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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Strong Girls

I recently came across this site amightygirl.com.

It's...well....it's just fantastic.  I wish such a site had existed back when I was a new mom looking for books and such to inspire my girls to embrace their inner strength and greatness.  Because for me, that's my biggest hope for my daughters, that they are strong enough to embrace who they are and to follow their dreams wherever they lead, that they are strong enough to never believe the naysayers (not for very long anyway), and that they understand that strength can come in many shapes and sizes.

Recently, I've been getting emails from moms who have read THE SEVEN TALES OF TRINKET and are pleased to share Trinket's story with their own daughters.  They like Trinket's inner strength and resolve in the face of adversity.  I am thrilled.  But the truth is, I didn't set out to write a "Strong Girl" character.  I just set out to write the best story that I could, and to make Trinket as much of a "Real Girl" as I could  because the truth is: Real Girls are strong.

I think back to the girls in stories that shaped my childhood:  Charlotte in CHARLOTTE'S WEB.
I am reading this to my class right now.  I heart Charlotte. She is just so compassionate and wise.  I give her a slightly southern accent when I read her.  And I am very curious about the book that beat this one for the Newbery.  That must have been "Some Book." (Inside joke.)

Claudia in FROM THE MIXED UP FILES OF MRS. BASIL E. FRANKWEILER.
This might have been the cover that was on the book I read, way back when.  I remember admiring Claudia's smarts.  Ingenious to runaway to a museum!

Elizabeth from JENNIFER, HECATE, MACBETH, WILLIAM MCKINLEY AND ME, ELIZABETH
Elizabeth's strength, when it finally shows up, is just so hard-won.  Sigh.

There were more of course, more strong girls who helped me realize that deep inside of me, there lurked a mighty girl--a mighty girl who didn't wait for her chance to come along, but instead decided to make her own destiny.  (This is where is ride off into the sunset on my pink vespa or something, except that I have no vespa.)

And, I have not yet posted my February goals:

1. Complete rewrite on a crazy little manuscript that I love. It's just, well, it's too long to be the kind of book I thought it would be, but far too short to be the kind of book it could be. It am sure it will take me more than this month, but I do have a five day weekend coming up...I just might pull it off!  Besides, I need Dingle to set for a while longer before I am ready to revise it, so I might as well start on something I have been itching to do.


So, what are some of your favorite literary Real Girls?

hrh


7 comments:

  1. Those are all great strong girls! I always admired Anne Shirley and Princess Cimorene. In true-life tales, Laura Ingalls and Anne Frank!

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  2. Great post. And I didn't realize it when I read as a kid, but the girls I picked were strong characters like in Charlotte's Web, The Secret Garden, Anne Frank, and all the women's biographies I used to read. Thanks for reminding me of it. And awesome you're getting those e-mails.

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  3. I loved loved loved Nancy Drew when I was growing up because she was so noble and courageous. I wanted to be a tough detective who could sass bad guys and climb hidden staircases in stylish pumps!

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  4. Charlotte's Web, Anne Frank and Nancy Drew books. I see others have already mentioned these. : )

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  5. I was very independent as a preteen and loved A Wrinkle in Time's Meg.

    I used to read Charlotte's Web to my class too!

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  6. I love Strawberry Girl. I haven't read it for years, but your post has inspired me to reread it.

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  7. Great goals! Especially since I know how much you dislike February. :o)

    I love strong girl roles. My favorites as a kid were Anne (Green Gables)and Jo (Little Women). There are so many great ones, though. It makes me happy for my daughters!

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