Our favorite girl-empowering adventure stories to inspire your own Mighty Girl's adventures!
What adventures is your Mighty Girl planning this year? Will she bike to the park by herself, swim for the first time, or learn to ride a horse? Maybe she’s going on a trip with the Girl Scouts, or hiking in the woods near her house to find the perfect place to build her secret hideout. Or maybe her imagination will take her on even bigger adventures — into outer space, magic kingdoms, or realms of fantasy. One thing's for sure: an adventurous child's life will never be boring!
To inspire your Mighty Girl to celebrate her adventurous side, we’re showcasing our favorite books featuring daring, courageous Mighty Girl characters on adventures of their own. These stories capture all the thrill and excitement of pushing yourself to do something unexpected and new. They might even inspire you to try a new adventure!
Sal and her mother head out to pick blueberries at the same time as a bear cub and his mama bear head for the other side of the hill. When Sal’s mother shoos her away, in hopes that at least a few of the berries they’re picking will end up in the bucket rather than Sal’s tummy, Sal and the bear cub accidentally trade places! Both will have an adventure following the wrong mother — and getting back to the right one.
King Neptune’s 50 daughters all have some remarkable talent, but little Minnow can't seem to find her special gift. The only thing she’s good at is asking questions; how can that be a talent? But when Minnow finds a mysterious object, her curiosity prompts her to follow it to its source. In fact, she dares to go all the way to the edge of the ocean — and makes some startling discoveries. When she returns with the exciting news of everything she's seen, her father praises her: his little Minnow is a brave explorer! This charming story celebrates a daring spirit, as well as the value of asking questions and embracing your uniqueness.
Elena dreams of being a glassblower like Papa, but no one has ever heard of a girl glassblower. Still, Elena is determined to try. Dressed as a boy, Elena travels on a fantastical journey to Monterrey, home of the greatest glassblowers, to prove her worth and learn the trade. And what better way to ride home to Papa — and show off her newfound skill — than by blowing a beautiful glass bird to ride. This story offers up a magical blend of fantasy and reality, with a daring and determined young girl at its heart.
You don't have to be young to have a daring spirit! The beloved old woman in this tale is called Grandma by everyone, but her own daughter is living in a village on the other side of the jungle. When her daughter sends a letter asking for a visit, Grandma sets off immediately. But the jungle is full of animals just waiting to take advantage of a seemingly weak old woman! Fortunately, Grandma's quick wit and steady nerves ensure that she gets safely to her daughter's village — and safely back home again. This charming retelling of a Bengali folktale is accented by bright, colorful illustrations that kids will love
This retelling of the classic Cinderella story transports her into outer space! This hardworking Cinderella dreams of repairing rocket ships. When her family strands her on an empty planet, her fairy godrobot shows up to give her the tools she needs so that Cinderella can repair a ship, get off the planet, pilot her way to the Royal Space Parade, and provide some much needed mechanical assistance to the Prince before her space suit runs out of charge! And when the Prince later goes looking for the mysterious mechanic — using the sonic socket wrench she left behind — she takes a daring flight with a battered rocket pack in order to prove she's the one he's looking for. Parents and kids alike will enjoy this daring Cinderella — as well as the clever and empowering twist to the end of the story.
A mysterious egg found on a “Sunday-before-supper walk” turns out to be a dragon! His discoverer names her new friend Hank, and she immediately sets herself to a new endeavor: dragon raising. Together, the girl and the dragon share the joys of everything from storybooks at bedtime to flights under the moonlit sky... until the day that Hank attracts too much attention to stay with his doting friend. The sad departure leaves a ray of hope, though: someday, Hank will need a hand raising his own dragon babies!
