Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Top 10 Tuesday Rewind: Favorite Heroines

Top Ten Tuesday: Rewind
 Top 10 Favorite Heroines

So the assignment for this week was to choose a previous Top Ten Tuesday topic, and being new to this whole blog thing, I had a whole list of features from which to choose!  Every June at work I host Girl Talk, an after-hours program for girls in grades 6-10 centered around the theme "Be Proud, Be Yourself."  It's a topic near and dear to my heart, so in preparation, I thought I'd tackle my top ten favorite literary heroines.

1) Hermione Granger (Harry Potter series) - It's not always being the smart kid, and it's definitely not easy being the smart kid with confidence.  Hermione knows she's intelligent, and she doesn't try to hide it.  She's ambitious, competitive, and fiercely loyal, traits that often time make women in literature the "mean girls."  But in Hermione's case, there's no pretense, she's just brilliant and deserves all of the credit for helping Harry defeat Voldemort in the end.  Teen girls need a little of Hermione's confidence and drive

2) Meg Murry (A Wrinkle in Time) - I didn't really realize how much I adore A Wrinkle In Time before tackling some of these lists.  Meg Murry was on my list of favorite characters, and she definitely makes my list of favorite heroines.  We're not all super brains like Hermione.  Sometimes we're the wallflower who hasn't quite hit their stride.  We feel like outsiders at school and at home, and it takes a special moment for us to realize exactly who we are and why we're special.  Plus, Meg gets to learn one of the most important lessons in literature, where there's love, there's hope.

3)  Lucy Pevensie (Chronicles of Narnia)  - I'm staying old school for a couple more slots...Lucy has a huge heart.  I think that's what enjoy most about her.  She has the unique ability to believe without seeing, and it is her heart that leads her in the right direction.  She doesn't shy away from a fight, and she stays true to what she knows and believes, even when others doubt her.  As simple as those attributes seem, they're often hard to find in the real world.  Plus she gets to run around Narnia, drinking tea with Mr. Tumnus, and talking to trees without getting weird looks.  She's really go it made.

4) Elizabeth Bennett (Pride and Prejudice)  - It takes a strong woman to admit when she's wrong, especially to friends and family who have been listening to you go on and on for the length of a book.  It's even harder to admit when you're wrong if it's your ego that's been bruised.  Elizabeth Bennett is an educated, independent woman.

5)  Miss Veronica Hobbes (Newbury and Hobbes Investigations)  -Veronica Hobbes lives in a man's world.  While there was a queen you wouldn't want to cross on the throne, Victorian England wasn't a place brimming with feminist ideals.  Not only does Miss Hobbes help the brilliant Sir Maurice Newbury solves crimes that are on the peculiar side, she is determined to hold her own in a fight and not let her gender keep her from succeeding in her profession.  Plus the books are set in a steampunk zombies and the undead roam the streets like a plague.  Kind of my two favorite genres mixed into a thrilling Sherlock Holmes-esque story.

6) Thursday Next (The Eyre Affair) -  Let it be known that I would not survive any kind of catastrophe.  I like to think I'd keep my wits about me, but in reality, I'm pretty sure I'd crumble under the pressure, especially if any weird or peculiar were happening.  Thursday Next takes it all in stride though, and there are some pretty wicked things trying to get in her way.  A book traveling evil mastermind is trying to kill her, the man she loves has been eradicated from her timeline, and her father is a renegade time jumper who annoyingly likes to tell her different ways in which the world would end.  Despite all that weird awfulness, Thursday continues fighting, taking down one obstacle after another, determined to make the world save and return the ones she loves.  She has mastered the fine art of perseverance.  

7) Cimorene, Princess of Linderwall (Dealing With Dragons) -  You have to respect a woman who knows her own mind.  It can't be easy being born a princess and having to deal with everything that comes along with a royal title.  Cimorene wanted nothing of it, and she was determined to make her own way in life, even if that meant apprenticing herself to a dragon.  I have a certain connection to the young, tomboy heroines who are strong willed and confident.  Who says you have to be exceptionally girly to be a pretty amazing girl?

8) Mia Hall (If I Stay) - I can't imagine losing my entire family in one tragic moment.  I don't want to imagine it.  It would be so completely impossible to make the decision Mia has to make through the course of the novel.  Mia teaches us that decisions can be hard, grief can be devastating, and how sometimes the hardest choice is the right choice.

9) Stargirl (Stargirl) - Little kids come into the library all of the time wearing their imagination for all to see.  There will be little girls in princess dresses, or little boys in cowboy pajamas, holster, and red cape.  At that young age, they are unafraid to be exactly who they are, in whatever for that means for the week.  Somewhere along the road of life we all lose that innocence and self-assurance and even sometimes that ability to imagine ourselves larger than life.  Stargirl never lost that amazing ability.  She never grew self-conscious or super self-aware.  She lived exactly the way she wanted, but with compassion and sincerity.  She is the poster child for "Be Proud, Be Yourself."

10) Abilene Tucker (Moon Over Manifest) - Abilene Tucker is looking for truth.  She yearns to discover the truth of her father's past in the small Kansas town she's sent to one summer, the truth of town secrets that play a huge part in the town's history, and her own truth as she faces feelings of abandonment and confusion.  It is that drive for truth that endeared me to Abilene.  She is young but determined.  Even when the truth gets hard to take, she allows herself to open up to the possibilities and finds an honesty that changes her life forever.

Another fun list to make!  And I've even managed to make a must-read booklist for my Girl Talk program.   Some honorable mentions (just because I'm on a roll and don't want to stop...)  Hazel Grace (The Fault in Our Stars), Scout Finch (To Kill A Mockingbird), Katniss (The Hunger Games), Meghan Chase (The Iron King), and Professor McGonagall (Harry Potter).


  1. Some of my favorites (besides those you mention)
    Scarlett O'Hara (Gone With The Wind)
    Aibileen (The Help)
    Offred (The Handmaid's Tale)

  2. I still haven't read The Handmaid's Tale! But I totally agree with Aibileen...to have that kind of courage.

  3. Fun list! Hermione would top my list as well. And I completely agree with Mia Hamm. Anne Shirley would be one I'd add.

  4. Love this list! So glad that you're inspiring young teens to be the amazing girls they were meant to be!


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