A New Novel Shows Young Girls Just How Strong They Can Be

October 17, 2023

Strong Girl Publishing’s first middle grade novel,

/ENDURANCE SPORTSWIRE/ – The Strong Girl by Molly Hurford, author of the Shred Girls series, is hitting the shelves on October 17, 2023. This is Hurford’s first historical fiction novel and while it has a circus themed setting, the real focus is around the real strength that all girls possess. Written for middle grade readers, this book is full of twists and turns—with a sneaky assortment of tips for things like strength training and endurance sport in the mix!

About the book: In the 1860s, opportunities for a young farm girl on the outskirts of Montreal are slim and 12-year-old Lizzy has two choices: Take an apprenticeship and save her family farm, or run away to save herself from the life that’s been decided for her. When the circus comes to town, the choice is easy—but she quickly realizes that no decision is black and white.

She quickly adapts to life in the circus—and all of the tough training that goes along with becoming a StrongWoman and a trapeze artist. But as mysterious things start happening within her newfound family, she’ll have to fight to save her friends and herself.  

The Strong Girl is loosely inspired by the story of Canadian high wheel racer, strongwoman and race walker Louise Armaindo, who briefly found fame in the late 1800s. Her story is one of the many of women athletes in that era who made major strides for women in sport, but are often forgotten in athletic history. While The Strong Girl takes a lot of liberties in the retelling—Armaindo never solved a major jewel heist—the novel does take a look at what life was like for young women who didn’t fit into the traditional roles society had in place for them. And of course, it looks at what training for circus life may have looked like: Picture CrossFit, but make it Victorian.

“When I first read about Louise Armaindo and her wild story, all I could think about was ‘what could her childhood have possibly looked like?’” says author Molly Hurford. “And of course, I wanted to explore that—and have even more fun by adding in an amazing cast of characters, a mystery and a heist!”

One early reader said: “I could barely put this book down and I would highly recommend it for kids from 10 to 13 years old, or kids who are uncomfortable with themselves or aren’t appreciated for who they are. This book was amazing and it really helped me feel better about myself.”

Following the successful launch of Nova Scotia-based elite multi-discipline cyclist Mackenzie Myatt’s first book of poetry, In Defense of Big Dreams, earlier in October, The Strong Girl is the second original book to be published by Strong Girl Publishing.

The Strong Girl will be available at StrongGirlPublishing.com and everywhere books are sold, and media samples including chapters that can be used in print or online are available upon request. Email info@stronggirlpublishing.com to request a print copy. A PDF of the book is attached, but ebook versions are also available upon request.


Strong Girl Publishing creates books and content to inspire girls in sport, written by young women who’ve been there. The new small publishing company was founded by longtime author, journalist and athlete Molly Hurford, who has been writing stories for young women athletes for years—including the popular Shred Girls series. The aim of Strong Girl Publishing is to increase visibility of girls in sport and outdoor adventure, while also providing an outlet for young women athletes to share their stories authentically.

Reading is one of the best ways for girls to be able to see themselves in sport and in activities traditionally dominated by boys, but girls are wildly underrepresented in books, especially in the middle grade and young adult age range where the dropout rate in sport is highest. Strong Girl Publishing helps girls see themselves in sport and outdoor adventure, inspiring them to try new activities by creating engaging stories around girls in sport, all while holding space for young women athletes to share their voices.

More info: https://stronggirlpublishing.com/