of the century. 

Historical Fiction

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Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (With a Few Flat Tires Along the Way) by Sue Macy

This lively look at women's history from aboard a bicycle, which granted females the freedom of mobility and helped empower women's liberation, is witty in tone and scrapbook-like in presentation told with vintage photographs, advertisements, cartoons, and songs. 

Nonfiction

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Catherine Called Birdy by Karen Cushman

The thirteen-year-old daughter of an English country knight keeps a journal in which she records the events of her life, particularly her longing for adventures beyond the usual role of women and her efforts to avoid being married off. 

Historical Fiction

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Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede

Bored with traditional palace life, a princess goes off to live with a group of dragons and soon becomes involved with fighting against some disreputable wizards who want to steal away the dragons' kingdom. 

Fantasy

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Not One Damsel in Distress: World Folktales for Strong Girls by Jane Yolen

A collection of thirteen traditional tales from various parts of the world, with the main character of each being a fearless, strong, heroic, and resourceful woman. 

Folktales