12 Young Adult Books Featuring Girl Power That You Need To Know About

12 Young Adult Books Featuring Girl Power That You Need To Know About

Because we all need more quality literature that breaks down gender stereotypes.

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If you're like me, you're constantly struggling to decide what book to read next, because there are so many great choices out there, with new amazing books being published every week.

I used to work in a bookstore for 3 years and was constantly surrounded by amazing reading material that I just wanted to recommend to anyone and everyone who would listen to me. So here is my moment to do that.

I put together a list of some of my favorite go-to recommendations, and some new ones I am excited about in 2019, each celebrating girl power in all of its glory. I love books that encourage young readers, especially girls, to get involved, not be afraid to speak up, rebel, and persist in these evolving times.

These are a few amazing young adult novels that empower me, and I hope they will do the same for you.

1. "The Belles" by Dhonielle Clayton

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In this masterful work of fantasy and intrigue, the main character Camellia Beauregard is a Belle, living in a city called Orléans. Here, Belles are groomed to be commodities and they control beauty, helping average people who are born gray to become beautiful. Camellia seeks to be the favorite Belle, who is chosen by the Queen to live at the royal palace as the most talented Belle in the land. But there is a dark side Cam soon uncovers. She is forced to decide which side she wants to be on, in this spell-binding romp of a fantasy story that delves deep into beauty ideals and societal pressures put on females.

2. "Girls of Paper and Fire" by Natasha Ngan

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One of 2018's most anticipated release of the year, this LGBTQ+ novel features a diverse cast of characters, and a strong and cunning heroine determined to resist her oppressors. The main character Lei comes from the lowest caste in her society, the Paper Caste. She along with 8 other girls are picked to serve the King of Ikhara as his courtesans, and they are known as the "Paper Girls." But things are not as they seem to the public eye, and Lei soon finds out she has the power to fight back and demand her freedom as well as her right to true love on her terms. This adrenaline ride of a novel will not disappoint, as you will find it very hard to put this empowering book down.

3. "Sky in the Deep" by Adrienne Young

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If you love the attitude of Wonder Woman and the television show "Vikings" this is the book for you! Eelyn was raised to be a warrior, and knows how to fight to survive. When a village she is staying in is raided by an enemy clan, she becomes desperate to protect her family at all costs. Eelyn is faced with having to trust and put her faith in someone else's hands, all while fighting for her family and for her neighbors. This book is packed with a vivid narration, along with a strong-willed main character fighting for her family., that makes this 2018 release impossible to forget.

4. "Furyborn" by Claire Legrand

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This stunning 2018 fantasy story, the first in a trilogy, follows two fiercely independent women, Rielle and Eliana. These two women are centuries apart, yet hold the power to either save or destroy the world in their hands. They both are called to fight in a cosmic war, a thousand years apart. We follow Eliana as she joins a rebel captain to find her mother, and we follow Rielle as she has to endure elemental trials to prove her true power. Their stories intersect in a beautiful way, showcasing the power of female friendships. I am already anticipating the sequel, "Kingsbane" that will be released later this May. This is a trilogy you do not want to miss.

5. "Moxie" by Jennifer Mathieu

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This next recommendation is very special to me, as I got the pleasure of meeting this brilliant author, Jennifer Mathieu, when I used to work at a bookstore. I met her on her 2017 release day of this book when she came in to our store to sign all the copies we had. She was so sweet and kind, and I truly feel like her writing is always fun and creative. "Moxie" is full of spunky characters and female empowerment. Vivian the main character uses her voice to create change in her Texas high school, as she speaks up about the sexist dress codes and harassment that goes unpunished everyday. Vivian is a true inspiration to so many women readers, young and old, and I am so glad someone is writing about these important issues still in our culture today. I highly recommend "Moxie" to anyone looking for a creative, fun, and inspiring read.

