Fearless Girls, Wise Women, and Beloved Sisters fell off the shelves of the Mythology/Folklore section and into my hands - literally. I was straightening the shelves and voila! A collection of fairy tales and folk tales from nearly every culture on Earth only this collection focuses exclusively on female protagonists who take an active role in the outcome of the story.
These are all great stories, from "The Stolen Bairn and the Sidh" (Scotland) to "The Innkeeper's Wise Daughter" (Jewish-American), "Hiiaka and the Seacoast Kupuas" (Hawaii) to "The Sign of the Tassel" (Iraq), showing women and girls who use their intelligence and courage to resolve impossible situations. It is quite a change from a passive heroine like Sleeping Beauty or Snow White where the princess is saved by a twist of fate (and a handome prince). I really enjoyed reading these stories, particularly those of African orgin because at times the written story seemed transcribed from an oral recitation and implied a rhythm to the words of the story. I only wish I had read the beginning of the collection more slowly - I initially started reading the book like I would a novel, moving from story to story, and that turned out to be a problem because the stories quickly became repetitive; all deal with very similar subjects and reading 25 or so in a row is pretty boring. This book worked much better reading two or three stories a night. I enjoyed the stories more and was able to focus more on each one rather than think about how similar it was to the last four or five tales.