Three chapter books I recently enjoyed are on different reading levels and take place at different times, but have one thing in common: a strong girl character with dreams, ambition and determination.

A future veterinarian: Who Gives a Hoot? by Jacqueline Kelly

It’s 1901 and Calpurnia Tate is fascinated by the flora and fauna surrounding her. She is also an animal doctor in training. In this story, she saves a drowning owl and nurses her back to health. This beginning chapter book introduces science and nature terminology while featuring a brave and spirited girl. Best for 2-4 graders. Other titles in the series: Calpurnia Tate, Girl Vet

A future engineer: Ellie, Engineer by Jackson Pearce

Third grader Ellie Bell wants to run an engineering company with her best friend Kit. She invents and constructs amazing creations in her backyard, and wonders the neighborhood looking for things to fix. Kit’s birthday is coming up and she wants to make something special. Not only does she need to keep a secret from Kit, but she needs help from the neighborhood kids and they don’t all get along. This book shows that “boy stuff” like building things is not just for boys and “girl stuff” like tea parties is not just for girls. Best for 2-4 graders.

A future doctor: Auma’s Long Run by Eucabeth Odhiumbo

It’s 1980 and 13 year old Auma is a track runner with big dreams. She wants to be a doctor to help her Kenyan village since too many people are dying of a mysterious disease, and faces some tough decisions. Will her parents survive the epidemic? This chapter book touches upon a tough topic- the AIDS breakout in Kenya and the hardship of survivors. Best for 5th graders and up.