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Her Best Friend: 60 Books About Mighty Girls and Their Pets

A Mighty Girl's top picks of books about girls and their love of animals!

For many Mighty Girls, a beloved animal provides a treasured relationship. And whether an animal is large or small, wild or domesticated or maybe even imaginary, sometimes it’s a Mighty Girl who cares for them or even comes to their rescue! If your Mighty Girl is an animal lover, she’ll love these stories about fictional Mighty Girls who take care of the other creatures around them.

Animal-Loving Mighty Girl Books

Please, Puppy, Please

Please, Puppy, Please

Illustrated by: Kadir Nelson
Recommended Age: 0 - 3

The irrepressible little girl from Please, Baby, Please is back, a little older and with a new responsibility — a puppy! But as anyone who’s added a young puppy to their family knows, an undisciplined pup is hard to manage for an adult, let alone a pair of preschoolers. Adults will smile and young readers will laugh at this very loving and true-to-life depiction of the excitement of caring for a puppy.

Lola Gets A Cat

Lola Gets A Cat

Written by: Anna McQuinn
Illustrated by: Rosalind Beardshaw
Recommended Age: 3 - 5

Book-loving Lola has a new challenge: convincing her mother to let the family get a cat! After diligent research about pet care — and lots of practice with her stuffed kitty — the family chooses their new friend at a pet shelter. And while some challenges inevitably arise, as both cat and Lola get used to the new routine, it's not long before they're the best of friends! This lovely story featuring the family from Lola At The Library, Lola Loves Stories, Lola Reads To Leo, and Lola Plants A Garden also provides a great reminder that choosing a pet is something that needs to be done with care.

Ladybug Girl and the Rescue Dogs

Ladybug Girl and the Rescue Dogs

Written by: Jacky Davis
Illustrated by: David Soman
Recommended Age: 3 - 6

Lulu is excited to meet all the rescue dogs when the pet-adoption fair comes to her local farmers' market. She wants to take all of them home — but she already has Bingo, and Mama says one dog is enough for their family. That doesn't mean Lulu can't help, though. It's time for Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad — her friends Grasshopper Girl and Bumblebee Boy — to step in! And when Lulu comes up with the perfect plan to help the dogs find their forever homes, her idea is such a success that the Bug Squad knows they'll be back again next week. Together, they can help every dog get adopted.

Uni the Unicorn

Uni the Unicorn

Written by: Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Illustrated by: Brigette Barrager
Recommended Age: 3 - 7

In a magical forest lives a unicorn just like any other — except that Uni believes that little girls are real. Uni's friends laugh, and her parents smile knowingly, but she's sure that somewhere out there is a little girl just waiting to be her friend. Little does Uni know, but not too far away, there's a little girl dreaming of a unicorn... And while the story ends before they meet, the complementary dreams of these two "mythical" creatures prove they will be the best of friends! This charming and beautifully illustrated story will appeal to anyone who's waited to spot their own imaginary friend.

Love Is

Love Is

Written by: Diane Adams
Illustrated by: Claire Keane
Recommended Age: 3 - 7

When a little girl meets a lost duckling, it's love at first sight! The pair are soon inseparable, even when challenges come up — everything from midnight feedings to messes to resistance to bath time. But as both girl and duckling grow, they realize there's something even more important to learn about love: that love means holding tight sometimes, but also letting go. Parents and children alike will adore this sweet book about growing up and the joys of offering and returning love.

Twinkle's Fairy Pet Day
New!

Twinkle's Fairy Pet Day
New!

Written by: Katharine Holabird
Illustrated by: Sarah Warburton
Recommended Age: 3 - 7

Twinkle the fairy is back, and this time, she's hoping to get the perfect pet! But while Pippa and Lulu end up with an adorable butterfly and a cute ladybug, Twinkle's pet spell summons... a green dragon named Scruffy. Scruffy is rambunctious and a little bit naughty, and Twinkle struggles to train him to behave, no matter how politely she asks. Finally, on Fairy Pet Day — when she's sure things will be a disaster — she decides on a different tack: "Just do your best, Scruffy," she says. And it turns out that with a little encouragement, Scruffy can be just the pet she hoped for! This sparkly and funny book will remind young readers about the power of unconditional love.

Over The Moon

Over The Moon

Written by: James Proimos
Illustrated by: Zoey Abbott
Recommended Age: 3 - 7

A pair of wolves are shocked when they find a baby floating in a basket in the river — and when no parent seems to be nearby, they decide to raise her as their own. The joyful parents teach her everything they know as she grows, and soon she's adept at following her wolfish family through the forest. But when she sees a group of children reading, she's captured by curiosity. Fortunately, her loving family tells her they will support her dreams, no matter what they are, and soon she's spending her days at school — and her nights telling her family all about what she's learned. This charming and quirky fable celebrates the love that builds a family, and how that love allows kids to soar.

A Unicorn Named Sparkle

A Unicorn Named Sparkle

Written by: Amy Young
Illustrated by: Amy Young
Recommended Age: 3 - 7

Lucy adores unicorns, so when she sees an ad for one in the newspaper, she's quick to send in her 25 cents. She passes the time waiting for his arrival by imagining all the things she'll do with her unicorn, and even picks the perfect name: Sparkle. But when Sparkle arrives... he's not what Lucy imagined. He looks (and smells!) more like a goat than like a unicorn, and his mischievous demeanor isn't anything like the placid, majestic creature she imagined. She even considers sending him away... but realizes that, even if he's not what she dreamed, Sparkle is still the sweetest, most adorable unicorn friend ever. Charming and funny, this story will delight any young reader who's dreamed of her own unicorn.

Bee & Me

Bee & Me

Written by: Alison Jay
Illustrated by: Alison Jay
Recommended Age: 3 - 8

When a large bee flies into a little girl's open apartment window, it's the start of an unexpected friendship. Although her initial inclination is to grab the flyswatter, the girl recognizes the bee as a sympathetic figure and instead helps him by feeding him sugar water. Soon, the bee has grown big enough for the girl to take a remarkable ride, far across the countryside to harvest seeds that the pair can sprinkle across her urban landscape. Nature-loving kids will be intrigued by this wordless picture book, both for its fantasy-tinged pictorial story about the relationship between bees and growing things and for its page of facts about bees.

Trouble with Trolls

Trouble with Trolls

Written by: Jan Brett
Illustrated by: Jan Brett
Recommended Age: 3 - 8

Treva and her dog Truffy set out one morning to climb Mount Baldy — but they have no idea that the group of trolls that live on the mountain have been dreaming of a dog of their very own! When the trolls try to kidnap Truffy, Treva refuses to give up on her beloved pet. Instead, she outwits one troll after another by giving each of them something she's carrying — mittens, a hat, and more — until she reaches the very top of the mountain where five of the most fiendish trolls are waiting. Fortunately, the clever girl outsmarts them one more time, reclaiming all of her things and skiing to safety with her beloved pet! This charming story by Jan Brett has illustrations packed with details — including a story within the page borders that hint the trolls will get the pet they're dreaming of soon.

Daisy Comes Home

Daisy Comes Home

Written by: Jan Brett
Illustrated by: Jan Brett
Recommended Age: 4 - 7

Mei Mei takes pride in caring for her six hens with healthy food (and some fun treats!), fresh hay, and lots of attention. But Daisy, the smallest hen, isn't happy: the other hens take advantage of her lack of confidence and push her off the perch every night. When Daisy seeks refuge in an egg basket at the edge of the river one night, she ends up swept downstream! As Mei Mei searches high and low for her, Daisy uses her wits to get out of one problem after another — so by the time she returns home, she's new confident in both herself and in Mei Mei's enduring love. This charming story, with author/illustrator Jan Brett's distinctive detail-packed illustrations, is sure to delight young readers.

Starla Jean
New!

Starla Jean
New!

Written by: Elana K. Arnold
Illustrated by: A. N. Kang
Recommended Age: 4 - 7

Starla Jean is a determined girl who never backs down from a challenge. So when she sees a skinny chicken wandering around the park — and her father says, "if you can catch it, you can keep it," — she knows just what to do! When she succeeds in catching the chicken (to the dismay of her dad,) she names her Opal Egg and sets out to learn everything she can about her new best friend. But in the process, she starts to worry. What if Opal Egg already belongs to somebody? With laugh-out-loud storytelling from Elana K. Arnold and charming illustrations throughout, this is an irresistible series opener that's perfect for kids ready for early chapter books.

