7 Admirable Heroines from YA Literature ...


Growing up, my heroines from YA literature were like my best friends. Even now, when YA lit is still a guilty pleasure, I look up to some of the young heroines emerging from the novels specifically geared toward younger girls. If you ever identified with a Jo March, a Hermione Granger, or even a Nancy Drew, you know what it's like to look up to a fictional character. These are some of the heroines from YA literature I find most admirable. I'm sure you've all read and been inspired by books that I haven't, so please share your heroines too!

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Kay from Kaydreaming

Kay from Kaydreaming Our very own Jennifer Knightstep, my super-talented BFF, is responsible for one of the most amazing heroines from YA literature I've ever encountered. She crafted Kay with the intent of creating a strong yet relatable teenage character. Kay could be your daughter, your sister, or your best friend. Even with her second-sight dreams, she's a normal girl dealing with the same problems you experienced in middle school and high school. I adore Kay and I can't wait to see what she gets up to next. If you haven't picked up Kaydreaming yet, I implore you to do so – you haven't seen a heroine like Kay before, and you haven't seen a story like this before, either.


Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Although I love Hermione Granger without reservation, she gets all the props. She's certainly someone to look up to, but I think Luna Lovegood is one of the best heroines from the novels. Readers meet her properly in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, beginning a decidedly unlikely friendship. Luna is strange, Luna is weird, and Luna does not care if you think she's strange and weird. Throughout the series, she views those her treat her badly with perplexed bemusement, as if forever surprised that they see her differently or expect her to react to their bullying. Luna stays true to herself, always, even when her stance isn't popular. In that, I have to admit, I always loved the idea that she and Neville might get together, even though it was only in the films.


Primrose Everdeen from the Hunger Games

Primrose Everdeen from the Hunger Games I'm team Katniss (and team Peeta) all the way, and Katniss, like Hermione, is a fantastic heroine for younger girls. However, I think Prim is heroic as well, especially in the second and third novels. She really comes into her own, and proves that all you need is a little inspiration and a hero of your own to reach your full potential. Prim has a gift, even though she doesn't discover it until she gets a little older and really understands the danger her family is in. She embraces responsibility, going above and beyond the call.


Jo March from Little Women

Jo March from Little Women Jo remains one of my first heroines, because she's kind of just like me. Her imagination is a little too wild, all she wanted to do was read and write, and she prefers playing with boys to dating them. How many of you can identify with that? She breaks so many stereotypes, for her time and her gender. She goes after what she wants even after a series of tragedies and disappointments. Somehow, she even has the grace not to kill her sister for stealing her once-upon-a-time sort-of-boyfriend. I mean, I still hate Amy.


Meg Murry from a Wrinkle in Time

Meg Murry from a Wrinkle in Time Do you know what I always loved best about Meg? She's angry. I mean, this girl is mad. So often in YA literature, you see female protagonists who are just … too good, too pure, too pretty, too nice. In addition to having a compelling story, however, I will always find Meg's rage at her circumstances the most refreshing thing about her.


Hazel Grace from the Fault in Our Stars

Hazel Grace from the Fault in Our Stars This novel is still taking over the world, and it's not hard to see why. You pray that you'll never go through anything like what Hazel's going through, but you know it's a possibility. I'm not a young adult any longer, but even still, I would love to deal with difficult and tragic situations with as much grace as Hazel Grace. To keep your humor and your capacity for love and compassion through such heartbreaking things … I think that's heroic.


Nhamo from a Girl Named Disaster

Nhamo from a Girl Named Disaster This is such a wonderful book, and author Nancy Farmer created such a wonderful character. Nhamo goes through hardships most of us can't even imagine: marriage at 11; running away from the only home she knows; and exploring unfamiliar territories. Nhamo is such a strong character, and she's an anomaly in young adult literature: a girl who goes on a wilderness adventure.

It's important to find worthwhile role models in literature – of all ages. These characters, past and present, have always meant something to me. Who are your favorite heroines from YA literature, and how do you identify with them?

Feedback Junction

Where Thoughts and Opinions Converge

Sabriel and Lirael from the Abhorsen Series by Garth Nix. smart and self-sufficient. :)

How about America Singer from The Selection? Love her.

Scarlet from Scarlet by AC Gaughen

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