Encouraging Kids to Love Books - from Shannon Hale
Reading and the Red Sox

Cool Girls from Kid Lit: The Long List

Last week, I started a list of Cool Girls from Kid Lit. Here is what I specified for "cool" criteria: "they should be smart and strong and independent, people who would make good role-models for girls today."

Apparently, a lot of people who blog about children's literature have a special interest in cool girls, because I received by far the most feedback that I've ever had for a post. You can go to the original post and read everyone's comments, but I thought that there would be benefit to a single, organized list of all of the suggestions so far.

I'll follow up later this week with a short list of the most popular entries (Lyra, Laura, and Harriet are in the lead, based on the very unscientific feedback that I've received so far). So, if you haven't cast your vote (by commenting) for your favorites, now is your chance. And if you think that I've missed anyone, do let me know, and I'll update the list.

Many, many thanks to everyone who has contributed to the list so far! You can find the list of contributors at the end of this post. If you click back to the original post comments, you can see who suggested what. Thanks!

  1. Alice from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
  2. Amy from The Witch Family by Eleanor Estes
  3. Anastasia Krupnik from the series by Lois Lowry
  4. Anna from As Simple as Snow by Gregory Galloway
  5. Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery
  6. April and Melanie from The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
  7. Arabella from The Windmill Summer by Hila Feil
  8. Babymouse from Babymouse: Queen of the World! (and sequels) by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm
  9. Belinda from Little Plum by Ed Young
  10. Boots from the Gregor The Overlander series by Suzanne Collins
  11. Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink
  12. Cedar B. Hartley from The Slightly True Story Of Cedar B. Hartley by Martine Murray
  13. Christina from the Flambards books by K. M. Peyton
  14. Cimorene from Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede
  15. Claudia from From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
  16. Corinna Stonewall from The Folk Keeper by Franny Billingsley
  17. Dicey from Homecoming and Dicey's Song by Cynthia Voigt
  18. Dido Twite from Black Hearts in Battersea and Nightbirds on Nantucket (among others) by Joan Aiken
  19. Dorothy Gale from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
  20. Eilonwy from the Prydain Chronicles (e.g. The Castle of Llyr) by Lloyd Alexander
  21. Elizabeth Ann from Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield Fisher
  22. Ellie from Squashed by Joan Bauer
  23. Eloise from the series by Kay Thompson
  24. Emily from Emily of New Moon (and sequels) by L. M. Mongtomery
  25. Francie Nolan from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
  26. Frances from A Bargain for Frances (and others) by Russell Hoban and Lillian Hoban
  27. Franny K. Stein from the series by Jim Benton
  28. Harriet M. Welch from Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
  29. Harry Crewe from The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley
  30. Heidi by Johanna Spyri
  31. Hermione Granger from Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling
  32. Ivy from The Changeling by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
  33. Jane from The Dark Is Rising Sequence by Susan Cooper
  34. Jenna Blake from the Body of Evidence series (starting with Body Bags) by Christopher Golden
  35. Jennifer from Jennifer, Hecate, MacBeth, William McKinley and Me, Elizabeth by E. L. Konigsburg
  36. Jill Pole from The Silver Chair and The Last Battle (Narnia books) by C. S. Lewis
  37. Jo March from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  38. Josie Alibrandi from Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta
  39. Judy Moody from the series by Megan McDonald
  40. Julia from Night Daddy by Maria Gripe
  41. Karana from Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell
  42. Kate from Look Through My Window by Jean Little
  43. Kate from Sensible Kate by Doris Gates
  44. Kit Tyler from The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
  45. Laura Ingalls from the Little House books (and she's a real person, too!)
  46. Liesel from The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  47. Lilly from Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse and other books by Kevin Henkes
  48. Lirael by Garth Nix
  49. Lucy from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (The Chronicles of Narnia) by C. S. Lewis
  50. Lyra from the His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman
  51. Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
  52. Lola from The House of Stairs by William Sleator
  53. Margaret Thursday from Thursday's Child by Noel Streatfield
  54. Mary Lennox from The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  55. Martha from The Secret Language by Ursula Nordstrom
  56. Matilda by Roald Dahl
  57. Meg from A Wrinkle in Time (and sequels) by Madeleine L'Engle
  58. Meg from The President's Daughter (and others) by Ellen Emerson White
  59. Meggie from the Inkheart books by Cornelia Funke
  60. Melinda from Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
  61. Menolly from Dragonsong (and others Pern books) by Anne McCaffrey
  62. Mia from The Princess Diaries series by Meg Cabot
  63. Minnow from The Seventeenth-Street Gang by E. C. Neville
  64. Miss Bianca from The Rescuers books by Margery Sharp
  65. Molly Moon from Molly Moon's Incredible Book of Hypnotism by Georgia Byng
  66. Nancy Drew by Carolyn Keene
  67. Nita from the Young Wizards Series by Diane Duane
  68. Omakayas (or Little Frog) from The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich
  69. Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
  70. Polly from Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones
  71. Pony from Emil and the Detectives by Erich Kastner
  72. Rachel Pye from Ginger Pye and Pinky Pye by Eleanor Estes
  73. Ramona Quimby from the Ramona books by Beverly Cleary
  74. Randy from the Melendy books (starting with The Saturdays) by Elizabeth Enright
  75. Roberta (Bobbie) from The Railway Children by E. Nesbit
  76. Sabriel by Garth Nix
  77. Sal from Blueberries for Sal and One Morning in Maine by Robert McCloskey
  78. Sara Crewe from A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  79. Sarah from One Morning in Maine by Lucy Frank
  80. Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
    1. Simone from A Brief Chapter in My Impossible Life by Dana Reinhardt
    2. Sophie Hatter from Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
    3. Susannah Simon from the Mediator books by Meg Cabot.
    4. Sylvia and Bonnie from The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken
    5. Tacy from Betsy-Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace
    6. Tish Sterling from The Keeping Days by Norma Johnston
    7. Trixie Belden from the series by Julie Campbell
    8. Trot from The Scarecrow of Oz and other Oz books by L. Frank Baum
    9. Turtle from The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
    10. Vesper Holly from The Illyrian Adventure by Lloyd Alexander
    11. Winnie from Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
    12. Zoe from A Room on Lorelei Street by Mary A. Pearson

    Contributors and Commenters

    Thanks again to everyone who contributed to this list! Isn't it great how many cool girls there are in children's literature?