Clever and courageous girls

I just bought two of my friends—both girls, one in the second grade and the other in the fourth grade—a copy of Bruce Lansky’s book The Royal Joust, 10 Inspiring Stories about Clever and Courageous Girls from around the World.

In the introduction to the book, Lansky writes, “If you’re curious about why I decided to collect and write stories about clever, courageous girls, I can rattle off five good reasons: “Cinderella,” “Snow White,” “Sleeping Beauty,” “Rapunzel” and “The Princess and the Pea.”

If that doesn’t explain his motivation, Lansky makes it clear. “Cinderella can’t figure out how to get to the ball without magical help from her fairy godmother,” he writes. “And she can’t get back home without losing one of her shoes. A handsome prince returns the shoe and marries her. They live happily ever after.”

In his book, “heroes succeed because they are clever, courageous and kind,” he continues. “They don’t rely on their beauty. They don’t rely on magic. They don’t resort to violence.”

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