Feminist books have skyrocketed in popularity during the last few years. From princesses saving princes to little lessons in big topics, children’s books nowadays break barriers of gender stereotypes and introduce a new, inclusive world. A lot to learn for us adults too, these books give a gentle introduction to the topics of equality, empowerment, and celebrating uniqueness.
We have listed 10 books to get you started with stories on equality and difference. All books can be read to or by all genders, and we encourage having, even the difficult, discussions about the topics.
Tip: Reading to your child? You can change the pronouns/gender (or leave them out) from other books also to have more variety and to challenge the traditional roles and stereotypes.
1. F is for Feminism: An Alphabet Book of empowerment, Carolyn Suzuki, 4-7 years, $10
‘F is for feminism‘ introduces important concepts, words, and conversation starters wrapped in colorful and diverse illustrations. Definitely not a “girls only” book, it captures the words in a sensitive manner, with the pictures giving clear and inclusive representations of the concepts.
2. Bedtime for Superheroes, Katherine Locke, 4-8 years, $18
‘Bedtime for Superheroes‘ is a great book for energetic (even at bedtime) little superheroes. It features a plethora of different superheroes but no gender pronouns, making it flexible and inspiring for many different little identities. This book features the mundane tasks that even superheroes need to go through while excelling in the diversity and inclusion of many beautiful characters and features.
3. Brick by Brick, Giuliano Ferri, 3-5 years, $13
This book packs a lesson even for us adults to learn about the division of groups. This wordless book about a mouse who decided to turn a wall into a bridge inspires us to find meaning for each page. Featuring key themes like teamwork, it gives a great example of what a community can look like even to the youngest readers, and what we can achieve when we help each other.
4. A Boy Like You, Frank Murphy, Kayla Harren, 4-8 years, $17
Beautifully illustrated, ‘A Boy Like You‘ offers us an alternative to the traditional masculine model of sports, anger and hardness, and shows that boys fall victim to patriarchy along with women. The book demonstrates that feminism stands for the right to be the kind of boy you want to be. It packs a powerful message of daring to dream big, daring to be uniquely you and it does all of this with extreme kindness and in a heartwarming tone.
5. A Girl’s Bill of Rights, Amy B. Mucha & Addy Rivera Sonda, 4-8 years, $18
The newest book on the list, published in February 2021, is an empowering picture book about how girls matter. Its joyful illustrations give a child-friendly approach to big subjects of equal rights. It teaches girls to be their unique selves with pride and in the whole spectrum of feelings. The characters are wonderfully diverse, featuring girls of different ethnicities, abilities and religions.
6. They Call Me Mix/Me Llaman Maestre, Lourdes Rivas & Breena Nunez, 6-12 years, $22
This one-of-a-kind book is written in both English and Spanish. It introduces us to a life of a nonbinary, transgender, colored person Lourdes, and helps us learn how gender norms are created when we’re born. While it’s a great book to learn about nonbinary children, it also challenges us all to think about how our actions and expectations shape the identities from a very young age.
7. Herstory: 50 Women and Girls Who Shook Up the World, Kathrine Halligan & Sarah Walsh, 8-12 years, $20
As a response to history, ‘Herstory‘ is a collection of stories from women who changed the world and continue to inspire feminists young and old. The book and its layout are beautifully illustrated, but it packs enough information to keep even the older readers interested. The biographies are short stories of these trailblazers and how they overcame the struggles set by the society we live in.
8. She persisted in Sports, Chelsea Clinton, Alexandra Boiger, 4-8 years, $18
The newest edition to the ‘She persisted‘ series, this book brings us the exciting stories of strong women who survived extreme hardships to be where they are now. The awe-inspiring lives bring up the systemic issues women face in an intersection to race, economic status, and more. This series has both collections of stories as well as books focused on a single woman, such as Ruby Bridges and Claudette Colvin.
9. Midnight Without a Moon, Linda Williams Jackson, 10-12 years, $17
While being listed as a Middle Schooler book, ‘Midnight Without a Moon‘ is definitely a book that moves even adults. It’s a story about Rose, who hears about a boy called Emmet Till. He allegedly whistled at a white woman. The book is a beautiful time-piece to racism in the 30s and a story of a strong girl who wanted to change the status quo. Rose’s story and her courage is an inspiring one while telling the history of the trial of Emmett Till.
10. Dress Coded, Carrie Firestone, 10-12 years, $18
‘Dress Coded‘ hits a topic that is relevant to girls and women of all ages. Molly and her friends have had enough with the dress codes in their school. They decide to get vocal about it and start a podcast about the issue. The story teaches about standing up for your own opinions, activism and friendship. This book is a great discussion opener. You can talk about speaking up for yourself without harming others and forming your own opinions in a healthy way.
These topics often generate a lot of discussions – let us know in the comments what you think about the books!