January has many of us thinking of new beginnings, which is why this is my favorite time to recommend growing up books for girls.

January has many of us thinking of new beginnings, which is why this is my favorite time to recommend growing up books for girls.

Princess of the Wild Sea

Book cover image for Princess of the Wild Sea by Megan Frazer Blakemore

Princess Harbor Rose has been waiting her whole life for her thirteenth birthday. That’s when a hero will finally arrive to save her from the curse that keeps her hidden away on an island with her magical aunts. But the curse also foretold the coming of a dangerous enemy, a war, and the magic of believing. With her kingdom and her beloved island at risk, Harbor Rose must make a choice. Should she wait for a hero, or become that hero herself?

Apple Crush

Book cover image for Apple Crush by Lucy Knisley

Jen is finally adjusting to life on the farm with her mom, her mom’s boyfriend, and her stepsisters Andy and Reese in this graphic novel companion to Stepping Stones. But when a new school year starts, Andy seems more interested in boys and crushes than in hanging out with Jen. With pressure to couple up all around her, Jen wonders who decided girls and boys couldn’t be “just friends” anymore.

Different Kinds of Fruit

Book cover image for Different Kinds of Fruit by Kyle Lukoff

When Bailey moves to town, Annabelle feels like they’re a breath of fresh air. She loves hearing about their life in Seattle and hanging out at their house. And she can’t help but notice that Bailey has great hands and smells really good. But then Annabelle finds out that her dad has something surprising in common with Bailey: they both consider themselves trans. Suddenly, Annabelle is seeing her same old community with the same old labels in a totally new way.

Super Powered: Transform Anxiety Into Courage, Confidence, and Resilience

Book cover image for Super Powered: Transform Anxiety Into Courage, Confidence, and Resilience by Renee Jain and Dr. Shefali Tsabary

If you feel like you worry a lot, you aren’t alone. About one in ten kids struggles with frequent anxiety, and all of us get anxious sometimes. Whether it’s a persistent part of your life or something you only confront once in a while, this book offers great tools for meeting anxiety head-on. You’ll learn to recognize anxious behaviors and the root causes of anxiety, and reclaim your inner superpowers.

Slaying Digital Dragons

Book cover image for Slaying Digital Dragons by Alex J. Packer, PhD.

If you’re spending more time online than you did when you were younger, this book is a must-read. With our phones or our computers always beckoning us to check out the latest uploads or post another update, it can be hard to know where to draw the line. This book helps you take a long look at your technology habits and make smart choices about how much time to spend online, and what to do while you’re there.

More Books About Growing Up for Girls

When Calliope’s friend is kidnapped, Calliope knows the only way to save her is to find the strength to be the queen she is destined to be in The Spirit Queen by Arnee Flores, the sequel to The Firebird Song.

Harper is thrilled to be 12 and a half, the age when she can finally have social media accounts. But when she clicks on a filter to show what she’ll look like when she’s older, it propels her into the future in 12 to 22 by Jen Calonita.

When Cordelia’s father, and the leader of her village, dies, a curse sweeps over the land. Now she must journey through the once-friendly magical swampland that has turned dark to make peace with her loss in Into the Glades by Laura Sebastian.

Astrology for Black Girls by Jordannah Elizabeth honors the long tradition of star-gazing and self-reflection in Black communities, exploring topics such as practicing astrology and faith and using the Zodiac for self-reflection.

You live in your body … but how much do you know about it? In Kay’s Anatomy by Adam Kay, you’ll go on a fascinating (and sometimes disgusting) tour of your amazing insides.

What about you? Do you have favorite books about growing up for girls? Have you read any of the books above? Tell me about it in the comments!

Lacey Louwagie is an adult writer and editor who got her first editing job with New Moon Girls in 2002. She is currently a freelance writer and editor and stay-at-home parent of 2 little boys. She has been a teen services librarian and coordinates book-related goodies for New Moon Girls. She is the author...

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