Lately, though, we've been reading a set of books, beginning with The Lightning Thief, which her grandmother bought her while she was on her great cross-country tour this summer, which I find I must recommend to you -- they're just so good: by Rick Riordin, who, frankly, puts Rowling and her Harry Potter to shame. (Reviewed here on Crossed Genres.)
They're about, hey, a half-blood, Percy Jackson, only he's half-god and half human (what do you think that makes you, he gets asked, some kind of hero, in one of the touches that makes me giggle uncontrollably), the son of Poseidon by a human mother, which causes him all sorts of troubles in the mortal world. Among other things I like about this series in Annabeth, Percy's comrade in arms, another half-blood, who, unlike girls in certain other series which will remain nameless, is not overwhelmed by a whole herd of boy characters, but is central to the plot/s, and a strong character in her own right. Nor is her intelligence (or anyone's intelligence) demeaned in these texts. Being smart, reading books, thinking ahead -- these are good things. Strong women characters in general, also. Percy's mom, for instance! Protects her son! Saves herself! Goes back to school!
Plus, really well written. We're reading them a chapter at a time, and I'm enjoying the writing as much as the plot, and plot twists are really plot twists -- I keep saying, hey, woh. Didn't see that coming.