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Books for Girls
The purpose of this page is to give girls the option to read books similar to what's available to boys, but which may appeal more to feminine tastes. I have not read most of these, so if you find any that you think don't belong here, please let me know.
There's nothing wrong with substituting high quality books that hold more appeal for girls. Books like "The Rover Boys" are easy to substitute with another series like "The Outdoor Girls". (For more books like those, see the Series Books section on my Free Homeschool Books page.) More are also listed on this page under "Fiction."
When it comes to history, men make up the largest part of it. But, there are some books that effectively teach parts of history from a more feminine viewpoint. If you think an alternate book teaches enough, you can use it as a substitute. If not, you may want it for a supplement. Substituting Historical Fiction is easy. For example, try swapping some Charlotte Yonge or Mary Johnston for Henty.
Many of these books are good recreational reading. This is by no means a exhaustive list, but just a few that may be of particular interest. I haven't even linked to every "girly" book on my own site, so be sure to see the Other Free Books pages for more. Books that may appeal to girls will often be obvious by the title or author. Some titles listed here are also on other parts of this site, and have been marked with a *.
Please see About the Format of Online Books if you have questions about what's listed here. If you decide to use an uncorrected OCR text from IA, be sure to copy and paste it, because "save link target" causes errors. Some of these are also available in HTML with pics, but they are not marked.
For your eBook reader, use one of Gutenberg's formats, or click on the MB links to find more formats at ManyBooks.
Biographies (and autobiographies)
Fiction / Classics - Also includes some series books.
Geography / Social Studies
- To Purchase
- Web Sites with More Free Books
|Anonymous||Notable Women of Olden Times MB - Stories about women of the Bible, that gently teach us how to be better women.||Women in the Bible|
|Arms, Mary L. Day||The World as I Have Found It MB||Autobiographical work of a blind woman|
|Austen-Leigh, James Edward||Memoir of Jane Austen MB. Or audio.||Jane Austen|
|Austen-Leigh, Richard and William||Jane Austen, Her Life and Letters MB||Jane Austen|
|*Bolton, Sarah Knowles||Lives of Girls Who Became Famous MB. Or audio||Stowe, Jackson, Mott, Livermore, Ossoli, Mitchell, Alcott, Lyon, Hosmer, de Stael, Bonheur, Browning, Eliot, Fry, Butler, Nightingale, Brassey, Burdett-Coutts, Ingelow|
|*Bradford, Sarah H.||Harriet, the Moses of Her People. Or audio (which is an earlier, slightly different version, before it was rewritten).||Harriet Tubman / Underground Railroad|
|Brawley, Benjamin G.||Women of Achievement MB. Or audio - Biographies of 5 African American women, plus shorter mentions of multiple others.||Harriet Tubman, Nora A. Gordon, Meta Warrick Fuller, Mary McLeod Bethune, Mary Church Terrell, etc.|
|*Brooks, E. S.||Historic Girls: Stories of Girls Who Have Influenced the History of Their Times MB. Or audio - Teaches great lessons and encourages girls to be good and sweet. Note: He also wrote "Historic Boys."||Zenobia, Helena (mother of Constantine), Pulcheria Augusta, Queen Clotilda, Empress Woo, Good Queen Maud, Countess Jacqueline, Queen Catarina, St. Theresa of Avila, Elizabeth I, Christina of Sweden, Pocahontas|
|Clement, Jesse||Noble Deeds of American Women MB - Over 100 stories||American Women|
|Cox, Augustus||Female Scripture Biographies - Volume One and Volume Two.||Women in the Bible|
|Everett-Green, Evelyn||True Stories of Girl Heroines MB - Short stories about many brave and heroic ladies who are often forgotten or overlooked.||20 biographical stories|
|Farmer, Lydia Hoyt||The Girls' Book of Famous Queens||Queens from many ages|
|Fawcett, Millicent Garrett||Some Eminent Women of Our Times. Or audio.||Scientists, nurses, philanthropists, authors, etc.|
|Gaskell, Elizabeth||Life of Charlotte Bronte Volume 1 and Volume 2
MB V1 MB V2. Or audio V1 and audio V2. (Be sure to download both files.)||Charlotte Bronte|
|*Greenwood, Grace||Queen Victoria, Her Girlhood and Womanhood MB||Queen Victoria|
|*Holland, Rupert S.||Historic Girlhoods. Or audio. Note: He also wrote "Historic Boyhoods."||St. Catherine, Joan of Arc, Vittoria Colonna, Catherine de Medici, Lady Jane Grey, Mary Queen of Scots, Pocahontas, Priscilla Alden, Catherine the Great, Fanny Burney|
