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The Literacy Ledger Reflections, findings, stories and the lowdown

10 Inspiring Books for Day of the Girl Child

October 7, 2019 By

inspire us writing competition

All it takes is one story

It was 2013. We were in the slums of Kenya checking in on an e-reader project we’d launched at the Kibera Girls Soccer Academy. 

During our visit, we met a young girl named Dorice. Despite living in extremely difficult circumstances, Dorice had extraordinary optimism. She was determined to improve her life.

In the years since we met Dorice, she’s gone on to to do some incredible things. For starters, she’s just graduated from Kenyatta University, an achievement that most girls in Dorice’s situation will sadly never know. 

We recently asked Dorice which of the books on the e-readers she remembers most.

Here’s what she said: 

“There’s a book I read that really helped me. It was talking about a woman struggling with a ship. And she kept pushing on, while the men were giving up. As they continued with their journey, they made it because of the lady. So I thought: I know I’m a lady, and I know my family is not that well off. But I can do something. I can do something to change the whole situation.”

And she did. 

We’ve seen first hand that when a girl is inspired to dream bigger, it can profoundly change her life. Stories have the power to do just that. 

To celebrate the Day of the Girl Child, we’ve selected 10 books from our library that can inspire girls, like Dorice, across the world. Read these books on your mobile phone here.

Here’s a selection of 10 empowering stories for girls and women:

Book Title: Being Adobea Swatson
Author: Akua Serwaa Amankwah
About the book: A story about finding the courage to pursue your curiosity even when your career path has been decided and seems set in stone.

Book Title: Totems
Author: Udechukwu Promise
About the book: A fictional account of the life of a western (Yoruba) Nigerian woman.

Book Title: Awakening
Author: Chukwudumebi Onoh
About the book: The story of Nnamaka, a young Nigerian widow, who struggles to chart her course as a woman despite strong opposition from her family, society, and her own haunting childhood memories.

Book Title: An Unassuming Woman
Author: Onis Sampson
About the book: The story of Belema and her struggles in finding genuine love and fulfilment in her acting career. The story shows a woman who finds her voice and speaks up irrespective of the forces working against her.

Book Title: Whatever it Takes
Author: Ruby Goka
About the book: The story of Nayram Agbezudor, a girl who wants to stand as head prefect in an elite mixed secondary school, which has a history of only male head prefects.

Book Title: Cords
Author: Ifeoluwa Watson
About the book: Set in the fictional town of Fitama, Cords is the story of a young woman’s experience of surviving rape,, finding justice, and leaning on the strong bond of friendship, family and community.

Book Title: Holding Tight to a Dream
Author: George Shaw
About the book: The story of Araba, a girl who dreams of going to school and getting an education so that she can break away from her humdrum life.

Book Title: Madeline
Author: Chijindu Terence James-Ibe
About the book: The author tells the story of Madeline, the young woman employed by his mother to be their housekeeper who turned out to be so much more, the woman who saved his life.

Book Title: The Anonymous Letter
Author: Adaeze Ibechukwu
About the book: A story that depicts the challenges many female teenagers face in Nigeria.

Book Title: Lotus Flower
Author: Sandy Om’Iniabohs Iguede
About the book: An inspirational story about a rape victim and her struggle to piece herself back together after her ordeal.

These stories are part of our newest collection: The Inspire Us collection.

The collection was created as part of our Inspire Us project, which leverages mobile technology to bring empowering stories to girls and women across Ghana and West Africa.

Here’s what’s critical about this project: the stories reflect the true realities of the young women and girls who will read them – girls from the slums who can’t afford to go to school, girls who have survived rape, girls who are forced into marriage at a young age, girls who are trying to succeed in male dominated environments. 

These stories need to be told. So we organized a writing contest to identify talented Ghanaian and West African authors who could create these stories. 

inspire us worldreader

A group picture of the 10 talented finalists of the Inspire Us writing contest as well as some patrons of the project.

Read these books on your mobile phone at read.worldreader.org. 

The Inspire Us project is part of Worldreader’s larger efforts to promote gender equality. Learn about our four gender equality principles.