The best books for raising and growing girls to be confident and strong

Who am I?

I am passionate about one thing: growing strong girls and books that help parents and care providers support their girls. Girls who are strong have self-belief and value. They are much less likely to struggle with mental health concerns, become addicted to social media, and be obsessed with their appearance and what others think about them. Strong girls are much more likely to be brave and bold and take chances, cultivate healthy relationships, and feel happy and healthy so they can pursue their passions and discover their purpose.


I wrote...

Growing Strong Girls: Practical Tools to Cultivate Connection in the Preteen Years

By Lindsay Sealey,

Book cover of Growing Strong Girls: Practical Tools to Cultivate Connection in the Preteen Years

What is my book about?

Full of practical advice, helpful visual cues, and poignant anecdotes from girlhood, Growing Strong Girls offers a road map to achieving better lives for our girls—and a more just society long-term as a result.

Perfectionism can take many forms, including an obsession with body size, body shape, grades, and social media likes. Addressing perfectionism from a young age is crucial to combatting the intense pressure brought on by social media. From Mean Girls to Gossip Girl, the “catty” girl is a pervasive pop culture icon, yet an extremely damaging one. There’s no such thing as a “bad girl”—just a misunderstood girl. Bravery and the ability to set boundaries are essential survival skills for girls, who absorb timidity, flexibility, and obedience from a young age. Practical advice and tips help parents teach emotional intelligence at home. Girls often confuse wanting to be “sexy” with readiness for sex. This distinction is crucial for girls to understand in a world of selfies.

The books I picked & why

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The Danish Way of Parenting: What the Happiest People in the World Know about Raising Confident, Capable Kids

By Jessica Joelle Alexander, Iben Dissing Sandahl,

Book cover of The Danish Way of Parenting: What the Happiest People in the World Know about Raising Confident, Capable Kids

Why this book?

This book is a fabulous new take on parenting, encouraging curiosity, empathy, play, positive reframing, and connection or “cozy” time of genuine and loving relationships. What I found most valuable was the examples of how to language conversations to move from critical to curious and connected!

The Danish Way of Parenting: What the Happiest People in the World Know about Raising Confident, Capable Kids

By Jessica Joelle Alexander, Iben Dissing Sandahl,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Danish Way of Parenting as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A shining alternative to high-stress modern parenting, and families from New Delhi to New York will shout with joy' Heather Shumaker, author of It's OK Not to Share and It's OK to Go Up the Slide

DISCOVER THE PARENTING SECRETS OF THE HAPPIEST PEOPLE IN THE WORLD

What makes Denmark the happiest country in the world -- and how do Danish parents raise happy, confident, successful kids, year after year? This upbeat and practical guide reveals the six essential principles that have been working for parents in Denmark for decades:

- Play: essential for development and well-being
- Authenticity: fosters…


Brave, Not Perfect: How Celebrating Imperfection Helps You Live Your Best, Most Joyful Life

By Reshma Saujani,

Book cover of Brave, Not Perfect: How Celebrating Imperfection Helps You Live Your Best, Most Joyful Life

Why this book?

Brave, Not Perfect offers an abundance of stories and examples of what bravery can mean (and why it matters so much in today’s world) and how we can teach girls how to be braver - every day. Filled with many different ideas for how to put bravery into practice.

Brave, Not Perfect: How Celebrating Imperfection Helps You Live Your Best, Most Joyful Life

By Reshma Saujani,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Brave, Not Perfect as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER • Inspired by her popular TED Talk, the founder and CEO of Girls Who Code urges women to embrace imperfection and live a bolder, more authentic life.
 
“A timely message for women of all ages: Perfection isn’t just impossible but, worse, insidious.”—Angela Duckworth, bestselling author of Grit
 
Imagine if you lived without the fear of not being good enough. If you didn’t care how your life looked on Instagram. If you could let go of the guilt and stop beating yourself up for making human mistakes. Imagine if, in every decision you faced, you took the bolder path?…


Mastering Your Mean Girl: The No-BS Guide to Silencing Your Inner Critic and Becoming Wildly Wealthy, Fabulously Healthy, and Bursting with Love

By Melissa Ambrosini,

Book cover of Mastering Your Mean Girl: The No-BS Guide to Silencing Your Inner Critic and Becoming Wildly Wealthy, Fabulously Healthy, and Bursting with Love

Why this book?

A fabulous look at the inner critic in all of us telling us we are not smart enough, pretty enough, and good enough – and how to silence the critic to become more kind, compassionate, and loving. This book is filled with practical strategies to try.

Mastering Your Mean Girl: The No-BS Guide to Silencing Your Inner Critic and Becoming Wildly Wealthy, Fabulously Healthy, and Bursting with Love

By Melissa Ambrosini,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Mastering Your Mean Girl as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of Book Authority's Best Self-Esteem eBooks of All Time

Ready to live your dream life?

You know that sneaky voice inside your head telling you that you’re not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, whatever enough? That’s your Mean Girl. And she’s doing her best to keep you stuck in Fear Town, too scared to go after the life you always imagined.
                                                                        
But enough’s enough! Melissa Ambrosini has made a life beyond her wildest dreams, all by mastering her Mean Girl, busting through limiting beliefs and karate-chopping through the fears that held her hostage for years. And now she…


10 Things Girls Need Most: To Grow Up Strong and Free

By Steve Biddulph,

Book cover of 10 Things Girls Need Most: To Grow Up Strong and Free

Why this book?

Biddulph really helps you understand that if you want girls to grow strong, you have to help them grow slow and you do this by investing your time and attention - talking to them, playing with them, and cultivating their confidence!

10 Things Girls Need Most: To Grow Up Strong and Free

By Steve Biddulph,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked 10 Things Girls Need Most as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In answer to the crisis in girls' mental health, the UK's best selling parenting author Steve Biddulph brings an interactive learning guide rich in content and interactive elements to help parents be prepared and self-aware in providing for their daughters.

In his ground-breaking new book, Steve Biddulph, million copy
best-selling author of Raising Girls, psychologist and parent educator offers an interactive experience for parents to explore
the relationship with their girls from the cradle to the teenager. It is a guided journey of exercises, conversations, reflections and self-rating questionnaires that builds the inner capacities in a parent, targeted at each…


Strong Is the New Pretty: A Celebration of Girls Being Themselves

By Kate T. Parker,

Book cover of Strong Is the New Pretty: A Celebration of Girls Being Themselves

Why this book?

It is essential that girls see themselves – all different ethnicities and cultural backgrounds, shapes, sizes, and abilities – in popular culture. This book is powerful: filled with a variety of photographs and positive messages to encourage girls to move from looking pretty to feeling strong!

Strong Is the New Pretty: A Celebration of Girls Being Themselves

By Kate T. Parker,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Strong Is the New Pretty as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Inspired by the popular photo project of the same title that went viral in the spring of 2015, Strong Is the New Pretty is a photo-driven book comprised of 100 high-quality black-and-white and color images (with minimal text) of fierce and joyful girls--a celebration of what it means to be strong (whether athletic, bookish, brainy, brave, loyal, or courageous). The photographs champion the message that girls are perfect in their imperfection; beautiful in their chaotic, authentic lives; and empowered by their strength instead of their looks. They are messy. They are loud. Wild. Full of life. Adventurous. Silly. Funny. Strong.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in parenting, girls, and self esteem?

7,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about parenting, girls, and self esteem.

Parenting Explore 132 books about parenting
Girls Explore 73 books about girls
Self Esteem Explore 66 books about self esteem

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Bringing Up Bébé, Reach for the Stars, and A Girl Like Me if you like this list.