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Celebrating a Love of Reading: 35 Mighty Girl Stories about Books, Libraries, and Literacy

Our top picks of books for children and teens starring Mighty Girls who love to read!

For over 50 years, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization has celebrated International Literacy Day. On their Literacy Day web page UNESCO emphasizes why literacy is so important: it is “the foundation of all learning... a human right, a tool of personal empowerment and a means for social and human development.”

To mark International Literacy Day, A Mighty Girl has put together a collection of our favorite books about reading, libraries, and literacy featuring Mighty Girl characters. These books celebrate the love of reading, the value that books bring to our lives, and the incredible joy and pride that comes with learning this critical skill — as well as the haven of all book lovers, the local library! Along with numerous recommendations for children and teens, we also highlight a number of books for parents offering tips and strategies to help foster your children's love of reading and information on how to support those children that might be struggling.

Book Lovers: Books, Libraries, and Literacy

Whether these Mighty Girls are just learning to read or are passing on their love of reading to others, each of these books celebrates the joy and connection to others that books can bring.

Lola at the Library

Lola at the Library

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

Special trips to the library are often the spark that starts a love of reading! Tuesdays are library days for Lola and her mother, and every moment is exciting, from packing her backpack with books to return, to storytime and songs, to picking the perfect new story for Mommy to read at night. The simple text and bright illustrations follow this library-loving little girl every step of the way. Fans of Lola can also follow her as she journeys towards being an independent reader in Lola Loves Stories and Lola Reads to Leo.

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C$18.95 (CAD)
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£12.27 (GBP)
Amazon.com.au
A$35.42 (AUD)
The Book Depository
£15.88 (GBP)
The Book Depository
A$35.88 (AUD)
Amazon.com
$7.99 (USD)

Red Knit Cap Girl and the Reading Tree

Red Knit Cap Girl and the Reading Tree

Written by: Naoko Stoop
Illustrated by: Naoko Stoop
Recommended Age: 3 - 7

Naoko Stoop's beloved character Red Knit Cap Girl inspires a community project in this story when she leaves her book in a hollow tree, saying "I will keep my book in this nook so everyone can read it." Soon, other animals are adding their own books — or contributing in other ways, like when Beaver gnaws a shelf or when the sheep bring warm blankets for the readers. The final touch is a special sign for the new library, a reminder that these books are for everyone to use. This charming story captures the power of libraries not just for encouraging literacy, but also as gathering places for friends and neighbors.

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C$19.00 (CAD)
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£9.17 (GBP)
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A$29.99 (AUD)
The Book Depository
£15.00 (GBP)
The Book Depository
A$36.51 (AUD)
Amazon.com
$16.69 (USD)

Wednesday Surprise

Wednesday Surprise

Written by: Eve Bunting
Illustrated by: Donald Carrick
Recommended Age: 3 - 8

Children may be amazed to learn that even many adults face struggles with literacy. Anna and Grandma have been huddled together for ages, planning a special surprise for Daddy’s birthday. When the big day finally comes, he thinks he’s received all his presents... until Grandma stands up and reads him a story for the very first time, thanks to the dedication and support of her very proud granddaughter! This lovely story is a great way to introduce kids not only to the value of working for literacy, but also to the idea that illiteracy can exist in surprising places, even among seemingly all-knowing adults.

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C$25.33 (CAD)
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£9.99 (GBP)
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A$44.76 (AUD)
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£16.32 (GBP)
The Book Depository
A$36.51 (AUD)
Amazon.com
$17.04 (USD)

Word Wizard

Word Wizard

Written by: Cathryn Falwell
Recommended Age: 3 - 8

When children first start to learn the power of letters and words, it can really seem like magic! In this book, Alice discovers magic in her alphabet cereal — the letters in her spoon can make words! With her magic spoon and a little word magic, Alice helps a little boy get home, turning an ocean into a canoe and making a horse when they reach the shore. A lovely introduction to wordplay and anagrams, the book ends with a note that teaches kids how to collect letters from newspapers and magazines and become Word Wizards themselves!

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C$30.61 (CAD)
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A$142.00 (AUD)
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Amazon.com
$15.69 (USD)

Excuse Me, I’m Trying to Read!

Excuse Me, I’m Trying to Read!

Written by: Mary Jo Amani
Illustrated by: Lehla Eldridge
Recommended Age: 3 - 8

Sometimes, interruptions are the biggest obstacle for an eager young reader! In this book, the main character realizes it’s hard to read when you’re surrounded by elephants, ibises, monkeys, and lions. She's surprised, scared, amused — and exasperated that her precious time with her book keeps getting interrupted. But when the animals want to take a turn with a book, she knows just how to show them how she feels — turnaround is fair play, after all! This fun book will have kids giggling, and parents will love that a portion of the proceeds goes to fund community and school libraries in Mozambique.

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C$18.48 (CAD)
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£19.76 (GBP)
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A$35.64 (AUD)
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$16.95 (USD)

That Book Woman

That Book Woman

Written by: Heather Henson
Illustrated by: David Small
Recommended Age: 4 - 8

At first, only the largest city centers could have a library, so in the 1930s, a dedicated group called the Pack Horse Librarians brought books to people in isolated areas of the US. Cal lives in the Appalachian mountains, and doesn’t see the point of books. He’s got nothing but disdain for his sister, Lark, who’d avoid real work to read books all day if she could. But when That Book Woman comes, not just in good weather, but in rain and snow and wind, riding up the mountain over dangerous and difficult terrain just to bring books, Cal figures that if she is willing to go through all that, there must be a lot more to books than he sees. This story is a fitting tribute to the determination of the Pack Horse Librarians to bring literacy to every corner of their country.

