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Books for enthusiastic 6 year old girl with reading age well above 6

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Initial post: 19 Sep 2011 14:05:58 BDT
Mrs Ferris says:
I have a little girl of 6 who loves reading - her reading age is about 9 - however I'm finding it very difficult to find books with strong female characters. While I'm loathe to label books as being for boys or girls, she finds the more "boyish" books far more interesting, I would love to buy her some "girlish" books which are not about fairies, ponies etc and actually show girls in a positive light. Any suggestions?

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Sep 2011 20:46:23 BDT
LEP says:
Charlotte's Web. This has 2 strong female characters, the little girl trying to save the pig and Charlotte the spider.

Then there's Dick King Smith's Sophie books.

Posted on 19 Sep 2011 20:51:26 BDT
[Deleted by Amazon on 16 Jan 2013 07:00:13 GMT]

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Sep 2011 22:09:55 BDT
Last edited by the author on 19 Sep 2011 22:11:38 BDT
LEP says:
Astrid Lindgren - Pippi Longstocking series
Louise Fitzhugh - Harriet the Spy
Carolyn Haywood - the Betsy series
Carolyn Keene - Nancy Drew series
C S Lewis - The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Beverly Cleary - the Romona series
Daniel Pinkwater - Aunt Lulu
Kay Thompson - the Eloise series
Judy Blume - Otherwise known as Sheila the Great
Murray - The Worst Witch series
Judy Campbell - Trixie Belden series
The Secret Garden
Lucy Bate - How Georgina Drove the Car very carefully from Boston to New York
Ludwig Bemelmens - The Madeline series
Jan Brett - Annie and the Wild Animals
Jan Brett - Trouble with Tolls
Joyce Champion - Emily and Alice
Babette Cole - Princess Smartiepants
Kevin Henkes - Sheila Rae the Brave
Mary Hoffman - Amazing Grace
Gloria Houston - My Great Aunt Arizona
Emily Arnold McCully - Mirette on the High Wire
Ogden Nash - The Adventures of Isabel

You'll have to check what age group these are aimed at, some may be too young.

Posted on 20 Sep 2011 11:35:35 BDT
The Sea Swallow is really good - the lead character is a really strong girl who survives the death of her father goes on an undersea adventure. It's an illustrated book but the reading age is quite high, about nine. And the pictures are gorgeous.

Faerie Heart by Livi Michael - I just read this and I was impressed. A tough (and headstrong) young girl in prehistoric times. The book is shortish and the story is simple - but the language is beautiful and it has a strong emotional core.

The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events No.1) All the Lemony snickett books of course! As well as tricksy stories, these are full of fantastic words that the narrator explains to the reader (but for readers who already know the words, she has the main characters telling grown-ups that of course they already know the word they're explaining.) It has a mix of characters with one boy and two girls.

Spiderwick Box Set (Spiderwick Chronicle) The Spiderwick books are so great. This has a strong lead girl (who is the boss of her brothers and uses a rapier!) The stories are really well paced: the whole series is the equivalent of one novel-length book, but it's spread over five books so that the reader feels like they're really conquering an epic tale as they progress.

Posted on 20 Sep 2011 12:00:57 BDT
Colin says:
My girls fell in love with Lari's Don's First Aid series a few years ago. It has a wonderful heroine, Helen from the Scottish Borders and her sidekick Yann a centaur. There are fairies and dragons and other fantastic creatures but they are far from small and girlie.

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Sep 2011 13:20:39 BDT
Last edited by the author on 20 Sep 2011 13:27:32 BDT
LEP says:
There's Jacqueline Wilson's books, whose main characters are usually girls. However, her books are too old for a 6 year old and the themes in them certainly are. Save for when she's older.

Try her with Dick King Smith's Sophie books, about a determined 6 year old and there's also the Madeline series by Ludwig Bemelmans.

Posted on 20 Sep 2011 14:16:43 BDT
BM says:
My 6 year old son is currently ploughing his way through the Famous Five books - which my daughter also read (though slightly older than he is) and absolutely loved. Although Enid Blyton is a product of her age and the girls (George and Anne) are somewhat bossed about byt the boys, in fact they take an equal role in the adventures and are relatively positive role models. My son has also read the "Secret" series by Enid Blyton where again there are 2 boys and 2 girls and thoroughly enjoyed those too....
Also Swallows and Amazons and most of Noel Streatfeild's books are great for young girls and certainly my daughter loves them....

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Sep 2011 15:17:01 BDT
Mrs Ferris says:
Dr Ronald Dawson - would that be the same Ron Dawson that wrote The Amazing Adventures of Scary Bones the Skeleton? Rumbled.

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Sep 2011 20:32:46 BDT
[Deleted by Amazon on 16 Jan 2013 07:00:14 GMT]

Posted on 21 Sep 2011 13:36:47 BDT
E. Barnes says:
The Clever Polly and the Stupid Wolf books are classics for this age-group with a very fesity heroine!

She might also enjoy the The Complete Ramona Collection by Beverly Cleary - about an ordinary girl and her family and school life, living in small town America.

My Naughty Little Sister (My Naughty Little Sister Series) is another classic whose heroine is wearing well.

