> Skip to content

Article  •  1 March 2021

 

Bold, wise and funny girls

The best books for educators to share on International Women’s Day 2021

With International Women’s Day just around the corner, we’re celebrating female voices, female role models – whether real or fictional – and tackling a hot topic: how to raise girls who like themselves.

Share this list with your school community and enjoy!

 

What Zola Did series

Melina Marchetta and Deb Hudson

She’s curious, kind and a little bit cheeky! Zola Angelica loves her school and street community, making friends, learning new skills and having a whole lot of fun on every day of the week. The latest book, What Zola Did on Thursday, is out now.

‘Zola is such a loveable and relatable character. She loves adventures but cannot help getting into a little spot of bother. I love the family dynamics in the narrative. There are same-sex parents, Zola lives with her mum and Nonna, and Alessandro doesn’t live with his dad.’– i_teach_muggles, Goodreads

 

Alice-Miranda series

Jacqueline Harvey

Easily the most well-travelled of all our characters, Alice-Miranda is soon to be embarking on her twentieth adventure! She’s super confident and has a lot of love for the people around her. The latest book is Alice-Miranda in the Outback, out now.

‘Alice-Miranda always looks for the best in people and is forever leading the way to solve a problem or mystery with her friends. She’s a beautiful role model for all young girls.’ – Sarah, Goodreads

 

Friday Barnes series

R.A. Spratt

She’s bold, witty and doesn’t care about being different. Friday Barnes, complete with her ‘ugly’ brown cardigan and pork-pie hat, is the hero we need in 2021. Her latest adventure, Friday Barnes 9: No Escape, is out now.

‘Friday is incredibly intelligent, amazingly perceptive, has an extraordinarily broad and advanced knowledge base, and yet few social skills to speak of; she is an 11 year old* Sherlock-Holmes-style genius.’ – Amelia Rockliff, Goodreads

*Friday is now 15 years old in the latest book, Friday Barnes 9: No Escape.

 

Listen, Layla

Yassmin Abdel-Magied

Award-winning writer, broadcaster and social advocate Yassmin Abdel-Magied draws upon her own childhood as a Muslim Sudanese-Australian growing up in Brisbane to create the vibrant life of Layla.

‘Meeting Layla will be one of the loveliest things you get to do this year. Our pal Yassmin has created an absolutely delightful character who is a joy to read about. Layla is the girl we all want to be besties with, and has so much love, laughter and spark within her that she can actually be all of our besties.’ – Sunili, Goodreads

 

Becoming: Adapted for Younger Readers

Michelle Obama

With the younger readers edition of Becoming, Michelle Obama tells her full story for a new generation with the honesty and candour that is her trademark. In sharing her joys and triumphs alongside the bumps, bruises and challenges she has encountered along the way, Mrs. Obama invites readers to realise that no one is perfect, and that the process of becoming is what matters, as finding yourself is ever evolving. In telling her own story with boldness, she asks young readers: Who are you, and what do you want to become?

‘A rich, entertaining and candid memoir. And overall Obama’s a fun person to sit alongside as she tells you the story of her life . . . it is as beautifully written as any piece of fiction.’ Independent

 

Raising Girls Who Like Themselves

Kasey Edwards and Christopher Scanlon

There are seven qualities that enable girls to thrive and arm themselves against a world that tells them they are flawed. Packed with practical, evidence-based advice, Raising Girls Who Like Themselves is the indispensable guide to raising a girl who is happy and confident in herself.

‘I am not one for parenting or self-help-style books, but this felt non-judgemental and completely safe. I was proud to discover that I am already on the right track with a lot of strategies and have furthered my knowledge and gained new tools and perspectives in this parenting gig! Definitely recommend!’ – readingbunny, Goodreads

 

Girl Stuff 8–12 and Girl Stuff 13+

Kaz Cooke

A new school year! For many kids it means new classes, new friends, new challenges – and after last year with so many learning remotely for months at a time, this could feel more true now than ever. The world of the pre-teen is packed with change, and sometimes they need a helping hand sorting it all out. Whether it’s their body taking on a life of it’s own, finding their strengths and talents, or standing up for what they feel is right, Kaz Cooke’s Girl Stuff 8–12 is the essential go-to guide to puberty, the pre-teen years and all the curly questions in between.

