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Top 2015 Mighty Girl Books for Tweens and Teens

Posted on January 17, 2016 by Katherine

top-2015-books-tweens-teens

Earlier this month, we shared our top picks of 2015 Mighty Girl stories for toddlers and young children in our post, Top 2015 Mighty Girl Books for Young Children. This year's releases included a bounty of girl-empowering fiction and biographies for both middle grade and young adult readers. In this blog post, we're sharing many of our favorites from the past year. With such a wide diversity of books ranging from realistic fiction to fantasy -- all starring Mighty Girl protagonists -- there's sure to be a title to intrigue every reader young and old alike!

For our favorite picture books and early chapter books from 2015, visit our post on the Top 2015 Mighty Girl Books for Young Children. You can also view our entire collection of recent Mighty Girl releases in our special feature 2015 Mighty Girl Books: A Year in Review.

2015 Mighty Girl Books for Tweens and Teens

Dragons Beware!

Claudette, Marie, and Gaston from Giants Beware! are back! In this volume, the village is in desperate need of Breaker, Claudette's father's magical sword. The only problem is that the sword was lost years ago — swallowed by the dragon Azra the Atrocious, along with her father's legs! And when Claudette gets left behind from the recovery mission, she (inevitably) recruits her little brother and her best friend to take off after them in hopes of slaying the ferocious dragon. Fans of the first volume will love watching the characters continue to find their strengths in this rollicking and funny graphic novel.

Book Scavenger

Emily's literary idol, Garrison Griswold, lives in San Francisco — something that makes her move to the city a lot more exciting! He's the creator of Book Scavenger, a game where books are hidden in cities around the country. But when she arrives, Emily learns that Griswold has been attacked and no one knows anything about the epic new game he was just about to launch. When Emily and her friend James discover a strange book, they find themselves rushing from clue to clue, trying to find the secret — before whoever attacked Griswold comes after them too. This fun adventure, sprinkled with mysteries and ciphers, is sure to appeal to mystery fans.

Untamed: The Wild Life of Jane Goodall

In her nearly 60 year career, Jane Goodall went from an oddity — a woman researching primates in the wild? — to one of the world's most recognizable scientists and conservationists. Along the way, she changed the way we think about our planet — and what it means to be human. In this beautiful biography of Goodall, readers will learn about her amazing achievements, born of her remarkable ability to connect with the chimpanzees she sought to study. Primary sources and full-color photographs create a vivid and inspiring depiction of this trailblazing scientist.

Gone Crazy In Alabama

Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern are back! The Gather sisters, who previously appeared in One Crazy Summer and P.S. Be Eleven, are visiting their grandmother Big Ma in Alabama — as well as her mother, Ma Charles. Ma Charles' half sister lives just across the way, but the siblings haven't spoken in years. As Delphine learns more about these Alabaman relatives, however, she also has to grapple with unexpected secrets from the family's history. And when Vonetta goes missing, Delphine will have to face both her sense of guilt and her resentment over being the one who has to be responsible for everyone. With a rich setting and intriguing characters, this is sure to appeal to fans of the series and to new readers.

The Case of the Missing Moonstone

What if 11-year-old Lady Ada Byron and 14-year-old Mary Godwin — the real-life Ada Lovelace, inventor of the computer algorithm, and Mary Shelley, author of “Frankenstein” — met in London in 1826 and formed a detective agency dedicated to apprehending the most clever and fiendish of criminals? The case in question involves a stolen heirloom and a false confession, and solving it will require analytical thinking, creative problem solving, and a lot of daring! This reimagining of history pays tribute to the famous relationship between Holmes and Watson in the interplay between the awkward genius Ada and the courageous romantic Mary, but it adds its own twist with their reliance on math and science. With its clever Mighty Girl protagonists and a storyline full of action, humor, and intrigue, it’s sure to be a hit.

Finding Serendipity

Tuesday's mother, Serendipity, is a famous author — and now she's missing. So Tuesday and her dog Baxterr set out to find her, and discover the mysterious, unpredictable place that stories come from. In order to rescue her mother, Tuesday will have to make new friends, learn to sail a magical boat, defeat a dangerous pirate, and learn the truth about her definitely-not-ordinary dog. But in order to get herself and her mother all the way to The End, Tuesday will have to get in touch with her creative side and find the power in storytelling. This magical adventure plays narrative structure and the creative process, all while communicating a message about the empowerment to be found in your own voice.