How (Not) to Make Bad Children Good is about a naughty little girl who is sent a "Guardian Agent" to help her mend her ways - excuse me recommending my own!

Zelda and Ivy (Zelda & Ivy) might be a little young for her - somewhere between a picture book and a chapter book - but two of my favourite recent heroines.

And none of these characters are remotely "girly"!

Posted on 21 Sep 2011 14:30:45 BDT
Mrs Ferris says:
Thanks to everyone for the recommendations, it's nice to know that there are some authors out there who appreciate that not all girls (or mothers) are obsessed with pink sparkles and ponies!
Dr Dawson - I have no prolem with you plugging your own book (I can appreciate how difficult it is if you are not an established author - I was taught in junior school by Terry Deary's wife during the days before Horrible Histories.) I just feel it was slightly "dishonest" (not really the right word) that you didn't mention it in your entire paragraph.

Posted on 22 Sep 2011 22:31:21 BDT
LPM says:
I adored "Anne of Green Gables" as a child, although I was probably around 9 when I started reading the series.
However the first book may be suitable for your daughter and Anne Shirley is a very engaging heroine.

Also books by Noelle Streatfield, Rumer Godden, "The Secret Garden", "Tom's Midnight Garden", any of Enid Blyton's school stories - St Claire's and Mallory Towers - as well as "The Secret Seven" and "The Famous Five", "Swallows and Amazons", the Mudpuddle Farm stories by Michael Morpurgo (funny animal stories, suitable for both boys and girls).

Posted on 22 Sep 2011 22:47:48 BDT
My daughter at the same age gobbled up the Famous Five books and then the Swallows and Amazon series. Similarly Amelia Jane and the Magic Faraway Tree. More recently Mallory Towers (but I had to explain many aspects of school to her) and now announces Enid Blyton her favourite author! She found several Michael Morguro books dull so we had a few false starts with those and I wasn't comfortable with some of the themes in many Jacqueline Wilson books for her age. I'm currently reading her Treasure Island which is going down a storm!

Posted on 23 Sep 2011 13:57:30 BDT
Martin King says:
Why not try my book: Jack Hunter - Secret of the King! It is a fun packed adventure featuring likable boy and girl characters.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Sep 2011 15:51:16 BDT
Hi, my 6 and half year old girl has reading age of about 9 - she loves Jacqueline Wilson and Enid Blyton - twins of st clares etc.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Sep 2011 21:41:37 BDT
hi,yes their is a book with strong female characters,it is called mindys adventure with the pussycat witches, by mandy anne ashby,hope your daughter likes the book, kind regards mandy.Mindy's Adventure with the Pussycat Witches: Playing in the Rain

Posted on 27 Oct 2011 23:32:38 BDT
Daisy Drama Club and The Ghost Burglars You could try this ... inspired by my own daughter who set up a drama club with her best friend -when they were six! We ended up putting on about ten plays in our village hall and even went on tour ...

Posted on 9 Dec 2011 12:01:40 GMT
S Crowe says:
I have just read this and am grateful for all the suggestions. I had no problems finding great stories for my son, but I am constantly sifting out fairy and side-kick passive girls in books for my two daughters who are now five and three. Keep the suggestions coming!! thanks

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Dec 2011 12:03:47 GMT
S Crowe says:
Yes but is the girl the usual side kick?!

Posted on 14 Dec 2011 11:11:37 GMT
DominoGalaxy says:
There's lots of girl power going on in Twin Spirit. If she likes fantasy, she should enjoy it.Twin Spirit (Domino Galaxy, Book 1)

Posted on 14 Dec 2011 11:18:17 GMT
Ms G. says:
My daughter, now aged 7, started reading Percy Jackson Series just aftert the age of 6, and we cannot stop her... she has devoured the entire series, and whilst the lead character is indeed a male character, his "sidekick" as per earlier blog is a strong female character. I read them myself and if you can accept the fact that the entire Greek civilisation is now in Manhattan, they really are good fun. I believe her addiction to books is down to the discovery of this series.

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Dec 2011 15:57:14 GMT
LEP says:
There's also Laura Ingells Wilder's Little House on the Praire books. Set of course in pioneering 19th C America. However, Laura herself is a pretty fiesty girl and by no means a weak "sidekick" character.

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Dec 2011 16:21:59 GMT
Have you tried the Worst Witch series? Mildred has lots of adventures and not a fairy in sight!

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Dec 2011 16:48:48 GMT
Hi there, my name's John Priest and I'm the author of Peter Challenge - Time Surfer and also Jay-Pea-Eyes which stands for Junior Private Investigators (JPIs).
Both books are for ages 8 and upwards so would be fine for your daughter. Jay-Pea-Eyes is a mystery/detective story that has twin girls as two of the main characters so she might like this book?
I've actually put Peter Challenge on the 'free' limited download on 17th December if she's more interested in a fantasy story with a Princess as one of the main characters. Hope his helps, regards John
Peter Challenge - Time Surfer
Jay-Pea-Eyes aka Junior Private Investigators (The Boomerang Mystery)
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Participants:  52
Total posts:  67
Initial post:  19 Sep 2011
Latest post:  20 Jan 2013

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