Princess Magnolia is perfectly princessy in every way, but when the monster alarm rings, she ducks into her closet and changes into the mysterious Princess In Black! While she's doing that, though, the nosy Duchess Wigtower is searching the castle for any evidence that Magnolia isn't quite the perfect princess she seems to be. Meanwhile, Duff the goat boy is starting to have his suspicions about who the Princess In Black really is — and wonders whether she could use a sidekick! This fun early chapter book, the first of a series, is sure to appeal to princess and superhero fans. Fans of this book will also enjoy the sequels, The Princess in Black and the Perfect Princess Party and The Princess in Black and the Hungry Bunny Horde.
Margaret is a girl with a brave heart who leaps at the chance for adventure — so when she discovers that a ship in her town’s harbor is heading for the Kingdoms of Cold, she's determined not to be left behind. But adventures are perilous things, and before her journey is done, Margaret faces a sea serpent, a giant, and a witch — and has to figure out how to rescue her true love, Prince Simon, and see him and herself safely home. Vivid pastel illustrations and intense writing make this a page-turning story of one girl’s quest to be a hero.
Kids love the adventurous sisters from the Studio Ghibli film My Neighbor Totoro — and fans can now also enjoy this picture book that uses artwork from the film. Satsuki and little sister Mei are adjusting to a move to the country and their mother’s illness, but in the process of exploring their new home, they make an unexpected discovery: a whole world of spirit creatures in the woods! As they befriend strange and mysterious creatures like Totoro and the grinning Catbus, they take some remarkable journeys — including one that reassures them that their whole family will be together again soon. Older Totoro fans can check out the novel adaptation for age 8 and up.
Flory is a night fairy, no taller than an acorn, with a beautiful set of wings like a luna moth...until she loses them in an encounter with a bat. Unable to fly home, Flory suddenly finds herself having to learn how to survive among the daylight creatures in the Giantess' garden! The world may be very big and dangerous, but Flory is fierce and determined, and more than ready to tell silly creatures like Skuggle, her new squirrel friend, what to do. Not all of the garden's residents are willing to bend to her will, though... This magical story features a main character who learns to value a quick wit and compassion as much as bravery in her adventures.
Adrienne Ashe never wanted to be a princess, but when her mother and father lock her in a tower guarded by a dragon — so a worthy prince can rescue and marry her, of course — she decides she's had enough. Adrienne befriends the dragon and escapes her tower, and when she learns that her sisters have also been imprisoned, she sets off on a quest to free them! With the help of an armorer who can make her something more practical than the "traditional" chainmail bikini, Adrienne is on her way. This delightful and funny graphic novel series, starring a princess of color, is sure to become a favorite. Fans of this volume will also enjoy the sequels Volume 2: Get Over Yourself, Volume 3: The Pirate Princess, and Volume 4: Be Yourself.
Irrepressible Pippi has been inspiring Mighty Girls to be daring for decades! This collection of the Pippi Longstocking stories includes Pippi Longstocking, Pippi Goes On Board, and Pippi In The South Seas. Join the strongest girl in the world as she and her friends encounter burglars, strong men, and pirates. Her hijinks will have your Mighty Girl laughing, just like they have since she first appeared in 1950. For more books, toys, and other resources featuring this classic character, visit our Pippi Longstocking Collection.
Once, Luna's village was beside a beautiful flowing river, but ever since the dam was built it's been a grim, cursed swamp. Granny Tu mourns the loss of the river's sprites and fairies, but Luna only believes in the things she can see and hear. However, when her beloved sister falls in the swamp and becomes desperately ill — doomed to die just like their father did years ago — Luna refuses to accept her sister's fate. To save her beloved sister, she'll do anything...even believing in magic long enough to find the watery roadways that might lead to another world. Tweens will devour this story of dark magic, adventure, and sisterly love.
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 celebrates ingenuity and the mystery-solving power of 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. Fans of this book can continued the adventure in the next book in the series, The Case of the Girl in Grey.
