Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls

Posted by Thea King on 18th July 2018

Inspired by best-selling book, Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls, we’ve been giving children the chance to write their own story about a woman or girl they admire.

Activists, queens, footballers and mums have all been celebrated in personal, political stories by young writers from primary schools in east London, in partnership with Penguin Random House. Some of these stories will be collected in an educational resource for schools, including a Q&A between children and the book’s authors, Francesca Cavallo and Elena Favilli. This will be available via the Ministry of Stories website from September 2018. 

Here are some of the rebellious stories written at a workshop at Manorfield Primary School:

Zarah chose Queen Elizabeth I

In a large residence which was given the name Hampton Court Palace, there lived a beautiful, red-haired princess, the daughter of King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. Her name was Elizabeth, one of the first in her time. Although she was a princess, her father, particularly, treated her and her older half-sister Mary as outcasts, the reason being that they were female. Her mother, however, loved her child dearly, as did a few court ladies: “Don’t worry Mother loves you.” It wasn’t long before those words couldn’t be heard, her mother’s execution cruelly shaped her minimised world.

Zohra chose Malala Yousafzai

There was a women who stood for girls’ rights to go to school. This woman is Malala Yousafzai. She was shot in the face for sticking up for girls and she never gave up. She has now gone to see the Queen and she has given inspirational quotes and speeches such as “when the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.” She talks about her experiences and I found the most powerful thing is when she said, ‘ “One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.” Guns can’t scare us, or anyone.

Maisa choose her teacher, Leela Kent-Hume

There lived a brave, kind-hearted girl named Leela who lived in Australia, Tasmania, Hobart. Leela spent her time practising acrobatics as she always wanted to be perfect. One day in June, she saw some posters of a new circus El Circo Dos Grillos. She walked in and everyone started judging her and saying, “you can’t be an acrobat because you are a girl. Boys are way better than you!” Leela ignored them and called them haters. Like her mother had once told her, people who say bad things about you are haters.

Watch children from the Ministry of Stories talk about Good Night Stories from Rebel Girls on Channel 4 News:

Looking for an exciting writing programme for your school? Contact for more info.

NEXT PAGE: Hafizah reports from the International Congress of Youth Voices