Who Is Malala Yousafzai?

Kids will be fascinated by this accessible biography of Malala Yousafzai from the popular Who Was...? biography series. Malala's career as an international education activist began with a blog for the BBC, but it was after a shocking assassination attempt by the Pakistani Taliban that the world truly stood up and took notice. Today, she is the youngest ever recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize and an inspiration to people around the world. With fun illustrations and useful sidebars full of information, this book will enlighten middle readers about the fight that many children face just to go to school. Teens and adults will also enjoy Malala's memoir I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot By the Taliban (14 and up), while the young reader's edition will appeal to pre-teens I Am Malala: Youth Edition (10 and up).

Switch

Gypsy Beaumont has been eagerly awaiting her thirteenth birthday and the appearance of her own savvy, expecting a marvelous gift like flight or dancing in the stars; instead she wakes up with blurry vision, seeing flashes of the future and past. Then her un-magical, downright mean Grandma Pat moves in — and the family's savvies reverse, leaving Gypsy accidentally freezing time. It will take all of the family's wits to bring Grandma Pat home and help Gypsy accept her savvy. An action-packed imaginative companion to the Newbery Honor-winning Savvy.

The Care and Keeping of Us: A Sharing Collection for Girls and Their Moms

Tweens have relied on books from the American Girl Library for years to give them advice on everything from personal hygiene to emotional changes in puberty to managing friendships. Now, this new joint guide helps tweens and their moms stay close, even in trying times! The set includes How-To-Say-It books for both mothers and daughters, to help them start and continue tricky conversations, as well as a sharing journal where both mom and daughter can write down ideas, stories, questions, and more. It even includes two bookmarks to point out must-read sections! It's a great gift for a Mighty Girl — or a Mighty Mom.

Who Was Julia Child?

You may know Julia Child as a TV chef, but that's only part of her story! After working for the intelligence services during World War II, she and her husband traveled to France which is where she discovered her passion for French food and for cooking. But no one would have guessed that this unconventional woman would have become an international sensation, a best-seller author, and a TV star! This accessible biography of Child is sure to delight tweens. For more 2015 releases from this popular biography series, check out Who Was Harriet Beecher Stowe?, Who Was Beatrix Potter?, and Who Was Sojourner Truth?

A Smart Girl's Guide: Drama, Rumors, and Secrets

With the more complex social relationships of middle school, drama can sometimes seem inevitable — but this book shows that there's a lot a girl can do to limit the drama in her life! With expert insight, the sections of this book show how drama starts, what feeds the fire, and how to cool it down, as well as how to know when the drama goes to far and adult help is needed. Full of advice from real girls, as well as tips and quizzes, this accessible guide will help girls stay true to themselves, even in trying times.

All The Answers

When Ava finds a scratched up old pencil, she doodles like she would with any other — but when she writes a question in the margin of her math quiz, she hears an answer from a voice no one else can hear! With the help of her friend, Sophie, Ava discovers that the pencil can answer any factual question and soon the girls are finding all sorts of intriguing uses for it. But when the sensitive, anxious girl starts getting answers that she doesn't want to hear, Ava has to face her fears and realize that it's courage and determination, not magic, that will get you through the hardest parts of life.

Genuine Sweet

Genuine has a gift: she can grant any wish... as long as it's not her own. Which is a problem, because Genuine could use a wish or two: her father was fired for drinking on the job and the whole family has to survive on her Gram's benefits. Genuine throws herself into helping others, which does bring her new friends and then an avalanche of wish requests that she can't possibly fill, even with help. But when a tragedy strikes the family that no amount of wishing can fix, Genuine will learn that there's an important difference between wishing for a better life and building one. This heartfelt debut novel has an authentic voice that kids will find irresistible.

Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer

Sophie Brown feels totally out of place when her parents move her from big-city LA to the farm they've inherited from a great-uncle, especially when it becomes obvious that the townsfolk assume she and her Latino family are migrant workers rather than landowners. But the farm gets a little more interesting when Sophie discovers that one of the chickens can move things with her mind! Soon, more of her great-uncle's chickens — with even more unusual powers — are coming home to roost. And when a local farmer rival tries to steal the chickens, Sophie will have to find a way to keep her very special chickens safe. Told in a combinations of letters, quizzes, to-do lists, and sections of a correspondence course on chicken care, this fun and quirky story is sure to be a favorite.

Nellie Bly and Investigative Journalism for Kids: Mighty Muckrakers from the Golden Age to Today

She was one of the most famous women in the world in her day: from a record-breaking trip around the world (that was thought to be impossible) to feigning insanity to report on the conditions within insane asylums, Nellie Bly was always audacious and daring! This book provides a comprehensive look at Bly and other social reform writers and reporters who transformed both journalism and attitudes. Twenty-one activities are included to get young readers interested in journalism, from keeping a reporter's notebook to writing letters to the editor.

The Detective's Assistant

Nell Warne's last hope is her Aunt Kate: if she doesn't take in the 11-year-old, Nell will be off to the Home for the Friendless. Fortunately, it turns out that Nell is just what Kate needs! Kate Warne is the first ever female detective at the legendary Pinkerton Detective Agency and Nell's sharp ears and quick wit are perfectly suited to the Agency's work. But before she and Aunt Kate can hope to form a family, Nell will have to solve the mystery of what happened to her uncle and discover how her own father was involved. Full of historical detail, and with an extensive author's note about the Pinkerton Detective Agency and the real-life Kate Warne, this action-packed novel will appeal to history buffs and mystery fans alike.

Roller Girl

When Astrid discovers a new passion, she suddenly realizes that her best friend Nicole may not be willing to follow her everywhere: instead of joining Astrid at roller derby camp, Nicole signs up for dance camp instead! The summer is hard enough without her friend by her side, and gets harder when Astrid discovers that roller derby is hard work. The older girls aren’t inclined to go easy on the newbies, and Astrid feels like everything is going wrong. But her first bout might just turn things around – and not just in the roller derby rink. This fun and heartfelt graphic novel, written by a real-life derby girl, is sure to delight kids who have discovered new interests as they grow older.

Chasing Secrets

In San Francisco in 1900, 13-year-old Lizzie would love to follow her physician father on rounds all the time, but her aunt insists that she goes to a finishing school rather than pursuing her love of science. Observant Lizzie sees enough to realize that there's a dark side to the city, one full of poverty and hardship — and possibly an epidemic in the making. And yet her father, the mayor, and the newspapers all deny that plague has reached the city, even as angry mobs threaten to burn Chinatown to the ground. With her friend Noah, the Chinese cook's son, Lizzie will have to defy all the restrictive social rules separating people by race and class if she hopes to save the city and the people she loves.

The War That Saved My Life

10-year-old Ada has never left her family's one-bedroom apartment; her abusive mother considers her clubbed foot a humiliation and has kept her from public view her entire life. But when Ada’s little brother Jamie is shipped out of London to escape the dangers of World War II, Ada takes the greatest risk of her life and sneaks out to join him. Susan Smith, the recluse who’s forced to take the siblings in, doesn’t know anything about children -- especially girls who flinch at every mistake. But as the pair grow closer, perhaps Ada has finally found someone that she can trust to love her just as she is. This touching historical novel with an engaging main character is part adventure, part search for identity.

The Truth About Twinkie Pie

Brilliant GiGi never knew her mother, only her older sister, DiDi, and Mama's recipes. But DiDi is determined to do her best for GiGi, so when she manages to win a national cooking contest, she decides to uproot the pair from their North Carolina trailer park and move to New York City, where GiGi can go to one of the city's best private schools. Navigating the new environment — complete with complicated new friendships and rivalries — takes some doing, but things get extra interesting when GiGi starts to wonder whether Mama is really dead after all. This charming story, full of humor and heart, also includes a variety of comfort-food recipes including Twinkie Pie and Madder'n Heck Smashed Potatoes.

