@Iam Oranjello@facebook The Ish trilogy is FANTASTIC. (http://www.amazon.com/Ish-Creatrilogy-Peter-H-Reynolds/dp/076362344X) There is also Tar Beach which is to be fair is a love letter to growing up in Harlem but its totally wonderful.
In terms of YA recommendations for books that feature great female characters, there are a lot of options. (Although apparently not as many options as for boys.)
1. The many series by Tamora Pierce--Start with Alana and go forward
2. Dianna Wynne Jones is another author that features strong female protagonists
3. The Enchanted Forest series by Patricia Wrede Also Sorcery and Cecilia
4. The Abhorson Trilogy by Garth Nix
5. Meg Cabot is another prolific YA author. I was SUPER into the Princess Diaries books in High School
@par_parenthese I was literally about to say the same thing. I mean really the song could be about making a chicken dinner combined with head shoulder's knees and toes.
@S. Elizabeth Queens is entirely awesome, especially because of the food. Whenever people stay with me, we go to Flushing or Elmhurst or wherever. Queens is the most diverse, per capita, city in the country--but Brooklyn is a very "authentic experience."
@meetapossum I basically logged in to say, "Move to Queens, dumbass."
Seriously some of the more expensive rooms that he posted could get you a studio in Sunnyside.
So this one is high effort but produces a WONDERFUL effect. DANCE! Especially anything technical (ballet works well), I have found will stop toddlers in their tracks and they will stare at you in wonderment. This has been effectively used to stop temper-tantrums and other screaming. If you move slowly, they will try to imitate you and forget why they were charging towards an electrical outlet in the first place.