Madame Martine

Madame Martine

Written by: Sarah S. Brannen
Illustrated by: Sarah S. Brannen
Recommended Age: 4 - 7

In Paris, a city full of things to explore and do, Madame Martine sticks to her daily routine and never deviates. She hasn't even seen the Eiffel Tower — "just for tourists," she sniffs. But when Madame Martine takes in a stray dog, her schedule is in for some changes! The puppy isn't content to follow along, and leads her on a wild chase — which ends at the top of the tower, with Madame Martine realizing how much beauty surrounds her. Before long, the new friends have a new routine: trying something different every week. This funny story about how pets can enrich (and shake up!) your life is sure to be a favorite.

A Quieter Story

A Quieter Story

Written by: Liza Woodruff
Illustrated by: Liza Woodruff
Recommended Age: 4 - 7

The little girl in this story adores her kitten, so naturally he makes a terrific main character for her artwork and stories — except he decides he's tired of boring tales about chasing yarn. He declares that TIGER, his ferocious alter-ego, wants an adventurous, daring tale instead! Soon, he's surrounded by a dark jungle, full of snakes and hungry hyenas... and he's wondering if he's gone a little too far. Fortunately, his loving friend knows how to reassure him and give him a quieter story again. This charming story-within-a-story is a tongue in cheek reminder to be careful what you wish for that celebrates the joy of collaborative storytelling.

Our Very Own Dog: Taking Care of Your First Pet

Our Very Own Dog: Taking Care of Your First Pet

Written by: Amanda McCardie
Illustrated by: Salvatore Rubbino
Recommended Age: 4 - 8

This little girl's family has just brought home a new dog — and they have a lot to learn! As she describes how the family gets Sophie the pup settled in their new home, readers will learn about everything a dog needs, from a warm bed to good long walks, from the fun (treats!) to the important work of training. A list of tips at the end include useful information about how to tell a dog's mood from its posture. For dog-loving kids eager to add a new friend to the family, this book provides everything they need to know in an encouraging and realistic way.

The Princess and the Pony

The Princess and the Pony

Written by: Kate Beaton
Illustrated by: Kate Beaton
Recommended Age: 4 - 8

Princess Pinecone wants to be a warrior princess, but every birthday, all she gets are fuzzy sweaters. So this year, she's completely clear about what she wants: a horse. A big, strong, ferocious war horse! Instead, she gets... a roly-poly pony that's more than a little smelly. While she's disappointed, there's one thing Pinecone knows — a true warrior can take advantage of any opportunity! This silly story from the author of Hark, A Vagrant! is not only fun but also sends the important message that gentleness can often have a greater impact than force.

Emma and Muse

Emma and Muse

Written by: Nancy Lemon
Illustrated by: Nancy Lemon
Recommended Age: 4 - 8

Emma loves all things art, and her biggest inspiration is her beloved dog, Muse. But one day, Muse picks up a paintbrush and adds a splotch of vibrant color to a canvas Emma is preparing. Instead of being grateful, Emma is furious, and Muse runs away. Without him, Emma's lost more than her creative spark: she's lost her best friend. How can apologize to Muse if she can't even find him? Clever references to art and art history are sprinkled in this book, but the most important part of the story is Emma's creative way to let Muse know she's sorry — and the loving relationship they share.

Angel in Beijing

Angel in Beijing

Written by: Belle Yang
Illustrated by: Belle Yang
Recommended Age: 4 - 8

When New Year's Eve firecrackers scare a little stray cat in Beijing, she jumps into little Angel's courtyard, and the two become fast friends. On Angel's bicycle, the pair explore the city — but on the day of the Dragon Boat Festival, Kitty leaps at a dragon kite and gets carried off into the sky! Hopping on her bike, Angel searches all their favorite places, hoping desperately to find her friend again, and finds Kitty in a most unexpected place.... This charming tribute to the sights of Beijing incorporates a sweet tale about friendship.

Addy's Cup of Sugar

Addy's Cup of Sugar

Written by: Jon J Muth
Illustrated by: Jon J Muth
Recommended Age: 4 - 8

Addy adores her kitten, Trumpet, and finds the world "brighter and warmer" with Trumpet around. But when Trumpet is hit by a car and killed, Addy is sure her wise panda friend, Stillwater, will know how to bring her beloved pet back to life. Stillwater claims Addy can make a special medicine, but it starts with a cup of sugar, collected from homes in the neighborhood — but only from people who've never known loss or grief. It's not long before Addy discovers that death touches everyone eventually... but that our memories can be the most powerful medicine of all. Soft, comforting illustrations and a gentle interpretation of a Buddhist tale provide an important lessons about grief, love, and healing in this exquisite picture book.

Dogs and Their People

Dogs and Their People

Written by: Anne Lambelet
Illustrated by: Anne Lambelet
Recommended Age: 4 - 8

This little girl loves walking home from school and looking at all the people walking their dogs! Some of them are very alike, like the gentleman whose mustache is almost exactly like his schnauzer's; others are very different, like the very short person with the very large dog. But no matter what, it's clear that these humans and dogs are meant to be the perfect pair. And when the girl gets home, readers get a surprise — as well as a reminder that there are many kinds of furry friends. This charming book with a colorful cast of characters is sure to delight young dog lovers.

Maya and the Lost Cat

Maya and the Lost Cat

Written by: Caroline Magerl
Illustrated by: Caroline Magerl
Recommended Age: 4 - 8

One rainy day, Maya discovers a Cat — "as wet as a seal, as gray as a puddle" — on the rooftop nearby. When she lures Cat out, she makes it her mission to find its home. So dressed in a pom-pom hat and a feather boa, with Cat following politely, she sets out to knock on doors. When she does find the houseboat where Cat's owners live, it's bittersweet: she's grown attached to Maya. Then Cat presents her with a little gray kitten, who suffers from seasickness... and soon ends up purring on Maya's bed. Charming and quirky, this book celebrates both wanderlust and home, and will ring true to animal lovers both young and old.

Rain Before Rainbows

Rain Before Rainbows

Written by: Smriti Prasadam-Halls
Illustrated by: David Litchfield
Recommended Age: 4 - 8

Rain before rainbows, clouds before sun, night before daybreak — a new day’s begun. When a terrible fire destroys a castle, the little girl and her fox friend who live there have to venture into the storm to escape. The night is black and frightening, especially when they're not sure where they can go that's safe. But the pair of them hold onto hope, knowing that if they persevere, good things will come in future. With elegant, rhyming text and vibrant, rich illustrations, this is a simple but deep picture book that reminds young readers that there is hope even in the darkest of moments, creating an uplifting message that will help any reader searching for the brightness to come.

Ella and Penguin Stick Together

Ella and Penguin Stick Together

Written by: Megan Maynor
Illustrated by: Rosalinde Bonnet
Recommended Age: 4 - 8

Ella and Penguin have a new treat: glow in the dark stickers! But to see the stickers glow, you have to be in the dark and neither of them are very eager to turn out the lights. The dark is just so... DARK. Although the pair try different ideas first, they finally conclude that they're going to have to face their fear to see the stickers. Fortunately, with a caring friend by your side, it's a lot easier to do the things that frighten you! This cheerful story tackling a common childhood fear and featuring a devoted pair of friends will be a hit.

Cat Ladies

Cat Ladies

Written by: Susi Schaefer
Illustrated by: Susi Schaefer
Recommended Age: 4 - 8

Princess the cat has four ladies, and while some of her cat friends thing that's excessive, she's quite content: Millie gets her perfectly groomed, Molly takes her on errands, Merthel bird watches with her, and Maridl sings with her. But one day, a stray appears — there's a GIRL in Princess' favorite spot! Worse, the ladies have done all of their tasks without Princess. Indignant, Princess stalks out of the house... and gets herself stuck in a fence. Fortunately, the new arrival has excellent hearing and comes to the rescue. This hilarious, tongue-in-cheek book celebrates the bond between cats and their humans (and might be helpful for human children struggling with a bit of jealousy!)

Stormy: A Story About Finding a Forever Home

Stormy: A Story About Finding a Forever Home

Written by: Guojing
Illustrated by: Guojing
Recommended Age: 4 - 8

On a sunny day, a woman visiting a local park spots a small dog hiding under a bench. The shaggy pup is obviously a stray, so the woman tries to coax him out, but he is too afraid to emerge. Patiently, she visits over and over, offering a tennis ball and kind words; the ball is tentatively accepted, and that night, the dog even tracks her steps back to her apartment, where he thoughtfully looks up at the window. But it takes a raging storm to give the dog proof that she will always be there — and that her home is his too. No words are required in this touching picture book about a woman, a dog, and the loving warmth of a forever home.