A Night Divided

When the Berlin Wall went up, it split a city — and Gerta's family. Her father and middle brother, who had gone west to look for work, are on the western side; Gerta, her mother, and her other brother are on the eastern side, under Soviet control. Now Gerta is growing up with East German soldiers pointing guns at their own citizens, reminding them never to look over the wall. Then, on her way to school, Gerta spots her father on a viewing platform, performing a strange dance, and receives a mysterious drawing. Her conclusion? Her father wants them to tunnel under the wall and reunite the family. But do they dare the consequences in search of freedom? This intriguing historical novel, with its unique setting, will give kids a new perspective on history — and on the importance of remembering it.

The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate

Callie Vee from The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate is back! Callie is now under the tutelage of the town's veterinarian, helping to save the various injured animals her brother Travis brings home. But her contributions are ignored or ridiculed compared to the little her brother does and her mother still disapproves of her unladylike pursuits. Then the 1900 Galveston hurricane drops their traumatized cousin Aggie into the household, too. Fortunately, with the support of her beloved grandfather, Callie holds firm to her ambitions to find the life that's right for her. Funny and poignant, this novel continues the adventures of this determined heroine.

Princess Academy: The Forgotten Sisters

Miri is eager to return to her beloved home after a year at the king's palace, but instead she finds herself ordered to a distant swamp to start a princess academy for three cousins of the royal family. Astrid, Felissa, and Sus are more interested in hunting and fishing than courtly etiquette, but if Miri is ever going to get back to Mount Eskel, she'll have to convince them to learn. As she spends time with them, though, Miri realizes that the sisters — and the king and queen's interest in them — hide a long-buried secret. It will take all her strength and intelligence to unravel the mystery, protect the sisters, and make her way home. This sequel to Princess Academy and Princess Academy: Palace of Stone will delight fans of the series.

Lumberjanes Volume 2: Friendship to the Max

Jo, April, Mal, Molly, and Ripley are back! And much as they'd like to be spending a quiet summer, there's a supernatural force threatening their camp. No matter how much they'd like to avoid insane quests and pesky critters, it looks like it's time for another race through the woods to protect their friends — and the world! — from creatures that most people consider mythology. Fans of Lumberjanes Volume 1: Beware the Kitten Holy will be excited to check out this graphic novel, which collects issues 5 to 8.

Stella by Starlight

In Bumblebee, North Carolina, Stella is used to segregation: some stores she can go into, some she can't, and that's just the way it is. But she's never thought as racism as dangerous before. Until one day, Stella and her brother see something they aren't supposed to: a Ku Klux Klan meeting, practically right in their backyard. It's the beginning of many frightening and unpleasant changes to come. But Stella's community decides to draw together and stand up against the injustices around them, and as they do, Stella will not only learn that hope can come from strange places — even ashes — but also discover an unexpected talent and purpose. By the author of the bestselling Out of My Mind, this touching historical novel featuring a warm, lively main character is inspiring and touching.

Listen, Slowly

Mai is a Californian girl through and through — Vietnam is part of her parents' identity, not her own. So when they insist that she spends the summer traveling to Vietnam with her grandmother, who's hoping to find out what happened to her husband during the Vietnam War, she's furious. Vietnam is hot, smelly, and boring; she doesn't know the language, understand the culture, or recognize any of the people she's told are relatives. But as she grows closer to her grandmother, Mai begins to understand that her relatives' stories are part of her own — and that there is, in fact, a part of her in both of these very different worlds. This follow-up to Lai's award-winning Inside Out and Back Again is a powerful story about the true meaning of culture and family.

Serafina and the Black Cloak

It’s 1899 and 12-year-old Serafina lives with her pa in the basement of the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina, where the most important rule has always been that no one can know she’s there. The rich owners don't know that she lives in the basement with her father, the estate's maintenance man. But when children start disappearing, Serafina knows the culprit: the mysterious man in a black cloak she’s seen stalking the estate’s halls. With the help of the estate owners’ nephew, Braeden, Serafina must find a way to reveal the man’s true identity before all the children are gone. In the process, Serafina will learn secrets about a legacy of magic and discover who she really is. Serafina is a believably courageous heroine of this suspenseful story and the friendship between her and Braeden is heartfelt and real.

