by Bryan Patrick Avery
It’s Womens History Month, and throughout the magic world, we’re celebrating female magicians. Suzanne, Alison Easton, Misty Lee, and Billy Kidd are just a few of the women who have helped advance the conjuring arts. As a magician, and a father, it’s important to me that my daughter see these women in action to help reinforce that she can become anything her heart desires.
The same is true when it comes to books. It’s important to me that my daughter’s bookshelf be populated with stories featuring a wide array of characters including books featuring unique, endearing, and independent female leads.
One such book is Sara Pennypacker’s Clementine, illustrated by Marla Fraze. It’s a hilarious look at one little girl’s “not so good of a week”. The story is both funny and heartwarming, as Clementine attempts to help a friend through a crisis with disastrous results. In addition to being a great read (my daughter and I both read it in one sitting) the book is a great resource for writers looking for strong writing examples to strengthen their own work.
I recently had the opportunity to hear Sara Pennypacker speak at the SCBWI Winter Conference. She stressed the need to leave room for the reader. At the end of the first page of Clemetine, we read “Someone should tell you not to answer the phone in the principal’s office, if that’s a rule.” The reader decides for herself that Clementine must have answered the principal’s phone, and that that action led to negative consequences, all without the writer having to explicitly state it. It leads to a more engaging experience for the reader which explains why the Clementine series is a New York Times best-seller.
Another wonderful book we love is Ada Twist, Scientist, written by Andrea Beaty and illustrated by David Roberts. A rhyming story, this #1 New York Times bestseller is the third book in a series which includes Iggy Peck, Architect and Rosie Revere, Engineer. Ada Twist is a curious young girl with lots of questions. We follow her on her quest to discover the source of a terrible smell as she ends up finding her passion: science.
One side note, we also love this story because it features Ada Twist, a young black girl, just being a kid. Her skin color is completely unimportant to the story and we need more books that feature diverse characters just doing regular things.
Lastly, since we’re perusing my daughter’s bookshelf, she wouldn’t forgive me if I didn’t mention Rachel Renee Russell’s Dork Diaries series featuring the diary of Nikki J. Maxwell. This series has become my daughter’s favorite (I frequently have to remove one or more books from underneath her pillow each morning) in no small part because of how relatable the stories are.
Nikki is a middle-schooler and the first book, Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life, details a fight with her mom over getting the latest phone, meeting her crush and her new best friends, and facing off against her nemesis. Though laid out in a diary format, the stories are engaging and keep readers coming back for more.
That’s all for now. This is just a sampling of the wonderful picture books and middle grade novels featuring some of my (and my daughter's) favorite females leads. Feel free to leave your favorites in the comments below. I’m off to finish my writing so I can prepare for an upcoming magic competition. Have a great month!
Meet the Friday Blogonauts
First Fridays will feature Bryan Patrick Avery, published writer , man of mystery, and professional magician among other things.
Second Fridays will feature awesome multi-award winning author Marsha Diane Arnold who will be writing about character-driven and/or nature-based books and/or anything she likes :)
Third Fridays will feature independent Aladdin/Simon & Shuster editor Emma Sector who has helped bring many books into the world.
Fourth Fridays will feature the great Christine Taylor-Butler who has published over 70 award-winning fiction and non-fiction and nonfiction books including the acclaimed new middle grade series - The Lost Tribes.
Fifth Fridays will feature the fabulous Carl Angel award-winning multi-published Illustrator and graphic designer.
Join our Tribe
and receive 7 Steps to Creative Happiness, access to free webinars, and lots more!
Your email addresses are always safe and respected with us.
Follow our Blog!