6. "The Nowhere Girls" by Amy Reed

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Here is another book about young women creating social change and making waves in their high school. Three misfit girls band together to avenge the rape of a classmate of theirs. There's something so inspiring about reading a story featuring young people using their voice in a way that creates change. Stories like this one influence others to do the same. This is a story that teaches that you should never underestimate the power of a passionate voice and that we are stronger in numbers. There is never a limit to what people can do, when they care enough to speak up.

7. "Alanna: The First Adventure" by Tamora Pierce

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Tamora Pierce is a legendary influence of creating strong female characters and addicting fantasy series for decades. So it is no surprise I felt inclined to include this beloved classic medieval story. This is the first book in the four book Song of the Lioness series, set in a land where all girls are forbidden to become knights. The main character Alanna of Trebond sets out to become a knight, disguising herself as a boy named Alan and risking her life for her dream. Tamora Pierce is an author I highly recommend, and "Alanna" is the perfect book to start with.

8. "Sawkill Girls" by Claire Legrand

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"Sawkill Girls" is another story about the power of friendship and young women banding together, mixed with magical realism that makes this a book you don't want to miss. Marion, Zoey, and Val are all quite different, yet their stories come together on the island of Sawkill Rock. Here at Sawkill, mysterious things have been happening for centuries, and girls have been known to disappear by the hands of an unknown evil. No one has tried to defeat this evil, until now...

9. "Seafire" by Natalie C. Parker

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A vengeful young woman sets out to defeat the enemies who killed her family. And also, she's the Captain of an all female pirate ship. What more do you need to know? In all seriousness, this is an action-packed adventure story with females at the helm this time. (no pun intended) Caledonia Styx is the captain of her own ship with a crew of women and girls who lost their families just like Caledonia did, because of a vicious and bloodthirsty army of men. Now it is their turn to fight back against Aric Athair and his army, and these ladies will not go down without a fight, as they charter the bracing waves and avenge their families.

10. "Only Ever Yours" by Louise O'Neill

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In the vein of Margaret Atwood's "The Handmaid's Tale," this dystopian novel packs a punch. Louise O'Neill creates a nightmare world in her novel where women are bred in schools, and there they are taught the arts of pleasing men with the hopes of one day graduating and becoming "companions." A companion's soul purpose is to live to please her husband and to give birth to as many sons as she can, until she is no longer useful. She essentially becomes a "plaything." The girls who don't graduate to become companions suffer the worst fate as concubines, with no hope for their future without a husband. This novel follows two best friends as they both are in school to be picked as companions, yet are forced to compete against each other for a husband. Their friendship gets tested and strained throughout the novel, as they both are fighting for the companion role they believe they "need" to survive, but not one they "want."

11. "Once and Future" by Cori McCarthy and Amy Rose Capetta

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This book is an honorable mention, as it comes out on March 28, 2019, and is on the top of my list for books to buy next. This is a feminine King Arthur retelling, with the King Arthur character being a young woman named Ari Helix. How cool is that? This book takes many aspects from the original King Arthur tale such as the sacred sword Excalibur and the wise wizard Merlin, and blends them with new aspects such as a tyrannical government and oppressive corporation. Also, Merlin is a teenager in this novel because he has aged backwards. Well as an Arthurian legend nerd, I am beyond ready to see how this female retelling is fleshed out by two up and coming female authors.

12. "Sherwood" by Meagan Spooner

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Another honorable mention and new 2019 Spring release I am anticipating, is "Sherwood" by Meagan Spooner. This is a feminist Robin Hood retelling. Yes, you read that right. I am living for all of these retellings that are hitting the shelves this year. This novel follows Marian who was betrothed to marry Robin of Locksley. But, after Robin dies, Marian is struggling to find her voice and to save the people of Locksley. She is told she has to marry someone else, and to sit and watch as her people sufffer, with nothing she can do. Well, all of that changes as she puts on Robin's green cloak and his sword and bow, and becomes a masked figure of hope and justice to the people of her land. Her people need a savior to help them out of their oppression, and Marian may just be the right girl for the job.

