Five Books with Female Protagonists

Five Books with Female Protagonists

Welcome back to another #5books post – this time it is the turn of Laura from Edinburgh Life with Kids as she shares her five books with female protagonists.

There are some great books included in this post – and as ever if you wish to take part then just choose your theme and email your five books to

But, for now, over to Laura….

five books with female Protagonists - some great picks for all ages

A few months ago, a friend of mine mentioned that her daughter had been learning about Explorers at school. Her daughter was disappointed that not a single one had been female. As the weekends homework was to research her own explorer, my friend asked for suggestions as to who they could research. The possibilities were of course, endless.

This got me thinking a little about this bias that our children (both male and female) can be subject to. Whilst I definitely am not about to advocate only reading my daughter books with female characters – it certainly doesn’t hurt to include some cool ones!

My five books all have feisty female protagonists but contain an important caveat. They don’t put any males down in the process. They have to be fun in their own right – not at the expense of anyone else!

With that in mind, here are my five books for kids of various ages!

Lulu and the Flying Babies – Posy Simmonds

This was one of my favourite books as a child – I loved the pictures and cartoon style story, and there was lots to make me laugh. As a parent I now enjoy reading this to my own children and really appreciate the realistic toddler behaviour. The main character, Lulu, is not refined – she wipes her nose on her sleeve and is very sulky. However, she goes off and has wonderful adventures and isn’t scared of anything. Brilliant.

On the Banks of Plum Creek – Laura Ingalls Wilder

Whilst this series of books may have been destroyed a little by the TV series that, thankfully, seems to have disappeared from our screens. I loved these books as a child and am actually named after Laura. They are an easy read for a confident reader and paint a really vivid picture of Laura’s life. I adore her tenacity and the love that was so evident in her family.

banks of plum creek

Rosie Revere, Engineer – Andrea Beaty

I found this book whilst on holiday in America and it has become my ‘go to’ gift for kids birthday parties this year. The message of the book is really that it’s ok to fail because it gives us the opportunity to try again and that’s really exciting. The rhyming and illustrations are both beautiful resulting in this book being a bedtime favourite.

Matilda – Roald Dahl

This was another childhood favourite of mine. It was unusual to have a hero who loved books and actually won the day with the power of her mind. Of course, typically of Roald Dahl the book has plenty of laugh out loud moments. I also wonder how many of us then named teachers at our own schools ‘Mrs Trunchbull.’


The Wee Free Men – Terry Pratchett

I originally read this one as a young teenager and it soon had me laughing out loud. It now sits on the shelf in my classroom and is a popular one for silent reading on a Friday. I teach teenage boys so can say with certainty that this is a good one for 12/13 year-olds. The book follows an exciting plot involving a young witch armed with a frying pan and a marauding clan of wee blue people. Sounds bizarre but lots of fun and Tiffany (the witch) deserves a lot of kudos.



  1. 20th January 2017 / 06:37

    Fab, more books about girls to add to my reading list! I loved ‘Matilda’ as a kid. We’ve got the follow up to ‘Rosie Revere Engineer’, it’s called ‘Ada Twist Scientist’ and it’s fab! I’ll have to get hold of Rosie too though!

  2. 23rd January 2017 / 07:33

    Matilda is such a brilliant book! Not read the others but I will now! #readwithme

  3. 23rd January 2017 / 08:06

    Matilda and Rosie are great examples. I’m really enjoying your five books series Sarah 🙂


  4. 23rd January 2017 / 10:10

    What a great selection and it’s nice to include books for kids of different ages, as well as some old classics! I read the Laura Ingalls Wilder books way back in the day too. In a similar vein, I would suggest the Anne of Green Gables books (wonder if I could get my daughter into those?!). My daughter and I love all of the Jacqueline Wilson books, which all have strong female protagonists. The best of all has to be Hetty Feather!

  5. 23rd January 2017 / 10:28

    Great selections! I want BookBairn to grow up reading them all. But Matilda is hard to beat for little book-lovers like me! #readwithme

  6. 24th January 2017 / 18:20

    I’ve never heard of the Rosie Revere, Engineer or Lulu and the Flying Babies but I’ve read the others (albeit many years ago). Am going to see how many I can find.
    Great selection of books

    • 29th January 2017 / 20:48

      forgot to add #readwithme to that last comment, oops!

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