Made by Maxine

Made by Maxine

Written by: Ruth Spiro
Illustrated by: Holly Hatam
Recommended Age: 4 - 8

Maxine loves to tinker and invent, and she knows that you can create something to solve any problem — with enough tries. When it's time for her school pet parade, she knows exactly who she wants to bring: her beloved goldfish, Milton. So step 1 is making something that lets Milton march with the other animals! It takes multiple efforts before Maxine finds the solution, but when she does, she knows it will be absolutely perfect. This uplifting picture book with a resilient narrator is sure to please young tinkerers.

Madeline Finn and the Shelter Dog

Madeline Finn and the Shelter Dog

Written by: Lisa Papp
Illustrated by: Lisa Papp
Recommended Age: 4 - 8

After getting help learning to read from patient library dog Bonnie in Madeline Finn and the Library Dog, Madeline Finn wants a puppy of her own! When her mother says yes, she even gets to pick a pup from one of Bonnie's litters. But she also learns about animal shelters, and wonders how she could help the shelter dogs get the love and attention they deserve. With a little help, Madeline Finn sets up a program that lets kids read to the shelter animals — one that will help other pets find their own forever homes. This sweet story that celebrates the different ways pets join our lives also reminds kids that they can make a difference in their communities. Madeline and Star's adventures continue in Madeline Finn and the Therapy Dog.

Becoming a Good Creature

Becoming a Good Creature

Written by: Sy Montgomery
Illustrated by: Rebecca Green
Recommended Age: 4 - 8

Sy Montgomery has written about all sorts of animals, from dogs and pigs to gorillas and octopuses — and they each had something important to teach her. In this delightful adaptation of her adult memoir Becoming A Good Creature, Montgomery adapts her stories for a picture book audience, showing them how animals have taught her to be patient, respect others, and even find her own family. Full of poignant revelations and powerful truths, this picture book is a reminder that we are just one of many animals on Earth, and by observing the other living things that share our planetary home, we can become better than we are.

This Old Dog

This Old Dog

Written by: Martha Brockenbrough
Illustrated by: Gabriel Alborozo
Recommended Age: 4 - 8

The dog in this book is getting on in years, but he still loves all the wonderful things in the world. Unfortunately, his people have been going fast, fast, FAST ever since their daughter was born: short walks, racing to and from appointments, no time to stop and appreciate the moments. Then something wonderful happens: the girl starts to walk. Suddenly, the dog has someone who wants to go at his speed, who loves exploring and rolling down hills, who knows how special a "just-right rock" is. This charming and sweet story about an old dog and his little girl celebrates the bond between children and animals — and reminds readers that age doesn't have to bring a loss of joy.

Raising Dragons

Raising Dragons

Written by: Jerdine Nolen
Illustrated by: Elise Primavera
Recommended Age: 4 - 8

A little girl finds a mysterious egg on her Sunday walk — and hatches a dragon! Her new dragon, who she names Hank, needs lots of tender loving care if he’s going to get big and strong, and training to be useful on her parents’ farm. When Hank starts attracting a little too much attention, the little girl decides to return him to Dragon Island...but comes home with a wheelbarrow full of eggs to raise and train. This charming blend of realism and fantasy is sure to be a hit with your animal — or dragon — loving Mighty Girl.

Stay: A Girl, a Dog, a Bucket List

Stay: A Girl, a Dog, a Bucket List

Written by: Kate Klise
Illustrated by: M. Sarah Klise
Recommended Age: 4 - 8

Ever since she was born, Eli has been by Astrid's side. He's been a bodyguard, a pillow, and her very first friend; he eats under her table and sleeps at her feet. But Astrid is getting older — and so is Eli. So Astrid decides that Eli should enjoy the years before he slows down and creates a bucket list for him: everything from visiting the movie theater to sleeping under the stars to eating spaghetti and meatballs at a restaurant! What's revealed over time, though, is that the most important thing is spending time together: "Being with Astrid was the only thing left on Eli’s bucket list. It was the only thing that had ever been on Eli’s bucket list." This tribute to the special relationship between a girl and her pet is full of heart.

My Dog's A Chicken

My Dog's A Chicken

Illustrated by: Anne Wilsdorf
Recommended Age: 4 - 8

Lula Mae wants a puppy, but hard times mean that's out of the question. So, instead, she decides to make a pet out of one of her family's chickens! As far as Lula Mae is concerned, Pookie is very dog-like: she can be a show dog, a shepherd dog, even a guard dog. And when Lula Mae's baby brother wanders away, Pookie proves she can be a hero... even if she is a chicken. Kids will giggle at Lula Mae's optimism, her parents' confusion, and the inadvertent way that Pookie saves the day.

Charlie Anderson

Charlie Anderson

Written by: Barbara Abercrombie
Illustrated by: Mark Graham
Recommended Age: 4 - 8

One day, a fuzzy grey cat walks out of the woods and makes himself at home at Elizabeth and Sarah’s house! Charlie stays all night, every night... but in the daytime, he disappears. When Charlie fails to show up the night after a storm, the worried girls go looking for him — and discover that Charlie has a second home. Just like Elizabeth and Sarah, Charlie has two houses, two beds, and two families that love him very much. This sweet story about life with a wandering pet is also a great conversation starter for discussing separation, divorce, and custody arrangements.

Madeline Finn and the Library Dog

Madeline Finn and the Library Dog

Written by: Lisa Papp
Illustrated by: Lisa Papp
Recommended Age: 4 - 8

Madeline really does not like to read — but she really wants a gold star from her teacher, and gold stars are only for kids who can read the words out loud. Then Madeline meets Bonnie, a library dog, who's patient and quiet and never minds if Madeline needs a few minutes to figure out a word. With Bonnie's help, Madeline realizes that she doesn't like reading because she finds it hard, and that with a supportive friend who gives her the space to go slow, she can develop both her reading skills and her love of the written word. It's a lovely reminder of the many ways that pets can help support us. Fans of this book will enjoy the companions, Madeline Finn and the Shelter Dog and Madeline Finn and the Therapy Dog.

Maya and the Lost Cat

Maya and the Lost Cat

Written by: Caroline Magerl
Illustrated by: Caroline Magerl
Recommended Age: 4 - 8

One rainy day, Maya discovers a Cat — "as wet as a seal, as gray as a puddle" — on the rooftop nearby. When she lures Cat out, she makes it her mission to find its home. So dressed in a pom-pom hat and a feather boa, with Cat following politely, she sets out to knock on doors. When she does find the houseboat where Cat's owners live, it's bittersweet: she's grown attached to Maya. Then Cat presents her with a little gray kitten, who suffers from seasickness... and soon ends up purring on Maya's bed. Charming and quirky, this book celebrates both wanderlust and home, and will ring true to animal lovers both young and old.

Sonya's Chickens

Sonya's Chickens

Written by: Phoebe Wahl
Illustrated by: Phoebe Wahl
Recommended Age: 4 - 8

Sonya's father gives her three little chicks and tells her that taking care of them is her responsibility. And Sonya does her job well: soon, they're full-grown hens and she even finds an egg hiding in the straw! But one night, after she hears tremendous noise from the hen house, one of her chickens is gone, stolen by a fox. Fortunately, her caring father is there to show her how her own loss means growth and renewal for the fox and her kits. This thoughtful and gentle story teaches an important lesson about the interconnectedness of all living things.

The Pawed Piper

The Pawed Piper

Written by: Michelle Robinson
Illustrated by: Chinlun Lee
Recommended Age: 4 - 8

When this little girl wishes for a cat of her very own — a cuddly one, like her grandmother's cat, Hector — she lays a trail she's sure will work: everything she knows cats love, from bowls of milk to cardboard boxes. By the next morning, a horde of cats, led by Hector, has arrived at her door. ("I lost count at SIXTY-SEVEN!" she declares in a combination of horror and glee.) While at first her plethora of cats is a delight, soon she starts seeing posters looking for missing cats, and she realizes that she can't deny these other families the pets they love. Fortunately, when she finds all the cats their homes, there's one little kitten who gets to stay! Charming and playful, this book will speak to anyone who's wished for the pet of their dreams.

