Top Ten Favorite Heroines
1) Turtle Wexler, The Westing Game, By Ellen Raskin.
I am not sure why, or how, Turtle came into my head, but hers was the first name that did. I used to adore The Westing Game, but I think it’s been nearly two decades since I last read it. Yet, Turtle… I like that she is determined and intelligent. She figures out what no one else can.
2) Jo March, Little Woman, By Louisa May Alcott
One of the early characters I found myself connecting with; Jo was headstrong, creative, and brave, all things I related (or strove) to be.
3) Beth March, Little Woman, By Louisa May Alcott
Beth’s calm, gentle manner is a counter-balance to Jo’s impulsiveness. I wanted to be more like her in many ways, at at times definitely related more to her shyness.
4) Eponine, Les Miserables, By Victor Hugo
I just really like her — I think it may be in part because I am always drawn to the underdogs, but I also find her such a powerful character. She goes through great extremes to try to follow her heart.
5) Cimorene, Enchanted Forest Chronicles. By Patricia Wrede
This is another series of books that I haven’t read in a long time, but I know that I admired Cimorene. I just lent the compilation I have to one of our grad-students (with an assignment to read it — because I know that sometimes grad students need an extra push to be reminded to read fun stuff along with their school-work) otherwise I might have devoured it this weekend to remind myself why I really liked Cimorene.
6) Hermione, Harry Potter, By J.K. Rowling
Smart, logical, able to grow and change as needed, passionate for the causes she finds important. And, really, those boys would not have survived two minutes without her help.
7) Mary, The Secret Garden, By Frances Hodgson Burnett
I think I like Mary because of how she changes in the book, and her ability to hold onto the magic of the world around her.
8) Charlotte, The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, By Avi
Another one that I haven’t read in a while, but stands out in my mind as a character that I very much admired.
9) Charlotte, Charlotte Sometimes, By Penelope Farmer
This Charlotte found herself in a completely strange and new situation and really handled it pretty calmly. A new school, okay. Suddenly traveling through time, well… guess I have to learn the new rules.
10) Rivka, The Cage, By Ruth Minsky Sender.
This is a story based on the authors own experiences in the holocaust. I read this book over, and over, and over again. Her strength in the face of such horror, her ability to create poetry in the darkness… it is a powerful story.