6 Female Authors Who’ve Inspired Me Since I Was Young


woman reading book outdoors, perhaps a favorite female author

I’ve loved reading and writing all my life. I credit my elementary years at Lone Tree Elementary School for encouraging us students to read through an annual school contest. Writing soon followed. I thrived in my English and grammar classes. Book reports were fun for me because I challenged myself to read more mature books like Bram Stoker’s Dracula or Ten Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. While I primarily read cookbooks and children’s books now, I still get giddy when I walk into a library or a bookstore. As convenient as e-readers are, there’s nothing quite like the smell of a book or the feel of flipping through pages.

Reading and writing continue to captivate and inspire me. In honor of Children’s Book Day, I want to honor some of my favorite female writers, many of whom of children’s book writers.

Beverly Cleary was one of the main female authors of my adolescence. She authored books about growing up and coming of age. My favorites were about a little girl named “Ramona,” books like Ramona the Pest and Ramona and Beezus. The tales about Ramona and her sister growing up together resonated with me because of my relationships with my two younger sisters. 

Ann M. Martin is another author from my adolescence whose books I loved. She wrote The Babysitters’ Club Series. Sweet Valley High and Nancy Drew did not draw me in; The Babysitters’ Club Series did. I loved that the club featured girls from all backgrounds and that each book centered around one club member. I spent all my allowance on buying new books.

Letitia Baldridge authored my favorite book on manners and social etiquette, Complete Guide to New Manners, which I referenced a few years ago in my teaching toddlers manners post. No matter how old we are, communication skills are essential life skills. I am particularly fond of the chapter on writing proper thank-you cards. She is the reason I collect monogrammed stationery for my own thank-you cards.  

Sandra Boynton is the author of such children’s books as The Going to Bed Book, Opposites, and Oh My Oh My Oh Dinosaurs!. We started reading her books to my daughter, Ilse, when she was a baby, and she still loves them. We have about a dozen of her books. I love how Sandra teaches children complex ideas through her illustrations and rhymes. I gift her books to new parents. Best of all, her books grow with the children; they are great for first readers.

Frances Mayes authored the first book I read that combined the love of travel and food into a novel, Under the Tuscan Sun. Frances Mayes was an English professor at San Francisco State University who decided to buy a house in Tuscany and wrote about it. The book reminded me that food is part of the travel experience, that wherever I would travel, it was important to eat as the locals did. It’s one of many ideas I hold dear in life.

Eva Chen is the former editor-in-chief of Lucky magazine, a fashionista, and now the author of two children’s books highlighting powerful females: Juno Valentine and the Magical Shoes and A is for Awesome! 23 Iconic Women Who Changed the World. Eva writes. Eva insta-influences, and does it all with two kids under ten. As Beyonce sang, “ Who runs the world”? Girls!” I’ve been a fan-girl of her editorials since I was an active subscriber of the now-defunct magazine.

The list would continue if I included my cookbooks. Some amazing women cook fabulous food, but I will save that for another post. Thank you, ladies, for inspiring my writing and taking me on adventures through your works. As Sandra Boynton once said, “Books can take you places.”



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