Great Reads About Great Girls (Grades 4-6)

Babbitt, Natalie.  Tuck Everlasting.  JPB B // J FIC Babbitt
The Tuck family is confronted with an agonizing situation when they discover that a ten-year-old girl and a malicious stranger now share their secret about a spring whose water prevents one from ever growing any older.

Barrows, Annie.  The Magic Half.  J FIC Barrows
Eleven-year-old Miri Gill feels left out in her family, which has two sets of twins and her, until she travels back in time to 1935 and discovers Molly, her own lost twin, and brings her back to the present day.

Birdsall, Jeanne.  The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy.  J FIC Birdsall
While vacationing with their widowed father in the Berkshire Mountains, four lovable sisters, ages four through twelve, share adventures with a local boy, much to the dismay of his snobbish mother.

Blume, Judy.  Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great.  J FIC Blume //  JPB B
A summer in Tarrytown, N.Y., is a lot of fun for ten-year-old Sheila even though her friends make her face up to some self-truths she doesn’t want to admit.

Blume, Lesley M.M.  Cornelia and the Audacious Escapades of the Somerset Sisters.  J FIC Blume     
Cornelia, eleven-years-old and lonely, learns about language and life from an elderly new neighbor who has many stories to share about the fabulous adventures she and her sisters had while traveling around the world.

Frances Hodgson Burnett.  A Little Princess.  JPB B // J FIC Burnett
Sara Crewe, a pupil at Miss Minchin’s London school, is left in poverty when her father dies, but is later rescued by a mysterious benefactor.

Burnett, Frances Hodgson.  The Secret Garden.  J FIC Burnett
A ten-year-old orphan comes to live in a lonely house on the Yorkshire moors where she discovers an invalid cousin and the mysteries of a locked garden.

Cleary, Beverly.  Ramona the Pest.  JPB C // J FIC C
Ramona’s entry into kindergarten becomes a big event for all concerned when she makes her presence known.

Clements, Andrew.  Extra Credit.  J FIC Clements
As letters flow back and forth–between the prairies of Illinois and the mountains of Afghanistan, across cultural and religious divides–sixth-grader Abby, ten-year-old Amira, and eleven-year-old Sadeed begin to speak and listen to each other.

Curtis, Christopher Paul.  The Mighty Miss Malone.  J FIC Curtis
With love and determination befitting the “world’s greatest family,” twelve-year-old Deza Malone, her older brother Jimmie, and their parents endure tough times in Gary, Indiana, and later Flint, Michigan during the Great Depression.

Dahl, Roald.  The BFG.  JPB D
Kid snatched from her orphanage by a BFG (Big Friendly Giant), who spends his life blowing happy dreams to children, Sophie concocts with him a plan to save the world from nine other man-gobbling canny bull giants.

Dahl, Roald.  Matilda.  J FIC Dahl // JPB D
Matilda applies her untapped mental powers to rid the school of the evil, child-hating headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, and restore her nice teacher, Miss Honey, to financial security.

DiCamillo, Kate.  Because of Winn-Dixie.  JPB D
Ten-year-old India Opal Buloni describes her first summer in the town of Naomi, Florida, and all the good things that happen to her because of her big ugly dog Winn-Dixie.

DiTerlizzi, Tony.  The Search for WondLa.  J FIC DiTerlizzi.
Living in isolation with a robot on what appears to be an alien world populated with bizarre life forms, a twelve-year-old human girl called Eva Nine sets out on a journey to find others like her. Features “augmented reality” pages, in which readers with a webcam can access additional information about Eva Nine’s world.

Draper, Sharon M.  Out of My Mind.  J FIC Draper
Considered by many to be mentally retarded, a brilliant, impatient fifth-grader with cerebral palsy discovers a technological device that will allow her to speak for the first time.

Erskine, Kathryn.  Mockingbird.  J FIC Erskine
Ten-year-old Caitlin, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, struggles to understand emotions, show empathy, and make friends at school, while at home she seeks closure by working on a project with her father.

Estes, Eleanor.  The Hundred Dresses.  J FIC Estes // JPB E
In winning a medal she is no longer there to receive, a tight-lipped little Polish girl teaches her classmates a lesson. Includes a note from the author’s daughter, Helena Estes.

Fitzhugh, Louise.  Harriet the Spy.  J FIC Fitzhugh
Eleven year old Harriet, who is a spy and plans to be an author keeps a secret notebook filled with thoughts and notes on her schoolmates and people she observes on her afterschool spy route, but when some of her classmates read the notebook, they seek revenge.