Goodbye Stranger

Bridge, Emily, and Tabitha are best friends in seventh grade, all wrestling with their own challenges: Bridge is an accident survivor wondering why she's alive; Emily has a developing body attracting wanted, and unwanted, attention; and Tabitha is developing her identity as a human rights activist. The three girls are best friends with one rule: No fighting. But is that enough to get them through middle school? This captivating novel captures all the ups and downs, triumphs and tragedies, that can seem overwhelming as a young teen.

The Green Bicycle

Eleven-year-old Wadjda wants the green bicycle she saw in a shop more than anything — but in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, it's improper for a girl to ride a bike, and her parents refuse to get it for her. So the enterprising girl decides to save up for the bicycle herself, first by making bracelets, then by selling mixtapes of banned music to her classmates. When she's caught, she has to turn over a new leaf or risk expulsion, but that doesn't mean she'll give up on her dream! This novel, based on Al Mansour's groundbreaking film Wadjda, captures the rapidly shifting attitudes and culture in the Middle East, all while exploring gender roles, conformity, and the importance of family.

Breakaway: Beyond the Goal

This uplifting memoir from soccer star Alex Morgan will inspire young readers to be their best — in sports or any other activity they choose to pursue! The memoir follows Morgan from childhood and her discovery of soccer in the American Youth Soccer Organization to her journey to the 2011 Women’s World Cup, gold in the 2012 Olympics, and her emergence as one of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team’s top scorers. A few last touches about the lead-up to the 2015 Women’s World Cup finish off this inspiring and encouraging book. The book includes eight pages of full-color photos and the book jacket doubles as a poster.

The Thing About Jellyfish

12-year-old Suzy’s best friend Franny was far too good a swimmer to have drowned, so Suzy concludes that Franny must have been stung by a lethal jellyfish -- and she’s determined to scientifically prove it. She has plenty of time to do so: Suzy has no other friends and her grief has rendered her mute. As the history of the relationship between Suzy and Franny is slowly revealed through a series of flashbacks, it becomes clear that their friendship was no longer what it had once been. Franny had been leaving her socially awkward friend behind as they reached middle school and Suzy had sought revenge on her long-time friend -- leaving her to struggle with guilt and regret, along with a profound sense of loss following Franny's death. This complex, emotionally layered novel — a finalist for the National Book Award — tackles multiple issues, including the difficulty of finding your place as you get older and the different ways that people process grief.

I Lived on Butterfly Hill

Celeste Marconi's life in Valparaiso, Chile, is an idyllic one until the day that warships appear in the harbor. A new government has taken control, one which considers artists, protesters, and those who help the needy "subversive." Soon, her classmates and neighbors start disappearing — perhaps escaped, perhaps not. Celeste's parents know they will be targets, so they go into hiding, sending Celeste to safety in America. She adapts to her new life, but her mind is still full of questions: even when democracy returns to her beloved home, will her parents emerge from hiding and will she ever feel safe again? Poetic language and subtle characterization make this a stand-out work of historical fiction.

Nightbird

In Twig's hometown of Sidwell, people whisper about a monster hiding somewhere in the shadows, but Twig knows the truth: the monster is her older brother, James, cursed with a pair of large black wings like all the other men in the family have been for centuries. But when a new family moves into the cottage that once housed the witch who placed the curse, perhaps the power of love, friendship, and belonging can help Twig find a way to break the spell. Hoffman's first young adult novel juggles themes of environmentalism, broken family, and outsiders finding community with one another.

Fish In A Tree

Ally is clever — she knows that, if she's enough of a disruption in class, no one will figure out just how little she can read. But how can she be smart if she can't even read the simplest things? But her newest teacher, Mr. Daniels, seems to see past her brash, troublemaking exterior, and even puts a name to her reading problems: dyslexia. Lynda Mullaly Hunt provides a compassionate look at life with a learning disability, with an ending that's realistic: Ally's happy ending will involve small changes and a lot of hard work! Most importantly, she reminds the reader that great minds don't always think alike.

Awkward

Peppi Torres knows that the two cardinal rules of school are 1) don’t get noticed by the mean kids and 2) seek out groups with similar interests and join them. But on her first day, she trips into quiet Jaime, and immediately starts getting teased as the “nerder girlfriend”! Peppi doesn’t handle the moment well, and even as she finds friends in the art club, she’s ashamed about how she treated Jaime. But then she learns that the art club’s archrivals, the science club, are ready to battle it out — and that Jaime is one of them! At its core, this newly released graphic novel teaches an important lesson about the value of kindness, while chronicling some of the challenges encountered by middle school students in their world of rapidly changing social relations.

