The boys have had their turn, now it is time for the girls! These books have a strong female main character. Some are just plain feisty and original, some are physically strong, some are clever but they all will provide hours of reading entertainment. (Note: it was really hard to find contemporary fiction with strong girl characters since many of the books set in modern times are concerned with clothes, boys, shopping...chick lit (to use a term I really hate).)
I, Coriander by Sally Gardner
In 17th century London, Coriander lives with her father since her mother died. One day, a pair of beautiful silver shoes appear which give Coriander the power to travel to another land which is quite magical.
Gilda Joyce, Psychic Investigator by Jennifer Allison
Gilda, attired in vintage clothes and fiercely attached to an old manual typewriter, is convinced that she has special psychic abilities which help her to communicate with the dead and solve deep mysteries. Things aren't quite the way Gilda thinks they are. (two sequels, so far)
Pirate curse by Kay Meyer
Raised by a much-adored pirate captain, Jolly is a pollywog: she can walk on water. When the pirate's ship is attacked and destroyed, Jolly sets out to find the captain but is waylaid by a budding friendship with another pollywog, pirates, strange creatures from the deep and a mysterious trader. (first of The Wave Walkers trilogy)
The true confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi
"Not every thirteen-year-old girl is accused of murder, brought to trial, and found guilty."
Proper schoolgirl Charlotte is sailing to America to join her family when the ship's crew mutinies.
Alanna: the first adventure by Tamora Pierce
Disguised as a boy, Alanna is off to school to learn to be a knight, a very unladylike and unexpected thing to do...but Alanna is determined and clever and more than a bit stubborn.
(first of the Song of the Lioness quarter)
(Just a note, anything and everything by Tamora Pierce is filled with strong and interesting girls in adventurous, often dangerous situations. Great reading!)
The case of the missing marquess by Nancy Springer
Enola Holmes, the much younger sister of the great Sherlock Holmes, is determined to prove her skills as a perditorian (a finder of lost things) and remain independent of her brother. (There are 3 sequels, so far.)
Theodesia and the serpents of chaos by R.L. Lafevers
Theodesia's father is the curator of a museum of antiquities filled with artifacts found by her archeologist mother. One of the artifacts, an Eyptian amulet, is particularly fascinating especially since its presence at the museum is supposed to be secret. (one sequel coming soon)
The water mirror by Kai Meyers
In a Venice threated by an Egyptian enemy, where stone lions walk the streets and mermaids live in the canals, two young girls, Merl and Junipa, join the struggle to save the beautiful city.
(first in Dark Reflections trilogy)
Clementine by Sara Pennypacker
"Spectacular ideas are always sproinging up in my brain." Unfortunately, third grader Clementine's ideas aren't always conventional, logical or at all cool with her parents!
(one sequel, so far)
Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede
Tired of being a run-of-the-mill princess, Cimorene runs away to become the King of the Dragons' (who is a female dragon) special princess. She is clever, strong and carries a lethal weapon: lemon-scented soap in hot water! (first of Enchanted Forest Chronicles quartet).