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£11.63 (GBP)
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A$32.07 (AUD)
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£16.34 (GBP)
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A$34.08 (AUD)
Amazon.com
$14.29 (USD)

Nia and the New Free Library

Nia and the New Free Library

Written by: Ian Lendler
Illustrated by: Mark Pett
Recommended Age: 4 - 8

Littletown's librarian retired a while ago, and the library has been ignored ever since... until it gets carried away by a tornado. Now, the town is debating what to do with the space. The builder wants to add a skyscraper, while the grocer wants a parking lot — and little Nia, who loved taking books out of the library every week, wants a new library. But how can one person make a library? With a desk, a chair, a pencil and paper, and orange slices for energy, Nia decides to find out — and figures out clever ways to get her community engaged! This clever twist on the classic "Stone Soup" folktale, full of allusions to fiction classic, is a celebration of a love of reading and the power of communities working together.

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£12.87 (GBP)
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A$28.22 (AUD)
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£12.87 (GBP)
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A$30.10 (AUD)
Amazon.com
$15.57 (USD)

Dreamers

Dreamers

Written by: Yuyi Morales
Illustrated by: Yuyi Morales
Recommended Age: 4 - 8

In this gorgeously illustrated picture book, based loosely on the author's experience of moving from Xalapa, Mexico with her American husband and their infant son to San Francisco in 1994, a woman travels with her son to the United States. There, she discovers an oasis of hope: the public library. Book by book, she untangles the language of this strange new land, and learns to make a home within it, observing that at the library: “We learned to read,/ to speak,/ to write,/ and/ to make/ our voices heard.” Five-time Pura Belpré Award winner Yuyi Morales uses poetic language and elegant illustrations to capture both an immigration journey and the importance of libraries as a welcoming home for new members of a community.

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C$24.74 (CAD)
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£14.99 (GBP)
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A$37.34 (AUD)
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£14.99 (GBP)
The Book Depository
A$36.33 (AUD)
Amazon.com
$12.39 (USD)

The Lady of the Library

The Lady of the Library

Written by: Angie Karcher
Illustrated by: Rachel Sanson
Recommended Age: 4 - 8

For years, this ghostly lady has spent her time at the local library, where the halls feel like home. But now the library is schedule for demolition, and she doesn't know what to do. Fortunately, she discovers an unexpected ally: a little girl who doesn't want the library torn down either. Together, the girl and the ghost make plans to save the building with creative ideas — from ghost-toppled dominoes to spooky story sessions! With gorgeous, just-supernatural-enough illustrations and a timely story about the role of libraries in local communities, this charming and quirky story will leave kids curious who loved their library in the past!

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C$21.99 (CAD)
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£9.21 (GBP)
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A$22.37 (AUD)
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£22.19 (GBP)
The Book Depository
A$49.46 (AUD)
Amazon.com
$16.99 (USD)

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 — not at all. 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 — but that with the right supportive friend, one who gives her the space to go slow when she needs to, she can develop both her reading skills and her love of the written word. Fans of Madeline (and Bonnie) will also enjoy the sequel, Madeline Finn and the Shelter Dog.

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C$17.77 (CAD)
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£5.73 (GBP)
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A$20.65 (AUD)
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£16.42 (GBP)
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A$34.77 (AUD)
Amazon.com
$17.95 (USD)

Dear Librarian

Dear Librarian

Written by: Lydia M. Sigwarth
Illustrated by: Romina Galotta
Recommended Age: 4 - 8

5-year-old Lydia's family had to leave their home in Colorado to move to Iowa, where her dad hopes to find a job and her mom hopes that Grandma and other family members can host their big family — including Lydia and her six siblings — until they get back on their feet. "I didn't have a home to live in, just houses," she remembers: a few days at Grandma's, a night or two at Aunt Linda's. But one place never changed: the library. There, Lydia found a friendly face behind the desk: a librarian who knew that a little girl needed friendship and support without her having to stay a word. Inspired by the author's real-life childhood experience at the library — one that set her on the path to becoming a librarian herself — this is a moving "thank you" to those who take children in need under their wings, and a celebration of the role that libraries play in our communities.

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C$25.42 (CAD)
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£13.99 (GBP)
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A$32.98 (AUD)
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The Book Depository
A$34.99 (AUD)
Amazon.com
$13.99 (USD)

Isabella: Star of the Story

Isabella: Star of the Story

Written by: Jennifer Fosberry
Illustrated by: Mike Litwin
Recommended Age: 4 - 8

Part of the magic of books is how they can help us imagine amazing worlds. Imaginative, purple-haired Isabella is diving into the pages of classic children’s books. Will she host a tea party in Wonderland or travel through Oz? Will she be Peter Pan or Goldilocks? Wherever she goes, you can bet she’ll be the star! Notes at the end introduce kids to the classic stories these characters come from. And fans of Isabella can find more adventures in My Name Is Not Isabella: Just How Big Can A Little Girl Dream?, which explores historical figures, and Isabella: Girl on the Go, which explores famous places around the world.

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C$17.69 (CAD)
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£6.99 (GBP)
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A$14.25 (AUD)
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£10.28 (GBP)
The Book Depository
A$22.77 (AUD)
Amazon.com
$8.99 (USD)

The Library

The Library

Written by: Sarah Stewart
Illustrated by: David Small
Recommended Age: 4 - 8

Elizabeth Brown was a book-loving girl; where other kids loved skating or playing with dolls, she "learned to read quite early / and at an incredible rate." As she grows, Elizabeth amasses a beautiful collection of books... until one day, as an old woman, she realizes that her books are starting to block the door and she is literally out of space! What's a book lover to do? Why, start her own public library! This funny tribute to the joy that reading can provide — not just in childhood, but through our whole lives — is accompanied by clever illustrations full of intriguing detail that ensure kids will want to read this book again and again.