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Volume 1: Squirrel Power

With her mysterious squirrel powers, Doreen Green, a.k.a. Squirrel Girl, has defeated supervillains when other heroes of the Marvel universe have met their match! Now, Squirrel Girl finally has her own comic series. In this volume, which collects issues 1 to 5, Doreen is moving out of the Avengers mansion — along with her squirrel sidekick, Tippy Toe — to start a computer science degree at the university. But trouble seems to follow her and soon she’s up against Kraven the Hunter, Whiplash, and even the mighty Galactus, all while dealing with classwork, crushes, and all the other business of college! Squirrel Girl is a lighthearted superhero story, perfect for younger Marvel fans. Complete her set with the new release The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Volume 2: Squirrel You Know It's True.

Rad American Women A-Z: Rebels, Trailblazers, and Visionaries Who Shaped Our History...And The Future!

In this alphabet book for older readers, A is for Angela Davis, B is for Billie Jean King, and C is for Carol Burnett! 26 biographical profiles feature American women from across several centuries, of all races and professions. But the one thing they all share in common is how they defied assumptions, broke through boundaries, and changed the way people looked at the world. The introduction discusses what it takes to be a radical woman, and the book includes an afterword with 26 suggestions on how the girls of today can be the rad women of tomorrow.

The Sleeper and the Spindle

On the night of her wedding, a queen sets out to rescue a princess from an enchantment, trading wedding gowns for chain mail. Her dwarf retainers lead her deep into tunnels under the mountain to where a whole kingdom lies sleeping. For the queen, this adventure provides a chance to delay her marriage, which signals the end of choices in her life — but is the princess waiting for her what she seems? Gaiman's novella mixes Snow White and Sleeping Beauty, along with plenty of original ideas, to create a dark and funny story of identity, strength, and sacrifice; his text is beautifully accompanied by Riddell's stunning illustrations.

The Hired Girl

14-year-old Joan Skraggs adores reading but on a hardscrabble farm in 1911 Pennsylvania, books are hard to come by -- especially after her father forces her to quit school to cook and clean for him and her brothers after the death of her mother. After her father burns the few precious books she owns in response to her standing up to his domineering ways, Joan decides that her only chance to escape a life of solitary drudgery is to run away and work as a hired girl in a city. She eventually finds herself in Baltimore, working as a maid for a Jewish family unlike anyone Joan has ever known: they are warm, kind, and appreciative of everything that education has to offer. But even with six dollars a week in wages will Joan be able to build the future that she’s always dreamed of and, most importantly, finally have a chance to continue her education? Laura Amy Schlitz, a Newbery Medal-winning author, creates a vivid and authentic character in Joan, who makes a few impetuous mistakes but never stops imagining big things for herself.

Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the Selma Voting Rights March

Lynda Blackmon Lowery was the youngest marcher in the 1965 Selma march but that didn't protect her. Jailed eleven times before her 15th birthday, she refused to leave her place by Martin Luther King Jr.'s side and continued to protest in support of what was right. In this touching memoir, Lowery describes what it was like to risk so much at such a young age, explains why non-violent protest was so important to the Civil Rights movement, and how it felt to be a part of this moment of history.

The Immortals Quartet

Tamora Pierce established herself as a force to be reckoned with in young adult fantasy when she published Wild Magic in 1992. Now, the full Immortals Quartet is now available in this beautiful collectible box set with all-new covers! Follow Daine, a brave young orphan in the land of Tortall, as she discovers her magical ability to speak to animals; goes on a quest to hone her skills and learn the truth of her parentage; and learns of her duty to protect the kingdom from creatures of myth and nightmare. It's the perfect way to introduce the Mighty Girls of today to this absorbing and magical world.

