Not One Damsel in Distress: World Folktales for Strong Girls

by Jane Yolen

Hardcover, 2000



Call number

398.2 Yol

Call number

398.2 Yol

Local notes

398.2 Yol



HMH Books for Young Readers (2000), Edition: 1st, Hardcover, 128 pages


A collection of thirteen traditional tales from various parts of the world, with the main character of each being a fearless, strong, heroic, and resourceful woman.

Physical description

128 p.; 10.38 inches


0152020470 / 9780152020477



User reviews

LibraryThing member Cheryl_in_CC_NV
An important book, certainly. But at first I was thinking I wasn't going to be enjoying it much, but the stories started weaving their spell about me and I wound up liking it quite a bit. I love one HEA line - They pledged their love. And if they did not live happily every after, it was because they had many more adventures to come." Highly recommended to girls and women who have been told too often to be 'good' and not often enough to be 'brave.'

ETA: I see that the other reviews are inconsistent. One says that all the girls got married, another says that this is anti-men. Um, actually, read with any sort of care and with an open-mind, one sees that neither claim is true. The girls often get married, but only to their equals. And if you read other reviews, you don't know whether this is aimed at 4 yr-olds or 4th grade and up. I would say it's fine for families to share with ages 6 and up, and independent readers 8 and up. And, yes, even teens and grandparents (of both/all genders) can enjoy it."
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LibraryThing member linseymomof2
This book has fairytales from all over the world. In each fairy tale a girl is the hero and saves the day. I think that this book can empower girls and make them feel stronger and let them know that they can do anything if they put their minds to it.
LibraryThing member KENJOH
Finally! A fairytale book with strong women and deep content. In all fairness I do love the moral lessons often found in fairytales but at the sametime the plot is so predictable. Girl is happy, girl has hardship, girl is lost, handsome guy arrives, solves the problem, and they are wed within the week. Where is the depth? I enjoy this book because it's different. For starters the tales take place all over the world. They already give way for geography lessons and conversations about other cultures. On top of that the stories contain strong character development with varying plotlines. I love this book!… (more)
LibraryThing member ekbrumley
I would use this in conjunction with Ms. Yolen's book "Mightier than the Sword" which is a folktale book for boys. Character traits of the heroes/heroines featured would be my lesson focus, but as with all of Jane Yolen's books, there are a number of literary elements and features that I can draw in.
LibraryThing member theWallflower
Ah, here's some bread and butter -- folk tales and female protagonists. This isn't exactly "Rejected Princesses", but it's a nice change from all the fairy tale compilations I've read in the past (Grimm's Fairy Tales, The Book of Goodnight Stories) where, if the hero is a girl, her objective is to learn some kind of domestic skill (like Rumpelstiltskin) or how to stop being a b*tch (like The Frog Prince).

In this book, sometimes the female hero is just a substitute for a boy (there's a very Jack and the Beanstalk-like tale at the end), but several remind me of Mulan. There's marriages, there's fighting, there's monsters, as there are in most folk tales. Nothing new there.

Like any short story collection, it's a mixed bag, and it's hard to judge stories written nine hundred years ago. I don't know if there are better collections out there, but this seems like a good one to start with. It's a breath of fresh air from Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty, and if you liked Brave, this will accompany the coffee table nicely.
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LibraryThing member micsanchez
I read this one for the folktale genre, but couldn't share it as I left class early due to illness. The book presented good varieties of strong female role models in folktales. Stories are a little involved and long, and it would be best used as a single read-aloud one on one. Even then, I'm thinking that children 8-11 would most benefit from the stories.… (more)




(34 ratings; 4.1)
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