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C$25.53 (CAD)
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£15.28 (GBP)
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A$23.74 (AUD)
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The Book Depository
(Unavailable)
Amazon.com
$12.59 (USD)

A Child of Books

A Child of Books

Recommended Age: 4 - 8

A little girl sails her raft across a sea of words, arriving at the house of a small boy and calling him away on an adventure. Through forests of fairy tales and across mountains of make-believe, the two travel together on a fantastical journey that unlocks the boy's imagination. Now a lifetime of magic and adventure lies ahead of him... but who will be next? Combining elegant images by Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston's typographical landscapes shaped from excerpts of children's classics and lullabies, A Child of Books is a stunning prose poem on the rewards of reading and sharing stories — an immersive and unforgettable reading experience that readers will want to pass on to others.

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C$25.73 (CAD)
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£10.33 (GBP)
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A$14.62 (AUD)
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£24.67 (GBP)
The Book Depository
A$55.27 (AUD)
Amazon.com
$11.18 (USD)

The Lonely Book

The Lonely Book

Written by: Kate Bernheimer
Illustrated by: Chris Sheban
Recommended Age: 4 - 8

Most people who love reading have treasured a particular book; this unique story looks at that special relationship from the book’s perspective. A brand new book arrives in the library, and at first it rarely even spends a day on the shelf. But as the years goes by and new books arrive, eventually the book is lonely and forgotten. But then one little girl rediscovers the lonely book, reading it every night for the whole week and even taking it to show and tell! When the book is returned, though, it’s accidentally sent to the basement with other faded books for the book sale. How will the book ever find a home now? Fortunately, on the day of the sale, there is still a happily ever after for both book and girl. This is the perfect story for anyone who has ever cherished a favorite book.

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C$15.66 (CAD)
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£12.00 (GBP)
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A$29.76 (AUD)
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£12.60 (GBP)
The Book Depository
A$37.57 (AUD)
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$17.99 (USD)

One Girl

One Girl

Written by: Andrea Beaty
Illustrated by: Dow Phumiruk
Recommended Age: 5 - 8

A little girl sits sadly on her porch one night when a shooting star lands by her feet — and turns out to be a glowing book. The book provides a spark that flickers and spreads and the girl discovers more about the world: art, science, and adventures galore! When she takes the story to her class, the spark grows as more and more children are inspired. And when the little girl writes her own story, it ignites similar sparks in girls around the world. Bestselling author Andrea Beaty and illustrator Dow Phumiruk have created a glowing tribute to the power of reading and to the ability of each child to blaze new trails for others.

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C$21.77 (CAD)
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£9.27 (GBP)
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A$19.25 (AUD)
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£9.90 (GBP)
The Book Depository
A$26.41 (AUD)
Amazon.com
$12.69 (USD)

The Library Bus

The Library Bus

Written by: Bahram Rahman
Illustrated by: Gabrielle Grimard
Recommended Age: 5 - 8

Today, Pari got up before dawn to join her Mama on the library bus. Mama brings books to the refugee camps, and teaches the girls there to read and write in English. It's not long ago, she tells Pari, that girls weren't allowed to study: Mama herself only learned to read because her father, Pari's grandfather, taught her at home. Now, girls like Pari — and the girls at the refugee camps — no longer have to fear people finding out they go to school. "Study hard [and] never stop learning," Mama tells her. "Then you will be free." Written by an Afghan refugee, and inspired by the memory of his own sister being forbidden to learn, this is a celebration of literacy and of the power of educating girls and women.

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C$21.86 (CAD)
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£13.99 (GBP)
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A$31.56 (AUD)
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£13.99 (GBP)
The Book Depository
A$28.40 (AUD)
Amazon.com
$13.49 (USD)

Lyric McKerrigan, Secret Librarian

Lyric McKerrigan, Secret Librarian

Written by: Jacob Sager Weinstein
Illustrated by: Vera Brosgol
Recommended Age: 5 - 8

There's a plot afoot: a villain is planning to destroy every book in the world! Even the world's best secret agents can't stop Doctor Glockenspiel and end up captured by his henchmen. But mysterious things are happening: a dissatisfied henchman gets a book called Your Boss Can't Do That from a plumber, and one of the agents finds a copy of How to Pick Locks in a bowl... Of course, it's all the work of Lyric McKerrigan, the Secret Librarian who is here to save the day! This clever mash-up of comic book-style hero and devoted reader is full of action, even as it reminds young readers about the power of having the right book at the right time.

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C$24.99 (CAD)
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£13.99 (GBP)
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A$33.86 (AUD)
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The Book Depository
(Unavailable)
Amazon.com
$17.99 (USD)

The Storyteller’s Candle / La velita de los cuentos

The Storyteller’s Candle / La velita de los cuentos

Recommended Age: 5 - 8

This beautiful book features a real-life librarian: Pura Belpré, the first Puerto Rican woman hired by the New York Public Library system. Hildamar and Santiago have just arrived in New York, and find their new home cold and unwelcoming. Their beloved Three Kings Day holiday is approaching; how can they celebrate it here? But when Belpré comes to their classroom, she shows them that libraries are open to young and old, English- and Spanish-speakers alike. Soon, the library is not just a place of learning for Hildamar and her cousin, but also a place of community and friendship. For another picture book about Belpré, check out Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré for ages 5 to 9.

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C$20.63 (CAD)
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£9.49 (GBP)
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A$22.43 (AUD)
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£9.49 (GBP)
The Book Depository
A$21.13 (AUD)
Amazon.com
$10.95 (USD)

Miss Dorothy and Her Bookmobile

Miss Dorothy and Her Bookmobile

Written by: Gloria Houston
Illustrated by: Susan Condie Lamb
Recommended Age: 5 - 8

Dorothy dreamed of being a librarian as a child — but in her area of North Carolina, there’s no big brick building full of books. But there are roads, and a determined young woman — and Dorothy realizes that’s all that they need. Along with several neighbors, Miss Dorothy starts a bookmobile, delivering books at farms, schools, and even once in the middle of a river. This book is a testament to both the difference that a librarian can make in the lives of people, and to how creative solutions can ensure that everyone has the opportunity to learn.

