In case you haven’t heard, Hollywood has made The Hunger Games into a movie. Aside from this fact thrilling me to the very core of my inner-sci-fi geek, I was happy to see that a movie with a strong, independent heroine aimed at young people (and old bookworms like me) was creating so much hype.
The Hunger Games is one of the best books I’ve ever read and the entire trilogy makes my top 10 list for Most Favorite Books, Ever. And the number one reason I love this story is because Katniss Everdeen is the ultimate heroine. She is a woman who knows who she is. She loves her family. She does what she needs to do. She is loyal. And, of course, she kicks major butt. I believe that Katniss is one of the greatest literary heroines ever written. But who else? Below is a list of my personal top 10 literary heroines*. See if you and I agree…
*disclaimer: I’m including books I’ve actually read rather than books I wish I’d read to write this post. I’m aware that I’m leaving off a host of classical heroines and for that, I sincerely apologize.
10. Bella Swan from the Twilight series. Now, before people get upset about this pick, consider that Bella and her tortured longing for Edward propelled many young people to actually read a book. She isn’t a feminist, but Bella caught my attention. In the end, she kicks powerful vampire butt.
9. Stephanie Plum from the series by Janet Evanovich. Stephanie is a rough-around-the-edges woman with street smarts and a lot of kooky friends. But she makes us laugh on each adventure as she too, kicks butt.
8.Sookie Stackhouse from the novels by Charlaine Harris. Sookie is a sweet Southern Belle who has a soft spot for people of all kinds, including those with no pulse. Sookie can hold her own against creatures with magical powers. And, she can read minds which helps her to kick butt.
7. Heromine Granger from the Harry Potter series. Heromine is wicked smart and a trustworthy friend to Harry and Ron. She is a hard worker who values her gifts and her friends. And when needed, she can kick Deatheater butt.
6. Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games. Team Katniss. Butt-kicking abilities listed above. Enough said.
5. Ayla from the Clan of the Cave Bear and other Earth’s Children books by Jean M. Auel. Ayla embodied girl power in a period of time that was literally, pre-historic. Ayla’s ability to survive, adapt and learn was fascinating to me. She was woman. And we heard her roar.
4. Mary Poppins from P.L. Travers books about the stern, but loving and quite proper but magical nanny. Mary didn’t take crap from anyone but was polite about it.
3. Josephine March from Little Women. Jo loved to write (just like me), she was smart, creative and not about to be pigeon-holed by society. Jo was who I wanted to be when I grew up.
2. Laura Ingalls Wilder from the Little House on the Prairie series. A book about a little girl who lives in Kansas and has freckles and a Pa who blows up pig bladders as balloons? Yes please! Laura was the pioneer spirit to me and I loved reading her story.
1. Scout Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird. Brave, feisty and tearing at the fabric of social injustice earn Scout the top spot on my list. She kicked metaphorical butt.
How about you? What heroines did I neglect to put on this list? Who should be added? Do I value butt-kicking too much? Let me know your opinions.