Kick-@ss Girl Characters in YA

In April, The Atlantic ran a story called "The Greatest Girl Characters in YA Literature." Katniss headlined (of course). And the Atlantic listed several other solid girl characters, BUT the list seemed dated and more MG than YA (IMHO).  For instance, Atlantic picked Pippi Longstockings and Ramona Quimby--both of whom are 8-9 years old.

Our genre--YA science fiction / fantasy in general, dystopia in particular--is chocked full of strong teen girl characters like Katniss. Off the top of my head, I can think of Tris (Divergent), Tally (Uglies), and Katsa (Graceling). I could go on, but I thought I'd leave that up to you all.

What are some of your favorite YA girl characters? (You don't have to stick to genre fiction, if you don't wanna.) Why?


Anonymous said...

Oh wow. This is a good question.

My choices:
1. Anne of Green Gables absolutely hands down.
2. Alanna, Kel, Daine, and Aly from Tamora Pierce's Tortall world books. You really can't have better strong female characters than Pierce's girls. I adore all four of them. I haven't read the new series about Beka yet but I've heard good things!
3. Katsa from Kristen Cashore's Graceling
4. Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart
5. Melinda from SPEAK by Laurie Halse Anderson. Let's not forget the girl who was one of the first to speak up in YA about rape and the aftermath.

I would have to agree with Winnie Foster from the Atlantic list, and she's not one I'd first think of, but they're right. She is a very strong female character.

Stephsco said...

Something about the Atlantic doesn't strike me as being up with current YA... :)

I agree with Katsa from Graceling and definitely Anne of Green Gables -- at least she was a teen for part of the series! If we're going classic, I also say Jo March from Little Women, although she might have been over 18 by the time of the book.

I will also go with Karou from Daughter of Smoke and Bone.

I suppose Katniss, Katsa and Karou might confuse the poor writers at The Atlantic :)

Angie Smibert said...

Great lists! Thanks.