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Girls stories

More likely to appeal to girls than to boys


The "Babysitters Club" series

Style: Average

Attitude: Some Care Needed → Positive

There are over a hundred books in this series, all quite short, very popular with younger girls.

Generally positive feel. Young teenage friends taking responsibility in different situations. General acceptance of complicated family setups.

Family, Friendship, Girls, Growing-Up

Back Home

Style: Good

Attitude: Some Care Needed → Positive

Rusty is a 12-year-old English girl returning home after spending the war years with a family in the USA.

Honest efforts by a returning young evacuee to fit into now unfamiliar surroundings. Contrast between pre- and post-war expectations of conventional roles. Casting in a good light a more bohemian style of upbringing, less concerned with conventional taboos and more with children's freedom. Family tension and break-up.

Coping with, Family, Girls, Growing-Up, Historical, War

Beauty

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

The story is the conventional one of Beauty & the Beast: the father who inadvertently trespasses on the enchanted castle, and who must send one of his daughters to live with the Beast who inhabits it; the growing love between the Beast and the girl; the overstayed leave-of-absence and how it brings the Beast close to death, causing the girl to proclaim her love for him, unwittingly breaking the enchantment he was under.

An enjoyable retelling of Beauty & the Beast; nice depiction of loving family and generous neighbours

Fantasy, Girls

The Big Pink

Style: Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable

Angela, a fat 13-year-old, is sent to her aunt's girls' boarding school when her parents go to Pakistan as missionaries.

There is some rather vulgar indelicacy making it especially unsuitable for boys, but on the whole it's a readable teenaged girls' school story.

Girls, Growing-Up, School

The Bronte Girls

Style: Weak

Attitude: Take Care → Positive

A father and mother are convinced that the 20th century will corrupt their three daughters and so they buy a secluded farmhouse and base their life on the Bronte family.

Girls, Romantic, Thought-provoking

Caddy's World

Style: Average → Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable → Positive

Caddy grows up quickly as her family focuses on her dangerously ill baby sister while her friends start to pull apart while trying to keep together.

Amusing family story. Friendship between four girls who are growing up. Problems faced cheerfully by a family whose newborn sister might not live. Realistic sibling relationships.

Family, Girls, Growing-Up

Foster Family series

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

The parents of a girl take on a series of short- and long-term foster children.

A matter-of-fact series dealing with the various problems of fostering children

Family, Girls

Jane Eyre

Style: Classic

Attitude: Edifying

Jane Eyre becomes governess to the ward of Mr Rochester, with whom she falls in love.

Classic, Girls, Historical, Romantic

A Little Bush Maid

Style: Classic

Attitude: Edifying

Norah can’t wait for Jim to come home for the holidays, and when he does arrive, accompanied by Harry and Wally, every day is full of adventures.

A vivid depiction of the quintessentially Australian; values such as mateship, hard work and bush hospitality to beautiful illustrations of the outback, Australian character and humour. Heart-warming, humorous and highly enjoyable Australian classic!

Adventure, Classic, Friendship, Girls, Growing-Up

A Little Princess

Style: Classic

Attitude: Positive

Sara Crewe is sent to school in London by her father before he returns to India.

Classic riches-to-rags-to-riches story of a virtuous child, abandoned to the mild cruelties of grasping spinsters. Virtue is rewarded, vice is shamed, and large and well-to-do families are cheerful and welcoming.

Classic, Friendship, Girls, Historical

Little Women

Style: Classic

Attitude: Edifying

Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy March are girls growing into young ladies in the late 19th century.

Classic, Girls

The Penderwicks

Style: Average

Attitude: Positive

The four Penderwick sisters befriend Jeffrey when staying in a cottage in the grounds of his mother's house.

Endearing holiday story of four sisters and a boy. Jeffrey's mother, alone since his father left, is about to remarry. Mr Penderwick treats his daughters gently, admonishing them sometimes in Latin.

Friendship, Girls, Growing-Up, Romantic

Pride and Prejudice

Style: Classic

Attitude: Positive

The five Bennett sisters: Jane, Elizabeth, Lydia, Kitty and Mary are at or near marrying age; their mother is keen to marry them off and rejoices when Mr Bingley, a personable young man, comes into the neighbourhood with his friend Mr Darcy and seems interested in her eldest daughter.

Classic, Girls, Romantic

The Secret of Castle Cant

Style: Average → Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable → Positive

Lucy Wickright discovers a plot to kill the Baron and take over the Barony by controlling the young heir to the title.

Whimsical palace intrigue which turns quite nasty. Trust and friendship between two young girls. An illegitimate child acknowledged. Caricatured villainy resulting in the deaths of loved ones.

Adventure, Fantasy, Girls

They do things differently there

Style: Average

Attitude: Take Care

Charlotte falls in with a quiet girl in her class and discovers another side to the town they live in.

An antidote to superficiality, revelling in vivid imagination; rather wild idea of three warring orders of Nuns.

Girls, Growing-Up

A Twist in Time

Style: Good

Attitude: Edifying

Cosy (short for Cosima) finds herself getting used to a foster family just as she is starting at the school to which she's earned a scholarship.

Even if one were to extract the subplot of the ghost girl -- which is reminiscent of Charlotte Sometimes -- the story has a gently courageous feel: Cosy struggles hard because her Father's dead and she and her ill mother have kept each other going for years. At one point she gives in -- all her mother's efforts have only landed her in hospital -- but one of her foster sisters cajoles her roughly out of her mood and she goes on to make a good friend and do well at school.

Family, Girls

What Katy Did

Style: Classic

Attitude: Positive

Katy Carr, a 12-year-old in turn-of-the-century America, has an accident through her own disobedience when she falls from a swing and injures her back.

Classic, Family, Girls