|Hill, Constance||Jane Austen; Her Homes & Her Friends - in HTML.||Jane Austen|
|*Keller, Helen||The Song of the Stone Wall, and The Story of My Life MB. Or audio.||Autobiographical works of a deaf, blind woman|
|*Lord, John||Beacon Lights of History MB. Or audio - Volume 7 in the series contains a few short bios of women.||Heloise, Joan of Arc, St. Theresa, De Maintenon, Sarah Duchess of Marlborough, Recamier, De Stael, Hannah More, George Eliot|
|*Mabie, Hamilton Wright and Kate Stephens||Heroines that Every Child Should Know. Or audio.||Aclestis, Antigone, Iphigenia, Paula, Joan of Arc, Catherine Douglas, Lady Jane Grey, Pocahontas, Flora Macdonald, Madame Roland, Grace Darling, Sister Dora, Florence Nightingale|
|Montgomery, L. M.||The Alpine Path: The Story of My Career - in HTML. MB||L. M. Montgomery|
|Moore, Henry C.||Noble Deeds of the World's Heroines MB||Stories of brave deeds|
|Richards, Laura E.||Florence Nightingale, the Angel of the Crimea. Or audio.||Florence Nightingale|
|Stowe, Charles Edward and Harriet Beecher Stowe||Life of Harriet Beecher Stowe: Compiled From Her Letters and Journals by Her Son MB. Or audio.||Harriet Beecher Stowe|
|*Sweetser, Kate Dickinson||Ten American Girls from History MB||Pocahontas, Dorothy Quincy, Molly Pitcher, Elizabeth Van Lew, Ida Lewis, Clara Barton, Virginia Reed, Louisa Alcott, Clara Morris, Anna Dickinson|
|*Sweetser, Kate Dickinson||Ten Girls from History MB||Jeanne D'Arc, Queen Victoria, Sally Wister, Cofachiqui, Jenny Lind, Eliza Lucas, Lady Jane Grey, "Gentle Annie," Madeleine de Vercheres, Adrienne de Lafayette|
|Synge, M. B.||Great Englishwomen. Or audio. Note: She also wrote "Great Englishmen."|| Queen Bertha, Maude the Good, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Philippa of Hainault, Margaret of Anjou, The Lady Margaret, Margaret Roper, Lady Jane Grey, Princess Elizabeth, Lady Rachel Russell, Angelica Kaufmann, Hannah More, Elizabeth Fry, Mary Somerville, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Florence Nightingale|
|*Watson, Virginia||The Princess Pocahontas MB||Pocahontas|
|FICTION / CLASSICS|
|*Alcott, Louisa May||Little Women, Jack and Jill, Eight Cousins, An Old-Fashioned Girl, etc. MB. Or audio.||Classic literature|
|*Austen, Jane||Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Sense and Sensibility, Persuasion, etc. MB. Or audio.||Classic literature|
|*Bronte, Charlotte||Jane Eyre MB. Or audio, or dramatic readingShe and her sisters, Anne and Emily, wrote more books (such as "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall" and "Wuthering Heights") MB or audio, if you are interested.||Classic literature|
|*Burnett, Frances Hodgson||The Secret Garden, A Little Princess MB. Or audio - "Sara Crewe" is the shorter version of "A Little Princess." I'd pick the latter.||Classic literature|
|*Fisher, Dorothy Canfield||Understood Betsy MB. Or audio.||Classic juvenile fiction|
|Freeman, Mary E. Wilkins>||Evelina's Garden, The Givers, The New England Nun and Other Stories MB. Or audio - Famous for her short stories and novels about New England life. They are often heart-warming and inspiring stories, full of good people. (She did write a few ghost stories as well.)||Classic literature|
|*Gaskell, Elizabeth||North and South, Wives and Daughters, Mary Barton, Cranford MB. Or audio Note: She passed away before finishing "Wives and Daughters," but her editor finished it based on Gaskell's apparent plans. You can download the editor's ending, since the Gutenberg text doesn't include it.||Classic literature|
|*Gruelle, John B. (Johnny)||Raggedy Ann Stories, Raggedy Andy Stories, etc. MB. Or audio.||Classic juvenile fiction|
|*Johnston, Annie Fellows||The Little Colonel books MB. Or audio - Also see this site for the series order, and to learn more about story behind these books. They're based on real life, and portray Kentucky aristocracy after the Civil War.||Classic juvenile fiction|
|*Malot, Hector||Nobody's Boy (Sans Famille) and Nobody's Girl (En Famille) MB - These have long been favorites of young girls (and some boys), and many say they inspired their love of reading. Each is a stand-alone novel, translated from the French.||Classic literature|
|*Montgomery, L. M.||Anne books, Story Girl/Golden Road, Chronicles of Avonlea, short story collections, etc. MB. Or audio - View chronological order. See the "To Purchase" section below for more of her great books.||Classic literature|