This Newbery Award-winning novel tells the story of 12-year-old Claudia, who decides to run away from home — and brings her little brother Jamie along for the ride. She chooses the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City as their new home and they quickly settle into living secretly in the museum. But when a new exhibit arrives — a marble angel statue that might just be a real Michaelangelo — the children fall into the middle of a mystery that takes them on another grand adventure: finding the previous owner of the statue, Mrs. Frankweiler herself, in hopes of proving it! This classic, suspenseful read with an urban adventure story has been a favorite for generations.
Inspired by Chinese folklore, Lin tells the story of Minli, who sets off to find out how to change her family’s fortune. Minli’s family struggles to feed themselves, working hard every day in the rice paddies; her mother spends her nights worrying and complaining, while her father tells Minli stories about the Jade Dragon, the Magistrate Tiger, and the Old Man in the Moon, who controls everyone’s destiny. Her journey will be a difficult one, with many strange companions, but her quest will teach her and her parents important lessons about wealth, luck, and happiness.
Sheila the Great is outgoing, fearless, and ready to take on the world but secretly, Sheila Tubman is afraid of spiders, dogs, the dark, swimming... So when her family decides to spend the summer in the country, Sheila comes face to face with almost everything she dreads. Her new best friend, Mouse Ellis, loves almost everything Sheila fears, so in addition to facing her fears, Sheila also has to face the most difficult task of all: admitting that she’s not fearless to someone she deeply wants to impress.
Rye O’Chanter is convinced that the evil Bog Noblins are returning to threaten her beloved Village Drowning, but no one believes her. Her only hope is a mysterious, forbidden society called the Luck Uglies — who may no longer even exist. But as Rye navigates the lies, secrets, and rules of her home, she’ll discover that, sometimes, good and evil aren’t as clear-cut as you think. Full of funny touches and heart-stopping moment, this adventurous story also encourages readers to think about heroes, villains, and the people who don't fit either mold.
Nim has spent her whole life on a solitary island with her scientist father; her best friends are a sea lion and an iguana. She knows what it takes to live alone, and never minds when her father has to be away for a few days for his research...until the day his boat is disabled and Nim loses contact. Her only human friend now is reclusive author Alex Rover, who reached out to her father via e-mail while researching for a new novel. But when a tropical storm — and an invasion of tourists — threaten the island and Nim, it will take all her friends to help her out of trouble! This fun survival adventure story has also been adapted into a feature film, as well as a film sequel Return to Nim's Island, both for age 7 and up.
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 — and get to The End — Tuesday will have to make new friends, learn to sail a magical boat, defeat a dangerous pirate, learn the truth about her definitely-not-ordinary dog, and get in touch with her creative side to find the power in storytelling. This magical adventure plays with narrative structure and the creative process, all while communicating a message about the empowerment to be found in your own voice. Fans of Tuesday will also want to check out the sequel, A Week Without Tuesday.
Everyone in the Beaumont family develops a “savvy” — a special magical ability — at age 13, and Mibs is dying to see what hers will be! But just before she’s about to find out, her father is in a terrible accident. Now all Mibs wants is a savvy that can save him; in fact, she’s so convinced she’ll get what she wants that she sneaks a ride on a salesman’s bus, hoping to get to the hospital. Except the bus is actually going the opposite direction, taking Mibs, her brothers, and the preacher’s two kids, who also stowed away on board, on a totally unexpected journey! One thing is certain: this will be an adventure that Mibs — and everyone else — will never forget. Fans of this book will love the recently released companion Switch.
Opal goes into a supermarket and comes out with a new best friend, a scruffy dog she names Winn-Dixie. Together, they start exploring her new hometown. Winn-Dixie turns out to be a great conversation starter, and Opal learns to be a good listener, learning the surprising stories behind the eccentric people who live nearby. And, finally, Winn-Dixie helps Opal convince her father to tell her more about her long-absent mother, helping Opal find her place in the world.
