Open a book this minute and start reading. Don’t move until you’ve reached page fifty. Until you’ve buried your thoughts in print. Cover yourself with words. Wash yourself away. Dissolve. Carol Shields Republic of Love

Girls to Grow On

I’ve been deliberately choosing books from this list since 2008 — as many of them were published after I was of age to read them naturally — and I can honestly say that I have enjoyed every single one of them. Even the ones that I was pretty sure I wouldn’t like (like Maniac Magee and Alan and Naomi, which begins with a stickball scene). I hope they issue an updated version, although I do kinda hope they change the title slightly, rather than suggest these books for girls particularly: these are just great books to grow on…for anyone!

Status: 59/100 (January 2017)

Alan and Naomi – Myron Levoy

Alanna, the First Adventure – Tamora Pierce

Another Way to Dance – Martha Southgate

Are you There God? It’s Me Margaret – Judy Blume

Ballet Shoes – Noel Streatfield

A Bone from a Dry Sea – Peter Dickinson

The Borrowers – Mary Norton

Bridge to Terabithia – Katherine Paterson

Caddie Woodlawn – Carol Ryrie Brink

Catherine, Called Birdy – Karen Cushman

Charlie Pippin – Candy Dawson Boyd

Charlotte’s Web – E.B. White

Chasing Redbird – Sharon Creech

Child of the Owl – Laurence Yep

The Children of Green Knowe – L.M. Boston

Cousins – Virginia Hamilton

The Cuckoo’s Child – Suzanne Freeman

The Dark Side of Nowhere – Neal Shusterman

The Dark Stairs: A Herculeah Jones Mystery – Betsy Byars

A Day No Pigs Would Die – Robert Newton Peck

Dogsong – Gary Paulsen

Dragon of the Lost Sea – Laurence Yep

The Egypt Game – Zilpha Keatley Snyder

Ella Enchanted – Gail Carson Levine

The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm – Nancy Farmer

The Friends – Rosa Guy

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler – E.L. Konigsburg

A Girl fromYamhill: A Memoir – Beverly Cleary

A Girl Named Disaster – Nancy Farmer

The Giver – Lois Lowry

The Glory Field – Walter Dean Myers

The Gold Cadillac – Mildred D. Taylor

The Golden Compass – Philip Pullman

✔Good Night, Mr. Tom – Michelle Magorian

The Great Gilly Hopkins – Katherine Paterson

Habibi – Naomi Shihab Nye

Half Magic – Edward Eager

Harriet the Spy – Louise Fitzhugh

✔A Hero Ain’t Nothing but a Sandwich – Alice Childress

Homecoming – Cynthia Voigt

Homesick: My Own Story – Jean Fritz

The House of Dies Drear – Virginia Hamilton

The Hundred Dresses – Eleanor Estes

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou

In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson – Bette Bao Lord

Island of the Blue Dolphins – Scott O’Dell

Jacob Have I Loved – Katherine Paterson

Julie of the Wolves – Jean Craighead George

The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles – Julie Edwards

Lily’s Crossing – Patricia Reilly Giff

The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe – C.S. Lewis

Little House on the Prairie – Laura Ingalls Wilder

Lucy Forever and Miss Rosetree – Shrinks Susan Shreve

The Magical Adventures of Pretty Pearl – Virginia Hamilton

Maizon at Blue Hill – Jacqueline Woodson

Make Lemonade – Virginia Euwer Wolff

Maniac Magee – Jerry Spinelli

The Moon over Crete  – Jyotsna Sreenivasan

The Moorchild – Eloise McGraw

Number the Stars – Lois Lowry

The Outsiders – S.E. Hinton

The Poison Place: A Novel – Mary E. Lyons

Ramona the Pest – Beverly Cleary

Red Scarf Girl: A Memoir of the Cultural Revolution – Ji-Li Jiang

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry – Mildred D. Taylor

Running out of Time – Margaret Peterson Haddix

The School Mouse – Dick King-Smith

The Secret of Gumbo Grove – Eleanora E. Tate

Shabanu, Daughter of the Wind – Suzanne Fisher Staples

The Shimmershine Queens – Camille Yarbrough

The Slave Dancer – Paula Fox

Something Terrible Happened – Barbara Ann Porte

Somewhere in the Darkness – Walter Dean Myers

Squashed – Joan Bauer

The Star Fisher – Laurence Yep

Summer of My German Soldier – Bette Greene

Sun & Spoon – Kevin Henkes

Taste of Salt: A Story of Modern Haiti – Frances Temple

There’s an Owl in my Shower– Jean Craighead George

To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

Tom’s Midnight Garden – Philippa Pearce

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn – Betty Smith

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle – Avi

Tuck Everlasting – Natalie Babbitt

The View from Saturday – E.L. Konigsburg

Waiting for Anya – Michael Morpugo

Walk Two Moons – Sharon Creech

The Watsons Go to Birmingham – Christopher Paul Curtis

The Westing Game – Ellen Raskin

Where the Lilies Bloom – Vera and Bill Cleaver

Where the Red Fern Grows – Wilson Rawls

White Lilacs – Carolyn Meyer

Wise Child – Monica Furlong

The Witch of Blackbird Pond – Elizabeth George Speare

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase – Joan Aiken

The Woman in the Wall – Patrice Kindl

Wringer – Jerry Spinelli

A Wrinkle in Time – Madeleine L’Engle

The Yearling – Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

Yolanda’s Genius – Carol Fenner


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