|*Porter, Eleanor H.||Pollyanna, Pollyanna Grows Up, Just David, The Miss Billy books. MB. Or audio.||Classic literature|
|*Stratton-Porter, Gene||Freckles, Girl of the Limberlost, Laddie, etc. MB. Or audio - The author was a naturalist without being like today's environmentalists. Her books are sentimental stories of love and life, but love of nature is also woven throughout them.||Classic literature|
|Sweetser, Kate Dickinson||Ten Girls from Dickens and Boys and Girls from Thackeray. MB||Heroines from Literature|
|*Wiggin, Kate Douglas||Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, Half-A-Dozen Housekeepers, Mother Carey's Chickens, etc. MB. Or audio.||Classic literature|
|GEOGRAPHY / SOCIAL STUDIES|
| Some parents may object to women traveling the world (especially without a husband). I've tried to select these authors carefully, but you can always look up more about them first. For more books like these, look for female authors at Explorion or the Travel Section at MB. Or here are links to Audio Travel & Geography and Exploration books.|
|Andrews, Yvette Borup (and Roy Chapman Andrews)||Camps and Trails in China - A husband and wife's adventures on a zoological expedition in China, where they made many discoveries and collected specimens for the American Museum of Natural History. Yvette was the group's photographer, and her photos can still be seen today.||A couple's travels in China|
|*Bird, Isabella||Among the Tibetans, The Hawaiian Archipelago, Unbeaten Tracks in Japan, etc. MB. Or audio.||Her travels in Asia, the Middle East, the U.S., etc.|
|Bell, Lilian||As Seen By Me MB - An enjoyable author with a good sense of humor.||Travels through Europe|
|Bly, Nelly||Around the World in Seventy-Two Days MB. Or audio - Her true, record-breaking adventure. (She even found time to stop and visit Jules Verne on her trip.) ||Worldwide travel|
|*Der Ling, Princess||Two Years in the Forbidden City MB. Or audio.||Life in the old Chinese court|
|Pfeiffer, Ida||A Visit to Iceland, A Woman's Journey Round the World, A Visit to the Holy Land, Egypt, and Italy MB. Or audio - She began traveling after the death of her husband.||A widow's worldwide travels|
|*Perkins, Lucy Fitch||The Twins Books MB. Or audio - Each story is about a set of twins (usually a boy and a girl) from another country. There are more pictures available here, and some more here. Note: Some readers may want to skip "The Spartan Twins" (which focuses on pagan beliefs) and "The Cave Twins" (if your views of creation don't include tree-dwelling, hairy "monkey people").||Life of children in other lands|
|Roberts, Miss Emma||Notes of an Overland Journey Through France and Egypt to Bombay MB - An English lady moved to India with her sister and brother-in-law, and thence gained her experiences. (Noted for being a very talented writer.)||Travel in various locations|
| This section's small because there's already so much to choose from on the Historical Fiction Page.|
|*Barr, Amelia||Remember the Alamo, The Bow of Orange Ribbon, The Hallam Succession, etc. MB. Or audio - Her novels were well researched, and full of wholesome characters. (More by her on the Historical fiction page.)||Historical Fiction|
|*Curtis, Alice Turner||Yankee Girl at Fort Sumter, A Little Maid of Old Maine, A Little Maid of Old Philadelphia, etc. MB. Or audio - Written for young girls.||Girls in historical U. S. settings|
|*Douglas, Amanda M.||The "A Little Girl" books. A Little Girl: In Old Salem, In New York, In Boston, In Quebec, of Long Ago (sequel to "in New York"). MB - There are more at IA or at GB. Written for young girls.||Girls in historical settings (North America)|
|*Freeman, Mary E. Wilkins||The Heart's Highway> MB||Virginia, late 17th Century|
|Gates, Eleanor||The Biography of a Prairie Girl MB. Or audio - Based on the author's own childhood.||Life on the American frontier|
|*Johnston, Mary||1492, Lewis Rand, Sir Mortimer, etc. MB. Or audio - Her books are supposed to contain a bit of romance, so girls may particularly like them. (More by her on the Historical fiction page.)||Historical Fiction|
|*Charlotte Yonge||Grisly Grisell, Unknown to History, The Armourer's Prentices, etc. MB. Or audio - See a list and summary of her works, and links to texts (besides just at PG) at Charlotte Mary Yonge Fellowship. She also wrote some non-fiction history books, and a few moral novels. Learn more about Yonge and the values her works impart. (More by her on the Historical fiction page.)||Historical Fiction|
