Children's books with strong female protagonist

As a young child, I truly hated it when the princesses in stories were always depicted as beautiful, dumb and helpless. The prince who was handsome and brave rescued them and they lived happily ever after. I asked my mom, "Why can't the princess kick the dragon's butt? Why is she laying there waiting for the prince? Isn't she smart and strong enough to get away?"
My mom shook her head and said, "This is the way it is. The prince rescues the princess, and that's that."
It always bothered me and I strongly believe that young girls need stories that boosts their confidence and show them that girls are just as smart, strong, and brave as boys, and are equal in every part of life.
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