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Last week we found out about our authors' first crushes. It was fun to see just who they dreamt about. This week, we asked our authors to share their favorite strong female characters from a book. Again, they come through with some wonderful and exciting choices.
My favorite female character is Jo March from Little Women. She is strong,brave and independent in a time when women were not thought to be. She writes her own novel as well as plays which inspires women to break those glass ceilings that we have been given. I mean she even cuts her hair so her family has money...can you get any more bad ass than that??
I can’t give you my absolute favorite female character because I have several. But a character that’s stayed with me since I read her story years and years ago would be Judith Dunbar from Rosamunde Pilcher’s World War II novel, Coming Home. You meet Judith when she’s 14 and
stay with her through the war, experiencing her life in a very personal and poignant way. If you haven’t read it, you should. It’s a lovely book.
T. Michelle Nelson
My favorite strong female character? It may sound trite and overdone, but as a southern woman, it would be almost offensive for me to overlook the obvious choice of Scarlett O’Hara. Putting aside her ability to turn men into goo and her uncanny fashion sense, Scarlett was a woman who was strong and independent in a time when women weren’t supposed to be anything but pretty and quiet. She was resilient and managed to not only survive the Civil
War and it’s aftermath, but eventually flourish.Scarlett’s appeal only magnified as Margret Mitchell revealed all her character flaws. Selfish, manipulative, vain and anything but maternal, Scarlett is one of the most real and for me, most likeable heroines of all time. If you’ve only seen the movie, I recommend reading the book. I found myself literally laughing out loud at her antics.
When I was a kid, I read a book called "Poor Gertie", by Larry Bograd, and it literally changed my life. Growing up, my family didn't have much money. In fact, there were times when we were downright poor, and that's why I connected with Gertie so well. She was plucky, and defiant, and determined to help her family. Plus, she liked to draw and write stories, which was (obviously) right up my ally. I've been searching this book online for years now, and to my
knowledge, it has gone out of print. Which is sad, considering how very much Gertie and her story touched me. I feel like every middle grade kid should read it. It's *that* important! I did manage to score an old discarded copy from a library in Brooklyn, which was quite the feat, considering I live in Washington State. My ten year old daughter loves it, and I can't even begin to describe how proud I am that Gertie and her story have touched another kid.
My favorite strong female character in a book would have to be Jane Eyre. She stuck to her beliefs even when her heart wanted something else, and she had the strength to withstand hardships I couldn't imagine. She's small like me, but she doesn't let her physical appearance weaken her resolve. She won't settle for anything that isn't true love. Jane Eyre is a truly exceptional character.
One of my favorite female characters (because I can't just pick one) is Laurel
from OR Melling's The Summer King. She is a no-no sense character with a level of skepticism about the paranormal that makes me smile. She doesn't put up with much and I like that!
Phew, that’s a tough question! If it was female character in general, I’d reply “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” in a heartbeat. She has it all: she’s tough when needed, she’s strong and confident and she saves the world every year, give or take a few. But when it comes to book characters, I have to go for Katsa from Graceling. She’s an amazing character, and Kristen Cashore’s writing is sublime. She makes the character come to life on those pages. Katsa is a strong warrior graced with exceptional skills, but that isn’t what makes her a strong character. It’s her personality, her will to keep going on even when everyone else has long given up. Her true strength is in her determination and her ability to put other’s needs – and the kingdom’s needs – above her own.
Tris from Divergent had me captivated from the beginning. She’s fierce, brave, and someone who refuses to take no for an answer. She leaves her “safe” Abnegation faction and her family to join Dauntless, and doesn’t give up, even when she’s the smallest one there and the least likely candidate to actually become a Dauntless “fighter.” If she’s not big enough to out-power an opponent, she outwits them, and goes from being the lowest ranked trainee to one of the
highest. Just reading about her courage made me wish I was brave enough to become Dauntless as well, though I think I would’ve wimped out on day one!