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Top 5 books for rebel girls, chosen by Vivian French

Vivian French's new book, The Runaways of Haddington Hall, has been described as a "high octane, high drama romp" for girls. She shares her favourite books for rebel girls.

Vivian French’s new book, The Runaways of Haddington Hall, has been described as a “high octane, high drama romp” for girls. She shares her favourite books for rebel girls.

Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren, illustrated by Lauren Child

The ultimate rebel girl… living on her own, doing what she wants, answering to no one. I loved it, my daughters loved it, and now my granddaughters do too! 

Empress & Aniya by Candice Carty-Williams 

A warm and insightful story about real friendship; friendship that requires Aniya to think long and hard about her peer group. Empress is a rebel by nature, so her personal journey takes her in a different direction. 

Stone Girl Bone Girl by Laurence Anholt, illustrated by Sheila Moxley 

The true story of Mary Anning, who discovered an ichthyosaurus in 1811 when she was only 12. She was endlessly teased at school for her interest in fossils, but she ignored the taunts and went onto be famous. 

Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan 

Possibly a surprising choice, especially as the 19th-century heroine is an adult. Sarah comes to join an American prairie family as a possible wife and stepmother, but she’s no demure mail-order bride.

I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai 

This is a totally inspiring autobiography. Imagine being 15 years old and standing up to a whole regime. I’ll let Malala speak for herself, and for all rebel girls. “If one man can destroy everything, why can’t one girl change it?”

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