Take Five: Favorite Heroine in YA Literature

The Monday Polls were a ton of fun, but as part of the new, expanded coverage on The Hub, we are making a few changes. Instead of just inviting readers to pick their favorite on a topic out of a pre-determined list, we’re going a little more in depth. In addition to sharing five perspectives from Hub bloggers on a topic, we also want to hear what you have to say!

Our inaugural Take Five question is: who is your favorite YA heroine, and why?

Take Five The HubI  loved (and still love) Enola Holmes (from the series of the same name by Nancy Springer)!  She is so smart and quick witted (and figured out how to use her corset to hide a dagger in case she ran into baddies).  Plus she could solve any puzzle and disguise herself so that even her brother, the famous Sherlock Holmes, wouldn’t recognize her.  She’s a pretty awesome chick (and I totally wanted to be like her)! — Stacy Holbrook

seven kingdoms graceling fire bitterblue kristin cashoreThis is SUCH a tough question! When I think fantasy, my mind automatically goes to the ladies of the Graceling Realm series by Kristin Cashore  (2009 YALSA Teens’ Top Ten, 2009 Morris Award Finalist, 2009 YALSA Best Books for Young Adults). Katsa, Fire, and Bitterblue are all strong and unique and have such sound moral character, and Cashore writes with such great voice. But, I think there’s a tendency to equate heroine with sci-fi, fantasy, or adventure fiction, but I don’t want to overlook the everyday heroes in realistic fiction, so I’m going to have to say Cameron from The Miseducation of Cameron Post by emily m. danforth (2013 Morris Award Finalist). Cam has it rough—she loses her parents at a young age, then struggles with coming out, and is even sent to camp that tries to “de-gay” her. But despite her struggles, she still knows how to have fun, and she definitely knows who she is. And that, to me, makes her a hero. — Molly Wetta

alanna song of the lionessAlanna from Tamora Pierce’s Song of the Lioness series is my all time favorite. (Tamora Pierce won the Edwards Award in 2013). She wouldn’t take no for an answer and did what she wanted to do and she did it the way she wanted to do it. She saved Tortall from destruction time and again, defeated her biggest foe twice, and enacted social change in her country, making it acceptable for noble ladies to be knights if they wanted to- which was probably the most improbable thing she could accomplish! — Carla Land

Menolly is the main character in Anne McCaffrey‘s Harper Hall trilogy. I first read this series when I was in middle school, and she has been my favorite ever since. In the small fishing community where Menolly lives, only men can become Harpers and after her parents cut her from performing or teaching she decides to run away from home. She manages to survive a hostile environment by befriending baby fire lizards (miniature dragons). A strong, capable, and kind heroine, Menolly was everything the eleven year old Jenn aspired to be. The mini-dragons didn’t hurt either. — Jennifer Billingsley

all these things i've doneI love Anya Balanchine from the All These Things I’ve Done (Birthright series) by Gabrielle Zevin.  Anya is one of my favorite female characters ever.  She sweet, tough, raw, and stops at nothing to protect her loved ones and she always gets what she wants. Her family ties with the Russian mob and her birthright to chocolate make her a notorious mob boss at the age of 17. Talk about a serious reality check!  If you haven’t read this series yet, you should definitely check it out. — Kimberli Buckley

Who is your favorite YA heroine, and why? We’d love to hear your thoughts! 

— Molly Wetta, currently reading Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson

4 thoughts on “Take Five: Favorite Heroine in YA Literature”

  1. I agree with Kimberli, Anya in Zevin’s trilogy faces obstacles at every turn with family, friends, relationships, and in business but she pushes through and while never perfect, her stick-to-it-ness is inspiring.

  2. Tough question, but I’m going to have to go with Frankie Landau-Banks from E. Lockhart’s Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks. Also love Evie from The Diviners (Libba Bray). And Hermione Granger, of course!

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