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Strong Women Leads


In honour of our Celebration of Women in October, I've curated a wonderful list of books with strong women leads for readers of all ages to enjoy!

Benedict, Marie.
Lady Clementine

Benedict has done it again! History comes to vivid life in this novel about the brilliant and savvy Clementine Churchill and the many times she steered the course of history and even saved her husband's life.

Dunbar, Erica Armstrong.
She came to slay

"A lively, informative, and illustrated tribute to one of the most exceptional women in American history--Harriet Tubman--a heroine whose fearlessness and activism still resonates today. Now, National Book Award nominee Dunbar presents a stunning and powerful mix of pop culture and scholarship and proves that Harriet Tubman is well deserving of her permanent place in history." - Syndetics

Pau Preto, Nicki.
Crown of feathers

In this lush debut epic fantasy novel, sixteen-year-old orphan Veronyka must hide her magical powers from a kingdom that would use and cage her. Veronyka disguises herself as boy and leaves to seek and join the Phoenix Riders who would oppose The Queen.

Beaton, Kate
The princess and the pony

Viking Princess Pinecone wants a "real warrior's horse" for her birthday but instead gets a walleyed, flatulent pony. With lots of affirming themes, Beaton shoves aside conventional notions of what princesses (and ponies) are "supposed" to be.

Robson, Jennifer
The gown

Don't miss this fascinating historical novel about Queen Elizabeth's wedding gown and the lives of the three unforgettable heroines who made it.

Hegar, Mary Jennings.
Shoot like a girl

When her Medevac was shot down on her third tour in Afghanistan Hegar, despite being wounded, fought the enemy off and saved everyone on board. Hegar won the highest honours for valor in the military but the real battle begin when she got back home to American soil: giving women on the front lines the credit they deserve. A dramatic, action-packed story of an American hero.

Hawken, Sam.
The night charter

Move over Jack Reacher; here comes Espinoza! Former army medic Camaro Epinoza is an intense heroine with a thirst for justice and she's not afraid to use violence to deal with the bad guys in this high-octane thriller. First in this pulse-pounding series!

Harrison, Vashti.
Little dreamers

In this charmingly illustrated book, we learn about the many amazing women around the world who've made their mark. These true stories highlight women creators in many diverse areas like science, art, writing, etc.   Great for reading with your young ones to inspire them. And don't miss the companion book Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History.

Joshi, Alka
Henna Artist

In 1950s India, 17-year-old Lakshmi escapes an abusive marriage and reinvents herself as a renowned henna artist. Her beautiful designs are coveted by the wealthy upper class ladies of Jaipur but she walks a tightrope where one false move could ruin her reputation and the life she's made for herself. Years later, she takes in a teenage sister she didn't even know she had, jeopardizing all her carefully laid plans.

See, Lisa.
The island of sea women

Based on a real life Korean female diving collective, See returns with this captivating story of two women who train to be haenyeo (divers who harvest edibles from the sea). In a village where the women go out and earn a living doing dangerous work while the men take care of the homestead,  Young-Sook and Mi-Ji are fast friends. But soon the forces of history intrude upon their idyllic life. Publisher's Weekly calls this a "wonderful ode to a truly singular group of women."

Favilli, Elena.
Good night stories for rebel girls

This award-winning children's book is packed with 100 tales of extraordinary women from the past and the present. It's also beautifully illustrated by 60 female artists from all over the world. Perfect bedtime reading!

Kamal, Sheena.
Fight like a girl

"Award-winning thriller writer Sheena Kamal delivers a kick-ass debut YA novel that will have fans crying out for more. Love and violence. In some families they're bound up together, dysfunctional and poisonous, passed from generation to generation like eye color or a quirk of smile. Trisha's trying to break the chain, channeling her violent impulses into Muay Thai kickboxing, an unlikely sport for a slightly built girl of Trinidadian descent." - Syndetics

Chiaverini, Jennifer.
Resistance women

At once intimate and sweeping, this historical novel follows four very different women who do whatever they can fight the Nazis. In this fictionalized account of these real-life heroines, these courageous and passionate women repeatedly risk their lives to resist fascism.

Lelchuk, Saul.
Save me from dangerous men

In this smart, action-packed thriller, we meet Nikki Griffin, a bookstore owner by day and PI (and vigilante) by night. Nikki protects victimized women and punishes their abusers. When she's hired by a silicon valley CEO to investigate a case of corporate espionage, she smells a rat but even she can't anticipate what will happen. Thriller readers will love this amazing new gritty heroine!

Rooney, Sally.
Conversations with friends

When Irish friends (and former lovers) Frances and Bobbi meet famed photographer Melissa and her husband Nick, their lives are transformed forever. This insightful novel about female relationships has been called searing and vivid. And Entertainment Weekly proclaims it "[A] cult-hit . . . [a] sharply realistic comedy of adultery and friendship."

Clinton, Chelsea.
She persisted

In this beautifully illustrated volume, the author summarizes the lives of 13 strong women who "did not take no for an answer" and persisted in face of great opposition. An inspiring book that urges readers not to give up on their dreams no matter who tries to silence them or what anyone says.

Quinn, Kate.
The huntress

Kristin Hannah calls this a "...compulsively readable historical fiction...[a] powerful novel about unusual women facing sometimes insurmountable odds with grace, grit, love and tenacity." "Stranded behind enemy lines, brave bomber pilot Nina Markova becomes the prey of a lethal Nazi murderess known as the Huntress and joins forces with a Nazi hunter and British war correspondent to find her before she finds them." - Syndetics

Hashimi, Nadia.
The pearl that broke its shell

"Afghan-American Nadia Hashimi's literary debut novel is a searing tale of powerlessness, fate, and the freedom to control one's own fate. In Kabul, 2007, with a drug-addicted father and no brothers, Rahima and her sisters can only sporadically attend school, and can rarely leave the house. Their only hope lies in the ancient custom of bacha posh, which allows young Rahima to dress and be treated as a boy until she is of marriageable age. But what will happen once Rahima is of marriageable age?" - Syndetics

Estes, Kelli.
The girl who wrote in silk

Two women's lives are mysteriously linked in this gripping historical novel. In 1886 Mei Lien washes up on Orcas Island after a devastating and cruel tragedy. She tells her story in the only way she can: with a needle and thread. A hundred years later Inara Erickson finds a beautifully embroidered sleeve of a kimono hidden in her family's house on the island. Working with a professor, she scrambles to uncover a mystery that will hit closer to home than she can possibly know.

Munsch, Robert N.
The paper bag princess

Still as relevant and awesome today as it was when it was published 40 years ago, this Munsch classic features a brave and smart princess who not only saves the jerk of a prince but decides she doesn't want to marry him after all.