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13 Of The Best, Most Famous Poems Ever Written

Masterpieces by some of our favorites like as Shakespeare, John Donne, and Homer.
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Some of us read poetry for an eager and fast escape from this world. On the other hand, some of us read poetry solely to share it with the ones we love. There are miracles on paper that can easily be forgotten about if we let them be. The following poems are written by some of our favorites such as Shakespeare, John Donne, Homer, and more. It is clear why these have become some of the most famous and unforgettable poems ever written. So grab a pen, and interpret these poems in your own, unique way.

1. “Go and Catch a Falling Star” - John Donne

Go and catch a falling star,

Get with child a mandrake root,

Tell me where all past years are,

Or who cleft the devil's foot,

Teach me to hear mermaids singing,

Or to keep off envy's stinging,

And find

What wind

Serves to advance an honest mind.

If thou be'st born to strange sights,

Things invisible to see,

Ride ten thousand days and nights,

Till age snow white hairs on thee,

Thou, when thou return'st, wilt tell me,

All strange wonders that befell thee,

And swear,

No where

Lives a woman true, and fair.

If thou find'st one, let me know,

Such a pilgrimage were sweet;

Yet do not, I would not go,

Though at next door we might meet;

Though she were true, when you met her,

And last, till you write your letter,

Yet she

Will be

False, ere I come, to two, or three.

2. “Drinking Alone in the Moonlight” - Li Po

Beneath the blossoms with a pot of wine,

No friends at hand, so I poured alone;

I raised my cup to invite the moon,

Turned to my shadow, and we became three.

Now the moon had never learned about drinking,

And my shadow had merely followed my form,

But I quickly made friends with the moon and my shadow;

To find pleasure in life, make the most of the spring.

Whenever I sang, the moon swayed with me;

Whenever I danced, my shadow went wild.

Drinking, we shared our enjoyment together;

Drunk, then each went off on his own.

But forever agreed on dispassionate revels,

We promised to meet in the far Milky Way.

3. “Sonnet 18” - William Shakespeare

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?

Thou art more lovely and more temperate:

Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,

And summer's lease hath all too short a date:

Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,

And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;

And every fair from fair sometime declines,

By chance, or nature's changing course, untrimm'd;

But thy eternal summer shall not fade

Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st;

Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,

When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st;

So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,

So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

4. “The World Is Too Much with Us” - William Wordsworth

The world is too much with us; late and soon,

Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;—

Little we see in Nature that is ours;

We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!

This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;

The winds that will be howling at all hours,

And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;

For this, for everything, we are out of tune;

It moves us not. Great God! I’d rather be

A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;

So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,

Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;

Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;

Or hear old Triton blow his wreathèd horn.

5. “She Walks in Beauty” - Lord Byron

She walks in beauty, like the night

Of cloudless climes and starry skies;

And all that’s best of dark and bright

Meet in her aspect and her eyes;

Thus mellowed to that tender light

Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,

Had half impaired the nameless grace

Which waves in every raven tress,

Or softly lightens o’er her face;

Where thoughts serenely sweet express,

How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,

So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,

The smiles that win, the tints that glow,

But tell of days in goodness spent,

A mind at peace with all below,

A heart whose love is innocent!

6. “How Do I Love Thee?”- Elizabeth Browning

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,












I shall but love thee better after death.

7. “ Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” -Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.

His house is in the village though;

He will not see me stopping here

To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer

To stop without a farmhouse near

Between the woods and frozen lake

The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake

To ask if there is some mistake.

The only other sound’s the sweep

Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.

8. The Jabberwocky” - Lewis Carroll

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves

Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:

All mimsy were the borogoves,

And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!

The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!

Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun

The frumious Bandersnatch!”

He took his vorpal sword in hand;

Long time the manxome foe he sought—

So rested he by the Tumtum tree

And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,

The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,

Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,

And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through

The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!

He left it dead, and with its head

He went galumphing back.

“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?

Come to my arms, my beamish boy!

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”

He chortled in his joy.

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves

Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:

All mimsy were the borogoves,

And the mome raths outgrabe.

9. “Tears Fall in My Heart” - Paul Verlaine

Tears fall in my heart

Rain falls on the town;

what is this numb hurt

that enters my heart?