|Title - Also see the Biographies section and Geography / Social Studies section above.||Subject|
|Alleman, Matilda "Tillie" Pierce||At Gettysburg, or What a Girl Saw and Heard of the Battle - What parts I've read of this were touching, and it made the events come to life. It's also nice that it avoids gory descriptions. (HTML)||U. S. Civil War|
|Brockett, Linus Pierpont and Mary C. Vaughan||Woman's Work in the Civil War; A Record of Heroism, Patriotism, and Patience MB||U. S. Civil War|
|*Earle, Alice Morse||Home Life in Colonial Days MB||Colonial Life in America|
|Finze (or Finzi), Kate John||Eighteen Months in the War Zone: A Record of a Woman's Work on the Western Front. Or audio - She goes from society girl to nurse who gives her all during WWI. Note: May be better for older readers. Contains some descriptions of injured soldiers, which are sad but not overly graphic. (I looked through the text for such instances, but haven't read the whole book.)
|Fowler, William Worthington||Woman on the American Frontier: A Valuable and Authentic History of the Heroism, Adventures, Privations, Captivities, Trials, and Noble Lives and Deaths of the "Pioneer Mothers of the Republic." MB. Or audio.||Women's role in American history|
|*Hall, Mrs. Cecil (Mary)||A Lady's Life on a Farm in Manitoba MB. Or audio - This books is a series of letters she wrote after leaving England, that tell about adjusting to her new life.||Pioneer life|
|Holliday, Carl||Woman's Life in Colonial Days MB||Colonial Women|
|*Larcom, Lucy||A New England Girlhood MB. Or audio.||Childhood in 1800s America|
|Marble, Annie Russell||The Women Who Came in the Mayflower MB||Pilgrim women|
|Stewart, Elinore Pruitt||Letters of a Woman Homesteader MB. Or audio - Charming and amusing book about a young widow who goes west to support herself and her daughter.||Life on a Wyoming ranch|
|Richards, Caroline C.||Village Life in America MB. Or audio - The diary of a girl from 1852 to 1872. Interesting to see her point of view concerning the war and changes throughout the country. Great history book about more than just the war.||U. S. Civil War era (North)|
|Roe, Frances M. A.||Army Letters from an Officer's Wife, 1871-1888 MB. Or audio - When her husband's posted to the frontier, she learns to ride, fish, hunt, and keep house, while observing the beauties of her rustic surroundings.
||Life in the American West|
|*Waterman, Nixon||The Girl Wanted: A Book of Friendly Thoughts MB - Includes advice on how to live and act, plus many positive quotes. Note: He also wrote "The Boy Wanted."||Motivational / Character|
There are obviously many books that could go here, so I've only listed a few popular choices that are still under copyright.
L. M. Montgomery - A number of her books are still under copyright and aren't available online. If you liked her Anne books, keep reading! Her other works are just as (or even more) enjoyable! Emily of New Moon, Jane of Lantern Hill, and The Blue Castle are a few of my favorites. There are more novels and also many collections of short stories (edited by Rea Wilmshurst). Here is a link to a complete list of works. I highly recommend this author!
Little House on the Prairie books - by Laura Ingalls Wilder. (Some boys really like these too, since they have a lot of "how-to" type information.) We really enjoy these at our house!
SITES WITH MORE FREE BOOKS
See the following sites to find more books for girls, or lists of famous women to learn about. Some of the books (and women) aren't homeschool appropriate, but you probably won't have much trouble figuring out which they are. Wikipedia is a great place to look up people / books / authors to decide if they suit your tastes.
*More Free Books at this site - There are more ladies on my other lists that aren't listed here. See the RC books, Homeschool Books, and Historical Fiction pages for many more good books for, and by, ladies. These books are often obvious by their title or author.
A Celebration of Women Writers - E-texts by women (and some by men, for women) at UPenn.
Girlebooks.com - Free e-books in various formats.
Women In History - A list of famous women and a summary of their accomplishments, as well as links to further info. (Not all are suitable for homeschool.) If you find someone who interests you, look for a biography of them online or at the library.
The Victorian Women Writers Project - At Indiana University
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