Monday, April 29, 2013

Y is for Young Ladies of Substance

By now anyone who has ever stopped my blog has gotten at least a taste of my very conflicting opinion on the helpless princesses of my Disney filled youth. My nostalgic side will never lose its love them for these romantic depictions of the dashing knight and his fair maiden, but the rest of me  the girl who loves Sarah Connor and Ellen Ripley  struggles with the idolization of female passivity. But rather than continue on my soap-box here, I thought I'd devote today's blog post to a few young, strong female characters that I think any child would look up to. 

Y is for Young Ladies of Substance (The Anti-Princesses) 

Lucy Pevensie (The Chronicles of Narnia series) – The youngest of the Pevensie children, Lucy proves to be the most unwavering of the four siblings. Her love for Narnia never wavers, her courage remains a constant, and her sense of adventure grows with every passing day. Lucy is the very essence of childhood and the inherent belief we're all blessed with in our earliest years. 

Meg Murry (A Wrinkle in Time series) A Wrinkle in Time was my favorite book as a little girl, and Meg Murry my idol. She's the girl who doesn't fit in. With her glasses and mousy hair, not to mention her extraordinary intelligence that puts her in conflict with teachers and fellow students alike, she is a misfit to the very core. But despite her own lack of confidence and fear of the unknown, Meg never fails to do what needs to be done and protect the people that she loves. She teaches us that it's okay to be different, and that what's different is sometimes what the world really needs. 

Alice (Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass) – I have long been fascinated with Lewis Carroll's famous young heroine. A little girl no more than seven years of age, she encompasses a clear and orderly intellect far beyond her age. When faced with a world full of strange and nonsensical circumstances, she indulges her innate curiosity even as she tries to find order among chaos. 

Hermione Granger (Harry Potter series) – Hermione Granger is one of the best young female protagonists and inspirations for young ladies. She's bossy and clever, book-smart and level headed. She proves early on to be so much more than the know-it-all who annoys everyone in school. Hermione is loyal and brave, willing to sacrifice her life for her friends, determined to be a voice for "non-humans" who've been marginalized, and always ready to fight for the side of good against evil. 

Jo March (Little Women) – Jo March is one of the very first written young ladies of substance. She's opinionated and blunt, speaking her mind without considering the consequences. While she often lands herself in trouble for her progressive thinking and direct attitude, Jo acts as a hero to little Tom-boys the world over who don't care for playing house or doing make-overs. She has hopes and dreams that she's bound and determined to follow, refusing to let antiquated gender norms get in her way. 

And last bu not least, here are a few honorable mentions: 
> Merida (Brave) 
> Matilda Wormwood (Matilda
> Valentine Wiggin (Ender's Game

And there you have it, my Top 5 favorite Young Ladies of Substance. What are some of your favorites?  
This post is part of the Blogging A through Z Challenge 2013. My theme (in case you didn't already guess) is character types and tropes. Stay tuned for the rest of the alphabet, and if you’d like to check in on the other participants, simply click here.


  1. Yes - a great set of admirable young women! I'd add Elizabeth Bennet - since she is mostly level headed and practical, and much given to wandering the countryside regardless of fashion :) I was so pleased to read Hermione - made me realise how others saw me :O I reviewed a Wrinkle in Tiime for my W post - looking forward to reading more!
    Hope you've enjoyed your A to Z-ing
    Jemima at Jemima's blog

  2. I am reading "Alice in Wonderland" for the very first time. One of my favorite young women is Anne Shirley from Green Gables. I got to visit the home and garden on Prince Edward Island a few years ago.

  3. I still have never read Little Women.
    What about... nah, I got nothing.

  4. Well, I'm all about Hermione, and I love Jo and Merida. I think Denise's suggestion of Anne Shirley is a good one.

  5. Jo March is one of my all time favorite characters.

  6. I love Meg Murray too. What about Harriet the Spy or is she too young?

  7. I have to agree with you on all of these counts. Especially Hermione. She quickly became my favorite strong, female character. The girl has loads of common sense and knows how to use it along with those book smarts!

  8. I love strong women in books! It's makes for a good read when the damsel isn't afraid to defend herself but also isn't over-the-top.

  9. You chose some good ones. I'd not really considered Valentine until you mentioned it though.

  10. All great choices! I especially like Meg, Alice, and Jo.

    Z is for Zzz-z-z... and an SOS
    The Daille-y News