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C$20.60 (CAD)
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£10.99 (GBP)
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A$47.01 (AUD)
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£18.15 (GBP)
The Book Depository
A$41.41 (AUD)
Amazon.com
$17.99 (USD)

Thank You, Mister Falker

Thank You, Mister Falker

Written by: Patricia Polacco
Recommended Age: 5 - 8

This simple process of reading, which so many of us take for granted, is a tremendously complicated feat — and when a child faces a challenge like dyslexia, words sometimes become a frustrating adversary. Trisha can’t wait to go to school and learn to read — until the words are just a jumble on the page, no matter how hard she tries. Her classmates call her “dummy” and it’s not long before she believes them; after all, no one else is struggling this much just to read a simple book. Fortunately, the new teacher, Mister Falker, not only recognizes her artistic talent, but also figures out why Trisha finds reading so hard. With a little special help, Trisha finally knows the joy of reading all by herself. This is a touching story of the impact a dedicated teacher can make, especially for a student with extra hurdles to overcome.

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£11.26 (GBP)
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A$28.93 (AUD)
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£11.88 (GBP)
The Book Depository
A$27.90 (AUD)
Amazon.com
$10.99 (USD)

Pura's Cuentos: How Pura Belpré Reshaped Libraries with Her Stories

Pura's Cuentos: How Pura Belpré Reshaped Libraries with Her Stories

Written by: Annette Bay Pimentel
Illustrated by: Magaly Morales
Recommended Age: 5 - 8

As a child, Pura loved listening to her abuela's stories, rich with Puerto Rican folklore. When she moved to Harlem as an adult, she saw children who spoke Spanish and had families just like hers. But when she got a job at the library, the books on the shelves were only in English. So she decided it was time to introduce children to her stories — in English and Spanish — stories that captured the spirit and traditions of her home long before any of them were written in a book. This exuberant biography of Pura Belpré, the first Latina librarian in New York City and a pioneer of bilingual storytimes, is a celebration of diverse communities, the joy of folk tales, and the power of stories to bring us together.

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C$20.90 (CAD)
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£12.99 (GBP)
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A$8.90 (AUD)
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£15.40 (GBP)
The Book Depository
A$27.65 (AUD)
Amazon.com
$17.29 (USD)

Miss Moore Thought Otherwise: How Ann Carroll Moore Created Libraries for Children

Miss Moore Thought Otherwise: How Ann Carroll Moore Created Libraries for Children

Written by: Jan Pinborough
Illustrated by: Debby Atwell
Recommended Age: 5 - 9

For kids who grew up going to the children’s room at their local library, it will astound them to hear that there was a time that reading wasn’t considered important for children. In this picture book biography of Anne Carroll Moore, kids will learn the story of the woman who created the first children’s library. Her children’s room at the New York Public Library, with its bright colors, comfortable seating, and borrowing privileges for books written for children, became the model for children’s library programs everywhere. This fascinating biography celebrates the woman whose work helped millions of children develop a love of reading.

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A$38.51 (AUD)
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£17.46 (GBP)
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A$39.34 (AUD)
Amazon.com
$18.49 (USD)

The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read

The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read

Written by: Rita Lorraine Hubbard
Illustrated by: Oge Mora
Recommended Age: 5 - 9

Imagine learning to read at the age of 116! When Mary Walker was born into slavery in 1848, she wasn't allowed to learn to read — and even once she was freed at the age of 15, there was too much work to do to learn... or so she thought. But she was healthy and strong, and at the age of 114, she had outlived all her other family. It was time, perhaps, to follow that long-held dream: "Could someone her age learn to read? She didn’t know, but by God, she was going to try." Walker was certified the nation's oldest student twice over, and at 116, she learned! This inspiring story proves that, with perseverance and dedication, there's nothing you can't achieve.

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C$23.75 (CAD)
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A$26.28 (AUD)
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£11.51 (GBP)
The Book Depository
A$30.25 (AUD)
Amazon.com
$12.29 (USD)

The Whisper

The Whisper

Written by: Pamela Zagarenski
Illustrated by: Pamela Zagarenksi
Recommended Age: 5 - 9

As a little girl runs home with a new book from school, all the words go tumbling out of the book! But when she stares, perplexed, at pages full of nothing but pictures, she hears a whisper that tells her to imagine her own words. Tentatively at first, but emboldened by the voice's assurance that there are no rules, the girl decides to give it a try and discovers the power of imagination and storytelling. Zagarenski, a two-time Caldecott Honor artist, makes an impressive debut as an author in this contemplative and beautifully-illustrated tale.

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C$25.44 (CAD)
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£12.99 (GBP)
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A$29.98 (AUD)
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£12.99 (GBP)
The Book Depository
A$32.90 (AUD)
Amazon.com
$17.99 (USD)

Bookworm Journal: A Reading Log for Kids (and Their Parents)

Bookworm Journal: A Reading Log for Kids (and Their Parents)

Manufacturer: Potter Style
Recommended Age: 5 - 9

In this clever book log, the bookworm "eats" its way through the pages as you read! Every time you finish a story, your Mighty Girl gets to fill out a journal page with details like the title, the author, and their rating of the book, as well as whether someone read the book to them or they read it themselves. Then they tear off a perforated corner and watch the bookworm crawl through their reading log! It's a fun way to get kids eager to read, and makes a great keepsake to show how far their reading skills have come.

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C$14.99 (CAD)
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£9.89 (GBP)
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A$20.61 (AUD)
Amazon.com
$12.55 (USD)

Polly Diamond and the Magic Book

Polly Diamond and the Magic Book

Written by: Alice Kuipers
Illustrated by: Diana Toledano
Recommended Age: 6 - 9

Polly Diamond loves reading — and writing her own stories — but right now her life is busy with the upcoming arrival of a new sibling. Then, a blank journal shows up... and Polly discovers that whatever she writes in it happens in real life. It's not long before Polly experiments with turning herself invisible — and turning her new little sister into a banana. But as every author knows, if you don't choose your words carefully, your meaning isn't clear, and when the book's magic gets a little too literal, Polly has to do some very careful writing to resolve the problem. This clever early chapter book celebrates the day to day magic of storytelling.

