10 Imaginative YA Novels Featuring Heroines With Magical Gifts
Many teenagers feel powerless as they crave more and more adult responsibilities that are just out of their reach. On top of this, young women have to deal with all of the issues of sexism as they start to enter the workforce for the first time. The wonderful fantasy novels listed here can provide a much-needed escape for teens and allow them to live vicariously through heroines who can use their magical powers to defeat any obstacles that stand in their way. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.
Young Adult Fantasies With Female Protagonists: Our 10 Picks
Fun Activities For Fantasy Fans
- Host a magical movie night
- Enter a Magic: The Gathering tournament
- Play a fantasy video game with friends
- Use a Ouija board to contact the spirits
- Create a cosplay of your favorite character
- Have a board game night
- Podcast about your favorite show, movie, or book
- Host a Dungeons and Dragons campaign
8 Great Fantasy Films With Female Protagonists
- A Wrinkle in Time (2018)
- Matilda (1996)
- Practical Magic (1998)
- Maleficent (2014)
- Howl's Moving Castle (2004)
- Labyrinth (1986)
- Ghostbusters (2016)
- Coraline (2009)
Why Fantasy Matters
Most teenagers just want to fit in, but for girls born with extraordinary abilities, "normal" isn't an option. When their lives are threatened by bizarre creatures, top-secret government operatives, or terrifying wizards, they're forced to grow up and become heroes or risk losing everything. If you've ever wanted to see fantastic worlds through the eyes of super-powered heroines, check out these ten young adult novels, listed here in no particular order.
At #1 is "P.O.W.ER" by Lisa A. Kramer. The totalitarian government of the New North keeps men in power by limiting women's access to education. Despite this, Andra BetScrivener has known how to read and write since she was a child. Fearing punishment, she keeps these talents a secret, but when she turns seventeen she discovers that what she writes can be made real. Soon, she becomes the target of different groups, from rebels planning to overthrow the government, to the oppressive regime itself. To survive, Andra must choose between submitting to the will of others and empowering herself.
For #2 we have "Fire and Ice: The Elementals" by Erin Forbes. Twin sisters Alice and Emery possess unique gifts: the courageous Alice can control fire while Emery, more reserved than her sister, can manipulate ice. Shortly before turning sixteen, the two are sent to the mystical realm of Aisling to attend the Academy for Gifted Youth. There, they learn how to use their magic abilities alongside other students. But a curse has been slowly destroying Aisling, and Alice and Emery must find the other two elementals in order to save the realm from oblivion.
Twin sisters Alice and Emery possess unique gifts: the courageous Alice can control fire while Emery, more reserved than her sister, can manipulate ice.
At #3 is "The Calling" by Louise G. White. Carolyn's life is forever changed when her brother and mother are pulled through a portal into a demon-ridden world. In order to rescue her family, Carolyn becomes a Destroyer, someone who can access gateways to different worlds and fight demons. But not all threats are otherworldly, and soon she is pursued by a shadowy government group looking to experiment with her powers. Carolyn must outwit her hunters while risking her life saving other humans from the same dark forces that kidnapped her family.
Coming in at #4 is "Theonite: Planet Adyn" by M.L. Wang. Thirteen-year-old Joan Messi has spent her whole life hiding her supernatural talents from the rest of the world, believing that she is completely unique. Her mundane life in the suburbs is thrown into chaos when new neighbors display abilities just like hers. As these strangers travel between parallel dimensions in search of a wanted criminal, Joan is determined to learn about their origins in hopes of understanding her own.
For #5 we've chosen "Dreamfire" by Kit Alloway. Instead of living a care-free life, Joshlyn Weaver is duty-bound to enter peoples' dreams and end their nightmares before they can become real. Her family members, known as dream walkers, have had this job for ages. But now, old rivalries are reawakened and causing chaos, morphing dreams into nightmares and threatening stability. Joshlyn sets out to find the one true dream walker to end the madness, but she may be too late.
Her family members, known as dream walkers, have had this job for ages.
At #6 we have "Looking for Dei" by David A. Wilson. The village of Dimmitt is home to many secrets, including Nara Dall: she's lived with magical skills all of her life. Her adoptive father refuses to explain them, leaving her isolated. In Dimmitt, those with gifts could be deemed blessed or cursed by the church, and every year a ceremony is held to expose them and determine their fate. Even though she's been instructed to keep her abilities hidden, Nara feels compelled to break the rules in order to save a friend. Now her family is persecuted as her brash actions slowly unravel the mystery of her birth.
#7 is "Borrowed Magic" by Shari Lambert. Following years of war, the dark mage Kern has finally been slain. But one victim is still haunted by his memory. Maren was nearly killed by Kern and now, after his death, she has visions showing her that everything she knows could be a lie, and that the real villain is still at large. As she struggles to convince others about the existence of this looming threat, a sinister plot unfolds within the kingdom that could bring everything crashing down.
Coming in at #8 is "Not Even Bones" by Rebecca Schaeffer. In a world that detests supernatural beings, Nita and her mother have established an illicit business: Nita dissects the bodies of strange creatures and her mother sells their parts on the black market. Nita, who can change her biology at will, is only in it for the science, so when her mother comes home with a specimen that is still alive, she refuses to dissect it. This decision leads to her being sold instead. Faced with the horrors she and her mother helped make, Nita has to escape at any cost.
Faced with the horrors she and her mother helped make, Nita has to escape at any cost.
For #9 we have "It's All Fun And Games" by Dave Barrett. Allison isn't much for nerdy hobbies, but when her friend TJ invites her to join his group for a live-action role-playing session, she says yes. It starts out with the usual shoddy costumes and fake weapons, but somewhere during the fantasy, things suddenly become real: the monsters exist, weapons leave wounds, and Allison has healing magic. Trapped in a fictional world she doesn't understand, Allison will have to stay alive and finish her character's quest if she ever wants to return home.
Finally, at #10, is "The Wanderers" by Kate Ormand. Flo has spent her life living in a circus alongside other shape-shifting orphans. When she turns sixteen, she must take her role in the circus's main attraction. While practicing her trick, she's spotted transforming by an outsider. Shape-shifters try to remain a secret, and need to hide from an organization that seeks out and captures them for experimentation. The circus falls under attack and Flo must lead the others in her act to safety, but in doing so she discovers the secrets surrounding their old home.