Ronia is the celebrated daughter of Matt, leader of a ferocious band of robbers, but she’s happiest alone, deep in the forest. There, she meets Birk, the son of Matt’s greatest rival, Borka, and the two become unexpected friends. But when new hostilities break out between two bands, Ronia is faced with conflicting loyalties when her father wants to use Birk as a hostage to force his rival’s surrender. Can Ronia and Birk find a way to reconcile the two robber barons, or will they have to choose between friendship and family?
Nestled inside a lighthouse, Great Rapscott School for the Daughters of Busy Parents takes its motto from Amelia Earhart: Adventure is worthwhile in itself. Headmistress Ms. Rapscott' students, however — who are shipped to the school in boxes — could use a little convincing. Still, despite their initial reluctance, the students are soon soaring through the sky and getting lost on purpose. In addition to learning what birthday cakes are and how best to approach a bumbershoot tree, the students also manage to learn a little something about strength and bravery. This whimsical story of a very unusual boarding school is a delight.
The Penderwick sisters are spending the summer on a sprawling estate, full of interesting places to explore. And as the girls meander through the gardens and nose through the attics, they also meet a fascinating new companion: Jeffrey, the son of the estate’s owner, Mrs. Tifton. Who better to accompany them on their adventures? Mrs. Tifton doesn't approve, and Jeffrey's on the verge of being sent to a military school. Will the sisters' adventures save their new friend from such a terrible fate, or just get him deeper into hot water? It will be a summer of full of trouble, laughter, mischief, and confusion — definitely one that no one on the estate will ever forget! Fans of the Penderwicks will also love this paperback box set featuring the four books in the series.
In the land of Bewilderness, where weather runs by the clock and people live in alphabetical order, milkmaid Lucy is best friends with Wynston. But Wynston is the prince, and his father, King Desmond, decides that Wynston should be spending his energy on proper princely things — like shining jewels and finding a princess to marry. Left alone, Lucy decides to scale the Scratchy Mountains to learn the truth about her missing mother. It’s not long before Wynston has followed after her, and soon the young friends are on an adventure that will deepen their relationship and teach them the value of bending the rules.
Maddy loved her life working in her parents’ bookstore with her flying toad Ralph by her side — but that was before the Thimblewitch turned her mother and father into kangaroo rats! Fortunately, she can get a lift from new friends Harry and Sylvio, the bear and racoon cloud cartographers, on their moon-balloon. But to save her parents, Maddy must face spider-goblins, scarecrow warriors, and of course, the Thimblewitch herself. This graphic novel, full of adventure and magic, is sure to captivate young fantasy fans!
12-year-old Sophie knows little beyond the four walls of her father's bookshop, where she repairs old books and dreams of escaping the confines of her dull life. But when a strange boy, Peter Nimble, and his talking cat/horse companion show up with a rare and mysterious book, she finds herself pulled into a real-life adventure beyond anything she has ever read! This companion to Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes introduces an intriguing new Mighty Girl character to Jonathan Auxier's fascinating setting.
In this swashbuckling graphic novel retelling of the Rapunzel story, fairy tales meet the Wild West! After discovering the truth about Mother Gothel's abuse of the kingdom's people — and getting locked into a magical tree tower for years — Rapunzel escapes and teams up with Calamity Jack (of beanstalk fame) to become a Wild West outlaw, using her lengthy braids as a lasso to right wrongs and fight oppression. But she can't rest until Gothel is overthrown, no matter what it takes... Equal parts humor and adventure, this Rapunzel story is sure to be a hit!
Tiffany Aching is a dutiful (if grudging) big sister and very good with cheese — but what she really wants is to be a witch. She might need some witch magic fast, though, when the Queen of Faerie steals her little brother away! With a piece of string, a borrowed toad, a cast-iron pan, and the Nac Mac Feegle, a clan of six-inch-tall Pictsies, Tiffany will have to dare going into fairyland itself if she’s going to make things right again. With a complex plot full of metaphors about growing up and grieving the people who shape your life — and plenty of humor along the way — you’ll be eager to follow Tiffany on future adventures! Tiffany’s story continues in A Hat Full Of Sky, Wintersmith, I Shall Wear Midnight, and Terry Pratchett's final novel, The Shepherd's Crown.