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C$19.99 (CAD)
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£5.79 (GBP)
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A$27.61 (AUD)
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£8.20 (GBP)
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A$24.67 (AUD)
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$14.99 (USD)

The Dragon in the Library

The Dragon in the Library

Written by: Louie Stowell
Illustrated by: Davide Ortu
Recommended Age: 7 - 9

Outdoorsy 10-year-old Kit hates to read, so she only goes to the library to indulge her best friends, Josh and Alita — until she discovers that touching certain books makes her travel to a magical place. It turns out that Kit is a wizard, something that surprises the head librarian, Faith, who says that most wizards don't show their gifts until they're 18. Now, Kit's abilities may be the only thing that can save the library from the power-hungry CEO Mr. Salt — and keep the slumbering dragon inside it from wreaking havoc. But first, Kit will have to learn to control her impulsiveness and truly trust her friends! This hilarious and fantastical series opener, packed with playful illustrations, is perfect for readers who appreciate magical adventure with a witty sense of humor.

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C$23.75 (CAD)
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£5.95 (GBP)
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A$35.60 (AUD)
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£5.95 (GBP)
The Book Depository
A$14.75 (AUD)
Amazon.com
$17.99 (USD)

Book Uncle and Me

Book Uncle and Me

Written by: Uma Krishnaswami
Illustrated by: Julianna Swaney
Recommended Age: 7 - 10

In Yasmin's Indian neighborhood, there's one place to go if you want the perfect book: Book Uncle's little library stand! The retired teacher has set up a free lending library, and he loves helping readers find a fascinating tale. But as everyone is talking about the upcoming mayoral election, Yasmin makes a horrifying discovery: Book Uncle is being forced to close down because he can't afford a permit. Just like that, Yasmin's interest turns from books to activism, and soon she and her friends are running a grassroots campaign to get Book Uncle back up and running. This unique story combines the joy of reading and friendship with the power of communities coming together, and remind young readers that they too have the ability to make change.

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C$9.89 (CAD)
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£9.99 (GBP)
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A$21.13 (AUD)
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£10.20 (GBP)
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A$20.80 (AUD)
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$9.99 (USD)

Matilda

Matilda

Written by: Roald Dahl
Illustrated by: Quentin Blake
Recommended Age: 7 - 12

Clever little Matilda is a precocious reader, but her parents don't appreciate books or their daughter. when she starts school, her teacher Miss Honey encourages Matilda's remarkable gifts — including one that defies all expectation. But with the bullying headmistress Miss Trunchbull out to force Matilda into submission, and her uncaring parents refusing to acknowledge their daughter's talents, how will Matilda ever get to enjoy the books and learning she loves? This modern classic Mighty Girl story has delighted generations of children with its intelligent, book-loving main character.

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C$8.99 (CAD)
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£6.31 (GBP)
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A$18.10 (AUD)
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£7.62 (GBP)
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A$19.67 (AUD)
Amazon.com
$6.78 (USD)

Library On Wheels

Mary Lemist Titcomb and America's First Bookmobile

Library On Wheels

Mary Lemist Titcomb and America's First Bookmobile

Written by: Sharlee Glenn
Recommended Age: 8 - 12

Bookmobiles have brought libraries and literacy to thousands of rural residents — but did you know that the first Book Wagon was created by a woman? Mary Lemist Titcomb worked for the Washington County Free Library in Maryland, and knew that people who lived outside of town struggled to access the books she had to offer. So she started a horse-drawn Book Wagon that would go to them! The idea caught on, and by 1922 the idea of a mobile library was widespread. This biography recognizes the forward-thinking woman who knew that distance should be no obstacle to literacy.

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C$11.75 (CAD)
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£16.36 (GBP)
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A$26.99 (AUD)
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$18.99 (USD)

Pages & Co.: The Bookwanderers

Pages & Co.: The Bookwanderers

Written by: Anna James
Illustrated by: Paola Escobar
Recommended Age: 8 - 12

11-year-old Tilly Pages' mother disappeared shortly after she was born, and she found solace in the thousands of books at her grandparents' bookshop, and her one friend, Oskar. But when some of the avid reader's favorite characters — including Anne of Green Gables and Alice from Wonderland — make an appearance, Tilly learns she can travel into any story she chooses. Tilly's bookwandering is more powerful than most, though, and when a creepy employee of the shop follows her into the books, she and Oskar must dig into the mystery... which might even reveal what really happened to Tilly's mother. This imaginative ode to the magic of books is sure to make young readers wish they could bookwander with Tilly. For more of Tilly's adventures, check out our Pages & Co. Collection.

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C$15.01 (CAD)
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A$22.99 (AUD)
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A$18.88 (AUD)
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$8.09 (USD)

Property of the Rebel Librarian

Property of the Rebel Librarian

Written by: Allison Varnes
Recommended Age: 9 - 12

When 12-year-old June's parents decide one of the books from her school library is inappropriate, they pressure the administration of the school into suspending the librarian and start pulling books off the shelves. June normally follows the rules, but she knows this is wrong, even if her crush and her best friend want her to let it go. When she discovers a Little Free Library on her walk to school, she's inspired to create her own in an abandoned locker, and she discovers many students agree with her, too. June didn't expect to lead a movement, but she might just be able to save both her beloved librarian and her classmates' right to read. This fun and empowering book encourages kids to ask questions about censorship and recognize their own power to act.

