Friday, November 22, 2013

Great Girls Are Found in Sets: Over 30 Sets and Collections of Great Girl Books!

I don't know about you but I love give and receiving a good book for the holidays.  You know what I love even more than that?  
Giving and receiving a lot of good books.

When looking through my Great Girls list I was amazed at how many of our favorite heroines need quite a bit of room to tell their whole story. So I decided to compile a list of some of our favorite series and collections in one place. 



So here you go:
(The Pictures are Affiliate Links and will take you to Amazon.com if you find something you can't live without!)

The Complete Ramona Collection, The Judy Moody Collection, The Betsy-Tacy Treasury


The Complete Anne of Green Gables, The Works of Jane Austen,
The Enchanted Collection (Alice in Wonderland, The Secret Garden, Little Women and More!)


Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Eloise: The Ultimate Collection, The Adventures of Pippi Longstocking


The Penderwicks, Mad About Madeline, The Books of Bayern




The Wee Free Men: The Beginning (First Two Books, Not Prequel); His Dark Materials Collection




The American Girl Collections (there are many more character to chose from!)


Julie of the Wolves Collection, A Wrinkle in Time 5 Book Set; Gail Carson Levine's The Enchanted Collection



The Nancy Drew Starter Set, The Song of the Lioness Series, The Enchanted Forest Chronicles



The Little House Full Set, The Prydain Chronicles, The Spiderwick Collection


A Newberry Collection (Number the Stars, The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Island of Blue Dolphins, etc.)
George MacDonald's Princess Books, Cathryn Valente's The Girl Who Trilogy



Oz, the Complete Collection, Harry Potter Set, The Hunger Games Trilogy, The Divergent Trilogy



Oh My Goodness!  So many great books - and so many new titles for me recommended by you!
(* I can't claim to have read every book on this list yet, so proceed with caution and your own good judgement*)

I know I've missed some great sets and collections out there so I am all ears for your great suggestions!



12 comments:

  1. That is a HUGE selection! I remember a lot of those from my childhood, I think Anne being one of my favorites. I think I might need to go back and re-read a lot of those! :)

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  2. I can't even remember if I read all of some of these sets and I know I never got to read some of the ones I wanted to when I was a girl. I'm really looking forward to reading them now and this compilation will be my reference so I can't forget them!

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  3. Little House on the Prairie, Baby Sitters Club

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    1. I used to trade back and forth between Nancy Drew and the Babysitters Club during the summers! One after the other!

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  4. Oh my goodness, so many good ones! The Anne books are still a fave, as are the Jane Austen ones. I love that you included the older American Girl series, Little House books, and of course Little Women. I had completely forgotten about Julie of the Wolves until now. I can't wait until my girls are a bit older and we can start reading some of these!

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  5. Have you read/do you suggest the His Dark Materials books? I've heard that they are very anti-Church and the author's purpose was to spread atheism among children (in the same vein as the Narnia books were built on Christianity) and was curious about what you thought.

    This list makes me so excited to for when Lucia is old enough for me to share these great books with her (and some of them are new to me so we can discover them together!)

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    1. They aren't my personal favorite and I have my reasons for not including her in my original list - mainly because I just think there are better books out there. I know from further reading that Pullman seems to have his own opinions of religion, and yes it's there in his writings, but I just don't think he's a good enough writer to inspire his readers to atheism through these books. They are, after all, a fantasy world.

      If that was his intent than I don't think it was well done (the reason I'm not a fan is his writing style is odd to me). I know a lot of people love them - they're, at least, worth a try in my opinion, but definitely geared towards an older child (I'd say a teenager). I just don't think the anti-religious messages are done well enough to be applicable outside the fantasy world he created.

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    2. I agree with Molly, in part, but I thought I would add my two cents. :) I thought the first book in His Dark Materials was excellent. I actually really loved his writing style, at least at the time I read the books. However, the writing degenerated because Pullman got so caught up in his anti-religious diatribe. By the third book it's like reading badly written Christian fiction, only in the opposite direction.

      I think I would not give them to children (at least no the age group they're written for) primarily because he has some weird notions about the soul/spirit/body connection. Every person has animal "daemons" which seem to be some sort of external embodiment of their personality. While I am largely okay with this in the context of a fantasy world, I do think there are good and bad ways to do it--even in fantasy I think that God is either present ... or not, even if his name is never mentioned. I think Pullman's writing could lead to confusion for young readers who are still figuring out what it means to have a body and a soul in reality. In His Dark Materials there are also some vivid and potentially confusing/distressing scenes in the end of the first book that involve scientists trying to separate children from their "daemons."

      Lastly the books can be a little dark, which some people aren't comfortable with. Ultimately I would recommend reading at least the first book yourself and seeing how you feel about it!

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    3. Thank you for chiming in - I have to admit that I read them when I was 20-ish and I had totally lost interest by the 3rd book though I did read it. Though I remember thinking that the "daemons" were just a physical manifestation of the soul - which struck me as an interesting device if he's trying to be anti-religion. I definitely wouldn't advise it for young children.

      A lot of what's getting brought up is why these books were left off the original list. Though in my mind they're on my list of books worth reading just to have an solid opinion about (at some point in your life).

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  6. The Hunger Games does not actually portray a "Great Girl" from the sense of her being a strong female character. In fact, quite the opposite. She begins as an incredibly strong female character and by the end of the series has decided to have children because her husband wanted them and not because she felt it was something she desired. Through out the entire book it focuses not her finding herself, but more on her relationships between two boys. As much as this is a part of the female life, it isn't the central focus. More often then not, the entire storyline is about her shifting and changing herself to meet the needs of an outside culture which is exploiting her, or conforming to the ideals of the two said boys rather than in any way deciding to find herself or speak to her own personal needs. She is continually only valued for what she looks like, who she is dating, or the amount of drama she can stir up through lying. If anything at all the strongest female character of the book is Katniss' little sister who has extreme strength of character, but is killed off as a pawn solely to progress Katniss to finally suck it up and make a decision for herself about a course of action. These books, when actually read critically, are some of the worst books I could ever think of to give to girl.

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    1. Thanks for all of that - I actually have mixed feeling on the series as a whole (like the His Dark Materials there's a reason she's not on my Original list), but it was such a popular title in the comments of the other post.

      I definitely think it's worth looking at a lot of popular YA lit in a more critical view.

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    2. I've read the series and believe that she is a good character overall. Obviously girls should be older when they read this series, and it should be discussed that Catniss is negatively affected by the violence and tragedy that happens to her. I think part of what makes the series above average young adult literature is that it portrays the consequences of violence and war on an individual level. I also thought that at the end of the series it wasn't simply that she had children because of her husband, but that she thought herself incapable of loving until she had children. She had lost hope, but having children in a way renews her and I think points towards healing.

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