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Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls

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Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls
Cover page of Volume 1

AuthorElena Favilli, Francesca Cavallo
DisciplineChildren's non-fiction
No. of books5

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls is a series of two children's books, aimed at ages six and up. Both were funded through the crowdfunding website Kickstarter, and broke site records for fundraising for literature publication. The books each feature short stories about 100 real women who can be role models to children.

Writing and publication[edit]

Elena Favilli (left) and Francesca Cavallo (right), authors of the Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls series.

The first volume of Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls was written by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo, and it was published in 2016. The first and second volumes of Goodnight Stories were crowdfunded on Kickstarter, both breaking records on the website. The first volume was Kickstarter's "most funded children's book", raising over $675,000 (with an original goal of $40,000). The second volume was their "fastest-funded publishing project" ever.[1]

Each book in the series dedicates one page to the story of 100 women (all with illustrations by woman artists) who can be role models to children.[2] The women come from different backgrounds, eras, and are culturally diverse and have a wide variety of occupations.[3] Examples of entries include Mary Kom,[4] Malala Yousafzai, Alicia Alonso, Manal al-Sharif,[5] J. K. Rowling,[6] Irena Sendlerowa, and Lella Lombardi.[1]


Good Night Stories has sold over one million copies, and has been translated into more than 47 languages.[5] They have received praise for being an alternative to the stereotypical portrayal of girls and women in fiction (such as the Disney Princess), or books about heroes which primarily focus on male protagonists. It focuses on telling young girls that they can grow up to be whatever they wish, regardless of what other people think.[6]

The book series inspired a similar book series aimed at a male audience: Stories for Boys Who Dare to be Different by Ben Brooks, and Illustrated by Quinton Winter.[7][8] Ben Brooks and Quinton Winter also collaborated on a book aimed at a gender-neutral demographic, containing a mix of male and female role models, Stories for Kids Who Dare to be Different.[9]

In September 2019, the Turkish government’s board for the protection of minors from obscene publications ruled that book could only be sold to adults and must be concealed from view in shops, stating that "some of the writings in the book will a detrimental influence on the minds of those under the age of 18."[10]

The inclusion of Aung San Suu Kyi in the book has received criticism for her failure to condemn the ongoing Rohingya persecution in Myanmar.[11] Favilli and Cavallo have commented that they are considering (but have not committed to) removing her from future printings of the book.[12][13]

Tricia Lowther criticised the book's title for gender exclusivity, feeling it implies only girls should learn about the women in the book.[14]


  1. ^ a b Ruiz, Rebecca. "This book for 'rebel girls' just broke a Kickstarter record for the best reason". Mashable. Retrieved 28 December 2017.
  2. ^ Rannard, Georgina (6 March 2017). "The anti-princess book teaching girls to rebel". BBC News.
  3. ^ Catalina Sofia Dansberger Duque (26 June 2017). "Q&A: Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo on Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls and Why Children's Books Need Feminism". Ms.
  4. ^ Ramkumar, Anitha (16 May 2017). "Why Good Night Stories For Rebel Girls Is A Must Read For Both Girls AND Boys [#BookReview]". Women's Web. Archived from the original on 23 October 2020. Retrieved 3 March 2021.
  5. ^ a b Walker, Esther (26 November 2017). "Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls — a revolution at bedtime". The Times.(subscription required)
  6. ^ a b O'Farrell, Maggie (15 December 2017). "In praise of JK Rowling and all other Rebel Girls". The Guardian.
  7. ^ "Why we need new role models for boys who dare to be different". The Telegraph. 4 October 2019.
  8. ^ "Good Night Stories for Rebel ... Boys? Male versions of bestseller arrive on shelves". The Guardian. 20 April 2018.
  10. ^ "Turkey says Rebel Girls children's book should be treated like porn". The Guardian. 4 October 2019.
  11. ^ "Not our hero anymore: Calls to cut Suu Kyi from Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls". Hindustan Times. 25 December 2017.
  12. ^ Schaub, Michael (27 December 2017). "Does Aung San Suu Kyi belong in a children's book of heroic women, 'Rebel Girls'?". Los Angeles Times.
  13. ^ Merrick, Jane (24 December 2017). "Parents demand Aung San Suu Kyi is cut from children's book of role models". The Guardian.
  14. ^ "Why no stories for rebel children? Don't divide young readers by gender". The Guardian. 24 April 2018.

Further reading[edit]