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C$8.90 (CAD)
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£5.99 (GBP)
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A$16.92 (AUD)
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£5.99 (GBP)
The Book Depository
A$15.20 (AUD)
Amazon.com
$7.99 (USD)

Alia's Mission: Saving the Books of Iraq

Alia's Mission: Saving the Books of Iraq

Written by: Mark Alan Stamaty
Recommended Age: 9 - 12

In 2003, Alia Muhammad Baker was the chief librarian of the Central Library in Basra, Iraq, and she was facing a potential tragedy: war was coming, and with it, the possibility of losing thousands of volumes that tell Iraqi history and culture. So she took a daring step: with the help of her community, Baker smuggled over 30,000 irreplaceable books out of the library to safety. Kids will be inspired by this graphic novel telling of this inspiring true-life act of heroism. For another telling of this story for younger readers, check out The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq for ages 5 to 10.

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C$16.37 (CAD)
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£5.94 (GBP)
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A$16.92 (AUD)
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The Book Depository
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$7.99 (USD)

The Library of Ever

The Library of Ever

Written by: Zeno Alexander
Recommended Age: 9 - 12

11-year-old Lenora is bored and frustrated, stuck at home while her parents travel around the world. Then she discovers a secret doorway that enters the ultimate library, one containing the whole universe's wisdom. Better yet, she's offered the chance to take the oath ("Do you swear to venture forth bravely and find the answer to any question, no matter the challenge?") and becomes the new Fourth Assistant Apprentice Librarian. As she seeks out information, she also has to dodge the mysterious Forces of Darkness, who are dedicated to suppressing intellectual freedom. Fortunately, the clever girl is up for the challenge! Part adventure across time and space, part tribute to the love of books, this middle grade novel will be an instant classic.

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C$10.88 (CAD)
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£6.99 (GBP)
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A$11.26 (AUD)
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The Book Depository
A$15.22 (AUD)
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$6.54 (USD)

A Kind of Paradise

A Kind of Paradise

Written by: Amy Rebecca Tan
Recommended Age: 9 - 12

After breaking her middle school's honor code, 13-year-old Jamie is assigned to volunteer at the local library 15 hours a week for community service all summer long. What's worse, everyone at her school knows what happened thanks to a social media post by Trina, her nemesis — and twin sister of her crush, Trey. As Jamie gets to know the library, though, she gains a new appreciation for the part it plays in supporting people in the community she normally wouldn't give a second glance. And when the library's funding is threatened, the whole community pulls together. Jamie's growing awareness of the library's power is heartfelt and real, encouraging readers to see it in a whole new way.

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C$21.00 (CAD)
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£19.40 (GBP)
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A$34.89 (AUD)
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The Book Depository
(Unavailable)
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$16.99 (USD)

Ban This Book

Ban This Book

Written by: Alan Gratz
Recommended Age: 9 - 12

Amy Anne considers herself shy, but when she learns that her favorite book in the whole world, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, has been banned from the library, she decides it's time to find her courage! So she recruits her friends to make their point: they start a secret banned books library in her locker, and even make arguments why every single book in library should also be banned to point out the folly of censorship. It turns out that when Amy Anne finds a cause that's important to her, she's ready to take on the world! Middle grade readers will laugh and cheer as they read this stirring defense against censorship.

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C$10.50 (CAD)
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£4.99 (GBP)
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A$18.44 (AUD)
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£7.62 (GBP)
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A$19.54 (AUD)
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$7.99 (USD)

My Brigadista Year

My Brigadista Year

Written by: Katherine Paterson
Recommended Age: 10 - 13

13-year-old Lora has made up her mind: she's going to join Castro's army of literacy teachers, no matter what her parents think. To her parents, the idea is crazy; Lora has never even been outside of Havana! But with backup from her abuela, Lora points out that her parents have always told her to share with those in need. Life as a brigadista is more difficult than Lora expected, especially with unrest and possibly even war on the horizon. Despite it all, Lora is determined to be part of something bigger than herself. Set in 1961, this story sheds light on a little-known aspect of Castro's Cuba, and includes an author's note about Cuban history.

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C$15.78 (CAD)
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£5.95 (GBP)
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A$28.18 (AUD)
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£5.95 (GBP)
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A$15.42 (AUD)
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$8.99 (USD)

A Girl, A Raccoon, and the Midnight Moon

A Girl, A Raccoon, and the Midnight Moon

Written by: Karen Romano Young
Illustrated by: Jessixa Bagley
Recommended Age: 10 - 13

10-year-old Pearl finds refuge in the library where her mother works, but when the head of their statue of Edna St. Vincent Millay disappears, it draws attention to the diminishing importance of the library in the community — and the repairs it needs that the city would rather not pay for. Still Pearl is determined to save the library, and with the help of Francine, a new friend ‐ and unexpected allies in the form of the newspaper-publishing raccoons in the library basement — she might just succeed. This charming story with a unique voice and delightful illustrations by Jessixa Bagley incorporates both fantasy and real-life issues like homelessness, and celebrates the power of reading and belief.

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C$23.99 (CAD)
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£11.99 (GBP)
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A$28.37 (AUD)
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£19.50 (GBP)
The Book Depository
A$51.64 (AUD)
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$7.76 (USD)

Amal Unbound

Amal Unbound

Written by: Aisha Saeed
Recommended Age: 10 and up

Amal dreams of being a teacher, but as the oldest daughter in her Pakistani family, she has to stay home from school to care for her siblings. She plans to find other ways to continue her studies, but an accidental run-in with the son of the village's corrupt landlord turns her life upside down: she is forced into indentured servitude at his estate to pay off her family's debt. But Amal's ability to read provides her with a shocking — and dangerous — opportunity to expose the Khan family's corruption. This powerful novel with a courageous and intelligent main character celebrates how literacy can empower an individual — or a community — to take control of their lives.