Funke, Cornelia.  Igraine the Brave.  J FIC Funke
The daughter of two magicians, twelve-year-old Igraine wants nothing more than to be a knight, and when their castle is attacked by a treacherous neighbor bent on stealing their singing magic books, Igraine has an opportunity to demonstrate her bravery.

Holm, Jennifer L.  Turtle in Paradise.  J FIC Holm
In 1935, when her mother gets a job housekeeping for a woman who does not like children, eleven-year-old Turtle is sent to stay with relatives she has never met in far away Key West, Florida.

Kaye, M.M.  The Ordinary Princess.  J FIC Kaye
At her christening a princess is given the gift of “ordinariness” by a fairy, and the consequences of that eventually take her to a nearby palace where, having run away to become a fourteenth assistant kitchen maid, she meets the prince for her.

Kelly, Jacqueline.  The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate.  J FIC Kelly
In central Texas in 1899, eleven-year-old Callie Vee Tate is instructed to be a lady by her mother, learns about love from the older three of her six brothers, and studies the natural world with her grandfather, the latter of which leads to an important discovery.

Konigsburg, E.L.  From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.  J FIC Konigsburg // JPB K
Having run away with her younger brother to live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, twelve-year-old Claudia strives to keep things in order in their new home and to become a changed person and a heroine to herself.

Lai, Thanhha.  Inside Out and Back Again.  J FIC Lai
Through a series of poems, a young girl chronicles the life-changing year of 1975, when she, her mother, and her brothers leave Vietnam and resettle in Alabama.

Law, Ingrid.  Savvy.  J FIC Law
Recounts the adventures of Mibs Beaumont, whose thirteenth birthday has revealed her “savvy”–a magical power unique to each member of her family–just as her father is injured in a terrible accident.

L’Engle, Madeleine.  A Wrinkle in Time.  J FIC L’Engle // Y FIC L’Engle // YPB L’Engle
Meg Murry and her friends become involved with unearthly strangers and a search for Meg’s father, who has disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government.

Lenski, Lois.  Strawberry Girl.  J FIC Lenski
A young Cracker girl dreams of becoming the best strawberry girl in the Florida backwoods.

Lin, Grace.  Where the Mountain Meets the Moon.  J FIC Lin
Minli, an adventurous girl from a poor village, buys a magical goldfish, and then joins a dragon who cannot fly on a quest to find the Old Man of the Moon in hopes of bringing life to Fruitless Mountain and freshness to Jade River.

Lin, Grace.  The Year of the Dog.  J FIC Lin
Frustrated at her seeming lack of talent for anything, a young Taiwanese American girl sets out to apply the lessons of the Chinese Year of the Dog, those of making best friends and finding oneself, to her own life.

Lindgren, Astrid.  Pippi Longstocking.  J FIC Lindgren
Escapades of a lucky little girl who lives with a horse and a monkey–but without any parents–at the edge of a Swedish village.

Lord, Cynthia.  Rules.  J FIC Lord // Y FIC Lord
Frustrated at life with an autistic brother, twelve-year-old Catherine longs for a normal existence but her world is further complicated by a friendship with an young paraplegic.

Lowry, Lois.  Number the Stars.  J FIC Lowry // JPB L 
In 1943, during the German occupation of Denmark, ten-year-old Annemarie learns how to be brave and courageous when she helps shelter her Jewish friend from the Nazis.

Mass, Wendy.  11 Birthdays.  J FIC Mass
After celebrating their first nine same-day birthdays together, Amanda and Leo, having fallen out on their tenth and not speaking to each other for the last year, prepare to celebrate their eleventh birthday separately but peculiar things begin to happen as the day of their birthday begins to repeat itself over and over again.

Montgomery, L.M.  Anne of Green Gables.  JPB M
Anne, an eleven-year-old orphan, is sent by mistake to live with a lonely, middle-aged brother and sister on a Prince Edward Island farm and proceeds to make an indelible impression on everyone around her.

Mull, Brandon.  Fablehaven.  J FIC Mull (SERIES)
When Kendra and Seth go to stay at their grandparents’ estate, they discover that it is a sanctuary for magical creatures and that a battle between good and evil is looming.  SEQUELS: Rise of the Evening Star(2007), Grip of the Shadow Plague (2008), Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary (2009),  Keys to the Demon Prison (2010). 