The king’s priests have prophesied that one girl from Miri’s village will be the future princess of the realm so the king’s ministers set up an academy for every girl in the village, to teach all of them how to be a proper princess in case the prince selects them at the end of the year. The possibility of a life of nobility unleashes vicious competition between former friends, but the would-be princesses have bigger problems: a group of bandits who set out to storm the academy and claim the future princess. Miri will have to use her new-found powers — and unite the competing girls — to save them all. Miri’s story continues in the sequel Princess Academy: Palace of Stone and Princess Academy: The Forgotten Sisters.
Jo, April, Mal, Molly and Ripley are best friends who are looking forward to a fun few weeks at camp — that is, until they see a woman turn into a giant bear! Suddenly, the friends find themselves in the midst of mysterious and supernatural adventures. Fortunately, “Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady-Types” can provide them with all the skills they need. It’s going to be quite the unexpected summer! This collection gathers issues 1 to 4 of this fun series, which also makes reference to inspiring women of history. Fans of the first volume will also want to check out Lumberjanes, Volume 2: Friendship to the Max.
It’s 1968, and sisters Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern, have a mission: learn more about their mother, Cecile, who left years ago for a new life in California. When they arrive from Brooklyn for their summer with her, they’re expecting visits to Disneyland; instead, they get a day camp run by Black Panthers. But their summer with their mysterious mother will teach them a lot, not just about their family, but about their country and how it is changing. The sisters' story continues in the sequels P.S. Be Eleven and Gone Crazy in Alabama.
Eva Nine was raised in an underground sanctuary by the robotic Muthr, but when her home is destroyed, the 12-year-old returns to the surface to search for other humans — who she knows must exist because of a strange piece of cardboard depicting a girl, an adult, a robot, and the letters "WondLa." But not all humans will be friends, and soon Eva finds herself making tough choices on her journey to a place she can call home. This unique story includes Augmented Reality maps so readers can follow Eva's journey in 3D. Fans of Eva can follow the rest of her story in A Hero for WondLa and The Battle for WondLa.
Princess Cimorene has no interest in being a proper princess, so instead of waiting to be kidnapped by a dragon, she runs away and makes a bargain with one — she’ll keep house as a captured princess would, provided she also gets to be herself and explore her non-princessy interests. Fortunately for Kazul, Cimorene’s dragon, Cimorene also manages to help unearth a wizards’ plot against the dragons in time to stop it... for now. This first book in the Enchanted Forest Chronicles celebrates a princess who goes against the grain to have the adventure she chooses for herself. Fans of this book can also pick up the Enchanted Forest Chronicles box set, which includes all four books in the series.
The woods of Briery Swamp fit May Bird like a fuzzy mitten, and keep her safe from the taunts of children at school who don't understand her. But one day, when she falls in the lake, she emerges into an unexpected new world — one that's far from warm and fuzzy. And if she doesn't get out fast, horrifyingly evil Bo Cleevil will turn her into nothing. This offbeat fantasy, the first of a trilogy is scary, fanciful, and truly suspenseful. Fans of this story also get The May Bird Trilogy box set with more books in this fun series.
13-year-old Charlotte boards the Seahawk as a prim, proper schoolgirl, but gets off it having survived a mutiny, taken command — and been accused of murder. This story, set in 1832, captures how Charlotte changes from an arrogant, privileged, and naive member of the upper class to a daring, determined, seagoing young woman. Along the way, she proves herself to the Seahawk’s crew by showing she can do anything a man can do. But when she arrives at her destination, will her family believe her story — and will she be able to return to the restrictive life of an upper-class young lady?
