Fearless Girls, Wise Women & Beloved Sisters: Heroines in Folktales from Around the World

One hundred great folk tales and fairy tales from all over the world about strong, smart, brave heroines.

A definitive sourcebook of folktales and fairytales and the first of its kind to feature a variety of multicultural heroines. Dismayed by the predominance of male protagonists in her daughters’ books, Kathleen Ragan set out to collect the stories of our forgotten heroines. Gathered from around the world, from regions as diverse as sub-Saharan Africa and Western Europe, from North and South American Indian cultures and New World settlers, from Asia and the Middle East, these 100 folktales celebrate strong female heroines. Fearless Girls, Wise Women, and Beloved Sisters is for all women who are searching to define who they are, to redefine the world and shape their collective sensibility. It is for men who want to know more about what it means to be a woman. It is for our daughters and our sons, so that they can learn to value all kinds of courage, courage in battle and the courage of love. It is for all of us to help build a more just vision of woman. Fearless Girls, Wise Women, and Beloved Sisters breaks new ground by reexamining our notions about heroism. This book will appeal to parents who want to foster positive role models for their children. An invaluable resource of multicultural heroines for any school library.

Nanci Arvizu, Writing and Reviews Editor

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3 Comments

  1. Get this book into your library! What a feat–to have ferreted out these wonderfully rich stories from around the world! These tales, left in their own cultural idioms, invited me to transcend ages-old boundaries and to explore life in other lands and eras. The introduction, coming from a mother who was concerned about her daughters’ literary role models, didn’t fully prepare me for what I had in store, though: don’t go looking for a “book of virtues”-type anthology with clear object lessons or easy reading…

  2. This book is terrific – I highly recommend it! This book is terrific – the stories I read in “Fearless Girls, Wise Women & Beloved Sisters” has completely changed the way I view the portrayal of women in folktales. When I was a kid, many of the books I read had male protagonists, and early on I realized that in the stories and plays I was reading the males got all the good parts. They went off and did the courageous things while the female characters tittered, blushed and occassionally fainted in safety. The women in…

  3. highly useful and thoughtful collection This book is a much needed addition to the world of multicultural and feminist stories. Because the author has broadened her definition of heroine to include qualities traditionally attributed to women and subsequently denigrated by the society, the book succeeds in bringing us new definitions of what it means to be a successful human being. Honoring qualities like creating a “hearth” for a family, kindness, perseverance and cleverness rather than physical strength (though…

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