 

 

Even more inspiring women

Dive into stories of more Australian women achieving greatness in Born to Run by Cathy Freeman, Unmasked: Young Adult Edition by Turia Pitt, Untold Resilience by Future Women or Women and Leadership by Julia Gillard and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

Featured Titles

Becoming: Adapted for Younger Readers
A younger reader's edition of the number-one bestselling memoir by former first lady of the United States, Michelle Obama. With a new introduction from Mrs Obama herself
Read more
What Zola Did on Monday
From the author of Looking for Alibrandi comes this gorgeous series to engage and entertain newly independent young readers.
Read more
What Zola Did on Tuesday
From the author of Looking for Alibrandi comes this gorgeous series to engage and entertain newly independent young readers.
Read more
What Zola Did on Wednesday
From the author of Looking for Alibrandi comes this gorgeous series to engage and entertain newly independent young readers.
Read more
What Zola Did on Thursday
From the author of Looking for Alibrandi comes this gorgeous series to engage and entertain newly independent young readers.
Read more
What Zola Did on Friday
From the author of Looking for Alibrandi comes this gorgeous series to engage and entertain newly independent young readers.
Read more
What Zola Did on Saturday
From the author of Looking for Alibrandi comes this gorgeous series to engage and entertain newly independent young readers.
Read more
What Zola Did on Sunday
From the author of Looking for Alibrandi comes this gorgeous series to engage and entertain newly independent young readers.
Read more
Alice-Miranda in the Outback
A dusty desert adventure beckons!
Read more
Alice-Miranda At School
Move over, Matilda, and step aside, Madeline, there's a new charming miniature heroine about to make her mark.
Read more
Alice-Miranda in Egypt
Sun, sand and secrets in the ancient world!
Read more
Unmasked Young Adult Edition
A young adult edition of Turia Pitt's bestselling book Unmasked that is unflinchingly honest and completely inspirational.
Read more
Untold Resilience
A timely and uplifting book of true stories from 19 women whose resilience has seen them survive extraordinary global and personal tragedy.
Read more
Women and Leadership
An inspirational and practical book written by two high-achieving women, sharing the experience and advice of some of our most extraordinary women leaders, in their own words.
Read more
Girl Stuff 13+: Your Full-on Guide to the Teen Years

The must-have girls’ guide for the teen years from the number one go-to advisor for Australian girl's and women's health, fully revised and updated edition 2019/2020.

Read more
Girl Stuff 8–12

The essential younger girl's guide to puberty and the pre-teen years. Fully revised and updated edition 2019/2020.

Read more
Raising Girls Who Like Themselves

Discover the seven qualities that enable girls to thrive in a world that tells them they are flawed.

Read more
Listen, Layla
What's a queen to do when her summer plans go horribly wrong? A powerful, funny and timely novel for young readers by writer, broadcaster and award-winning social advocate, Yassmin Abdel-Magied.
Read more
Friday Barnes 9: No Escape
Friday Barnes is back with a new mystery to be solved.
Read more
Friday Barnes 1: Girl Detective
Imagine if Sherlock Holmes was an eleven-year-old girl!
Read more

More features

See all
Article
3 of the best modern parenting books to read in 2023

Discover three indispensable books to help you navigate parenting in the modern age.

Article
With 10 women sworn into office, now is the best time to read Women and Leadership

On 1 June 2022, a record-breaking ten women were sworn into cabinet positions under Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. With more women in parliament, now is the perfect time to read Women and Leadership by Julia Gillard and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

Article
7 of the best chapter books for ages 6-9

Seven amazing chapter books for children ages 6-9.

Article
Australia’s Top 10 Books for Kids in 2021

The most popular books of the year, written by Australian authors.

Article
Easy costume hacks for Book Week 2021

Bluey masks, Roald Dahl favourites, Friday Barnes, Ginger Meggs and more.

Article
Kids and self-confidence

The bestselling author and cartoonist on how to feel more confident.

Article
Meet Friday Barnes

Girl detective extraordinaire!

Article
Memoir Madness: 5 memoirs to dig into this month

See some of the best books – old and new – that recount the real lives of influential people.

Article
Books of the year 2022

From fantastically funny rom-coms to straightforward self-help, these are some of the best books of 2022.

Article
20 of the best non-fiction books of 2022

See some of the best non-fiction books of 2022 so far, as well as more great titles coming this year.

Article
Michelle Obama: note to self

The First Lady of the United States pens a letter to her younger self.

Article
Read these books before your kids go back to school

Books for first timers, experienced students or parents at home.

Looking for more articles?

See all articles