The Old Woman Who Named Things

The Old Woman Who Named Things

Written by: Cynthia Rylant
Illustrated by: Kathryn Brown
Recommended Age: 4 - 8

An old woman has outlived all of her friends, so to help herself feel less lonely, she names inanimate objects — but only the things that she knows will outlive her. Then a stray puppy makes his way into her life. She feeds the stray, but still refuses to name him. When the dog she still won’t acknowledge as hers doesn’t show up one day, she has a choice to make: let this new friendship disappear, or welcome a new friend into her life and finally give him a name. This touching story captures the value of animal friendship — in all stages of life.

Hello Goodbye Dog

Hello Goodbye Dog

Written by: Maria Gianferrari
Illustrated by: Patrice Barton
Recommended Age: 4 - 8

Zara the girl and Moose the dog adore one another, which means saying goodbye is as awful for Moose as "an itch that couldn’t be scratched." So when Zara goes to school, Moose keeps escaping (in more and more elaborate ways) to join her! The only thing that works is confining a lonely Moose to a crate, something everyone realizes isn't a good solution. So Zara takes Moose to her own school — therapy dog school — and Moose returns to the classroom as the class reading dog! This fun story also includes an endnote with additional information and websites about therapy dogs.

Because of Thursday

Because of Thursday

Written by: Patricia Polacco
Illustrated by: Patricia Polacco
Recommended Age: 4 - 8

Thursday has always been lucky for Annie Fetlock, but when the love of her life passes away, it seems like no amount of luck can help her get through her grief — or rediscover the love of cooking that turned her restaurant into the most popular one around. Then a lonely cat shows up and, naturally, Annie names it Thursday. Not only does Thursday help Annie return to her beloved restaurant, but a seeming catastrophe caused by his twists and twirls ends up inspiring the dish that becomes a national hit! This touching and funny story from beloved author / illustrator Patricia Polacco even includes a recipe for Thursday's Ugly Pasta.

Beatrice's Goat

Beatrice's Goat

Written by: Page McBrier
Illustrated by: Lori Lohstoeter
Recommended Age: 4 - 8

In Beatrice’s Ugandan village, few families have the money to send their children to school — until the day twelve donated goats arrive. Beatrice names her goat Mugisa, which means “lucky gift”, and thanks to Beatrice’s scrupulous care, Mugisa is soon giving enough milk that Beatrice can afford the school uniform she’s been dreaming of. Based on a real story of a family helped by Heifer Project International, and with a portion of proceeds going to support the work of the charity, this book is also a great way to show your children the impact of charitable giving.

Sparky!

Sparky!

Written by: Jenny Offill
Illustrated by: Chris Appelhans
Recommended Age: 4 - 8

When this little girl's mother says she can only have a pet "that doesn't need to be walked or bathed or fed," she takes that as a challenge! After a little research, the girl settles on a sloth — after all, they sleep sixteen hours a day and they barely eat and drink. But when Sparky the sloth arrives, he doesn't do all the things she was imagining in a pet: no playing catch, no tricks, just sitting around and sleeping. But maybe the most important thing isn't what your pet can do; maybe it's just appreciating them for who they are. This quirky and funny story with an important message will delight all those who feel just a little bit different.

A Pony With Her Writer: The Story of Marguerite Henry and Misty

A Pony With Her Writer: The Story of Marguerite Henry and Misty

Written by: Thea Feldman
Illustrated by: Rachel Sanson
Recommended Age: 5 - 7

Marguerite Henry's book Misty of Chincoteague has been a beloved favorite every since it was published in 1947 — but did you know that Henry had a real pony named Misty? In this Level Ready-to-Read book, perfect for newly independent readers, kids will ready about Henry's time on Chincoteague Island and the pony who stole her heart. A special section at the end includes additional facts about Chincoteague ponies!

Bramble and Maggie: Horse Meets Girl

Bramble and Maggie: Horse Meets Girl

Written by: Jessie Haas
Illustrated by: Alison Friend
Recommended Age: 5 - 7

Bramble the pony is tired of her boring life, walking in circles as she gives riding lessons. She wants just the right rider to take care of her. But the first few riders she meets: one bosses her around, the other wants her to jump. Then, she meets Maggie. Maggie knows how to figure out what Bramble wants, and balances the new and exciting with reassurance about the unfamiliar. They just might be a perfect match! This charming early reader will delight young horse-lovers as they imagine finding their very own Bramble. For more of Bramble and Maggie's adventures, check out the second book Bramble and Maggie: Give and Take.

Sister Bear: A Norse Tale

Sister Bear: A Norse Tale

Written by: Jane Yolen
Illustrated by: Linda Graves
Recommended Age: 5 - 8

Halva, a young girl from Finnmark, finds a little white bear cub in the woods, and when she brings the cub home, Sister Bear soon becomes one of the family, hunting for them, protecting Halva, and even dancing while Halva plays the flute. Halva is so proud of Sister Bear that she takes her to the King of Denmark but on the way, an encounter with some big, ugly trolls will show Halva just how wonderful it is to have such a special sister! Based on a Norse folktale, and accompanied by beautiful, detailed illustrations, this exciting and sweet story is sure to be a favorite.

Leah's Pony

Leah's Pony

Written by: Elizabeth Friedrich
Illustrated by: Michael Garland
Recommended Age: 5 - 8

When times were good, Leah's father bought her a pony, and the pair became best friends, riding out on all sorts of adventures together. But this year, the earth has turned to dust, and the crops just wouldn't grow. Leah's father can't pay the bank, so his only option is to auction off all the equipment to settle the debt. To save the farm, Leah sells her pony, using the money to buy back the tractor — and inspired by her act of generosity, the whole town comes together to help Leah and her family... and to reunite her with her beloved pet. Set in the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, this emotional story, accented by stunning oil paintings, is a moving story of a girl who would give anything for her family.

Lucy

Lucy

Written by: Randy Cecil
Illustrated by: Randy Cecil
Recommended Age: 5 - 9

Lucy is a small dog without a home, but who remembers what it was like to be loved and safe in her dreams. Eleanor is a compassionate little girl who feeds the stray dog she sees outside her window, and whose father is a juggler struggling with stage fright. When their three stories come together, a new chapter will start for all of them! Told in four acts with monochromatic artwork, the first three sections are each from a single character's perspective, each revealing a little more before a finale that will make young readers cheer.

The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses

The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses

Written by: Paul Goble
Illustrated by: Paul Goble
Recommended Age: 5 - 9

In this Caldecott Medal-winning book, a young Native American girl has a special connection to horses. She speaks softly to the horses of her village and leads them all to the water to drink every morning. When a great thunderstorm causes the horses to stampede — with the girl still on one's back — she has confidence that her beloved horses will lead her down the right path. And when she meets a brave, beautiful stallion in a new land, her connection with the horses finally allows her to truly join them. This lovely story shows the joys of following your passion — and of communities that understand the special gifts of their members.

Follow The Moon Home: A Tale of One Idea, Twenty Kids, and a Hundred Sea Turtles

Follow The Moon Home: A Tale of One Idea, Twenty Kids, and a Hundred Sea Turtles

Illustrated by: Meilo So
Recommended Age: 5 - 9

Viv has just moved to a new town by the sea, and she's still struggling to feel at home — "I always need help finding my way, especially in a new place," she thinks. On her first day at school, her teacher tells her that they're looking for a community action project to do, and urges Viv and her classmates to think of ideas. It's not until Viv learns about the sea turtle hatcheries nearby — and the way the hatchlings can get lost when they mistake artificial lights for the moon that normally guides their way — that the class finds the perfect project. This newly released picture book based on the real kids who helped save the South Carolina sea turtles is sure to inspire young animal lovers!

Rescue and Jessica: A Life-Changing Friendship

Rescue and Jessica: A Life-Changing Friendship

Illustrated by: Scott Magoon
Recommended Age: 5 - 9

All of Rescue's family are seeing eye dogs, but his trainer thinks he's better suited to become a service dog – and Rescue's worried he's not up to the task. Then he meets Jessica, a girl whose leg has just been amputated who is struggling to adjust to her new life. Now Jessica needs Rescue by her side to help her accomplish everyday tasks. And, when Jessica's other leg has to be amputated too, they have to start all over again. It turns out that Rescue can help Jessica see after all: a way forward, together, one step at a time! This unique and thoughtful picture book about acquired disability, service dogs, and the power of hope also includes an introduction to the work of dogs trained by the National Education for Assistance Dog Services (NEADS).

