Great Reads for Great Girls

A list of our favorite books and blogs that have female leads and authors, and/or that address topics that are important to many women and girls.


National Programs for Girls

Girls Inc.

Girls Inc. inspires all girls to be strong, smart, and bold through direct service and advocacy. The comprehensive approach to whole girl development equips girls to navigate gender, economic, and social barriers and grow up healthy, educated, and independent 

Girls in Politics

The Girls in Politics Initiative (“GIP”) is a program created and administered by the Political Institute for Women. GIP programs introduce girls ages 8 to 17 to politics, policy, the work of the United States Congress, parliamentary governments and the work of the United Nations.

Girls on the Run

Girls on the Run® is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to creating a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams. Meeting twice a week in small teams, the program teaches life skills through dynamic, interactive lessons and running games.

Girl Scouts of America

The preeminent leadership development organization for girls, with programs from coast to coast and across the globe.  Girl Scouts offers every girl a chance to practice a lifetime of leadership, adventure, and success.  Currently comprised of 1.8 million girls and 800,000 adults who believe in the power of every G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ to change the world.

Juniors (grades 4-5) can earn the Inside Government Badge through Ms President US participation.

Cadettes (grades 6-8) can earn the Finding Common Ground Badge through Ms President US participation.

Girl Up

Girl Up helps adolescent girls develop leadership skills through online engagement, community mobilization, and trainings in advocacy, public speaking, and fundraising. As a result of these efforts, Girl Up has created a generation of current and future girl leaders who have helped raise millions of dollars for United Nations programs; successfully lobbied members of the U.S. Congress to help stop child marriage globally and help ensure that girls around the world are registered at birth; and shown their schools, friends and communities the true power of girls. 

The HERlead Fellowship

Since 2011, over 250 high school girls from across the U.S. have been trained, mentored, and inspired to become the next generation of female leaders and 165 social impact projects have been funded through the HERlead Fellowship, a fellowship for young women on their way (formerly known as the ANNpower Vital Voices Initiative).

Let Girls Learn

Founded by Barack and Michelle Obama in 2015, addresses the challenges preventing adolescent girls from attaining a quality education that empowers them to reach their full potential. Combines the necessary political will, diplomacy, grassroots organizing, and development expertise to create lasting change.

Running Start

By educating young women and girls about the importance of politics, and imbuing them with the skills they need to be leaders, Running Start gives women the running start they need to achieve greater political power. With an earlier start in politics, women will climb higher on the leadership ladder, allowing more women to share in the decision making power of this country. To date, more than 10,000 have been trained in the past 10 years.

Media / Documentary / TED Talks

Raising Ms. President

A documentary about why girls don’t want to become president.  Take Action

50/50: Rethinking the Past, Present and Future of Women + Power

A documentary about the history of women in leadership positions, including the 50 women heads of state who have been part of the United Nations.

It is fast-paced, engaging, and full of information that is not well-known, or publicized.  Note:  For young girls, some of the words used in the video may require definition in advance or following the showing:  Transcript and Glossary for 50/50.

It’s Time for Women to Run for Office

Halla Tomasdottir, candidate for President in Iceland in 2016 (she lost to a man, but there has been a female president previously and Iceland is considered the #1 country to be a woman) “Surround yourself with aligned people, but avoid sameness.”

Teach Girls Bravery, Not Perfection   

Reshma Saujani’s failed campaign, running against a long-term female incumbent.

UK – A Political Party for Women’s Equality

We all have an “Activate” moment.  It’s time for “deeds not words.”


Women’s History & Research

A Mighty Girl

The world’s largest collection of books, toys and movies for smart, confident, and courageous girls.   25 Children’s Books on Women in Politics

American Women Firsts

Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP)

CAWP created this project to inspire girls and young women to follow in the footsteps of women leaders, past and present. Making women’s political leadership visible to America’s youth will help both boys and girls grow up with more inclusive ideas about who can lead.

Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame

Geena Davis Institute

Girls Leadership Institute

Girl Scouts Research Institute

National Women’s History Project

Teach a Girl to Lead 

Provides the tools and resources to help young people rethink leadership and refocus the picture, because if a girl can’t imagine a woman leader, how can she become one? And if a boy sees only men in leadership roles, what will convince him to support aspiring women leaders?

