Seattle's Child

Your guide to a kid-friendly city

Book picks: Stories with girl-driven narratives

Christine Day, a member of the Upper Skagit tribe, wrote I Can Make This Promise, an American Indian Youth Literature Award honor and Charlotte Huck Award honor book. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband.

 

The Dark Lord Clementine

By Sarah Jean Horwitz

This book has it all: magic, humor, a mysterious curse, a literal black sheep, an aspiring knight, a scarred huntress, an evil wizard overlord, and a determined heroine named Clementine. She is the daughter of the Dark Lord, and the sole heir to his title. But when she receives orders to perform a dastardly deed, she starts to wonder if evil lordship is her true calling. A clever, whimsical adventure.

 

Mirage

By Somaiya Daud

This is the perfect book for Star Wars fans. It begins with Amani, an earnest, poetry-loving heroine who lives on an isolated moon in a star system conquered by the Vathek empire. She is soon kidnapped, taken to the imperial palace, and groomed to become the body double for the empire’s cruel Princess Maram. With gorgeous, sonorous prose, a growing rebellion, and a forbidden romance, this is an unforgettable sci-fi fantasy.

 

A Very Large Expanse of Sea

By Tahereh Mafi

Love stories are my favorite stories. And even though this book is filled with prejudice, xenophobia, and Islamophobia — specifically in post-9/11 America — it also brims with love. The love between Shirin, her charming brother, and her disciplined parents. The love of breakdancing, which gives Shirin a safe space in her turbulent school days. And the tender, sometimes tentative romance between Shirin and Ocean. This is an emotionally resonant, incisive novel.

 

Indian No More

By Charlene Willing McManis and Traci Sorell

A rich, compelling historical narrative about Umpqua identity, tribal termination, and the Indian Relocation Act. One of my favorite tropes in children’s literature is the experience of being uprooted, moving to a new home, and finding your way in an unfamiliar neighborhood. This book captures this experience, while also giving readers lessons on Native histories and tribal citizenship. This is a beautiful, relatable, and deeply personal gift of a novel.

 

More book picks:

Stories with girl-driven narratives

Understanding ourselves: Kids’ books about emotions, money and more

Claiming your space: Kids’ books on mindfulness and advocacy

‘My Heart Fills with Happiness,’ and other kids’ books that radiate joy

Great kids’ books also available as audiobooks and in Braille