The Only Child

The Only Child

Written by: Guojing
Illustrated by: Guojing
Recommended Age: 5 - 9

In this wordless picture book, a little girl, lost and alone, follows a mysterious stag deep into the woods, where she finds a strange and beautiful world. But after she enjoys the wonders and companionship that the animals of this new world have to offer her, she realizes that home and family are far away. How can she find her way back? This debut book, which is laid out in a hybrid of picture book and graphic novel, features elegant and expressive black and white pencil illustrations that will have kids returning to this story over and over.

Hattie & Hudson

Hattie & Hudson

Written by: Chris Van Dusen
Illustrated by: Chris Van Dusen
Recommended Age: 5 - 9

One morning, while Hattie is enjoying a canoe on the lake, her singing draws a remarkable creature out of the depths! Hattie quickly realizes that the curious, friendly creature is no monster, and names him Hudson. But when the townspeople find out about Hudson, how can she convince them that their fears and hostility aren't justified, and that Hudson is as sweet as can be? Author /illustrator Chris Van Dusen's expressive illustrations of the charming Hudson capture his enormous size, while his text communicates an important message about not judging animals or people by their exteriors alone.

Lost and Found Cat: The True Story of Kunkush's Incredible Journey

Lost and Found Cat: The True Story of Kunkush's Incredible Journey

Illustrated by: Sue Cornelison
Recommended Age: 6 - 9

When an Iraqi family is forced to flee, they can't bear to leave their beloved cat, Kunkush, behind — so they secretly bring him with them all the way to Greece. But during the crowded boat crossing, Kunkush escapes; the family can't stay long enough to find him, and they leave brokenhearted. So when Greek aid workers find Kunkush several days later, the quest begins to get him back to his family! With the help of a worldwide online community, Kunkush's family is found and they are finally able to bring him to their new home. Told with the help of the people who helped reunite pet and people, and with the permission of Kunkush's family, this true story celebrates the importance of our animal friends in making a place feel like home.

King & Kayla and the Case of the Secret Code

King & Kayla and the Case of the Secret Code

Written by: Dori Hillestad Butler
Illustrated by: Nancy Meyers
Recommended Age: 6 - 9

King the dog helps his best friend Kayla solve a mysterious pair of coded letters! Kayla and Mason have both received letters. What Kayla knows is that the same person sent both of them — someone both she and Mason know — and that the two letters are the same except for the second word. What King knows is that Jillian is the one who left the letters. Can Kayla and King figure out what the letters say using these clues? This fun early chapter mystery story teaches young readers how to gather information and analyze clues. Fans of this title can also get the second volume, King & Kayla and the Case of the Missing Dog Treats.

The Critter Club Ten-Book Collection

The Critter Club Ten-Book Collection

Written by: Callie Barkley
Illustrated by: Marsha Riti
Recommended Age: 6 - 9

Amy, Ellie, Liz, and Marion love animals — so they found the Critter Club, a rescue shelter that helps animals in need in their California town! But it's not easy to take care of a wide variety of animals while also handling all the challenges faced by typical 8-year-olds, including handling friendships, going to school, and more. Fortunately, they can always lean on one another to help them through! Simple language and illustrations on most pages make this the perfect choice for animal-loving emerging readers. This set includes the first ten books of the series: Amy and the Missing Puppy, All About Ellie, Liz Learns a Lesson, Marion Takes a Break, Amy Meets Her Stepsister, Ellie’s Lovely Idea, Liz at Marigold Lake, Marion Strikes a Pose, Amy’s Very Merry Christmas, and Ellie and the Good-Luck Pig.

Princess Cora and the Crocodile

Princess Cora and the Crocodile

Written by: Laura Amy Schlitz
Illustrated by: Brian Floca
Recommended Age: 6 - 9

Princess Cora is so tired of her princess lessons that she writes to her fairy godmother for help. Strangely, her fairy godmother responds by sending... a crocodile! But it turns out that the ill-behaved crocodile is exactly what Cora needs, because while the crocodile is dressed up in a mop wig and frilly dress — wreaking havoc in the castle — Cora gets to go on an exciting outdoor adventure: climbing trees, getting dirty, and having fun. This hilarious story will leave kids cheering at Cora's joy when she finally gets to enjoy a little freedom.

Skunked! Calpurnia Tate, Girl Vet

Skunked! Calpurnia Tate, Girl Vet

Written by: Jacqueline Kelly
Recommended Age: 6 - 9

Beloved characters Calpurnia and her family from the award-winning middle grade historical fiction novel The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate make an appearance in this new early chapter book series! When Calpurnia's little brother Travis rescues a baby skunk, he knows he'll have to keep Stinky secret. But then he finds Stinky's littermate, Winky, and things get even more complicated. Travis and Calpurnia want to help the skunks stay safe and get well, but Mama's nose for trouble is sure to twitch with two baby skunks around! This book includes the perfect combination of historical detail, scientific terminology, and engaging story and characters. Fans of this volume can also check out the second in the series, Counting Sheep.

Dragons and Marshmallows: Zoey and Sassafras #1

Dragons and Marshmallows: Zoey and Sassafras #1

Written by: Asia Citro
Illustrated by: Marion Lindsay
Recommended Age: 6 - 9

Zoey has made an amazing discovery: magical animals show up in her backyard when they need help — so it's up to her to help them feel better! This time, it's a sick baby dragon she names Marshmallow. With her beloved cat Sassafras, Zoey will use the scientific method to learn enough about her patient to treat him, including testing if Marshmallow is warm or cold blooded; herbivore, carnivore, or omnivore; and much more. This first book in the whimsical illustrated early reader chapter book series is a fun blend of fantasy and real-world science. Fans of this book can follow Zoey's further adventures in the rest of the Zoey and Sassafras series.

Jasmine Green Rescues: A Piglet Called Truffle

Jasmine Green Rescues: A Piglet Called Truffle

Written by: Helen Peters
Illustrated by: Ellie Snowdon
Recommended Age: 6 - 9

Aspiring veterinarian Jasmine Green loves animals, whether they're pets, wildlife, or farm animals! But sometimes following her vet mother around introduces her to the tougher side of farming. On one house call, Jasmine gets to see a brand-new littler of piglets, only to discover a forgotten runt that's so tiny it can't get milk — and the farmer doesn't think it's worth saving. So Jasmine decides to smuggle the pig home and see if she can rescue him! Raising Truffle will be tricky, especially if he's a secret... This early chapter book series opener, with appealing black ad white illustrations, captures the bustling life of a family farm and the determination of one animal-loving girl.

Lulu Walks The Dogs

Lulu Walks The Dogs

Written by: Judith Viorst
Illustrated by: Lane Smith
Recommended Age: 6 - 9

Stubborn Lulu from Lulu and the Brontosaurus is back, this time looking to make a little extra cash by walking the neighborhood dogs. But Brutus, Cordelia, and Pookie don’t make the walk a very easy one! Lulu’s do-gooding neighbor Fleischman offers some help, which she reluctantly accepts but can two totally opposite personalities, and three not-very-cooperative dogs, ever work together? With a sarcastic, witty tone, Viorst’s story captures how animals — even undisciplined ones — can bring people together.

A Symphony of Whales

A Symphony of Whales

Written by: Steve Schuch
Illustrated by: Peter Sylvada
Recommended Age: 6 - 10

It’s the winter of 1984-1985, and the cold is so bitter that the Senyavina Strait ices over — trapping thousands of beluga whales near Glashka’s village. A Russian icebreaker comes to help provide assistance but the terrified whales flee the noisy ship, instead of following to freedom. Even the whale calls the ship broadcasts don’t reassure the frightened animals. Fortunately, young Glashka’s connection to the whales gives her the solution: if whale song doesn’t help, perhaps human music will. This fictionalization of a real whale rescue will remind your children of the importance of caring for wild animals and the world around us.

The Reindeer Girl

The Reindeer Girl

Written by: Holly Webb
Recommended Age: 7 - 9

Lotta is visiting Norway for the first time ever this Christmas — and she's meeting Oldemor, her great-grandmother Erika, for the first time too. She's quickly rapt to hear Oldemor's stories about a life as a Sami reindeer herder! But after a tiring day, Lotta wakes up to discover she's now fallen into one of the stories, living the life of a girl in a community herding the reindeer to the breeding grounds. Not only must she keep herself and the adult reindeer safe in the freezing winter weather, but when a calf is born unexpectedly, she'll have to save it too. And, of course, she needs to find her way home! With a charming adventure story and additional information about reindeer and life in Norway, this book from the Winter Journeys series will delight young readers.

