Book Review: ‘Adventure Stories for Daring Girls’ by Samantha Newman

50688778._SX318_“A beautifully illustrated and inspiring collection of 15 classic children’s stories. These narratives from around the world showcase strong, charismatic, independent heroines who know their own minds, and make their own decisions.
Meet Dorothy Gale, who freed faraway Oz from a terrible tyrant; Hua Mulan, who became a mighty warrior, legendary throughout ancient China; clever and powerful goddess Athena of Greek myth, who went toe-to-toe with Poseidon; and many more. These heroines certainly aren’t reduced to waiting at home while boys have adventures … they strike out on their own with self-confidence, imagination, wit, and courage. They live without restraint or narrowly defined roles.” (Amazon)

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for my e-copy of this book. 

Review of Adventure Stories for Daring Girls by Samantha Newman,
illustrated by Khoa Le

My rating: 4.5/5

Adventure Stories for Daring Girls was like a breath of fresh air, and I wish a younger me could have read it growing up.

Samantha Newman’s Adventure Stories for Daring Girls is a lovely collection of children’s tales bringing together 15 stories from around the world; among others stories from Russia, Denmark, Greece and New Zealand appear in the book. Filled with so many gorgeous illustrations by Khoa Le, Adventure Stories for Daring Girls is one of those books I wished I had a physical copy. The illustrations have been definitely a bonus aspect of this wonderful collection of inspiring stories with adventurous heroines.

Perhaps one of the most important messages from Adventure Stories for Daring Girls appears already in the introduction. “Being brave doesn’t mean you never get afraid. It means that you can carry on ten when you are afraid!”, the reader learns and is invited to meet all the inspiring and courageous girls featuring the collection. But friendship and love are also highlighted in all of those tales.

I really loved how the book incorporated so many stories from around the world. Growing up in Poland, and then living in the UK as well as being a quite well-read person, I have known a majority of the stories included in Adventure Stories for Daring Girls, but I still discovered a few new ones, like Heidi’s New Adventures and Chimidyue and the Butterfly.

While the stories in the book are aimed at the younger audience, children aged 7-11, I do believe that anyone can find something new and important in Adventure Stories for Daring Girls. The stories are quite short, considering the target audience, but I really loved the fact that each story was accompanied by the title from each it was adapted and the country of origin. Not only it highlighted the diversity of stories featured in Adventure Stories for Daring Girls, but it also allows a reader to explore the tale they really enjoyed in detail if they choose to.

While a diverse in origins and characters, I wish that Adventure Stories for Daring Stories have been more inclusive of different relationships with tales in the book featuring mostly heteronormative relationship where the love story was presented. Unfortunately, classic children’s stories luck diversity in this aspect.

But overall, I have enjoyed Samantha Newman’s collection and I would recommend it to both children and adults alike. Everyone needs a little courage and adventure, especially in the current climate!

Who is the book for: Anyone looking to revisit the stories they read in childhood (and to find new tales!) and their children. You can get your copy here.

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