Ah,the soft sound of rain

on roofs, on the ground!

To a dulled heart they came,

ah, the song of the rain!

Tears without reason

in the disheartened heart.

What? no trace of treason?

This grief's without reason.

It's far the worst pain

to never know why

without love or disdain

my heart has such pain!

10. “We Wear the Mask” - Paul Lawrence Dunbar

We wear the mask that grins and lies,

It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,—

This debt we pay to human guile;

With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,

And mouth with myriad subtleties.

Why should the world be over-wise,

In counting all our tears and sighs?

Nay, let them only see us, while

We wear the mask.

We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries

To thee from tortured souls arise.

We sing, but oh the clay is vile

Beneath our feet, and long the mile;

But let the world dream otherwise,

We wear the mask!

11. “The Panther” - Rainer Maria Rilke

His vision, from the constantly passing bars,

has grown so weary that it cannot hold

anything else. It seems to him there are

a thousand bars; and behind the bars, no world.

As he paces in cramped circles, over and over,

the movement of his powerful soft strides

is like a ritual dance around a center

in which a mighty will stands paralyzed.

Only at times, the curtain of the pupils

lifts, quietly--. An image enters in,

rushes down through the tensed, arrested muscles,

plunges into the heart and is gone.

12. “Sea Fever” - John Masefield

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,

And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;

And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,

And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide

Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;

And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,

And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,

To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;

And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,

And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.

13. "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Goodnight" -Dylan Thomas

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

















Save these poems for your next coffee shop date or solitude moment. You might be surprised at how much you can find yourself in a poem.

Cover Image Credit: Thought Catalog

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Paying To Be A Woman: The Tampon Tax Explained

We often hear of the so-called "tampon tax" or the "pink tax" referring to the sales tax placed on tampons, here is why it is so important to eradicate it.

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Periods are often a very taboo topic and aren't often discussed. In many countries, specifically in South Asia, periods are considered so secretive and odd that women have to be secluded or exiled during their period or cannot participate in daily activities. Men are so often uncomfortable talking about feminine hygiene and the natural process of menstruation, which makes women insecure about their periods and less likely to discuss them openly as a part of their bodies. With periods as this foreign, hidden thing that we don't talk about, it isn't hard to believe that legislatively, it is not considered a natural or need-based process.

The tax code in the United States specifies a sales tax for "luxury items". Non-luxury items usually include food, medical, supplies, agricultural supplies, and sometimes clothing. The list varies from state to state, but items that aren't taxed are those considered to be an item we need rather than want. Tampons don't make this list, meaning they are considered a "luxury" item or something women buy to make their lives easier without necessarily needing. This could not be further from the truth, as women need to have a way to control their bleeding in order to go about their lives. Women cannot bleed freely without staining clothing, furniture, etc. and free bleeding is not acceptable anywhere in modern society.

Arguably, tampons and other sanitary products should be considered a medical item, since they must be replaced every four to six hours or women risk toxic shock syndrome (TSS). Further, menstruation is a medical process that needs to be dealt with in order to live a comfortable life. Women need access to tampons in order to function during their period. Making tampons expensive and only accessible to wealthier women is not only wrong but discriminatory, as it prohibits women who cannot afford period products from getting the schooling and careers that women who can afford them can get.

Women spend nearly $2,000 on tampons in their lifetimes, which is a pretty significant price tag for something that occurs naturally and is out of your control. Further, women spend an average of $11,400 on birth control over their lifetimes, which is the only way to avoid the need to purchase tampons. The one way to avoid having your period costs more than actually having your period, so this is definitely a need for women everywhere.

Only 7 states currently do not tax tampons and 3 of those states have no sales tax at all. We need to put force behind legislation that eradicates the tampon tax in every state because it is simply immoral. Society has made menstruation, and as an extension simply being a woman, a degrading act. Girls hide their tampons at the store and go home from school because of stains. Making women literally pay for something that the public faults them for makes periods even more embarrassing. We need to get rid of the stigma surrounding periods and being female, which will only happen when we stop putting a price tag on menstruation.

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