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Twelve Minutes to Midnight

To celebrate International Women's Day 2017, here's a list of some of our favourite stories with inspiring heroines for older girls and young teens.

  • Front Lines

    Michael Grant

    It's an alternate history where girls are subject to the military draft in the US. Fast-paced, clever and with incredibly relatable characters, Front Lines is a fresh take on the second world war, while also letting females be kickass.

  • Bindi Babes

    Narinder Dhami
    Random House

    Narinder Dhami has a light touch which girls in particular will enjoy.

  • Coraline

    Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Dave McKean
    Bloomsbury Children's Books

    One day Coraline unlocks a mysterious door that opens onto another world, a twisted parody of Coraline's own dimension.

  • Pirates!

    Celia Rees
    Bloomsbury Children's Books

    Pirates! traces the adventures of Nancy Kington and Minerva Sharpe as they sail the high seas, often fighting for their lives, in the hope of gaining glory and riches.

  • Matilda

    Roald Dahl, Illustrator: Quentin Blake

    This modern fairy-tale with a brilliantly inspiring young heroine is one of Roald Dahl's best loved stories.

  • The Story of Tracy Beaker

    Jacqueline Wilson, Illustrated by Nick Sharratt
    Random House

    Tracy lives in a children's home but constantly hopes that her absent, glamorous Mum will come and take her away.

  • Chains

    Laurie Halse Anderson

    A brilliantly told, exciting story, with a brave and dignified heroine, which reveals the complexities of this chapter of American history.

  • The Hunger Games

    Suzanne Colins

    Welcome to Panem: its Capitol repressively rules twelve satellite Districts, enslaving the populations as workers and controlling them through hunger.

  • A Most Improper Magick

    Stephanie Burgis

    A 21st-century take on Jane Austen's world, entertainingly viewed through the eyes of a 12-year-old heroine who discovers she has inherited her mother's magical abilities.

  • Howl's Moving Castle

    Diana Wynne Jones
    Harper Collins

    Sophie Hatter is cursed with an old body by the Witch of the Waste and the spell can only be broken by the dreaded Wizard Howl who lives in his moving castle and likes to eat the souls of young girls.

  • Twelve Minutes to Midnight

    Christopher Edge
    Nosy Crow

    Every night at precisely 12 minutes to midnight, the inmates of Bedlam, London's notorious madhouse, all begin feverishly writing - incoherent ramblings that Penelope quickly realises are in fact terrifying visions of the new century to come.

  • Etiquette and Espionage

    Gail Carriger

    Sophronia is horrified when her mother decides to send her to an exclusive finishing school - but on arrival she realises it's not quite what her mother expected.

  • Am I Normal Yet?

    Holly Bourne
    Usborne Publishing Ltd

    This is a powerful and engrossing read that successfully informs, shocks, reassures and entertains in equal measures.