Girl Power Fairytales

For those fed up with Disney Princess culture, these provide an alternative, written and collected by amazing feminists to tell the stories they want their children to hear. These are fairytales specifically–for girl power books more like Harry Potter, check out the heroine’s journey booklist. Also check out the list of nonwhite fairytale princesses.

 Picture Books

The Paper Bag Princess Robert N. Munsch

Not All Princesses Dress in Pink Jane Yolen
The Princess Knight Cornelia Funke
Princess Pigsty by Cornelia Funke

Princess Smartypants Babette Cole
The Secret Lives of Princesses Philippe Lechermeier
Do Princesses Wear Hiking Boots? Carmela LaVigna Coyle 
Princess Hyacinth (The Surprising Tale of a Girl Who Floated)
 Florence Parry Heide
Sleeping Ugly Jane Yolen

Princess Grace by Mary Hoffman

Grace for President by Kelly DiPucchio

Ladybug Girl Dresses Up! by Jacky Davis

Sadie: The Paper Crown Princess

Petronella by Jay Williams

Dangerously Ever After


Don’t Kiss the Frog! Princess Stories with Attitude Fiona Waters

Feminist Fairy Tales Barbara G. Walker

Rapunzel’s Revenge: Fairy Tales for Feminists Shannon Hale

Politically Correct Bedtime Stories: Modern Tales for Our Life and Times James Finn Garner

Once Upon a More Enchanted Time James Finn Garner
Cloaked in Red and The Rumpelstiltskin Problem Vivian Vande Velde,

Barchers, Suzanne I. Wise Women: Folk and Fairy Tales from Around the World.  Libraries Unlimited, Colorado, 1990.

Chinen, Allan B. Waking the World : Classic Tales of Women and the Heroic Feminine. New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher, 1996.

Estes, Clarissa Pinkola. The Dangerous Old Woman: Myths and Stories of the Wise Old Woman Archetype. New York: Random House Large Print, 1996.

King, Coretta Scott. Her Stories: African American Folktales, Fairy Tales, and True Tales.

Lambert, Johanna,  Ed.  Wise Women of the Dreamtime: Aboriginal Tales of the Ancestral Powers. Collected by K. Langloh Parker. Inner Traditions International: Rochester, Vermont, 1993.

Lipman,Doug. Folktales of Strong Women

Lurie, Alison. Clever Gretchen.

Monaghan, Patricia. The Book of Goddesses and Heroines

Phelps, Ethel Johnston.  Tatterhood and Other Tales: Stories of Magic and Adventure

Phelps, Ethel Johnston.  The Maid of the North: Feminist Folk Tales from Around the World.

Rush, Barbara.  The Book of Jewish Women’s Tales.

Ragan, Kathleen.  Fearless Girls, Wise Women, and Beloved Sisters.

San Souci, Robert D. Cut from the Same Cloth: American Women of Myth, Legend and Tall Tale

Yolen, Jane. Not One Damsel in Distress: World Folktales for Strong Girls
Katrin Tchana and Trina Schart Hyman The Serpent Slayer and Other Stories of Strong Women

Girls To The Rescue 1: Folk Tales From Around The World by Bruce Lansky

Online  a wonderful directory of bibliographies, links, and criticism.

Women in Mythology, Religion, and Herstory  goddess legends

New Fairy Tales by Rosemary Lake with a feminist spin

Tale types

The Huntress (girl outperforms her brothers)

Tam Lin (girl rescues lover or famiy member from fairyland)

Cupid and Psyche

Beauty and the Beast

AT425 The Search for the Lost Husband

Tatterhood/Kate Crackernuts (the wild sister and the pretty sister)

H506.12, H551.0.1 through H561.1.2 and H582.1.1, and J1545 through J1547.