Magnificent Minds: 16 Pioneering Women in Science and Medicine

Though we know few of their names, throughout the centuries there have been women who defied their social roles to broaden our understanding of the world. In this book, which grew out of an exhibit in the Groller Club in New York, Pendred Noyce explores 16 of these daring and curious women who made their marks in the world of science and medicine. From Florence Nightingale's pioneering use of statistics to improve public health, to Lise Meitner's explanation of nuclear fission, to Ada Byron Lovelace's creation of the first computer algorithm, these intriguing portraits capture both the importance of their work, but also the spirit and dreams of these groundbreaking women.

The Many Faces of Josephine Baker: Dancer, Singer, Activist, Spy

Josephine Baker became an icon of the Jazz Age with her comic and musical abilities, but there was much more to this complex woman than appearances indicated. In this first in-depth biography for young adult readers, Peggy Caravantes follows Baker from a childhood in poverty, through her rise to fame, her work as an Allied spy during World War II, her outspoken support of the US Civil Rights Movement, and her adoption of 12 children to form her "rainbow tribe." Importantly, she doesn't shy away from showing the places where mysteries about Baker still lie: as she points out, Baker often rewrote her own history to suit her purposes. Teens will be intrigued by this flamboyant and unique figure from entertainment history.

Women Heroes of the American Revolution: 20 Stories of Espionage, Sabotage, Defiance, and Rescue

Every schoolchild knows about Paul Revere, but what about 16-year-old Sybil Ludington, who rode twice as far to help her father muster his scattered troops? And while we cheer the defiance of Patrick Henry's "Give me liberty, or give me death!", few know Martha Bratton's more daring declaration "It was I who did it!" to British soldiers after she blew up a gunpowder stash to keep it out of their hands. This lively collection of profiles highlights the little-known but remarkable women of the American Revolution, providing a fresh new perspective on this dynamic period in history.

Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science — And The World

This inspiring recent release is a gift for science lovers everywhere, especially for those eager to learn more about the oft-neglected stories of women's contributions to science. Swaby’s 52 engaging capsule biographies span centuries of courageous thinkers and illustrate how each one’s ideas developed, from their first moment of scientific engagement through the research and discovery for which they’re best known. The women featured, whose specializations range from biology to physics to engineering, include some well-known figures such as Sally Ride and Ada Lovelace but most of the women highlighted will be new to the majority of readers. While each individual's biography runs for only a few pages, Swaby has done an impressive job of conveying the essence of each scientist's life and work into the profiles. Her light tone makes for a pleasurable and accessible read, and many readers will also undoubtedly be inspired to learn more about the figures they find most intriguing.

Audacity

Clara Lemlich immigrated to the US, the famed land of opportunity, hoping for an education and a chance to better herself. Instead, she discovered that young immigrant women like herself were a source of cheap labor for the garment trade — but what other choice do you have when you must work or starve? Determined Clara, however, refuses to settle for a life of drudgery and studies English at night while working brutal hours for minimal pay. Finally, she decides the time has come to raise her voice: the dangerous working conditions of the garment workers are not acceptable. All they need is a leader to bring the industry to its knees and finally force change… This novel in verse explores the real-life story of a poorly-educated immigrant who fought her way to education, leadership, and success — and, ultimately, became the leader of the Uprising of the 20,000, one of the first great successes for the labor movement. Powerful and inspiring, it's a unique way for teens to learn about the history and importance of labor unions and workers' rights.

Nimona

Nimona is an eager young shapeshifter on the lookout for a villain — she knows she'd be the perfect sidekick. So when she meets Lord Ballister Blackheart, it seems like the perfect match: Blackheart has a vendetta against his former friend Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and is determined to prove he and his colleagues at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics are such heroes after all. But adding Nimona to the mix ups the ante on the rivalry, and soon Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona's powers are mysterious — and unpredictable. This irreverent graphic novel pokes fun at the tropes of classic fantasy; teens will love its exciting action and the clever dialogue.

Dumplin'

Willowdean has always been at home in her own body, even if her former beauty-queen mom might make a tough comparison to some. But she finds her confidence unexpectedly shaken when she falls for Private School Bo, a hot former jock, and discovers he actually likes her back. Appalled at her own doubts, Will decides to take life by the horns and enter the Miss Teen Blue Bonnet Pageant — along with several other unlikely candidates — to show the world that all bodies are beautiful bodies. Teens will empathize with Will as she wrestles with confidence, body image, loss, and love — and cheer when she comes out the other side.

