Super Girl was given a copy of the Kickstarter publishing phenomenon ‘Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls‘. Each night we have read amazing tales of women and girls who have pushed barriers, shattered glass ceilings – scientists, activists, artists, writers, sportswomen to be the architects of their own stories. Our evenings have been spent talking through the importance of education, standing up for your beliefs, working hard, and truly valuing yourself.
Why we love the Good Night Stories For Rebel Girls
The book contains 100 stories of girls and women’s fight and struggles to get an education, to be recognised in their field of expertise, to change out-dated attitudes to how girls or women should live their lives.
These stories come from all over the world, and throughout history.
My little rebel girl has had an insight into lives of some amazing girls and women, all of whom are having to fight the same fight: gender inequality.
And books like these are helping to re-write the narrative of what it is to be a girl and helping my little girl shape her life.
Not a victim in sight
The girls and women portrayed in Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls aren’t victims.
They are central to their own story.
Whether it was Rosa Parks’ simple act of defiance or Malala Yousafzai’s beating near death to get an education and live to receive a Nobel Peace, Rebel Girls stand firm for their beliefs.
Their brilliant careers
It’s been brilliant to show my daughter the lives of so many amazing women and girls, many of whom we had never heard of and all of whom have worked hard for their success and or recognition.
Nope. Not a princess in sight. But a couple of queens who just happened to be warriors.
And what about Aung San Suu Kyi
Yes, she was in our edition.
And I am glad she was.
It was healthy to talk about someone who fought so hard in her past for her beliefs and then to discuss what was happening now.
Yes, our bedtime conversations were deep.
In celebration of this year’s International Women’s Day here are 15 favourite Rebel Girls as selected by my very own rebel girl – Super Girl.
Our 15 favourite rebel girls from Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls (volume 1)
1. Amelia Earhart – Aviator
First woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean in a tiny aeroplane braving strong winds and ice storms. She sustained herself by drinking cans of tomato juice through a straw.
2. Amna Al Haddad – Weightlifter
A former journalist, now female weightlifter from the United Arab Emirates. She discovered weightlifting after going to the gym to get fit. The turning point was when the International Weightlifting Federation allowed Muslim women to compete wearing a unitard.
3. Ashley Fiolek – Motocross Racer
From the USA, Ashley is a motocross rider competing at national level. And she hasn’t let being deaf stop her from reaching the top of her sport.
4. Astrid Lindgren – Writer
Author of one of our favourite rebel girls, Pippi Longstocking. When the stories were first published people thought Pippi was too rebellious. But Pippi is independent minding, but always cares for others.
5. Coy Mathis – Elementary School Student
Coy is a transgender girl. She and her parents successfully challenged the state of North Carolina’s discrimination laws to allow her to use the school’s girls’ restrooms.
6. Grace Hopper – Computer Scientist
It was Grace’s inquisitive mind that led her to become a professor of Math and physics. During the second world war, she joined the Navy, where she was introduced to the first computer and used this to code break enemy messages.
7. Jane Goodall – Primatologist
Armed with a notebook and a pair of binoculars Jane set out to Tanzania to study chimpanzees in their natural habitat. Jane discovered chimpanzees have rituals, use tools, have their own language and they aren’t vegetarian.
8. Kate Sheppard – Suffragette
Was a suffragette. She and her friends petitioned the New Zealand parliament, presenting the longest petition ever received. New Zealand was the first country in the world where women got the right to vote.
9. Lella Lombardi – Formula One Racer
At 18 Lella bought her first racing car with her savings and started to race professionally. She became a Formula One driver, though her first effort was a flop. But that didn’t stop her, she became the first woman to score points in a Formula One race.
10. Malala Yousafzai – Activist
Formerly from the Swat Valley in Pakistan. Malala was gunned down, aged 10, by the Taliban for being a girl who loved school. She refused to be silenced by the bullets. She has since founded the Malala Fund, co-wrote the international bestseller I Am Malala, received the Nobel Peace Prize and achieved a place at Oxford University to study Philosophy, Politics and Economics.
11. Maria Sibylla Merian – Naturalist
Artist turned naturalist, Maria Sibylla Merian, sailed to South America where she studied insects in the forests of Suriname. It was Maria who discovered butterflies and moths that came from caterpillars through a process called metamorphosis.
12. Maya Gabeira – Surfer
Maya was a little girl who loved the sea and loved to surf. She started travelling the world in search of the biggest waves. Even after being caught by a giant wave, breaking bones and almost drowning, Maya still loves to surf.
13. Millo Castro Zaldarriaga – Drummer
Only boys were allowed to play drums in Cuba. And that wasn’t fair. Millo loved drums and she wanted to play. Persuading her father to take her to music classes where they discovered Millos natural drumming talent. Millo and her sister Cuchito, formed Anacaona, Cuba’s first all-girl dance band.
14. Rosa Parks – Activist
During the time of segregation in America. Hard though it is to believe, black and white people could not mix. Rosa was sitting at the back of the bus, where the black people had to sit. She refused to give up a seat for a white person to sit down. She spent the night in jail. But this simple act of defiance spawned a bus boycott lasting 381 days and eventually ending bus segregation in America.
15. Yusra Mardini – Swimmer
Yusra is a Syrian refugee and talented swimmer. Before fleeing Syria with her sister, Yusra trained with her father every day. She was on her way to Europe, crammed into an overcrowded dinghy when the motor broke. She, her sister and two other people who could swim, jumped into the sea and pushed the boat for three hours till they reached land in Lesbos. Yusra now lives in Germany and she swam in the first refugee team in the 2016 Olympics.
And now there’s a volume 2 of Good Night Stories For Rebel Girls
And Good Night Stories For Rebel Girls has been such a hit, there’s now another 100 amazing stories of amazingly fantastic women and girls. How brilliant is that!
Photo credit: Anne Heathen courtesy of Flickr
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