The best books for questioners, problem solvers, and you’ve-got-this-girl young readers and leaders of tomorrow

Catherine Thimmesh Author Of Girls Solve Everything: Stories of Women Entrepreneurs Building a Better World
By Catherine Thimmesh

Who am I?

I’m someone who believes the accomplishments of women have been glossed over for far too long. I'm passionate about sharing the stories of women and girls that the world at large still tends to ignore. It’s critical to share these stores and to give face and voice to women. Social entrepreneurship, the topic of my recent book Girls Solve Everything, has fascinated me for some time:  creative problem solving, tackling problems in our communities and the world, creating a business to find and facilitate the solution. Representation matters. I’m determined to write about and share the stories of strong, innovative, creative women and girls. Our future depends on them.

I wrote...

Girls Solve Everything: Stories of Women Entrepreneurs Building a Better World

By Catherine Thimmesh, Melissa Sweet (illustrator),

Book cover of Girls Solve Everything: Stories of Women Entrepreneurs Building a Better World

What is my book about?

Women all over the globe are asking questions about problems that affect lives -- and then creating businesses that aim to solve those problems. For instance, can we keep premature babies warm when they're born far from the hospital? Or, can the elderly stay in their homes and eat a balanced diet? Women are tackling these issues and solving them with their ingenuity and business acumen.

This inspiring companion book to the best-selling Girls Think of Everything encourages today's kids to learn from these innovative social entrepreneurs and take on some of the world's biggest problems -- one solution at a time.

The books I picked & why

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Living the Confidence Code: Real Girls. Real Stories. Real Confidence.

By Katty Kay, Claire Shipman, Jillellyn Riley

Book cover of Living the Confidence Code: Real Girls. Real Stories. Real Confidence.

Why this book?

It’s one thing to tell young girls (and women...and men and boys) to “be” more confident. To have confidence in themselves and their abilities. Easy to say. Harder to do. Living the Confidence Code bridges that divide in extraordinary fashion. I love how this is a compilation of real girls sharing their real stories of risk-taking, successes, and failures – and, most importantly to me – sharing their thought processes on why they did a certain thing or reacted a certain way. A very engaging and informative book. Empty platitudes are gone and what remains are relatable stories providing multiple templates for finding – and building – your own inner confidence. 


Girl Warriors: How 25 Young Activists Are Saving the Earth

By Rachel Sarah,

Book cover of Girl Warriors: How 25 Young Activists Are Saving the Earth

Why this book?

By now, we all know the Earth needs saving. And most of us try to do our part – recycling, composting, using less plastic, etc. But it’s hardly enough...yet still, what more can we as individuals do? That question didn’t stop the young activists in Girl Warriors. These young women have Stepped Up! Over and over again, I found myself awed at the stories that included speaking at a UN Climate Change Conference (Isabella Fallahi) and organizing a Global Cleanup Day that included 27 countries (Lilly Platt). The young women profiled are not afraid to tackle large, seemingly insurmountable problems if it means saving the Earth. I loved how in-depth the profiles went on the various actions being undertaken. If they can do it, why not me? Or you?


Girls Who Run the World: 31 CEOs Who Mean Business

By Diana Kapp, Bijou Karman (illustrator),

Book cover of Girls Who Run the World: 31 CEOs Who Mean Business

Why this book?

This beautifully designed compilation of for-profit business entrepreneurs is engaging and engrossing from start to finish. I loved how each profile was eased into with several, fun, first-person trivia bits (like, “A Weird Thing You’ll Find on (or In) My Desk” and “On My Bucket List”) and continues on with the highs and lows of starting and running a business. Girls Who Run the World is as informative as it is inspiring. And that’s all before you reach the copious back matter that includes a financial case study for starting a business – a great real-world example of one start-up's costs and accounting. I found this to be a fabulous peek into some highly successful companies and the founders/CEOs who run them...all who happen to be women.


Rad Girls Can: Stories of Bold, Brave, and Brilliant Young Women

By Kate Schatz, Miriam Klein Stahl (illustrator),

Book cover of Rad Girls Can: Stories of Bold, Brave, and Brilliant Young Women

Why this book?

Athletes, Activists, Achievers. Rad Girls Can is chock-o-block with engaging biographical sketches of girls and young women who have taken the world by storm in nearly every discipline. Whether they’re succeeding in traditionally male-dominated sports, fighting for climate action, or for education for girls, or accomplishing great things as scientists and inventors, each story is compelling and awe-inspiring. I wish this existed when I was young – it literally gives concrete examples of real girls doing just about anything they put their minds to. The wide-ranging topics and diverse women enhance the engagement factor. I loved how readers are free to browse and focus on the stories that most appeal to them (chances are good, that will be most, if not all of them). Comprehensive, engaging, inspiring. What more can you ask for?


The Startup Squad

By Brian Weisfeld, Nicole C. Kear,

Book cover of The Startup Squad

Why this book?

This lively middle-grade fiction series hits all the right notes: an engrossing, page-turner of budding friendships, strong girl characters, fun competition, and diverse characters that readers easily connect with and relate to. Throw in a common childhood experience – setting up a lemonade stand – but amp it up just enough so it’s more than a lemonade stand...it’s a startup business. I loved that The Startup Squad is a fun read that also manages to introduce business concepts and practices like: idea notebooks, brainstorming, marketing, sales, location, and quality merchandising. Readers can be forgiven if they take their time getting to the next book in the series – chances are, they’ll be a bit preoccupied dreaming up their own new businesses.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in girls, life satisfaction, and business leaders?

5,810 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about girls, life satisfaction, and business leaders.

Girls Explore 67 books about girls
Life Satisfaction Explore 120 books about life satisfaction
Business Leaders Explore 31 books about business leaders

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Shaking Things Up, Generation Brave, and We Got Game! 35 Female Athletes Who Changed the World if you like this list.