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Books for Tomboys: My Favorites!

Updated on April 26, 2012

Books Tomboys will Like

When I was a kid, I considered myself a tomboy. I was a boyish girl. I liked to play in the woods. I didn't like make-up. I wouldn't wear a dress.

I did like to read. Here are some books that I enjoyed in elementary school, middle school, and as a young teenager. These feature adventurous and strong-willed kids. Some are mysteries, while others explore the dynamics of social interactions.

This article is an addition to my gift guide for tomboys.

Photo Credit

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle - Charlotte, the only female on the ship, becomes a Seaman!

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle
The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle

This is listed as one of the best books for ages 10-13. It certainly captures the imagination of a tomboy! This is about a 13 year girl on a ship. There's a mutiny underway, and to survive she becomes a seaman!

 

Island of the Blue Dolphins - A Book about a Woman Hero and Lone Survivor

Island of the Blue Dolphins
Island of the Blue Dolphins

This book is based on a real life story about a woman who lived on an island alone for 18 years. You learn how she survives and this book has its ups and downs, just like real life.

Amazon says that it's for ages 9 and up, but I recommend this book for older readers because parts of the book are quite sad. However, as a Tomboy, I loved this book because it teaches survival skills and endurance.

 

The Boxcar Children - For Younger Tomboys - Easy to Read Chapter Books for Grades 2-6

The Boxcar Children Books 1-4
The Boxcar Children Books 1-4

I loved this series as a kid! These books are about four orphans who find an abandoned boxcar to live in. In the first book, the kids try to stay away from their grandfather because they think he is mean, but later they learn that he's a nice man and he even moves the boxcar to his property so that the kids can still enjoy playing in it. This series has over 100 books and many of the plots are adventures and mysteries.

I was a very sensitive young kid, and I liked these books because they were happy stories. The characters are generally kind and nice and these have positive messages about perseverence, strength and family love.

 

Nancy Drew Detective Series - I wanted to be a detective like her!

Nancy Drew Starter Set (Books 1-6)
Nancy Drew Starter Set (Books 1-6)

When I was a kid, I tried to read Nancy Drew at the dining room table, during dinner! I didn't want to put the book down! Nancy Drew books are so adventurous. There are lots of cliffhangers and even the threat of danger. Nancy is smart and inquisitive. I wanted to be like her.

Ideal for mystery lovers ages 9-12.

 

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott - Civil War Era Book Featuring Tomboy "Jo"

Classic Starts™: Little Women (Classic Starts™ Series)
Classic Starts™: Little Women (Classic Starts™ Series)

Of all the books I enjoyed as a kid, this one has the most definite tomboy character. The second oldest of the four sister, Josephine "Jo" March Bhaer, is described as "son Jo." Jo wanted to fight in the civil war along with her Dad. Jo loves to read and write. She wrote plays for her sisters to perform. That also made me relate to her, as I wanted to be a writer when I grew up.

 

Harriet the Spy - About a Smart 11 Year Old who Makes Some Mistakes

Harriet the Spy
Harriet the Spy

This book is about a girl who spies on people and writes down her observations in a notebook. She writes about her neighbors and her classmates. Some of the stuff she writes in her notebook isn't so nice. When her notebook is discovered, she gets teased.... This book contains a lot of interesting characters and quite realistic peer interactions.

 

My Side of the Mountain Trilogy - About a Teenager Living in the Catskill Mountains

My Side of the Mountain Trilogy (My Side of the Mountain / On the Far Side of the Mountain / Frightful's Mountain)
My Side of the Mountain Trilogy (My Side of the Mountain / On the Far Side of the Mountain / Frightful's Mountain)

Best book for any tomboy who wants to live off the land! This book is about Sam, a 12 year old boy from New York City, who's tired of living in the city. He learns survival skills from a library book and with the permission of his father, Sam is allowed to go into the Catskill woods and try to live on some family property there. This book is all about how Sam survives living in the woods alone. He lives in a hallowed out tree. He captures a Falcon and trains it to hunt. This is a terrific book... I think it appealed to me because it is pretty realistic. I always couldn't wait to grow up and become an adult and live on my own, and in this book Sam is having to do everything on his own... I imagined living away from my family just like Sam.... Sam is resourceful and does make some friends. He finds that he doesn't know everything from the books that he's read and needs the help of others.

 

The Indian in the Cupboard - About a Plastic Toy Indian that Comes to Life!

The Indian in the Cupboard
The Indian in the Cupboard

I don't usually like fantasy books, but in 4th grade my teacher read this book to us. I really looked forward to hearing the story each day. It's about a boy who gets a couple of boring birthday gifts - a cupboard and an Indian figure. He puts the toy Indian in the cupboard, turns the key, and to his surprise the Indian comes alive! The Indian demands food and supplies, and the boy learns about responsibility and caring for his real Indian. It's a great story... Lots of fun for the imagination!

 

A Wrinkle in Time - Sci Fi/Adventure Story - For Children who Don't Fit In

More Books for Tomboys

The Borrowers
The Borrowers

About little people who live in the floorboards!

 
To Kill a Mockingbird, 50th Anniversary Edition
To Kill a Mockingbird, 50th Anniversary Edition

Jean Louise "Scout" Finch is a tomboy.

 

Any suggestions? - Have a favorite book that you think a tomboy will like?

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I am eleven and here are 3 series I couldn't put down! I LOVED the Hunger Games. It has some romance, but the author doesn't make that the whole point of the story. Same with the Harry Potter. The Series of Unfortunate Events has NO romance. These books are all fantastic.