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C$11.87 (CAD)
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£8.99 (GBP)
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A$20.45 (AUD)
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A$19.31 (AUD)
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$8.99 (USD)

The Wild Book

The Wild Book

Written by: Margarita Engle
Recommended Age: 10 and up

Fefa has dyslexia — or as her Cuban doctor in 1912 calls it, word-blindness — and she’s been told she’ll never read or write. She’s still determined to try, but every time she does, the words jumble and scramble around the page. But Fefa’s mother has an idea: she gives her daughter an empty book and says, “Think of it as a garden.” Soon Fefa is cautiously planting words on the pages, one here, then a few more there. With every day there are more words — and Fefa is more confident. And when Fefa’s family needs help, Fefa’s wild book will be the key to rescuing them all. A beautiful mix of history, mythology, and one child’s personal struggle, this book captures the joy of reading and writing in a totally unique way.

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C$9.99 (CAD)
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£5.72 (GBP)
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A$19.65 (AUD)
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£7.02 (GBP)
The Book Depository
A$16.59 (AUD)
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$7.99 (USD)

Fish In A Tree

Fish In A Tree

Written by: Lynda Mullaly Hunt
Recommended Age: 10 and up

Ally is clever — she knows that, if she's enough of a disruption in class, no one will figure out just how little she can read. But how can she be smart if she can't even read the simplest things? Her newest teacher, Mr. Daniels, seems to see past her brash, troublemaking exterior, and even puts a name to her reading problems: dyslexia. Lynda Mullaly Hunt provides a compassionate look at life with a learning disability, with an ending that's realistic: Ally's happy ending will involve small changes and a lot of hard work! Her reminder that great minds don't always think alike — and that struggles with literacy can affect surprising aspects of a person's life — will provide Mighty Girls with dyslexia with hope, and encourage those without similar struggles to have empathy for the challenges they pose.

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C$11.87 (CAD)
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£5.94 (GBP)
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A$13.75 (AUD)
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£5.94 (GBP)
The Book Depository
A$13.81 (AUD)
Amazon.com
$7.99 (USD)

Voices

Voices

Written by: Ursula K. Le Guin
Recommended Age: 12 and up

The most important lesson we can teach is exactly why literacy is so critical — and why it’s so common for those who want to oppress people to deny education. Memer lives in Ansul, a town that was once full of libraries and schools. But when the conquerors claimed Ansul long ago, they declared reading and writing punishable by death. Now, the only place with a few remaining — carefully hidden — books is Oracle House, which most people consider haunted by demons. For Memer, though, it’s a sanctuary, the only safe place she knows. Then, when an Uplander poet arrives, everything Memer knows is turned upside down. Can the knowledge Orrec offers be the key to helping the people of Ansul be brave enough to rebel? Perhaps reading really is just as dangerous as everyone thinks — but for the conquerors, not the conquered.

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C$12.99 (CAD)
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£11.67 (GBP)
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A$28.71 (AUD)
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The Book Depository
(Unavailable)
Amazon.com
$8.99 (USD)

The Book Thief

The Book Thief

Written by: Markus Zusak
Recommended Age: 12 and up

Reading can also be an escape at a time that the world is scary or confusing. Liesel is a foster child living outside Munich in the midst of World War II Germany. She’s eking out survival by stealing what she can. But one day she steals a book, and after her foster father reads it to her, her mind is opened to a vast, new world — one that helps her manage the fear and grief she’s living with every day. Soon she is determined to learn to read herself...and share her stolen words with her neighbors, her friends, and the Jewish refugee hiding in the family’s basement. Liesel’s personal love of reading, even when facing the most desperate of times, illuminates books for what they truly are: treasure.

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C$19.79 (CAD)
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£12.95 (GBP)
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A$15.87 (AUD)
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£13.16 (GBP)
The Book Depository
A$29.18 (AUD)
Amazon.com
$6.99 (USD)

The Librarian of Auschwitz

The Librarian of Auschwitz

Recommended Age: 13 and up

When 14-year-old Dita is sent to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, she is selected for the propaganda 'family camp,' a front to convince the Red Cross that the camp is just for internment, not murder. After one of the prisoners sets up a secret school, he entrusts Dita with the job of block librarian, caring for eight precious books that have been smuggled past the guards. Her secret role as Librarian of Auschwitz gives Dita a sense of purpose — and the courage and hope she needs to survive one of the darkest chapters of human history. Based on the experience of real-life Auschwitz prisoner Dita Kraus, this book captures the incredible power of the human spirit to overcome hatred and violence.

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C$27.57 (CAD)
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£17.21 (GBP)
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A$26.99 (AUD)
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£18.22 (GBP)
The Book Depository
A$39.92 (AUD)
Amazon.com
$15.38 (USD)

Suggested Reading

Suggested Reading

Written by: Dave Connis
Recommended Age: 14 and up

Self-proclaimed bookworm and school library volunteer Clara Evans is shocked when she discovers that her prestigious private school, which she attends as a scholarship student, is adding some of her favorite books to their "prohibited media" list. Rather than get rid of them, Clara creates an underground library in her locker, ensuring students can still read the banned titles. But when a book she loves turns out to be deeply hurtful to another student, Clara suddenly finds herself asking whether some books really are "dangerous." Fortunately, she realizes that books — like people — can't be tamed. Both funny and thought-provoking, this book celebrates the power of words — and activism.

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£6.27 (GBP)
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A$19.99 (AUD)
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£8.08 (GBP)
The Book Depository
A$21.64 (AUD)
Amazon.com
$10.99 (USD)

Raising A Reader: Parenting Books About Literacy

The best way for all of us to show our gratitude for the amazing gift of literacy is to help children develop facility with — and a love for — reading. These books for parents will give you tips and strategies to help make sure that reading will be a family legacy.

The Read-Aloud Handbook

The Read-Aloud Handbook

Written by: Jim Trelease

Time reading together is a treasured ritual for many children and their parents, and there are ways to take that special time and use it to form a life-long love of reading and books. This book provides tips for using this time not just to enjoy stories together, but also to encourage imagination, comprehension, and conversation. Included is a list of great books to read together, from wordless books and simple picture books for infants and toddlers to full-length novels and anthologies for older kids. After all, even once kids are reading on their own, reading aloud together is still a great way to share a love of books!