Other tales to search for

Amazon tales from Kodiak Island

Kids’ Novels
Breadcrumbs Anne Ursu (Snow Queen)
Goose Chase Patrice Kindl (Goose Girl)
Into The Wild Sarah Beth Durst (various)

The Ordinary Princess MM Kaye (various)

Toads and Diamonds Heather Tomlinson

East (East of the Sun, West of the Moon) Edith Pattou

The Swan Kingdom by Zoë Marriott

Entwined (Twelve Dancing Princesses) Heather Dixon
Ella Enchanted (Cinderella) Gail Carson Levine

Coraline Neil Gaimen

The Last Dragon Jane Yolen

Patricia Wrede

The Enchanted Forest Chronicles

Michael Buckley and Peter Ferguson

The Sisters Grimm series

Robin McKinley

Beauty (Beauty and the Beast)

Rose Daughter (Beauty and the Beast)

Dawn Lairamore

Ivy’s Ever After

Ivy and the Meanstalk

Terry Pratchett
The Wee Free Men

A Hat Full of Sky


I Shall Wear Midnight

Peter S. Beagle

The Last Unicorn

Catherynne M. Valente and Ana Juan .

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making
The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There

Juliet Marillier

Wildwood Dancing and Cybele’s Secret

Robin McKinley

The Hero and the Crown and The Blue Sword

Novels For Teens

Terry Pratchett

Wyrd Sisters (Hamlet/Macbeth)

Witches Abroad (Cinderella and others)

Lords and Ladies (Fairy Rescue)

Jim C. Hines

The Stepsister Scheme (Cinderella)

The Mermaid’s Madness (Little Mermaid)

Red Hood’s Revenge

The Snow Queen’s Shadow

Malinda Lo


Ash (Cinderella)

Mercedes Lackey

The Black Swan (Swan Lake)


Elemental Masters series

The Fire Rose (Beauty and the Beast)

Gates of Sleep (Sleeping Beauty)

Phoenix and Ashes (Cinderella)

Reserved for the Cat (Puss in Boots)

The Serpent’s Shadow (Snow White)

Unnatural Issue (Tattercoats)

Home from the Sea (Selkie)

500 Kingdoms series

The Fairy Godmother (Mixed)

Fortune’s Fool (Little Mermaid, Basilisk)

One Good Knight (St. George, Perseus)

The Snow Queen

The Sleeping Beauty

Beauty and the Werewolf

A Tangled Web (Persephone)

Julliet Marillier (all this author’s books are heavier with fairytale tropes than most fantasy)

Daughter of the Forest (Wild Swans)

Heir to Sevenwaters (Fairy Rescue)

Seer of Sevenwaters (Selkie)

Wolfskin (The Singing Bones)

Wildwood Dancing (Dancing Princesses/Frog Prince)

Heart’s Blood (Beauty and the Beast)

Dennis L. McKiernan

Once Upon a Winter’s Night (East o’ the Sun)

Once Upon a Summer Day (Sleeping Beauty)

Once Upon an Autumn Eve (Fairy Rescue, Glass Mountain)

Once Upon a Spring Morn (Childe Roland and others)

Once Upon a Dreadful Time

Solstice Wood (Fairy Rescue) Patricia A. McKillip

Beauty Sherri S. Tepper (Sleeping Beauty and others)

Maureen McGowan

Cinderella: Ninja Warrior

Sleeping Beauty: Vampire Slayer

Marissa Meyer

Cinder: Book One in the Lunar Chronicles


Holly Black




Jane Yolen

    Sister Light, Sister Dark

    White Jenna

    The One-Armed Queen

Movies, Musicals, and Television (Ages Vary)



The Wizard of Oz

Return to Oz

The 10th Kingdom

Xena: Warrior Princess

Wicked the Musical

Into the Woods

The Last Unicorn

The Mists of Avalon

The Chronicles of Narnia

The Dark Crystal


Buffy the Vampire Slayer


Ever After

The Shrek Movies


Bernheimer, Kate. Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Women Writers Explore Their Favorite Fairy Tales (Editor)

Estés, Clarissa Pinkola, Women Who Run With the Wolves

Gould, Joan, Spinning Straw into Gold

Orenstein,Peggy. Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture

Tatar, Maria M., The Hard Facts of the Grimms’ Fairy Tales

Von Franz, Marie-Louise, The Feminine in Fairy Tales

—, Fairy Tales and the Art of Subversion

Warner, Maria, From the Beast to the Blonde