Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
Mildred D. Taylor
Cassie and her family struggle to be treated well in the Jim Crow South.
Lakshmi is sold into prostitution by her step-father. Only her indomitable spirit keeps her alive.
Laurie Halse Anderson
Mattie copes with the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793 and learns to become more independent.
The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle
Charlotte is on a ship bound for America. Through the obstacles of the voyage, like a hurricane and mutiny, she survives and becomes a stronger person.
Katie and her family are Japanese; they move to Georgia from Iowa to farm. Katie learns what how it feels to be an outsider in society, how to cope with tragedy, and what the bonds of family and love really mean.
Gloriana lives in a small town in Mississippi during Freedom Summer. She thinks that everyone ought to be able to use the local swimming pool and the local library.
Sources of Light
Samantha moves to Jackson, Mississippi with her mother during the beginning of the 1960s. The Civil Rights struggle is in full swing, and Samantha learns who she is as a person and who she wants to be.
If You Could Be Mine
Sahar is willing to do almost anything to be with the woman she loves, even become a man. Set in Iran, this coming-of-age novel exposes readers to a different world with vastly different rules and customs.
Hattie Big Sky
Hattie inherits a farm and moves to Montana to run it by herself. This book about an independent young woman learning to make her own way in the world is sure to please.
Amari is stolen from her home in Africa and sold into slavery. Her story is of a brave and unflinching young woman who strives to keep her own identity and place in the world.
Who are your favorite heroines from children's books and YA novels? We'd love to hear back from you in the comments.