Oliver, Lauren.  Liesl & Po.  J FIC Oliver
A mix-up involving the greatest magic in the world has tremendous consequences for Liesl, an orphan who has been locked in an attic, Will, an alchemist’s runaway apprentice, and Po, a ghost, as they are pursued by friend and foe while making an important journey.

Paterson, Katherine.  Bread and Roses, Too.  J FIC Paterson
Jake and Rosa, two children, form an unlikely friendship as they try to survive and understand the 1912 Bread and Roses strike of mill workers in Lawrence, Massachusetts.

Paterson, Katherine.  The Great Gilly Hopkins.  JPB P
An eleven-year-old foster child tries to cope with her longings and fears as she schemes against everyone who tries to be friendly.

Patron, Susan.  The Higher Power of Lucky.  J FIC Patron
Fearing that her legal guardian plans to abandon her to return to France, ten-year-old aspiring scientist Lucky Trimble determines to run away while also continuing to seek the Higher Power that will bring stability to her life.

Perkins, Mitali.  Rickshaw Girl.  J FIC Perkins
In her Bangladesh village, ten-year-old Naimi excels at painting designs called alpanas, but to help her impoverished family financially she would have to be a boy–or disguise herself as one.

Raskin, Ellen.  The Westing Game.  J FIC Raskin
The mysterious death of an eccentric millionaire brings together an unlikely assortment of heirs who must uncover the circumstances of his death before they can claim their inheritance.

Scattergood, Augusta.  Glory Be.  J FIC Scattergood
In the summer of 1964 as she is about to turn twelve, Glory’s town of Hanging Moss, Mississippi, is beset by racial tension when town leaders close her beloved public pool rather than desegregating it.

Schlitz, Laura Amy.  The Night Fairy.  J FIC Schlitz
When Flory the night fairy’s wings are accidentally broken and she cannot fly, she has to learn to do everything differently.

Schwabach, Karen.  The Hope Chest.  J FIC Schwabach
When eleven-year-old Violet runs away from home in 1918 and takes the train to New York City to find her older sister who is a suffragist, she falls in with people her parents would call “the wrong sort,” and ends up in Nashville, Tennessee, where “Suffs” and “Antis” are gathered, awaiting the crucial vote on the nineteenth amendment.

Stead, Rebecca.  When You Reach Me.  J FIC Stead
As her mother prepares to be a contestant on the 1980s television game show, “The $20,000 Pyramid,” a twelve-year-old New York City girl tries to make sense of a series of mysterious notes received from an anonymous source that seems to defy the laws of time and space.

Valente, Catherynne M.  The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making.  J FIC Valente  (SERIES)
Twelve-year-old September’s ordinary life in Omaha turns to adventure when a Green Wind takes her to Fairyland to retrieve a talisman the new and fickle Marquess wants from the enchanted woods. SEQUEL: The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There (2012)

Van Draanen, Wendelin.  Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief.  JPB V (SERIES)
Thirteen-year-old Sammy’s penchant for speaking her mind gets her in trouble when she involves herself in the investigation of a robbery at the “seedy” hotel across the street from the seniors’ building where she is living with her grandmother.

White, E.B.  Charlotte’s Web.  J FIC White
Wilbur, the pig, is desolate when he discovers that he is destined to be the farmer’s Christmas dinner until his spider friend, Charlotte, decides to help him.

Wilder, Laura Ingalls.  Little House on the Prairie.  J FIC Wilder
Laura Ingalls is heading west! The Ingalls family packs up their covere wagon and sets off for the big skies of the Kansas Territory, where wide open land stretches as far as the eye can see. Just when they begin to feel settled, they are caught in the middle of a dangerous conflict.

Williams-Garcia, Rita.  One Crazy Summer.  J FIC Williams-Garcia
In the summer of 1968, after travelling from Brooklyn to Oakland, California, to spend a month with the mother they barely know, eleven-year-old Delphine and her two younger sisters arrive to a cold welcome as they discover that their mother, a dedicated poet and printer, is resentful of the intrusion of their visit and wants them to attend a nearby Black Panther summer camp.

Yolen, Jane.  The Devil’s Arithmetic.  J FIC Yolen // JPB Y
Hannah resents the traditions of her Jewish heritage until time travel places her in the middle of a small Jewish village in Nazi-occupied Poland.

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