Welcome back! As I mentioned before, the television reboot of the My Little Pony franchise (Friendship Is Magic) has managed to find an older audience than one would expect. I am both a regular viewer and frequent reader of YA lit, so I thought it would be fun to take a look at what teen titles the ponies would read in their free time.
I have continued to select books featuring female protagonists, in keeping with many of the themes found in Friendship Is Magic.
Today, I am finishing up the main group of ponies with custom lists for Applejack, Fluttershy, and Pinkie Pie.
Applejack is a strong farm pony who can often be found kicking apple trees to collect the fruit or performing other tasks around the orchard. She seems to prefer physical activities over dress-up, and is successful in tasks that would often be considered more traditional for a male. Because of this, I thought she may enjoy reading Miranda Kenneally’s books that feature female characters participating in sports that are often male-dominated. I think she would start with Racing Savannah because of the equestrian connection, but really Catching Jordan or Stealing Parker would be as appropriate.
I also think that she may be interested in Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins. Now, Applejack may not be a debutante, but she certainly is southern (the whole Apple family has southern twangs!). Rebel Belle features a female lead, Harper, who is charged with protecting a male character. This reminds me of how often Applejack ends up having to save the day on her apple farm instead of leaving it to her older brother, who is larger in size and appears to be the physically stronger pony.
Fluttershy is a sensitive soul. She is a great friend who is always looking out for others throughout Equestria. I selected To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (Jenny Han, 2014 BFYA Nominee) for her because it is, simply, a sweet story. The main character, Lara Jean, is kind and caring with a big heart. She loves her family and friends fiercely, but she still makes mistakes, as we all do. Add in Lara Jean’s campaign to get her little sister the dog she has always wanted and I believe Fluttershy would adore this book.
When it comes to the animals of Ponyville, everypony knows that Fluttershy is the one to see. She is often found with Angel (her small white rabbit) and a wide assortment of other woodlands creatures. Because of this, it seems obvious that Fluttershy would be interested in reading YA that contains animals. However, Fluttershy’s relationship really is more than just caretaking, she is able to communicate with them in a unique manner, including using The Stare, so I wanted to select reading materials that had a deeper connection. In Pullman’s classic His Dark Materials trilogy, each human is paired with a daemon, the physical manifestation of the human’s soul (as defined by The Golden Compass Wiki), including the main character, Lyra Silvertongue’s pine marten daemon named Pantalaimon. I think Fluttershy would appreciate the importance of the animal companions in these stories and how the characters interact with them.
Pinkie Pie loves to laugh and have fun. She is always planning parties and trying to bring some humor to all situations. She can even be found wearing a Groucho glasses disguise or performing as a one-pony band. I selected the following three books for Pinkie Pie based on these characteristics. They are all funny books that will make readers laugh out loud. Although they are all different in style and plot, between physical gags and quick-witted wording, these three books are great for raising everypony’s spirits. Pinkie Pie is not likely to reach for The Fault in Our Stars, but even if she did, she would need a solid dose of funny to wash it down.
- Awkward (Marni Bates)
- Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging (Louise Rennison, 2001 Printz Award Honor Book, 2015 Popular Paperback Nominee, 2001 Top Ten Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, 2001 Best Books for Young Adults)
- The Summer I Became a Nerd (Leah Rae Miller)
Thanks for checking out my picks for the ponies! Feel free to share your recommendations in the comments.
– Jessica Lind, currently reading The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Kate Rorick and Bernie Su