Girls with Grit: Ten Books About Strong, Courageous Girls

One of the best things about wholesome books is their ability to exemplify and inspire heroic virtue. Here is a list of ten books featuring girls who undergo great difficulties with fortitude and selflessness. All highly recommended by Big Sis!


When Junia, the daughter of a Roman Senator, discovers Christianity, she must choose between her newly found faith or her life.

Beorn the Proud

Follow the adventures of Ness, the daughter of an Irish cheiftain, when she is captured by Vikings.

Joan of Arc

Mark Twain considered this book his most important and favorite work. Not surprisingly, for St. Joan of Arc’s courage and humble selflessness shine through in this literary masterpiece. For advanced readers.

Chuiraquimba and the Black Robes

The daughter of an Indian Chief in Paraguay, Chuiraquimba undergoes many dangers to help the Jesuits fathers protect their missions from slave traders.

Madeline Takes Command

With her parents away from the fort, Madeline takes the lead in protecting it from raiding Indians.

The Witch of Blackbird Pond

The Puritans of Connecticut regard sixteen-year old Kit with suspicion and mistrust. When she befriends an old Quaker woman whom the Puritans call a witch,  Kit is in danger of becoming an outcast.

Becky Landers

Brave and clever Becky Landers is as tough as any man in the Kentucky Frontier. Her resilience and cheerful demeanor bring courage to the settlers in her community as they encounter danger after danger. Her merciful treatment towards the villainous De Quindre is both startling and admirable.

Toliver’s Secret

During the American Revolution, shy, timid Toliver must learn to overcome her fears as she goes on a secret mission to General George Washington.

Number the Stars

During World War II, ten-year old Annemarie needs all the courage she can muster to save her Jewish  friends from the Nazis.

And last but not least:

St. Therese and the Roses

What’s so courageous about a girl who grows up as the family doll and enters a convent? Let’s teach our daughters that courage is not a virtue just for those who go through battles, adventures, and secret missions. Being faithful to our everyday duties, accepting the will of God in all things, and enduring suffering with love requires courage and selflessness, too. This is just what St. Therese did. Give your  mature daughters Story of a Soul: The Autobiography of St. Therese and they may realize that although St. Therese was as sweet as a rose, she had the interior strength of iron.

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