I have an 11 year old daughter, Ava, and I want her to grow up to be a strong woman. Look around at our changing society, and there has never been a more relevant time to raise our girls to be strong women. When society or people tell our daughters “you can’t” I want them to stop and think YES I can! I want my daughter to know that when you hear this, that just means you push harder and prove them wrong. There are no limits to what our girls can do–they will change the world. This starts by raising them to really believe that important message! Below are four remarkable books that I have had to the privilege of sharing with my daughter, and we are better for it! Below is a brief description of why I love these books, as well as, my daughter’s words describing why she loves them too.
Elyse: Everytime I read the first page of this picture book I get goosebumps because the message is so clear and says everything, as a mother, I want my daughter to hear. Throughout American history, there have been times when women have fought to be heard and stand up for what they believe in. When everyone in society said sit down and be quiet, these 13 women persisted and refused to be silenced. These women changed our country and the world because of their perseverance. Perhaps the best part of sharing these with my daughter was when she stopped on the 9th woman and looked and me and said, “Mom, this book is amazing!” Yes, a thousand times, yes!
Ava: I really enjoyed reading about women in our history who persisted through challenges and believed in themselves. These 13 women believed they could do anything, and they did not let anyone tell them “you can’t”. It’s a lesson for anyone who reads this book that they should believe in themselves and never give up.
Elyse: For your daughters ready for more than a picture book, this fabulous collection of 100 revolutionary women who changed everything by being what some would consider bad, is the perfect book. These women were anything but bad; they were and are extraordinary. Women going back as far as Cleopatra or as relevant today as Tina Fey have all made their mark in history. Each page is another amazing woman we were able to discover together. All of these women were and continue to be pioneers and role models for our girls to find inspiration. I was surprised by how many women I didn’t know about. I loved watching my daughter’s eyes open wide as she explored the women who not only made, but also continue to make this world a better place.
Ava: I think all the women in this book are role models to girls around the world who want to do the impossible. At times we might be discouraged, laughed at, or told that we can’t do the impossible. This book reminds me that I should still try and not let others bring my dreams down.
Elyse: Every girl needs a copy of this on their bookshelf or next to their bed. This book gives me so much inspiration and so much hope. Everywhere we look we are inundated with messages and images of what “pretty” looks like. I love this book because the focus is on being strong and the images of these strong girls and women are absolutely beautiful. I can think of no better message for my daughter to see and hear. Strong is so much more than lifting weights or running a marathon. This book celebrates and explores what strength really means. Strong means being fierce, being kind, being confident, being determined, being resilient, being fearless and being independent. The first page of each chapter highlights these examples of real strength in the truest sense of the word. I see this strength all the time in my daughter and that makes her beautiful both inside and out.
Ava: I think this book shows that us that pretty isn’t just about looks. Pretty is courage, kindness, creativity, determination, and independence. Your inner qualities, and not your looks make you pretty.
Elyse: Doing this journal with my daughter has been one of the highlights of being a mother. This journal is really just between us only. These pages are a safe place for us both to be honest, silly and vulnerable. The journal has bonded me with my daughter in so many different ways. I have learned so much about her, and in turn she has really learned so much about me. The journal is a back and forth format with one side for mom to fill out and one side for the daughter. Some pages have prompts, quizzes or pictures for us to draw. Other pages have free space for us to write letters to each other back and forth. I find myself opening up to her, and her opening up to me. I look forward to seeing the journal on my pillow (that means it’s my turn to read what she wrote and fill out my new entry). I find that there are some topics or things that can be difficult to talk about; however, writing them down can be easier and sometimes a safer way to “talk.” I hope that as my daughter grows up and faces more difficult challenges she will feel that she can come talk to me either verbally or through the pages of our journal. I will always treasure this book and how it has made us have an even closer mother-daughter bond.
Ava: This journal has taught me more interesting things about my mom. Many of these things I would not have even known to ask about. I have learned about what my mom was like when she was my age too. I have also been able to tell my mom things I would not have had the courage to bring up without this journal. I also really like that it is just for my mom and I (not my brother ).