10 Books Every Girl Should Read
Books have always been a part of my life. I don't really remember a time when I didn't read. Reading is and always has been a window to different worlds and knowledge. Reading a good book, and I mean a really well written book, not some piece of camouflaged fanfiction about vampires or over-sexed millionaires written at a sub-par grade school level, to me is far more enthralling than the best epic IMAX movie. From Little Golden Books to Charlotte’s Web, those horrid Christopher Pike books my friends and I read and traded in Junior High School, to The Canterbury Tales, I have always loved losing myself in a good book. A good series of books is even better. So, of course I hope to nurture the same love of reading and literature in The Firecracker.
I want to encourage Firecracker to read quality books that will make her grow as a person as well as entertain an expand her mind. I want her to know that girls can be something other than a Disney princess or mindless girl who moons after vampires. So, I have compiled a list of books and series of books that I think every girl should read. Each of these has had a personal impact on me. Please feel free to comment and add your own favorites to the list in the comments.
10. A Tree Grows In Brooklyn by Betty Smith – I didn’t read this book until I was an adult, and some friends of mine suggested it for an online book club we had several years ago. I didn’t think that I would like it, but I honestly did. The Nolan family lived on so little, yet as a family they had so much and worked so hard. Every hardship, every tragedy made them stronger. Francie isn’t exactly the type of person I want Firecracker to grow up to be, but I wouldn’t mind her walking around in Francie’s shoes a bit via the story.
See also Cheaper By the Dozen by Frank B. Gilbreth
9. The Little House Book by Laura Ingalls Wilder – I have to admit that as a child I didn’t like reading the books, because I was in effect ruined by the Michael Landon television series. I remember watching reruns after I would get home from morning Kindergarten. My sister, in that mean way she always liked bursting my innocent bubbles with cruel reality, told me that Mary never married, that there was never an Albert, and other things like that, so I never cared to read the books. That changed, as I grew older.
As a young adult I was far more interested in reading the (mostly) real account of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s life. As I grew more interested in the real day to day struggles and lives of those who tamed the frontier and saw the advent of a more modern age, the actual books became better than the melodramatic television show.
See also My Antonia by Willa Cather
8. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – These may technically be considered “boys books,” but I believe that they’re perfect for girls to read as well. After all, who’s to say that girls can’t have adventures like Tom and Huck? Both books have a wonderful innocence despite showing the harsh realities of antebellum life in and around the Mississippi River. Also, Mark Twain just had a way with dialog and writing dialect that you can hear the conversations in your mind.
See Also A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur’s Court.
7. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte – As is often the case, Jane Eyre is the story of an orphan. Her life has what I would only call severe peaks and valleys where things are very, very bad then they are pretty darn good and so on. She empowers herself with education, a very rare thing for a woman at that time. I personally couldn’t put down this book until I knew once and for all what became of dear Jane.
See Also Middlemarch by George Eliot
6. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell – I’m amazed by the sheer number of people who haven’t watched the movie through and through. Seventy–three years later, and it is still one of the greatest cinema masterpieces of all time. That said, the book is even better. In the book, we really get to know Scarlett O’Hara and what really motivates her. Why did she fight tooth and nail to survive? Oh wait, could it be the two children she had before Bonnie who were cut out of the movie? Her relationship with Wade Hampton (her son with Charles) is especially important to her character, I believe, especially in understanding why she killed a Yankee. This is another book that I had to read in one night and have reread several times since then. The movie is a masterpiece but the book is art with words.
See also the North and South Triolgy by John Jakes.