16 Bedtime Stories to Inspire Young Girls

For those who struggle to get to sleep at night, there’s nothing like a good story. Relaxing with your favorite book is a great way to unwind and slip off to sleep. The same is true for kids just as much as adults. That’s why for all lovers of books, we probably have at least one fond memory of being read to before bedtime. Because the books we read as children play such an important part in shaping our worldview, it’s important that children’s books contain positive lessons and morals.

This often means stories of kindness, bravery, and acceptance. While these are all necessary, there’s a story that is less frequently told, but is no less important. That is the story of the strong, independent woman. Girls are often read stories of princesses and damsels, but not scientists and mathematicians. They're told the importance of understanding and kindness, but not smarts and guts.

Thankfully there are authors who are making an effort to write empowering and diverse female characters into their children’s books. Sleep Advisor compiled a great list of inspiring books for young girls. There’s books on historical figures to show that women can and do make a difference. There’s also books on learning to celebrate yours and others individual differences. And, there’s even a few powerful princesses on their list.

Check it out below to find the perfect bedtime story for the young girl in your life


6 Ways To Support Writers Without Spending A Dime

Readers and writers have a symbiotic relationship; one can't exist without the other. The absolute best way to support the writers you love is to buy their books. But that's not feasible for everyone, all of the time. There are plenty of great ways to support the writers you love without breaking the bank.

Use your library. Yes, authors benefit from libraries, too. Libraries know what titles by which authors are circulating widely, and will often buy more copies if the hold list is deep. If your local library doesn't have an author you love, ask if you can make a purchase suggestion. Most libraries are happy to make acquisitions based on patron needs, and even if they don't have funds to buy a new copy, they may be part of a consortium that will find a copy for you, and deliver it to your local branch. This helps writers by showing a demand for their books. And I imagine we're all pretty familiar with the theory of supply and demand.

Put Our Books Face Out on the Shelves. Any shelves - library or bookstore. How many times have you been browsing a shelf and your eyes have skipped right over a spine? A lot, I'm guessing. If you see a book you love, put the cover art face out so that it can shine. Think of it as a book recommendation to a stranger.

Follow Us. Love or hate social media, it can be the coin of the realm. A big following doesn't equal success, but it is a small indication to the writer that they are doing something right, and somebody cares enough about their book to see what else they have to say. Sure, it's a bit of an ego stroke, but if we're having a bad writing day and log on to Twitter to see ten new followers... no lie, it helps.

Tell Us Our Impact. I occasionally get fan email that opens something like this: "I don't know if you even read your own emails, but..." Yes, I read my own emails. I'm not nearly a big enough deal to not read my own email. I also answer them, which sometimes surprises readers. I appreciate each one of those emails. The bad writing day I mentioned before? A few of those have been assuaged by a message telling me what one of my books has meant to the reader.

Tell Someone Else About Us. Word of mouth is still the most effective marketing there is, and money can't buy it. If you love a book, tell your friends. Tell your friend's cousin. Tell anyone you know who loves to read. Those little ripples can turn into waves that sustain an author's career. It doesn't mean that we're all going to be New York Times bestsellers, but it does mean that our backlist might stay in print a little while longer because a new reader just discovered an author that flew under their radar up until now.

Write reviews. Did you love one of my books, but not the next one? (If so, you're not alone in that). Either way, I want you to write a review. Reviews - good or bad - on shopping sites like B&N or Amazon show the site that people are reading the book... which means they are buying and interacting with it and it is therefore worthy of promotion. Amazon needs to see a minimum of 50 reviews on a book before it will begin suggesting it to readers in the "Customers Also Bought..." section.

Note: There is some debate among writers as to whether or not this is true, but Amazon is notoriously tight-lipped on their alogrithms. Regardless, think of your reaction when you see a book with 13 reviews versus one with 256... you automatically know that the latter is doing better.

All The Stories Have Been Told

I love being a media consumer. And man, do I consume.

This year I've read 72 books (so far). I binge watch Netflix, borrow DVD's from the library, and download really long audiobooks when I know I'm going to be traveling. And while I fully believe that reading, watching, and listening is only one step behind actually putting your fingers to the keys and writing, there is a downside.

And that downside is that I always know what's going to happen.

There's a theory that there are only seven basic plots. I've been told for years that all the stories are exhausted, we're just recasting them in a new mold. When I was younger I didn't believe that, but now I see that's only because I hadn't been exposed to many of the already-manufactured stories in existence. Now that my horizons have expanded I can see it's pretty much the case.

I know. I always know. My brain has devoured so many plot lines, characters, story arcs, and fake conversations that it's almost impossible for me to get the same enjoyment out of books, movies, and TV shows that I could when I was younger. I'm at the disgusting point where I can predict dialogue. Recently, the boyfriend and I went to the movies and there were three different points where I turned to him and said the next line of dialogue before it happened.

I'm really annoying to go to the movies with, by the way.

There are benefits though - I know what people expect when they're reading my stories, so I veer off somewhere else. An author who blurbed my debut novel, Not A Drop to Drink, told me that he decided to do so when he thought he knew where it was going and then... it didn't.

But people are onto me.

Basically, they expect me to either kill someone they really like, come up with something amazingly disgusting - or both. Like M. Night Shymalan, I've got to find a way to reinvent myself, because everyone is onto my tricks.

Maybe I'll write a romance.