Books Every Girl Should Read

Books are an essential source of knowledge and inspiration and can positively impact a woman’s life in so many ways. We asked a few of our amazing Emmz women to recommend books that they believe every girl should read, and why. Click on the titles to see where you can purchase the books directly.

Jana Kornberg – 

“Hidden Figures” by Margot Lee Shetterly (they also have a Young Readers’ Edition). It’s  a true story of four African-American female mathematicians at NASA who helped achieve some of the greatest successes in our space program.

“Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World” by Rachel Ignotofsky. These are great stories with beautiful illustrations about extraordinary women who took risks and changed the word.

“I Am Malala” by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb (they also have a Young Readers’ Edition). This is a true story about Malala Yousafzai,  the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize at age 17, and who now attends Oxford University.

“Gutsy Girl” by Caroline Paul. From a real-life daring-do woman, exhilarating stories, activities, and tips to inspire girls to pursue a life of adventure and excitement.

“Girls Who Rocked the World: Heroines from Joan of Arc to Mother Teresa” by Michelle Roehm McCann  (Author), Amelie Welden (Author), David Hahn (Illustrator). This is great because girls will learn that it’s never too soon to start making a difference.

I love autobiographies and lately I don’t want to read anything else. Girls  can choose from so many titles from Frida Kahlo, Marie Curie, Helen Keller to recent amazing stories of contemporary women like Misty Copeland or Laurie Hernandez. Think about your interests, or pick a role model or someone who inspires you and read their story. There are so many amazing women artists, athletes, comedians, scientists and business women.

I am also a big fan of encyclopedias or compilations of true stories and always enjoy reading it with my daughter as it triggers interesting discussions and reassures us that we truly don’t have any limits.

Emma K –

“I know why the caged bird sings” by Maya Angelou because it is an inspiring piece of literature that everybody can identify with easily. Although it uses a lot of metaphors it’s helpful for girls to see such a powerful woman speak in such a bold, colorful and honest way.

Wanja Ochwada –

“The Hate You Give” by Angie Thomas. A powerful, honest and compelling story about a normal family going through challenging times and learning so much along the way.

Sarah Walko –

“The Secret Life of Bees” by Sue Monk Kidd. It’s  about a girl going through some difficult experiences with her family and accepting and understanding that your life isn’t exactly how you wanted it to be, but then using what you have to shape it into what you want to be. It’s a lot about gaining strength. It’s a really good book about the strength of women.

Anna MacMahon –

Wonder” by R. J. Palacio. This book really teaches us about kindness and acceptance.

Mona Patel –

“Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert. It’s a story with one of the phrases that I say almost daily to someone, “you do you.” Reading about her strength and vulnerability and relentless determination to figure out her own path reminds me of how short life is, and how important it is to live MY life.

“The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle. We all get caught up in the stories we hear in our head and believe it’s real. Learning to focus on what’s actually happening and realize that the rest is often there to prevent you from being the most awesome version of yourself you can be was mind-blowing when I read it almost 10 years ago.

Heather Willems – 

“The SketchNote Handbook” by Mike Rohde teaches how to create your own visual notes.

“Draw Your Big Idea: The Ultimate Creativity Tool for Turning Thoughts into Action and Dreams into Reality” by me (shameless plug!).  It really is a good book for young people exploring their strengths, dreams, and passions and working with them to launch an endeavor.

Helen Chiao – 

“Better” by Atul Gawande is excellent. I read this during my Harvard endodontic residency and it inspired me to continually seek challenges in my field. My professional field has great room for research and development in biomaterials, technology and patient safety and care.



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