The aim of this thesis is to introduce the American Bildungsroman of the late 18th century and to answer the question, whether the educational aim of literature for girls can still be found in contemporary American young adult literature. The in-depth analysis of one text for female young adult readers of the 18th century, Charlotte Temple, A Tale of Truth (1791), and three from the 21st century, The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (2001) by Ann Brashares, Gabi, A Girl in Pieces (2014) by Isabel Quintero, and Girl Online (2014) by Zoe Sugg, provide the basis for determining the main themes of YAL for girls of these two eras. In this analysis, topics of the novels will be compared, and their aims discussed. The educational value of the novels chosen will be addressed by the questions whether American literature written for girls still has a didactic aim, and what these didactic aims are, in order to reach a conclusion, what it means to grow up female in the 21st century compared to the late 18th century. Young Adult Literature (YAL) has many aspects. Depending on the different subgenres, the aims of literature written for a young audience are rather diverse, especially when it comes to gender specific YAL. Going back to the late 18th century, American literature for young readers did not aim to entertain, but to educate. The stories told in the novels were supposed to teach the young female readership, to set examples, and to create role models. In the phase of growing up, a phase of confusion and search for identity, novels offered a set of rules the readership could follow. The aim of education was especially important in novels written for the female reader. The characters and their stories were to show girls and young women how to behave properly, and how to grow into good women and wives. Texts with the aim of educating and teaching belonged to the genre of Bildungsroman, which spread from Germany all over Europe and finally arrived in the US in the late 18th century, where it was used to raise a generation of good mothers for American society.