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C$25.81 (CAD)
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£11.09 (GBP)
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A$32.30 (AUD)
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£12.86 (GBP)
The Book Depository
A$34.08 (AUD)
Amazon.com
$11.99 (USD)

Reading Together: Everything You Need To Know To Raise A Child Who Loves To Read

Reading Together: Everything You Need To Know To Raise A Child Who Loves To Read

Written by: Diane W. Frankenstein

Guiding children to find an appropriate book and talking with them about the story helps them connect with what they read. In this engaging guide, educational consultant Diane W. Frankenstein shares advice for parents, teachers, librarians, and caregivers on how to help children find what to read, and then through conversation, how to find meaning and pleasure in their reading. The book includes more than 100 great book recommendations for kids from Pre-K through grade six, along with related conversation starters, providing anyone who wants to support children's literacy with a toolbox to create lifelong readers.

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C$18.50 (CAD)
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£13.04 (GBP)
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A$43.22 (AUD)
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£13.04 (GBP)
The Book Depository
A$41.83 (AUD)
Amazon.com
$15.00 (USD)

Book by Book: The Complete Guide to Creating Mother-Daughter Book Clubs

Book by Book: The Complete Guide to Creating Mother-Daughter Book Clubs

Written by: Cindy Hudson

Creating a book club is another great way to share a love of reading — and learn more about your Mighty Girl! This book is full of tips for organizing a club — everything from how many mother-daughter pairs will work best, to how to keep the club going as the daughters get older — as well as book lists for four different age groups, online resources, and even recipes for special book-club snacks. It’s a great way to learn more about each other and to develop close friendships with other book loving moms and daughters.

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C$22.76 (CAD)
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£11.99 (GBP)
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A$47.78 (AUD)
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£16.29 (GBP)
The Book Depository
A$35.24 (AUD)
Amazon.com
$17.99 (USD)

The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Reader in Every Child

The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Reader in Every Child

Written by: Donalyn Miller

Not every child will leap into reading; some children find reading more of a chore, especially once they start school and find their reading choices limited — and reading itself associated with worksheets and drills. Teacher Donalyn Miller says that every child can learn to love reading — and she’s proved it in her own classroom, year after year. Miller recommends allowing “reading freedom” — letting kids pick from books that interest them — and provides tips and questionnaires to help you and your Mighty Girl figure out what books she might enjoy. She also suggests activities other than highly regimented book reports and comprehension questions, replacing them with ways to encourage kids to talk to adults — and other kids — about the books they love. By following her advice, even reluctant readers will discover the joy books can bring.

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C$33.66 (CAD)
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£14.38 (GBP)
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A$30.00 (AUD)
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The Book Depository
(Unavailable)
Amazon.com
$12.99 (USD)

Why Can’t My Daughter Read?: Success Strategies for Helping Girls with Dyslexia and Reading Difficulties

Why Can’t My Daughter Read?: Success Strategies for Helping Girls with Dyslexia and Reading Difficulties

Written by: Ellen Burns Hurst

If a child is facing dyslexia or other problems with the reading process, special guidance may be necessary to overcome her frustration. Ellen Burns Hurst tackles a common problem for girls who struggle with reading: that they are often very good as masking their difficulties from teachers, parents, and peers. By helping debunk the myths around dyslexia and other learning difficulties, including the idea that children facing these problems can never learn to read, or can only learn with expensive therapies, this book will provide reassurance and hope for any parent — or girl — who feels like reading will forever be just out of reach. Instead, Hurst provides techniques to ensure that every girl can succeed at — and love — reading.

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Amazon.ca
C$44.91 (CAD)
Amazon.co.uk
£18.51 (GBP)
Amazon.com.au
A$41.08 (AUD)
The Book Depository
£19.67 (GBP)
The Book Depository
A$40.91 (AUD)
Amazon.com
$16.95 (USD)

Whether your Mighty Girl is a toddler or a teen, spend some time together today and celebrate the amazing gift of literacy. Encourage them to share their love of reading and books with their peers, their community, and beyond. After all, with the help of Mighty kids around the world, hopefully someday illiteracy will be a thing of the past.

Additional Recommended Resources

  • For books about educational access, check out our blog Honoring Malala: Mighty Girl Books on Children’s Fight for Education or our Educational Access section.
  • For more Parenting books to support readers, check out our Literacy / Book Clubs section.
  • If this blog has inspired you to read aloud to your Mighty Girl, check out our list of the Top Read Aloud Books Starring Mighty Girls. These great books can be read independently by older children as well — or, have her read aloud to you!
  • If you’re interested in forming a book club, why not make it a Mighty Girl book club? Our book club page includes tips for setting up a club, reading lists for a variety of age groups, and an option to sign up for our ongoing book club newsletter.
  • When you’re helping your Mighty Girl choose books, make sure you browse our full selection of Mighty Girl books. With categories and subcategories to help you find books on almost any theme, both fiction and non-fiction, you’re sure to find some unexpected titles that your Mighty Girl will love.
  • And you can encourage reading and literacy through play as well as through books! In our Toy section we have a section of Reading / Literacy toys that focus on letter recognition, storytelling, and word play. Or, get your Mighty Girl writing her own stories by checking out the toys and journals in our Writing / Journaling section.
  • She can show off her love of reading by checking out our selection of Literary Themed clothing. This section includes a series of shirts from Out of Print, a company that makes T-shirts featuring vintage book covers which will donate one book per shirt purchased to a community in need.
  • And if your Mighty Girl wants to share her love of reading with the world, one great way to do it is by supporting the African Library Project. By sending her gently used books to a book drive, she can help the project start new libraries in communities in Africa. It’s a great way for her to help kids everywhere end up with great books in their hands!

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