Aerin is the king of Damar’s only child and should be his heir — but because her mother was a witchwoman from the North, Damarians don’t trust her. Their doubts, however, can't change Aerin’s destiny: if the kingdom is to survive, she must battle the black dragon, Maur; meet the wizard Luthe, who gives her both the Blue Sword, Gonturan, and the truth about her mother; and face the evil mage, Agsded, who has taken the Hero’s Crown — the secret strength of Damar itself. Robin McKinley’s Newbery Award-winning book features a complex and strong main character that will thrill young fantasy fans.
May Amelia Jackson is the only girl in her 1899 Washington State settlement, and doesn’t see why she should behave like a Proper Young Lady when nobody else here is, too! Instead, she goes off on adventures, hunting and fishing just like a boy. When May Amelia’s mother says she’s going to have another baby, May Amelia hopes that, maybe, there will be another girl to keep her company. But life in a pioneer settlement isn’t safe for anyone, and a tragedy will change May Amelia’s life. This story, inspired by Holm’s great-aunt’s journals, showcases the day to day adventure that came hand in hand with settling new areas of the country.
Jazz Gardner’s mother drags her along to India, where Mrs. Gardner plans to volunteer at the orphanage where she grew up. As far as Jazz is concerned, India in monsoon season sounds miserable, especially when it means leaving her newly flourishing business — and her business partner and crush, Steve. But when Jazz befriends Danita, the two girls push one another's limits, each daring the other to take the chances that could lead to great things. For Danita, it means freedom from an unwanted marriage to start her own business; for Jazz, it means discovering her own beauty, strength, and power to help others.
This fantasy series features two Mighty Girls, Sabriel, the Abhorsen who lays the disturbed dead to rest, and Lirael, the Abhorsen-in-Waiting, in a trilogy that established Nix as one of the stars of fantasy. In Sabriel, Sabriel must travel to the Old Kingdom of the dead after her father goes missing, and assume his mantle of Abhorsen before the line between life and death is destroyed. In Lirael, Lirael discovers that she lacks the second sight of her family — because she is destinted to be the Abhorsen-in-Waiting. Finally, in Abhorsen, the gripping conclusion, Lirael must find a way to defeat the evil Destroyer before he ends all life.
Delilah Dirk has adventured her way across the 19th century’s most exotic destinations: Japan, Indonesia, even the New World. Now, she has Constantinople in her sights... or at least, the hoard of a rich and corrupt Sultan. When she bumps into Selim, a Turkish lieutenant who’d rather have a good cup of tea on a quiet afternoon, he’s dismayed to get drawn into her schemes as she evades the Sultan's guards, leaves angry pirates in the dust, and fights her way through the countryside...but even Selim gets won over by the daring Delilah after a while! Fans of this fun high adventure story will want to check out the sequel, Delilah Dirk and the King's Shilling.
The inimitable Terry Pratchett plays with a classic wartime trope: the girl who disguises herself as a boy to enlist. Polly Perks' big brother joined the Borogravian army a year ago, and fairly promptly disappeared. So with the help of a haircut and a carefully-positioned pair of socks, Polly becomes Oliver and runs away from home to join the army as a member of the Ins-and-Outs. Her fellow soldiers have their own secrets, though, which they must protect even as the Ins-and-Outs rapidly find themselves battlefront heroes. Of course, sometimes you have to wonder if a war is worth fighting for... Fans of the Discworld will love Pratchett's satirical look at Army life, patriotism, and sexism.
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. This remarkable historical fiction novel will remind teen readeres that it wasn't so long ago that merely crossing your country was an adventure in itself.
So pick a book and follow one of these daring Mighty Girls on an adventure — and then, prepare to head out on your own. Who knows what you will accomplish?
Additional Recommended Resources
- For more books featuring Mighty Girls on daring adventures, check out our Action / Adventure section.
- For books that celebrate the value of being daring, please visit our Courage / Bravery section .
- For books to help your Mighty Girl develop the confidence to tackle anything life throws her way, visit our Self-Esteem / Confidence section.