Aster and the Accidental Magic

Aster and the Accidental Magic

Written by: Thom Pico
Illustrated by: Karensac
Recommended Age: 7 - 10

10-year-old Aster is expecting nothing but boredom when her parents move the whole family to an isolated mountain town. But when Aster bumps into a mysterious old woman who gives her a dog named Buzz, saying he will ensure "the mountain will always look after you," things get unexpectedly interesting! Aster stumbles into one adventure after another, from magic gone wrong when a wish to be able to understand Buzz results in her only being able to speak dog, to helping a group of chestnut knights ensure the seasons pass as promised. This charming and whimsical graphic novel, full of action and adventure, will leave kids wishing they could dive into Aster's world! Aster's adventures continue in the sequel, Aster and the Mixed-Up Magic.

Korgi

Korgi

Written by: Christian Slade
Recommended Age: 7 and up

Ivy the girl and Scout the Korgi travel to Korgi Hollow, a world full of fairies, spiders, dinosaurs, and even a giant troll. The Mollies, little woodfolk, rely on the Korgis for protection from all of the dangers in their world. When Ivy and Scout find the Mollies’ gathering, there’s sure to be adventure ahead! A true graphic novel, with no text other than the brief introduction to the setting at the beginning, your Mighty Girl will love telling this story over and over... and maybe, if she has her own canine friend, a little of their partnership will sneak into this woodland fantasy.

Pets: Getting Them, Caring for Them, and Loving Them
New!

Pets: Getting Them, Caring for Them, and Loving Them
New!

Written by: Mel Hammond
Recommended Age: 8 - 12

Dogs, cats, bunnies, fish, lizards... there are so many amazing pets out there! But getting a pet isn't just fun: it's also a big responsibility. If you're an animal lover, or you're eager to get a pet of your own, this book from the American Girl Library can help. You'll learn about what it takes to care for and love an animal, all while taking quizzes, making crafts and recipes, and more. You'll read questions that other girls have asked, like what to do if you want a pet but have allergies, why parents may say no to a pet, and how you can show that you're ready to care for a new pet. You'll even learn how to prepare your home for a new pet's arrival, and some basic training tips. This book will help you be the best pet owner you can be — so you AND your pet enjoy the experience.

Rescue at Lake Wild
New!

Rescue at Lake Wild
New!

Written by: Terry Lynn Johnson
Recommended Age: 8 - 12

12-year-old Madi's parents have told her if she brings home one more stray or injured animal, she'll lose an opportunity to meet one of her heroes, Jane Goodall! But then she and her friends Aaron and Jack find two dead beavers by the side of the lake — and when Madi investigates their lodge, she finds two orphaned kits. The three kids hide the beavers inside their clubhouse, but in addition to keeping them safe, they have to figure out who killed the two beaver parents, and why. But as they dig into the mystery, they might discover a local environmental crisis that will take more than the three of them to solve! Perfect for fans of Pax and A Boy Called Bat, this book about a determined animal-loving girl will make kids wonder what they can do about protecting wildlife in their own communities.

Paint The Wind

Paint The Wind

Written by: Pam Munoz Ryan
Recommended Age: 8 - 12

The death of Maya’s controlling grandmother reveals a family she never knew, a horse-loving great-aunt and great-uncle living in Wyoming. Although she’s hesitant at first, Maya’s love of horses helps her find her place with her new kin. She also discovers the local wild mustangs, and when one mare, Artemisia, escapes a “gathering” with her colt — leaving them without the herd’s protection against predators — Maya becomes determined to rescue them. Maya and Artemisia will have to learn to trust one another if either of them is going to make it safely home. With beautiful description and a vivid depiction of life through a horse’s eyes, horse-loving kids will love this title.

Moo

Moo

Written by: Sharon Creech
Recommended Age: 8 - 12

When Reena's family moves to Maine, she's expecting beaches, blueberries, and lobster — not being "volunteered" to work for Mrs. Falala on a farm with animals like Paulie the Pig, Edna the snake, China the cat, and a very stubborn cow named Zora. Even more unexpectedly, Reena discovers a surprising bond with the ornery but somehow lovable cow — and learns more about Mrs. Falala, which in turn affects her family in ways she'd never predicted. Told in a combination of prose and free verse poems, this book celebrates the power of being open to new experiences and the bonds we can form with the most unexpected people (and creatures.)

Wild Girl

Wild Girl

Written by: Patricia Reilly Giff
Recommended Age: 8 - 12

Lidie lives in Brazil but dreams of joining her father and brother in New York City, where her father runs a stable at a race track. At twelve, Lidie finally begins her long journey, while simultaneously, a young filly named Wild Girl starts traveling towards the stable. The journey — and fitting in afterwards — isn’t easy for either, and no one thinks that someone as young as Lidie can handle the challenging Wild Girl. But when Lidie finally gets to ride her, all the difficulties seem to fade away for both of them. With a nuanced story about family dynamics, immigration, and animal cruelty, your Mighty Girl will be rooting for both Lidie and Wild Girl to find their places — together.

Allergic: A Graphic Novel
New!

Allergic: A Graphic Novel
New!

Written by: Megan Wagner Lloyd
Illustrated by: Michelle Mee Nutter
Recommended Age: 8 - 12

Maggie knows her 10th birthday will be the best ever: she's getting a dog! Even though the dog is supposed to be for the whole family, she knows that her twin brothers are completely focused on one another, and her parents are busy with the new baby they're expecting; the dog will definitely be Maggie's. But then she has a severe allergic reaction while cuddling a dog at the shelter, and after testing, the doctor recommends she avoids all animals with fur or feathers! Can Maggie figure out the perfect pet, while also managing a new school and her family's changing world? This graphic novel, inspired by author Megan Wagner Lloyd's experiences with allergies and accented by warm illustrations by Michelle Mee Nutter, is a charming story about finding your place — even when it's not what you expect.

Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer

Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer

Written by: Kelly Jones
Illustrated by: Katie Kath
Recommended Age: 8 - 12

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.

Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures

Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures

Written by: Kate DiCamillo
Illustrated by: K.G. Campbell
Recommended Age: 8 - 12

When Flora rescues a poor squirrel from a tragic accident with a vacuum cleaner, she has no idea that Ulysses has been reborn with superheroic powers! The cynical girl, who is a voracious reader of the comic Terrible Things Can Happen To You!, finds herself captivated by the devoted squirrel, with his newfound powers of flight and poetry. But when Flora's mother thinks of Ulysses as just another pest, the now-super-powered squirrel must figure out how to defend himself — and Flora must learn to open her heart to the new and unexpected. This novel interspersed with both comic-style graphic sequences and full-page illustrations tells a charming story about a very unlikely superhero and his newfound friend.

Because of Winn-Dixie

Because of Winn-Dixie

Written by: Kate DiCamillo
Recommended Age: 8 - 12

Opal comes home from her local Winn-Dixie supermarket with something entirely unexpected — a stray dog! Soon she and the dog are best friends, and she’s named him after the place where they met. Winn-Dixie’s goofy, warm attitude become the conversation starter Opal needs to meet a wide variety of unexpected characters in her new town...and even prompts her sad, introverted father to open up about why Opal’s mother left the family. This Newbery Honor book, which was also adapted into a live-action film, is a lovely story of friendship, acceptance, and love.

The Elephant's Girl

The Elephant's Girl

Written by: Celesta Rimington
Recommended Age: 9 - 12

When she was a toddler, a tornado swept Lexington Willow up and dropped her in the Nebraska zoo, where Nyah, a kindly elephant, kept her safe. When nobody was able to find her family, Lex ended up staying at the zoo, with Roger, her foster father, and her friend Fisher. But she also maintained a special connection with Nyah, and with the wind that whispers in her ear. Now at 12, a vision from Nyah sends Lex and Fisher into the woods, where they meet a misplaced spirit named Miss Amanda who's hunting for a misplaced treasure. With the help of the elephants and the wind, Lex will step outside the zoo to solve Miss Amanda's mystery — and maybe her own, too. Magical and mysterious, with a bittersweet ending, this engaging story explores destiny, identity, and home.