The Women’s Caucus – Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues

Women’s History

Books for Women

See Jane Win:  The Inspiring Story of The Women Changing American Politics


Civics Education

Civic Engagement:  Resources from the CT Secretary of State, Denise Merrill

Local / Regional Programs for Girls

Want Your Daughter to Run for Office One Day? Here Are 3 Summer Camps That Will Get Her Started.

Future Presidents of America – Indianapolis, IN

Future Presidents of America, a new initiative started in 2015, is an innovative and engaging youth leadership camp with a mission of developing individual confidence, civic literacy, and good citizenship to reveal the exceptional qualities of character that make for great presidents and leaders.  Limited to 20 young leaders (ages 12 to 16), this camp will focus on the qualities that make for great presidents—yesterday, today and tomorrow.  Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site (Indianapolis, IN)

Girls with Impact

Ignite – Chapters in CA, CO, and TX

Trains HS girls and older to become civically engaged.  How to engage your preteen daughter in politics

LiveGirl – Fairfield County, CT

Leadership development and empowerment for middle school girls.  The mission is to empower girls through year-round leadership development and mentoring that builds self-confidence and fosters diversity.  LiveGirl helps young women, especially those who need us most, realize their full potential.

With Liberty and Leadership for All – local Presidential Sites  

With Liberty and Leadership for All is a non-partisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation committed to unleashing the power of America’s presidential homes, libraries and museums to prepare current and future leaders for solving tomorrow’s challenges.  The objective of With Liberty and Leadership for All is to create a learning platform to educate the world’s citizens in lessons of leadership modeled on the skills and experiences of the American Presidents and offered at presidential sites across America.  To learn more about how you can help, please contact Laura Dambier, 2016 Advanced Leadership Fellow, Harvard University:

Girls Leadership Worldwide – Hyde Park, NY (and NY Metro Region)

A ten-day transformational program that empowers high-school girls to make a difference in their own lives, communities, and the world! Using Eleanor Roosevelt’s life and legacy as a model, the program brings girls diverse in culture and geography together and transforms them into principled and socially conscious leaders. Participants stay together at a nearby college and experience interactive workshops, inspiring speakers, and field trips to New York City all while building supportive and lasting relationships with mentors and peers.

Programs for Women

Ready to Run™ Connecticut

Ready to Run™ Connecticut is a nonpartisan, women’s leadership and campaign training program designed to empower women to become active participants in Connecticut’s political process. Modeled after the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) national program at Rutgers University, Ready to Run™ Connecticut offers women an all-day workshop series that equips them with the necessary strategies, knowledge, and networking tools to effectively pursue leadership positions in state and local government.

Resources for Women in Business 

Whether you’re exploring options to start a business, you want to improve a business that already exists, you need to apply for a business loan, or you are searching for government contracting opportunities, there are many resources that can help you achieve your goals.

She Should Run

She Should Run is a non-partisan 501(c)3 organization expanding the talent pool of future elected female leaders. She Should Run started as a project in 2008 and has evolved to become a movement working to create a culture that inspires women and girls to aspire towards public leadership. We believe that women of all backgrounds should have an equal shot at elected leadership and that our country will benefit from having a government with varied perspectives and experiences.

Vote, Run, Lead

From Albuquerque to Atlanta, VoteRunLead is crisscrossing the country to bring trainings to women interested in running for political office. Online classes available.  VoteRunLead is answering the call to help change the face of leadership in America.

Women’s Campaign School at Yale University

A non-partisan, issue-neutral leadership program, whose mission is to increase the number and influence of women in elected and appointed office in the United States and around the globe.

The Women in Public Service Project

The Women in Public Service Project (WPSP) is a program of the Global Women’s Leadership Initiative at the Wilson Center which empowers the next generation of women around the world and mobilizes them on issues of critical importance in public service. Through innovative research, dynamic learning institutes, and strategic peer-to-peer and two way mentoring, the WPSP is committed to a new global partnership aimed at reaching a minimum of 50 percent of all decision-making positions in public service held by women by 2050 (“50 × 50”). 

International Initiatives


A platform for girls and young women around the world to share their thoughts, challenges and accomplishments — and for all of us to learn about this new generation of leaders.