Strong Female Characters: Chapter Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about strong female characters?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to strong female characters. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about strong female characters.

Our list includes chapter books. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.

When it comes to children’s stories about strong female characters, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Fearless Girls, Wise Women, and Beloved Sisters to popular sellers like Ella Enchanted to some of our favorite hidden gems like The Two Princesses of Bamarre.

We hope this list of kids books about strong female characters can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book! As you explore the list, please comment below to let us know what books you would add.

Ella Enchanted book
#1
Ella Enchanted
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

In this novel based on the story of Cinderella, Ella struggles against the childhood curse that forces her to obey any order given to her. At birth, Ella of Frell was given the gift of obedience by a fairy. Ella soon realizes that this gift is little better than a curse, for how can she truly be herself if at any time anyone can order her to hop on one foot, or cut off her hand, or betray her kingdom—and she’ll have to obey? Ella’s quest to break the curse and discover who she really is, is both funny and poignant.

The Two Princesses of Bamarre book
#2
The Two Princesses of Bamarre
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This story of some not so average princesses is full of adventure, but the main reason I like it is because of the courage, bravery, and love it entails. When one sister gets ill, the other steps out of her comfort zone and stands up to danger in order to help her sister.

When plague strikes Bamarre, Princess Addie must fulfill an ancient prophecy. Brave and adventurous, Princess Meryl dreams of fighting dragons and protecting the kingdom of Bamarre. Shy and fearful, Princess Addie is content to stay within the safety of the castle walls. The one thing that the sisters share is their unwavering love for each other. The tables are turned, however, when the Gray Death leaves Meryl fatally ill. To save her sister, meek Princess Addie must find the courage to set out on a dangerous quest filled with dragons, unknown magic, and death itself. Time is running out, and the sisters’ lives—and the future of the kingdom of Bamarre—hang in the balance.

Hamster Princess: Harriet the Invincible book
#3
Hamster Princess: Harriet the Invincible
Written and illustrated by Ursula Vernon
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Never a conventional princess, Harriet becomes an adventurer after learning she’s cursed to fall into a deep sleep on her twelfth birthday, but after two years of slaying ogres, cliff-diving, and more with her riding quail Mumfrey, things go awry at home and she must seek a prince to set things right.

A Little Princess book
#4
A Little Princess
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A Little Princess is a 1905 children’s novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett. It is a revised and expanded version of Burnett’s 1888 serialised novel entitled Sara Crewe: or, What Happened at Miss Minchin’s Boarding School, which was published in St. Nicholas Magazine. According to Burnett, she had been composing a play based on the story when she found out a lot of characters she had missed. The publisher asked her to publish a new, revised story of the novella, producing the novel. Based on a 2007 online poll, the National Education Association named the book one of its “Teachers’ Top 100 Books for Children.” It was one of the “Top 100 Chapter Books” of all time in a 2012 poll by School Library Journal.

Dealing with Dragons book
#5
Dealing with Dragons
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-12

Meet Princess Cimorene—a princess who refustes to be proper. She is everything a princess is not supposed to be: headstrong, tomobyish smart…

And bored.

So bored that she runs away to live with a dragon. And not just any dragon, but Kazul—one of the most powerful and dangerous dragons arounds. Of course, Cimorene has a way of hooking up with dangerous characters, and soon she’s coping with a witch,a a jinn, a death-dealing talking bird, a stone prince, and some very oily wizards.

If this princess ran away to find some excitement, it looks like she’s found plenty! With a new look and new introduction from the author.

  1. Fearless Girls, Wise Women, and Beloved Sisters - Retells more than a hundred folktales form Europe, the Americas, Asia, the Pacific, Africa, and the Middle East that feature active heroines of all types.

  2. Tuesdays at the Castle - “A shape-shifting castle, a missing king and queen, and the young princess who must save her family and her kingdom. This is a clever, page-turning adventure for young fantasy readers.” - Seira Wilson, Amazon Editor Tuesdays at Castle Glower are Princess Celie’s favorite days. That’s because on Tuesdays the castle adds a new room, a turret, or sometimes even an entire wing. No one ever knows what the castle will do next, and no one-other than Celie, that is-takes the time to map out the new additions. But when King and Queen Glower are ambushed and their fate is unknown, it’s up to Celie, with her secret knowledge of the castle’s never-ending twists and turns, to protect their home and save their kingdom. This delightful book from a fan- and bookseller-favorite kicks off a brand-new series sure to become a modern classic.

  3. The Princess in Black - Hiding her secret identity as a monster-fighting superhero, Princess Magnolia interrupts her fancy tea with the unsuspecting Duchess Wigtower to stop a big blue monster from endangering her kingdom’s goats. By the author of the Newbery Honor-winning Princess Academy.

  4. Harriet the Invincible - Harriet Hamsterbone is not your average princess. For one thing, she’s a hamster. For another, she prefers sword-fighting and fractions to sighing and fainting. So when Harriet finds out that she was cursed at birth to fall into a deep sleep at the age of twelve, she doesn’t exactly react the way her parents were expecting. After all, no good curse goes to waste, and so until the age of twelve, Harriet realizes she’s . . . invincible! Of courses, there is still that whole curse thing, but she’ll worry about that later.

The Hunt for the Mad Wolf's Daughter book
#10
The Hunt for the Mad Wolf's Daughter
Written by Diane Magras
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The companion to a New York Times Editors’ Choice and Kids’ Indie Next List Pick—a heart-pounding adventure starring a strong heroine who will protect the people she loves at all costs—perfect for reading aloud with the whole family In this Scottish medieval adventure, after rescuing her war-band family and the wounded Lord Emerick from Faintree Castle, Drest learns that Emerick’s traitorous uncle has claimed the castle for his own and convinced the knights that Emerick has been slain . . . at her hand. Now with a hefty price on her head, Drest must find a way to escape treacherous knights and take back the castle for Emerick, all the while proving to her father, the “Mad Wolf of the North,” and her irrepressible band of brothers that she is destined for more than a life of running and hiding. Even if that means redefining what it means to be a warrior.

Princess Cora and the Crocodile book
#11
Princess Cora and the Crocodile
Written by Laura Amy Schlitz and illustrated by Brian Floca
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Princess Cora is sick of boring lessons. She’s sick of running in circles around the dungeon gym. She’s sick, sick, sick of taking three baths a day. And her parents won’t let her have a dog. But when she writes to her fairy godmother for help, she doesn’t expect that help to come in the form of a crocodile—a crocodile who does not behave properly. With perfectly paced dry comedy, children’s book luminaries Laura Amy Schlitz and Brian Floca send Princess Cora on a delightful outdoor adventure — climbing trees! getting dirty! having fun! — while her alter ego wreaks utter havoc inside the castle, obliging one pair of royal helicopter parents to reconsider their ways.

Princess Academy book
#12
Princess Academy
Written by Shannon Hale
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

While attending a strict academy for potential princesses with the other girls from her mountain village, fourteen-year-old Miri discovers unexpected talents and connections to her homeland.

    Did you enjoy our children's book recommendations? Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!