Rain Reign

Rain Reign

Written by: Ann M. Martin
Recommended Age: 9 - 12

Rose Howard's Asperger's syndrome manifests in a love of homonyms and anxiety about changes to routine. When her struggling single father brings home a dog, though, it's a change Rose adores, and she quickly chooses the name Rain — which, since it has two homonyms (reign, rein) is one of the most special names of all. But when Rain goes missing in a storm, Rose has to break all of her familiar patterns to find her beloved pet...and when she learns that Rain may already have a home, Rose will face a very difficult decision. This heartfelt novel about justice, courage, and love is sure to touch your Mighty Girl's heart.

Wonderland

Wonderland

Written by: Barbara O'Connor
Recommended Age: 9 - 12

Fearless Mavis Jeeter, who's never lived in one place for long, and anxious Rose Tully, who doesn't seem to fit in with anyone, are an unlikely pair, but both of them have been searching for a friend. The pair come together to help find a neighbor, Mr. Duffy, a new dog; he hasn't been the same since his Queenie died. When they stumble across Henry, a runaway greyhound, all three will discover friendship in places that they didn't expect! This novel by Barbara O'Connor, the beloved author of Wish is a heartfelt portrayal of the challenges and joys of both growing up and friendship.

Kazu Jones and the Denver Dognappers

Kazu Jones and the Denver Dognappers

Written by: Shauna Holyoak
Recommended Age: 9 - 12

11-year-old Kazu Jones is a would-be detective who's gotten herself in hot water a few times — with both her parents and the police — over false alarms. But there's a crew of dognappers in her neighborhood, and Kazu can't let justice go undone, so when she finds a lead, she recruits her own team, including her hacker best friend, her socially anxious dog Genki. Digging into the mystery draws the attention of the dognappers, though, and soon her beloved Genki could be the next dog to disappear! With its clever story full of fun twists and furry friends, this series opener is sure to please dog lovers and detective fans alike.

Dog Days in the City

Dog Days in the City

Written by: Jodi Kendall
Illustrated by: Pascal Campion
Recommended Age: 9 - 12

After 12-year-old Josie, her family, and her friends in the Three Stoops crew found a home for Hamlet the pig in The Unlikely Story of a Pig in the City, Josie's become known for her love of animals — and it opens up a job volunteering at the local animal clinic. She adores it, especially since it provides a haven from her big, noisy family. Then a box appears on the clinic's steps, with seven puppies inside... and a note asking Josie to find good homes for them. Now Josie has to manage the puppies and find good homes for all of them, all while balancing friendship struggles and family, including Sugar, their beloved but aging dog. This heartwarming story about the joys of bringing pets into your life is sure to delight animal lovers.

Wish

Wish

Written by: Barbara O'Connor
Recommended Age: 9 - 12

For years, 11-year-old Charlie Reese has collected ways to make wishes, from blowing off an eyelash to eating the pointed tip of a slice of pie last. She wishes for luck, to fit in, and for her mother to get off the couch and care for her so she doesn't have to go live with an aunt and uncle she doesn't even know. But while living with Aunt Bertha and Uncle Gus, Charlie stumbles across a stray dog she names Wishbone and a neighbor boy named Howard, both of whom threaten to break through her tough exterior. And when Wishbone goes missing, Charlie might find that there's a difference between what you wish for and what you actually want. This complex story about the true meaning of family will resonate with readers long after they're done.

The Last Bear
New!

The Last Bear
New!

Written by: Hannah Gold
Illustrated by: Kate Slater
Recommended Age: 9 - 12

11-year-old April's father has been neglectful and overwhelmed by grief since her mother died seven years ago. When he accepts a six month position at Bear Island in the Arctic, April hopes the solitude will bring them closer together, but instead he seems more distant than ever. Her father tells her that there are no polar bears left on Bear Island, so April is shocked when she finds one — hungry, injured, and lonely. Her gift for befriending animals allows the two to trust one another, and soon they're planning adventures together, including a mission to get Bear home. But when April realizes how the melting ice caps have affected the polar bears, she becomes determined to do all she can to save Bear — and the Arctic. An appealing heroine and a powerful message about environmental stewardship make this a touching story perfect for fans of Pax and A Wolf Called Wander.

Because Of The Rabbit

Because Of The Rabbit

Written by: Cynthia Lord
Recommended Age: 9 - 12

Emma has been lonely homeschooling without her brother who is now attending high school, so she's decides to start 5th grade at Lakeview Elementary. The day before she starts, she helps her game warden father rescue a lost bunny trapped in a fence. Emma names the bunny Lapi, after her beloved French Canadian grandfather's stories, and Lapi helps her find common ground with her first friend, a misfit named Jack who speaks out of turn and adores animals. And when Emma wonders if her friendship with Jack could hold her back at school, Lapi will also remind her that staying true to yourself is the most important thing of all. This heartfelt novel encourages young readers to see the value in understanding other peoples' perspectives — especially when they're different.

A Dog Called Homeless

A Dog Called Homeless

Written by: Sarah Lean
Recommended Age: 9 - 12

Cally Fisher has learned that "Talking doesn't always make things happen, however much you want it to." It can't bring her mother back to life, or stop her father from selling their home, so she's been silent for a month — and since no one seems to listen to her anyway, not talking is almost a relief. Cally's biggest fear is losing all memory of her mother, but when she appears to Cally one day — and a scraggly stray wolfhound sees her too — nobody believes her. As Cally develops new friendships with people who listen, though, she becomes convinced that the dog is a special connection to her mother... and that, somehow, she has to convince her father that Homeless belongs with them. This gentle, touching story celebrates the comfort that Homeless brings to Cally as she works her way through grief.

Coo

Coo

Written by: Kaela Noel
Recommended Age: 9 - 13

Coo was abandoned as a baby, and has spent ten years being raised by her adoptive family: a flock of pigeons. She's quite happy among the birds... until Burr, the pigeon she loves the most, gets hurt by a hawk. Coo remembers that one human, a retired postal worker named Tully, has cared for injured birds before, and dares to trust her with Burr's life. In time, she even trusts Tully enough to start to exploring the human world. But when someone starts trying to hurt the pigeons she loves, Coo has to figure out how to save them — and whether she can belong in both the bird and human world. This complex and nuanced story about belonging, family, and home is perfect for fans of Kate DiCamillo and Barbara O'Connor.

Raising Lumie

Raising Lumie

Written by: Joan Bauer
Recommended Age: 10 - 13

12-year-old Olive is struggling with grief and anxiety after her father died of cancer — leaving her in the care of Maudie, an older half-sister she barely knows. The dog-loving girl wishes that she could have a pet to help her adjust to everything. Maudie is determined to do right by Olive — despite her boyfriend's objections to taking her in — but she thinks their home is too chaotic to add a dog. Then Olive gets the opportunity to raise Lumie a guide dog puppy. Every success she has with Lumie helps her build confidence, but if Lumie is chosen for the guide dog program, Olive will lose her forever... Bestselling author Joan Bauer tells another heartfelt story about a girl, a puppy, and how hope lies in the most unexpected places.

The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate

The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate

Written by: Jacqueline Kelly
Recommended Age: 9 - 13

Callie Vee is back in this sequel to The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate. Science-loving Callie has found a mentor in Dr. Pritzker, the town's veterinarian — but her contributions are still minimized and even ridiculed, while her brother Travis' smaller contributions are praised. Still, Callie tries to juggle her parents' expectations that she be a proper lady with her love of animals and her efforts to help her brother rescue adopted wild animals. Fans of the first novel will enjoy seeing Callie grow and discover a new passion for veterinary medicine.

The Eagle Huntress: The True Story of the Girl Who Soared Beyond Expectations

The Eagle Huntress: The True Story of the Girl Who Soared Beyond Expectations

Recommended Age: 9 - 13

When Aisholpan Nurgaiv won the Ölgii eagle festival in Mongolia, it was a testimony to her perseverance and drive: at only 13 years old, the girl had stepped into a tradition dominated by men and excelled. Her story, and the exquisite documentary The Eagle Huntress, stunned people around the world. Now, Aisholpan tells her own story with the help of best-selling author Liz Welch, describing how her father supported her as she captured and trained a golden eagle, overcame skepticism about a girl's participation in the sport, and proved her mettle with her winged companion by her side. This compelling story of empowerment and perseverance celebrates evolving traditions and the young people who make progress possible.

