This is not your school's summer reading list

About Our Team

Meg Medina is an award-winning Cuban American author who writes picture books, middle grade, and YA fiction. She lives in Richmond, Va.

Meg Medina (founder) is a Cuban-American writer who works in picture books, middle grade, and YA. She is the winner of the 2014 Pura Belpré prize in fiction, the 2013 CYBILS award winner in fiction, and the winner of the 2012 Ezra Jack Keats New Writers Award. Her books are Burn Baby Burn (Candlewick Press 2016) a National Book Award Longlist and a Kirkus Prize finalist; Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass (Candlewick Press, 2013), which earned numerous awards and distinctions including being named to Top Ten YALSA Quick Pick, Best Fiction for Young Adults 2013, and Las Américas Highly Commended List; The Girl Who Could Silence the Wind (Candlewick Press, 2012), a Bank Street Best Books of 2012 and finalist in the International Latino Book Awards 2014 ; Tia Isa Wants a Car (Candlewick Press 2011), a Junior Library Selection that was included on numerous lists, including Amelia Bloomer, ALSC Notable Books 2012, and Charlotte Zolotow Highly Commended Books; and Milagros, Girl from Away (Christy Ottaviano Books: Henry Holt BYR, 2009), which is available in e-book format on Amazon. You can read more about Meg’s books here. 

Meg loves to write about strong girls in tough circumstances. She lives in Richmond, Virginia, with her family.  Connect with Meg on Twitter, Facebook, or at www.megmedina.com

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Gigi Amateau’s (founder) first book for young adults, Claiming Georgia Tate, was published by Candlewick Press in 2005. That title was selected as a New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age and hailed by author Judy Blume: “It’s rare and exciting to discover a talented new writer like Gigi Amateau.” The Wall Street Journal called the book “an ambitious push into the young adult market.”

Gigi is also the author of A Certain Strain of Peculiar, a Bank Street College Best Children’s Book of the Year; Chancey of the Maury River, A William Allen White Masters list title for grades 3-5; and Come August, Come Freedom, her first work of historical fiction, which was selected by Bank Street College as a Best Children’s Book of the Year, chosen by the Virginia Library Association as a Jefferson Cup Honor book, and won the Library of Virginia’s People’s Choice Award for Fiction. In 2012, Gigi received a Theresa Pollak Prize for Excellence in the Arts from Richmond Magazine.

Gigi likes to write about inter-generational relationships and girls who find solace, strength, and inspiration from their faith and in the natural world. A Mississippi native, she grew up in Mechanicsville, Virginia and lives in Richmond with her family. Connect with Gigi on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or at www.gigiamateau.com

Claiming Georgia Tate

Chancey of the Maury RiverA Certain Strain of Peculiar

Come August, Come FreedomMacadootwoforjoyhires

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stacyhawkinsadamsheadshotStacy Hawkins Adams is an award-winning author and journalist. She has penned 10 books – nine fiction titles and one nonfiction spiritual devotional book. Her women’s fiction novels feature themes related to issues most women grapple with – personal growth, self-esteem, faith, forgiveness, friendships and family. Her latest book, Finding Home, was released in March 2016. It is the third novel in her Winds of Change series, but is a stand-alone title that does not have to be read in order. Other recent titles include Lead Me Home (recipient of a Publisher’s Weekly starred review); Coming Home (a 2012 Target stores Recommended Read); and The Someday List, an Essence magazine bestseller. Her sole nonfiction book, Who Speaks To Your Heart? gives women practical tips and inspiration on how to connect more deeply with God.

Before becoming an author, Stacy was a newspaper reporter for 14 years, primarily at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia. She went on to build a freelance writing career through which she penned articles for national publications such as AARP’s Bulletin, Heart & Soul magazine and Crosswalk.com. She also served as a writing, marketing and community engagement strategist for nonprofits, using her skills to help family, youth-centric and literacy organizations better tell their stories.

Stacy is currently a marketing and communications professional for an independent school and writes an award-winning freelance parenting column for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. She also provides guidance to aspiring authors through her Focused Writers Membership Community, and by occasionally leading writing workshops and teaching at writers conferences in Richmond and around the nation.

Stacy holds a graduate degree in women’s leadership studies, and often shares messages with corporate, civic and faith-based organizations related to empowerment and leadership, personal growth, and the power of storytelling. She devotes considerable volunteer time to advocating for women and children, leading to recognition in recent years as a YWCA of Richmond “Outstanding Woman of the Year” and a Style Weekly magazine Top 40 honoree. Stacy is a member of the 2015 class of Leadership Metro Richmond and is well-versed in diversity and inclusion issues as a result of that experience and her communications work.

Stacy lives with her family in suburban Richmond, Virginia.

