In the #MeToo and #ChurchToo era, faith-based publishers are helping young girls find value, strength, and courage via a new crop of books. As if taking cues from recent headlines, new titles address issues faced by today’s girls with highlights from the lives of powerful women in history, celebrations of cultural and physical differences, and faith-based teachings.
“Girls should grow up knowing that they are valuable and God wants to use them—that they don’t have to stand on the sidelines and just cheer on the boys,” says Kyle Hatfield, children’s and family editor at Harvest House. That thinking is behind Harvest House’s Courageous World Changers by Shirley Raye Redmond (Jan. 2020), which introduces 50 courageous women from all walks of life who made a meaningful impact in history. Among the 50 are Bethany Hamilton, Rosa Parks, Pocahontas, Pandita Ramabai, and Condoleezza Rice.
From Tyndale Kids, Rachael Denhollander’s How Much Is a Little Girl Worth? (out now) features a poem denoting the immeasurable worth of girls because they are made in God’s image. The release coincided with Denhollander’s memoir, What Is a Girl Worth? (Tyndale), which tells her story of abuse that began when she was 15, its impact on her life, and why she decided to speak out.
In Brown Girl Magic by Dalilla Hermans (Paulist, June 2020), Noon comes home from school sad and angry because someone made fun of her dark skin and wild curls before telling her she should leave. As Noon starts to understand the truly magical girl she is, the book addresses bullying and self-acceptance.
Set in 10th-century Eastern Europe, Anya and the Dragon by Sofiya Pasternack (Versify, out now) features 11-year-old Anya, who looks to her Jewish faith for strength and inspiration to do the right thing, even when it’s not easy.
Barbour Publishing offers several books that highlight the power and importance of girls. “We chose to focus on developing a line of books for courageous girls because we saw a big hole in the market for conservative Christian girls—specifically books focusing on women of faith who made a lasting impact on the world around them,” says Kelly McIntosh, v-p of editorial at Barbour. The publisher’s 100 Extraordinary Stories of Prayer for Courageous Girls by Jean Fischer (Nov.) is a collection of stories about the faith of women—including the Bible’s Lydia and Rahab, as well as Jane Austen and Mother Teresa—aimed at empowering girls to know how women and their prayers have made a difference in the world.
Fischer is also author of She Believed: 12 Stories of Courageous Women of Faith Who Changed the World (Barbour, Feb. 2020), for girls ages five and up. It collects the stories of public female figures such as Clara Barton, Edith Schaeffer, and Corrie ten Boom, depicting their impact on history.
“It’s a great thing that society is talking about empowering girls, and I hope books can help continue the conversation into the next generation,” Harvest House’s Hatfield says.