Everything, Everything

Madeline's Severe Combined Immunodeficiency is a life sentence that keeps her trapped in her home, with her world reduced to two people: her physician mother and her nurse, Carla. Any contact with anyone else could be, quite literally, deadly. Then she sees a family move in next door; a family with a teen boy named Olly who is inventive enough to come up with ways to communicate with Madeline. Falling in love with Olly is sure to be a disaster, isn't it? But what might she discover if she dares to step outside the home where she feels safe? Teens will feel for Madeline as she struggles with a difficult decision: stay with the life she knows or dare to break the rules in hopes of something bigger.

Shadow Scale

In Seraphina, a half-dragon/half-human musician had to come to terms with her background; but now, she faces an even greater challenge. War has broken out between the dragons and the humans, and Seraphina is traveling through the land to find other half-dragons like herself, hoping their abilities will assist in fighting the dragons and regaining peace. But somewhere out there, one of those half-dragons has an insidious ability to enter the minds of other people and use them to his own purposes. If Seraphina continues to keep herself safe from intrusion, she must also deny her gifts. Will she cling to safety or embrace a powerful new destiny? This much-anticipated sequel takes readers deeper into Hartman's extraordinary world.

Ms. Marvel Volume 4: Last Days

From the moment Kamala Khan donned the identity of Ms. Marvel, she's faced all the challenges of learning to be a superhero while still being a teen. Now, she has her toughest battle yet: a very personal enemy she must confront as the whole universe collapses around her. The chaos in Manhattan is spilling over into her beloved Jersey City, and Kamala will have to make some difficult choices. What does it mean to be a hero when the whole world is on the line? Fists up, let's do this! This final collection of the original Ms. Marvel storyline leads into her new role as an Avenger in All-New, All-Different Avengers. To follow Kamala's entire storyline, check out the previous volumes: No Normal, Generation Why, and Crushed.

Under A Painted Sky

In 1849, Samantha's dreams of moving to New York to be a professional musician seem out of reach: how can a girl, let alone a Chinese-American girl, achieve such a thing? But after a family tragedy and an incident that leaves her on the run from the law and fearing for her life, those dreams are the last thing on her mind. With the help of Annamae, a runaway slave, Samantha head for the Oregon Trail, where the newfound friends disguise themselves as boys for protection. With the law closing in on them, but some unexpected allies in their corner, the girls will have to fight for their safety and their freedom.

Illuminae

It's 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war — over Kady's planet. This morning she thought breaking up with Ezra would be the hardest thing in the world; now, she and Ezra have to evacuate with a hostile warship in pursuit... while they're barely speaking to one another. And that's just the beginning of their problems: to survive — and learn the truth about what's really going on — Kady will have to hack a web of data and figure out how she and Ezra can work together despite it all. Told in a unique dossier format of hacked documents, including e-mails, IMs, files, medical reports, and more, this story will have teen readers eager for the next book of the planned trilogy.

Mosquitoland

Mim is furious that her father and stepmother have moved her from Cleveland to Mississippi, so when she learns that her real mother is sick, she decides to run away, hopping onto a Greyhound bus and starting a journey to the place she considers home. Along the way, she'll meet a quirky cast of fellow travelers, some who mean well and some who don't — and she'll also make decisions, both good and bad, about how to treat them. But as the final stage of her journey starts to fall apart, Mim has to confront the reality of her mother's mental health and her own. Both funny and heartwrenching, this novel explores the world through the eyes of a young woman struggling to find her place.

An Ember in the Ashes

Laia is a slave, eking out an existence in the Martial Empire's backstreets and hoping to stay out of notice of the elite: those who make trouble are brutally punished. But when her brother is arrested for treason, Laia has only one way to save his life: assist the rebels by spying inside the walls of the premier military academy. There, she meets Elias, the school's best soldier, but an unwilling participant, conscripted against his will. Together, their choices may change their own destinies — and that of the Empire itself. This intense fantasy novel, the start of a new series, will have teens flipping pages to the end and eagerly looking forward to volumes to come.

Additional Recommended Resources


This post was posted in Front Page, A Mighty Girl Top Pick, A Mighty Girl Spotlight and was tagged with tweens, teens, 2015, 2015 Year in Review