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Every month, TAB editor Kristin will be sharing her thoughts on five titles from our… Read More

June 1, 2016

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Where My Ladies At?

Happy International Women’s Day, everyone! (And happy Women’s History Month as well!)

Here at Scholastic we love our lady characters, and so today we wanted to share some of our favorites with you. I sent the following e-mail to some people on our staff:

Today is International Women’s Day! So to celebrate, I’d like to hear who your favorite female character is. No need to write up a paragraph or anything, just let me know who and a quick word about why. I look forward to hearing who you think of!

The responses were fantastic!

I’ll go ahead and kick off our list: one of my biggest literary role models of all time and ever is, of course, Miss Elizabeth Bennet. I think she’s strong and well spoken, and remarkably independent for a woman of her time.

OH MY GOSH I can’t choose!!! I’m gonna say it’s a tie between Francie Nolan (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn) and Hermione.
—Rebecca (Editor, Product Development Team)

Scout! I adore her tomboy nature & intelligence.
—Laura (Editorial Director, Firefly)

Lately, Ivy from Ivy + Bean. Because she’s not afraid of what’s spooky, is quick to come up with an action plan, and takes charge.
—Cristina (Associate Manager, Title Presentation)

Anne of Green Gables. Because the E makes all the difference, because she was imaginative and independent, and because of her innate ability to make trouble while somehow still winning people over.
—Mia (Manager, Title Presentation)

Just one?!? Today I’m totally feeling Violet Baudelaire (from A Series of Unfortunate Events) and all her brainy, creative, problem-solving, inventor skills.
—Heather (Assistant Marketing Director, Honeybee)

My favorite lady character is Vesper Holly from the Vesper Holly series by Lloyd Alexander. Set in the 19th century, the series follows Vesper as she travels the globe (with her ever-faithful and cautious guardian by her side) to uncover secrets, find treasure, and foil diabolical schemes! She’s Nancy Drew meets Indiana Jones—the quintessential resourceful, intrepid, fearless heroine!
—Lori (Associate Director, Title Presentation)

My favorite female character is Cassandra Mortmain from Dodie Smith’s I Capture the Castle. Smith has her begin the novel with “I write this sitting in the kitchen sink.” Best first line ever. She’s a flawed character, obsessed with love but also incredibly observant and honest—someone anyone could relate to.
—Emma (Marketing Coordinator)

Miss Rumphius, an awe-inspiring world traveler, librarian, and amateur gardener who wants to “make the world more beautiful.” And she can rock a mean turn-of-the-(20th)-century fur muff and toque.

Not a character, but an awesome human all the same: Nellie Bly was a determined and groundbreaking journalist…in the late 1800s! She worked undercover in dangerous situations to expose terrible social ills and broke world records for participating in a race around the globe in less than 80 days!
—Concetta (Editorial Assistant, Club Leo)

Clementine is my favorite female. She has a good heart, a great attitude about life, and names her pets after items in her medicine cabinet.
—Caitlin (Editorial Manager, Lucky)

Hermione, because she and I were nerdy goody-two-shoes in school. :P
—Jennifer (Assistant Marketing Director, Firefly and SeeSaw)

I’m terrible at picking favorites, but one of my top choices would be Keladry from Tamora Pierce’s Protector of the Small quartet. Who doesn’t like a kick-butt girl who proves that girls can not only become a knight, but become a leader too!
—Kirstin (Editorial Assistant, TAB and Teens)

Lyra from Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy is by far my favorite female character; as a kid, I thought I would name my first daughter after her. Though she has her flaws, she’s a great female role model: strong, smart, fiercely loyal, brave, and pretty darn stubborn!
—Julie (Editorial Assistant, Honeybee)

Jacky Faber of the Bloody Jack YA historical fiction series by L. A. Meyer! She’s smart, feisty, charming, as clever as they come. She’s captained many a ship (admittedly some she stole, as a pirate) but the men on said ships consistently wind up thinking she’s the best boss they’ve ever had. If that’s not woman power, I don’t know what is!
—Alison (Book Talk Videos)

One of my favorites is Stargirl.
—Carmela (Vice President of Marketing)

Isabel from Laurie Halse Anderson’s Chains and Forge. She is strong, fiercely determined, loyal, and courageous beyond belief. She holds qualities we should all aspire to!
—Gaia (Editorial Manager, Arrow)

There are way too many favorite females to pick just one, but Hermione Granger is definitely up there. She’s the girl I aspire to be—smart, diligent, resourceful, brave, and fiercely loyal.

Another favorite is Liesel from The Book Thief. She’s so intensely loving, and brave, sad, and real.

And a somewhat newer favorite is Lilly from Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse. I identify so much with that overeager, overexcited, impatient little mouse! I wish I had this book when I was in elementary school because it would have helped me understand myself.

Sorry…I really couldn’t pick just one!
—Dana (Senior Marketing Manager)

Even as a third grader, I was proud to be a woman. When it was time to do book reports or choose biographies to read, I inevitably gravitated toward great women in history like Elizabeth Blackwell, Marie Curie, Queen Elizabeth I, or most notably, Amelia Earhart. Amelia was the one that stuck with me. Not because I was particularly interested in flying—I’m not—or because I thought she was incredibly brave—she was—but because she literally sat in my childhood bedroom until last weekend. You see, instead of choosing to write a traditional book report in third grade, I created dioramas to tell the story of Amelia’s life. But once the presentation was done and the grade was in, I couldn’t part with those shoeboxes decorated with colored paper, glue, and cotton balls. So Amelia earned herself a permanent place in my room, on the highest bookshelf, where I could watch her swinging in her airplane suspended in cotton-ball clouds.
— Erin, Merchandising Manager

How about all of you? Who would you choose as your favorite female character?

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2 Responses

  1. Paula

    I love Cassie from Mildred Taylor’s novels. She has a great spirit that won’t be diminished.

  2. Eric

    How has no one mentioned Turtle for The Westing Game??? She is certainly searching for someone to kick in the shin for this glaring omission.

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