Stay

Stay

Written by: Bobbie Pyron
Recommended Age: 9 - 13

Piper's life is turned upside down when her family moves into a shelter in a whole new city. She misses her house, her friends, and her privacy — and she hates being labeled the homeless girl at her new school. But the shelter also brings new friendships with other girls in the shelter's Firefly Girls troop and with a sweet street dog owned by an elderly homeless woman named Jewel, who refuses to move into the shelter because she can't bring her beloved Baby. After Jewel is hospitalized and Baby is sent to an animal shelter, Piper decides to rally her new Firefly friends and figure out a way to make sure that Jewel and Baby can stay together and move off the streets for good. Told in alternating perspectives, this heartfelt story explores the many faces of homelessness while speaking to the importance of hope, the power of story, and the true meaning of home.

Jinxed
New!

Jinxed
New!

Written by: Amy McCulloch
Recommended Age: 10 - 13

Gifted 12-year-old coder Lacey Chu dreams of working as a "companioneer" for MONCHA, the tech firm that invented the customizable robotic companions called baku — just like her father did before he mysteriously disappeared. The first step is winning admission to the corporate-run Profectus Academy, so when she's rejected, Lacey is heartbroken. When she finds a broken baku she names Jinx and repairs him, he seems more real than mechanical... and suddenly her rejection to the Profectus Academy gets overturned. As she faces competition from classmates and mysteries at MONCHA, Lacey will uncover secrets about the corporation, her family... and Jinx. This technological adventure is the first of a series that promises plenty of action to come!

A Home for Goddesses and Dogs

A Home for Goddesses and Dogs

Written by: Leslie Connor
Recommended Age: 10 - 13

13-year-old Lydia has spent the last seven years being homeschooled while she cared for her mother, whose heart was slowly failing... and now that it finally has, the grieving girl is moving in with her aunt Brat, her wife Eileen, and their elderly landlord Elloroy. That's hard enough, but when Brat and Eileen adopt an unruly rescue dog named Guffer right after she arrives, Lydia struggles even more to feel like she belongs. She takes solace in her "goddesses," paper collages of strong women that she and her mother used to make to "cope and to keep hope." As Lydia settles in, though, she starts to make a few friends — and starts to figure out the secret behind Guffer's mysterious past. This gentle story about grief, family, and finding a new home after loss will tug on your heartstrings.

Elephant Secret

Elephant Secret

Written by: Eric Walters
Recommended Age: 10 - 13

Sam has grown up among elephants at a North American elephant sanctuary, so she's used to understanding how elephants think — and hearing about the sanctuary's financial woes. Then an anonymous sponsor donates a huge amount of money, in exchange for artificially inseminating Daisy Mae, one of Sam's favorite elephants. When Daisy Mae dies while giving birth, Sam raises her calf — and realizes that baby Woolly has actually been cloned from woolly mammoth DNA. But with the billionaire behind the project willing to do anything to protect his investment, can Sam protect both Woolly and the other elephants? Kids will be fascinated by Sam's work with the elephants and will eagerly flip pages to find out what happens to Woolly and her other elephant friends.

Storm Dog

Storm Dog

Written by: L. M. Elliott
Recommended Age: 10 - 13

8th grader Ariel feels like an outsider in her own family: her brother George is in Afghanistan, her father is too busy thinking about George to notice her, and her mother is focused on her Hollywood plans for her gorgeous sister Gloria. So Ariel takes to the hills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, where she gets caught up in a spring storm — and meets a dog she names Duke. Duke leads her to a cabin where Staff Sgt. Josephina Martínez, a former K-9 handler who's struggling with PTSD, offers a haven for animal-loving Ariel. Before long, Ariel has decided she's going to help Duke overcome his fears... and along the way, she just might find herself. This novel about belonging, found family, and the love of a dog is a charming story of self-discovery.

Of a Feather
New!

Of a Feather
New!

Written by: Dayna Lorentz
Recommended Age: 10 - 13

8-month old Rufus is a baby great horned owl who was already smaller than his sibling — and is therefore even more vulnerable when his mother is killed by a passing car. Meanwhile, 6th grader Reenie is at the mercy of social services — again — after her mother is hospitalized for mental illness, which means that this time she's going to live with a great-aunt she's never met. Aunt Beatrice, though, piques Reenie's curiosity with her work as a falconer and wildlife rehabber. When Rufus ends up in one of Beatrice's traps, he and Reenie develop an unexpected bond... one which might help both of them trust the world and soar. This poignant story, told in dual perspectives by Rufus and Reenie, is a celebration of resilience and the power of connecting with others — even when they're not the same species as you.

A Horse Of Her Own

A Horse Of Her Own

Written by: Annie Wedekind
Recommended Age: 10 - 14

Jane adores horseback riding, but her family doesn’t have nearly the resources necessary for her to buy her own horse. For years, she’s ridden Beau, a school horse, and ignored the jibes of the wealthy girls who ride with her. But when Beau is sold to another owner, Jane is heartbroken. Her trainer asks her to help with a new horse to the barn: Lancelot is beautiful and talented but unpredictable, even dangerous. If they can learn to trust one another, though, Jane can ride at the end-of-summer competition and maybe even finally have a horse of her own. With a beautiful depiction of the emotional connection between horse and rider, this is sure to be a favorite with equestrian Mighty Girls.

Dragonsong

Dragonsong

Written by: Anne McCaffrey
Recommended Age: 10 and up

Menolly, a 15-year-old fisher's daughter, loves music and has dreamed all her life of learning the Harper's craft. When her stern father forbids Menolly from pursuing her dream, she runs away just as Pern is struck again by the deadly danger of Threadfall, the killing ropes of death that fell from a nearby star — and the dwindling numbers of dragons are not enough to protect Pern from this destruction from the sky. Taking shelter in a cave by the sea, Menolly makes a miraculous discovery of nine fire lizards that could possibly save her world... and change her life forever. Dragonsong is the first book in the Harper Hall trilogy, set within science fiction legend Anne McCaffrey’s beloved and bestselling Dragonriders of Pern series.

Julie of the Wolves

Julie of the Wolves

Written by: Jean Craighead George
Illustrated by: John Schoenherr
Recommended Age: 12 and up

When Julie flees her traditional Alaskan village to avoid an arranged marriage, she has to imitate a local pack of wolves if she’s going to survive her journey through the wilderness. Over the course of the journey, Julie learns new respect for the creatures she previously feared. However, in the sequel, Julie Julie’s father’s newly modern lifestyle tending a herd of musk oxen threatens her beloved wolves, who he shoots on sight. Julie must find ways to balance old with new, and the safety of the wolves with the well-being of her human community. This pair of critically acclaimed novels provides a touching glimpse into the challenges of finding a balance with nature.

Endangered

Endangered

Written by: Eliot Schrefer
Recommended Age: 12 and up

Sophie wasn’t crazy about joining her mother’s work for a bonobo sanctuary in the Democratic Republic of Congo — until she met Otto, a young bonobo that she rescues. Sophie and Otto’s bond is almost like that of parent and child, and when a civil war breaks out, the pair have to flee into the jungle and find a way to survive both the vicious revolutionaries and the difficulties of finding food and shelter in their environment. This thrilling adventure and survival story that tackles some difficult ethical questions is anchored by the deep, authentic relationship Sophie and Otto share and they seek a way to remain safe and together.

The Cat I Never Named: A True Story of Love, War, and Survival

The Cat I Never Named: A True Story of Love, War, and Survival

Recommended Age: 14 and up

Before 1992, Amra's life in Bosnia was that of a typical teenager, full of volleyball games and birthday surprises — but things were about to change. Suddenly Muslims like her started arriving in her hometown of Bihac, fleeing Serbian persecution... and soon even her own best friend refuses to talk to her. When the Serbian tanks beseige the town, Amra thinks all happiness has vanished until she meets a stray calico cat who seems to charm her way into everyone's heart... and perhaps even serves as the family's guardian. Now a professor in the United States, Sabic-El-Rayess uses her teenage self's viewpoint to explore the horrors of the Bosnian genocide and how war brings out the worst — and the best — in humanity.

A relationship with an animal can be a very special one for any Mighty Girl! We hope these books will inspire your Mighty Girls — and encourage them to give some extra affection to their animal friends.

Additional Recommended Resources

  • For more books featuring animals, check out our Animals section, which includes books about Farm Animals, Wild Animals, and Pets.
  • For pretend play animal and farm toys featuring girls and women, visit our Animal & Farm toy section.
  • For Mighty Girl stories celebrating the relationship between a girl and her pet, visit our section about Pets in our Relationships section.

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