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amanda_headshot-cropped-300x294Amanda Nelson is Managing Editor, Book Riot, a popular blog covering book-related news, reviews, commentary, advice and information along with the latest in book-reading technology. With worldwide reach, it is dedicated to the idea that writing about books and reading should be just as diverse as books and readers are. Amanda digests books and food with equal enthusiasm. When she’s not inhaling a book (or writing about it), she’s off having a Narnia-sized adventure somewhere with her husband and twin boys. Her dream is to be Jean-Luc Picard and/or Doctor-Donna when she grows up, but Ron Swanson’ll do in a pinch.

Her tweets can be found @ImAmandaNelson.

 

 

 

 

 

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aisha-saeed-headshotAisha Saeed is an author, mama, lawyer, educator, and maker and drinker of chai as well as a founding member of the nonprofit We Need Diverse Books™. She is also the author of WRITTEN IN THE STARS, Penguin/Nancy Paulsen Books [2015] which was listed as a best book of 2015 by Bank Street Books, a 2016 YALSA Quick Pick For Reluctant Readers, and was named one of the top ten books all Young Georgians Should Read 2016.

Her next novel is the forthcoming middle grade novel THIS PROMISE I WILL KEEP to be published in 2017 with Penguin/Nancy Paulsen Books.

Aisha Saeed is also a contributing author to the anthologies Love Inshallah (Soft Skull Press, 2012) and Faithfully Feminist (White Cloud Press, 2015).

When Aisha isn’t writing or chasing her two little boys, you can find her reading, baking, doodling henna patterns, or daydreaming about eight consecutive hours of sleep. Aisha is represented by Taylor Martindale at Full Circle Literary Agency.

You can connect with Aisha at her website, or follow along on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or Tumblr.

 

 

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maya-smart-headshot-2016Maya Smart is a book lover and reviewer. She splits her time between speed reading and slow writing, usually about dynamic women across the country who lift as they climb. She blogs extensively about books, community projects that inspire, and women’s issues. Her specialty is delivering life-changing reads to world-changing women. Maya holds a Master of Science in Journalism from Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Arts in Social Studies, Harvard University. She is also currently the first lady of University of Texas basketball. She resides in Austin, Texas, with her family. Follow Maya at mayasmart.com.

21 responses

  1. Mary Hall

    This site is amazing. Beautiful to look at and informative. Really makes one want to read every book. Wish there was a site like this for adult books. This is an unbias remark from GiGi’s aunt.

    July 1, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    • Hi Mary! An unbiased comment from your niece: YOU are beautiful and amazing and I love you.

      July 13, 2011 at 2:53 pm

  2. Thanks so much for creating this space…as a mother I sometimes struggle to find books with strong female characters for my girls. I have already requested the two you have listed for younger children from the library and hopefully you’ll have more to add soon!

    July 13, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    • Hi Brittany! Thank YOU for stopping by and commenting. We enjoyed making this site together so much! Let us know which books you like and if you have any others to suggest.

      July 13, 2011 at 2:52 pm

  3. Agree — I knew I’d like this site when I saw one of my favorite authors – Edwidge Danticut — included (check out her short story in Haiti Noir — she also edited), which is a captivating story of a young Haitian girl and her widowed father (fairy tale overtones in my opinions make it even more heart-breaking). However, I am going to be bold and suggest my new young adult novel to you — LIE — about the immediate aftermath of a hate crime against two Hispanic brothers. LIE is told in 10 distinct voices — a story of race – hate – and even love. Set on Long Island, inspired by true events, I hope you will consider highlighting LIE. More at http://www.carolinebock.com

    May 30, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    • Thanks for visiting Girls of Summer, Caroline. Congrats on your new novel!

      May 30, 2012 at 7:23 pm

  4. A Facebook friend just directed me here. Phenomenal site, and many of my own personal favorites. Very inspirational. Thank you.

    June 19, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    • Hi Beth! Thank you so much for checking us out. We have a great time all year long reading strong-girl books and getting ready to share them. I think there was an error in your blog address, so I’m reposting the url here http://beth-kephart.blogspot.com/, as you also have a phenomenal site! Happy summer reading!

      June 19, 2012 at 3:29 pm

  5. Robin

    I came to this site after reading a number of the Girls of Summer choices for 2012. The books were great, some funny, some sad, some thrilling–and overall just a great mix of wonderful titles. I also found this site to be incredibly helpful, especially in the author interviews. I love when I get to discover what the creators of the novels I devoir really meant when writing, and it helps me with my own writing endeavors. Thanks for a wonderful site and a summer FULL OF BOOKS!

    July 6, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    • Robin!! Oh, thank you so much for your positive feedback. Meg and I have such a great time all year working on this site together. If you have any books with strong girls that you really love, please share. Good luck with your writing, too!

      July 6, 2012 at 8:48 pm

  6. Kamilah

    So excited to share this list with my daughters. Just wondering if you have a link for a printable list?

    June 12, 2013 at 4:51 pm

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