Children's literature can do wonders to children. And, especially as a girl, there are several wonderful books that all young girls must read. Books, in general, have some of the highest powers to influence someone deeply, and that is precisely why one must be careful in reading a book. As adults, we may have the capacity to read a book neutrally without getting influenced by it (it may still be difficult), but you cannot expect the same from a child.
I have grown up with some of the best books, and most of the books that I will talk about in this post are written by strong and beautiful women who pass on invaluable positive influences through their classics for children. It is a very responsible task to write a children's book- not easy. You cannot be careless with how you depict or glorify a quality as it gets embedded deep into your tender, lovely readers. Children read with utmost honesty and trust, and thus it becomes necessary duty to portray things the right way.
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott is definitely the first in the list. Little Women shows the strength behind the women, their dreams, their aspirations and how marriage is not all they want in a time that society believed that the only strength of a woman was her wit and charm to marry wealthy! Jo March is an all-time classic character, and someone that every little girl would look up to. And, through this warm tale of five strong and beautiful women, Alcott teaches kids much more than you could otherwise teach!
I have always loved The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. It has all my heart. A little girl, with the ultimate mix of zeal, vigour, passion, empathy, stubbornness and pride, is all that another young girl needs. This is a book that makes every girl who reads it believe that they are princess from within! And, this is a book that teaches you the importance of perspective.
“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.”
― Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden
Heidi by Johanna Spyri and Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin are other well-known classics for young girls. And, what's not to like about the smart, soft, and absolutely lovable Heidi and Rebecca!
Finally, I'd like to conclude with my all-time favourite: Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery. This one, to me, is the best of all. I always saw myself in Anne. This young girl's passion for writing and adventure, her pride and her empathy, her confidence, her absolute disregard to pointless discouragement, her enthusiasm to learn and correct her wrongs, and her spirit to fight back when she is confident that she is right- I cannot express in words how much they influenced me, and till date influence me. To me, Anne was a best friend with whom I grew up. And, we grew up as strong women- thinking beyond trivialities of external beauty, and believing in oneself.
I don't think that any ten year old who reads Anne of Green Gables would ever bother twice about her appearance or her lack of abilities- not after this book. It is a treasure that thrashes all your insecurities, and makes you fall in love with yourself, just like Anne Shirley Cuthbert does, with her head held high. These are important things, and you never know what little girls go through. Some may have such feelings, others may not, but books like these, that make you feel the strength you have inside you as the little girl you are, is something that will help all. It can give confidence in a way that any adult talking to you about it can't. And, at that age, maybe you cannot talk to a kid directly about all these, yet the book can do wonders. Because, at that age, Anne Shirley will be true for me. And, I will see myself in Anne Shirley.
A lot of my thoughts have been moulded beautifully by these wonderful characters and books- thanks to the beautiful women who wrote them! Most of the prevalent children's classics impact you in a good way, but these teach you how to be a proud, confident girl who can grow up to be a strong, confident woman!
I love these, and if you have young girls around you- you know what you can gift them!