Book review: Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls | Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo

Once upon a time, a mother read her small daughter the age-old tale of Sleeping Beauty, only to notice for the first time—an unconscious sixteen year old girl gets kissed by a male stranger. And this kiss, to which she did not consent (because: unconscious), saves her life.

The mother stopped reading, closed the book, and picked up Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls—and never looked back again.

Dissatisfied with the dreary tales usually relegated to girls, authors Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo went on the hunt and (easily) uncovered one hundred stories of some of the most badass girls and women in history, from ancient Egypt to present time.

Each lady is gifted with a full colour illustration and a brief tale of her adventures, trials, and triumphs, written in the same vein as a fairy tale. But they’re not fairy tales. These girls are real. And their stories are amazing.

From Ada Lovelace, the mathematician and first computer programmer, to Ann Makosinski, a teenage electrical inventor, to Fadumo Dayib, a Somalian politician, to Amna Al Haddad, an iconic young Muslim weightlifter, to Coy Mathis, a determined elementary school transgender girl, the stories will astound, make you laugh, and delight. It’s utterly uplifting, and rightfully so.

The book contains the most enchanting illustrations of our rebel girls. Kids will love flicking through the bright, stylised pages.

Each lady gives a quote. In the words of Nigerian activist Balkissa Chaibou, who as a teenager took her uncle to court and won the right to not be forced into marriage and instead go to school: “I will show them what I can do with my life.”

This book is the perfect gift for the women and girls in your life—and the men and boys. Except you’ll want to keep it for yourself.

Hot tip: buy all the copies you can.

Be first to comment