Young is relative
  1. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler - EL Konigsburg
    Claudia is resourceful, persistent, and intelligent to a fault. And if you reread it as often as I do you see how naive she is, too. Female characters, no matter how 'simplistic' the medium, don't have to always be Strong. They can be just as interesting if helpless (if self-aware) children.
  2. A Wrinkle In Time - Madeleine L'Engel
    Meg Murry tho. A truly great character, in the form of a teenage girl. This book was my first real scifi love, and I owe it a lot.
  3. Hamlet - Shakespeare
    I recently read a great analysis on Ophelia ( ). In short, I went crazy for Ophelia in high school, though not as crazy as she went as a result of the total disregard of her intellect and agency. Hamlet may be the focus, but he's also a whiny little scuff mark with a tendency to talk out his uninteresting feelings. Ophelia--she's the real story.
  4. Anything by Tamora Pierce
    Not only stories about a kickass, exciting medieval fantasy world (each with a female protagonist) but Pierce is also careful to address issues of sexuality and birth control in ways that are accessible to young girls
    Suggested by @Caitlin
  5. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
    Staggeringly good coming of age story about a young girl with divers and powerful female role modes rising above her circumstances and finding what is important to her.
    Suggested by @gwcoffey
  6. The Girl with the Silver Eyes
    Strange outsider girl finds out she has special powers. Goes on a search to figure out how and why this has happened. I'm still waiting for the CW to turn it into a TV series....
    Suggested by @eatthelove