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Tag: 31 Days of Teens’ Top Ten

31 Days of Teens’ Top Ten Butt-Kicking Babes Without Bows

Teens’ Top Ten is a “teen choice” list,where teens nominate and choose their favorite books of the previous year! Nominators are members of teen book groups in fifteen school and public libraries around the country. Nominations are posted on Support Teen Literature Day during National Library Week, and teens across the country vote on their favorite titles each year. Each day during the month of May, The Hub will feature a post about Teens’ Top Ten. Be sure to check in daily as we visit past winners and current nominees!

Lately, I’ve been thinking about imaginary girls the girls who dramatically and colorfully fill the stage of teen literature. Mia Cabana’s excellent blog post of a few weeks back mentioned the emerging “noteworthy trend in butt-kicking girl heroines” like Katniss from The Hunger Games and Katsa from Graceling. It’s great to see the girls in teen literature coming into their own and being seen as powerful characters, but, as a hippy peacenik myself, I often wonder if the focus on martial strength in these books is entirely healthy. Can a teen-lit heroine be strong and capable, without being a grim and gritty action girl? Of course she can! This post will spotlight the variety of heroines in TTT books, whose power comes from other sources than bows and kung fu skills.

1. The Girls: Nancy Kington and Minerva Sharpe from Pirates! by Celia Rees 2004 TTT Winner

Nancy and Minerva are both trapped – Nancy by her impending marriage to a rich but cruel Brazilian, Minerva by her place as a slave on Nancy’s father’s plantation. The usual course of action for a girl in the 1700’s would be to give up and make the best of a bad situation, but Nancy and Minerva decide to buck the norm and run away together to become pirates.

The Power: As pirates Nancy and Minerva do their share of pistol-shooting, sword-brandishing, dueling, pillaging, and the rest – but the girls’ true strength is not in their ability with weapons. It’s their bravery in going into the unknown, their determination to pursue the lives they want instead of accepting the lives they were given, and their loyalty and love for each other as friends. It’s like the ultimate bromance story, but with girls. What would that even be called? Sistermance?

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31 Days of Teens’ Top Ten: Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Teens’ Top Ten is a “teen choice” list, where teens nominate and choose their favorite books of the previous year! Nominators are members of teen book groups in fifteen school and public libraries around the country. Nominations are posted on Support Teen Literature Day during National Library Week, and teens across the country vote on their favorite titles each year.  Each day during the month of May, The Hub will feature a post about Teens’ Top Ten.  Be sure to check in daily as we visit past winners and current nominees!

One of the previous blog writers mentioned the fact that the TTT nominees and winners over the years have reflected the current publishing trends. That’s certainly true for the nominees this year. Thanks to the Twilight phenomenon, paranormal romances are really big right now and show no signs of lessening anytime soon. With all the paranormal books being published (paranormal lit, paranormal chick-lit, paranormal thrillers, paranormals set in boarding schools, etc.) with their similar looking covers it’s sometimes hard to distinguish one from another. But, one published in 2010 that’s one of the TTT nominees for this year really stands out.
It’s true that Paranormalcy by Kiersten White has vampires, werewolves and faeries but they aren’t the main focus of the book – Evie, a seemingly normal girl, is. She does have a talent that makes her unique though – she can see through all paranormals’ glamours and that makes her indispensible to the International Paranormal Containment Agency (IPCA). She was raised there and works for them tracking down and neutralizing all sorts of paranormals – from vamps to gremlins to hags. She’s a badass; a butt-kicking 16-year-old orphan who loves pink, has pale  gray eyes and doesn’t go anywhere without her pink rhinestone “Tasey.” She made the very regrettable mistake of briefly falling for a Reth, a mesmerizingly beautiful but cruel faerie and now that she’s managed to get over him – although she often regrets it – he won’t leave her alone. Then Evie catches a paranormal that to everyone else is just an inert form without substance or shape that has broken into the Agency, but she can see he’s a cute teenaged shapeshifter who can take on anyone’s identity.

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