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First, for a few feisty pint-size characters:
Of the Olivia picture books. Olivia has a style (and personality) all her own.
Of the classic Eloise books. I think you'd RAW-ther like Eloise.
Clementine tries hard, but things don't always go her well-intentioned way.
Next, a couple young ladies who couldn't be more different:
Possibly my favorite fictional heroine of all time. Scout couldn't have been written better. And the part of me that has always imagined what Scout would grow up to be with be satisfied this summer!
I know you're supposed to identify and love Jo March for her determined dreams, but sweet Beth was always my favorite March sister.
A couple of grown up heroines:
The more practical of the Dashwood sisters, she nonetheless yearns for the same things as her impulsive, naïve younger sister.
When it comes to A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, I can't really decide between Francie Nolan or her mother Katie. After my first reading, years ago, I would have chosen Francie without giving her mother a second thought. Returning to the book, however, I think the plot is as much Katie's as Francie's.
And lastly, a few nonfiction heroines:
A wonderfully written memoir with an Olivia-like (see above) character. Even if the stories of her childhood are embellished, Haven Kimmel has created a lovable, quirky characterization of her younger self.
Lillian GilbrethAfter her husband's death forces her to raise her 11 children on her own in the early 1900s, this marvel of motherhood never loses her cool head or warm heart.
Evelyn RyanRaising 10 kids with an alcoholic husband and limited means, Evelyn supplements her family's income with cash and prizes won through contesting and jingle-writing. Her faith in herself is inspiring.
Who are your literary heroines?