The Princess Knight by Cornelia Funke
Illustrated by Kerstin Meyer
2001 (First American Edition 2004)
Violetta's mother, the Queen, died after giving birth to her. The King is used to training his three sons to be brave knights and doesn't know what to do with Violetta. So he decides to teach her the same lessons he taught his sons. The problem is that Violetta is tiny and clumsy and they all make fun of her. Violetta starts practicing alone at night. The King decides to marry Violetta off to the knight that wins a tournament. Soon all of her new skills will be put to a test as she shows her true worth.
The Princess Knight is a story about finding your inner strength, believing in yourself and not falling into a mold. Violetta is a great character to expose to young girls and to read to boys to defeat the stereotype of the weak girl.