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Monday, December 2, 2013

Monday Discussion: Classic Young Adult Heroines

With Catching Fire dominating at the box office again, I thought I would use a question I saw a few weeks ago on my local NPR blog.

The question posed here by Leah Pickett was to name you favorite heroine from the children's books of your youth.  Ms. Pickett asks: "Would the fame of "The Hunger Games'" Katniss even exist without the spunky, brave, and arguably more complex heroines who came before?"

She goes on to list a few of her favorite [more nerdy] heroines from her childhood.  Click here for her complete list.

I thought we could take this question up here on the Monday Discussion since it is right up our alley.  I'll go first...

Ms. Pickett mentions Harriet the Spy and I agree with that.  In fact most of the heroines on her list would be on mine too but she did miss one of my favorite childhood books with a great heroine, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg.  From the publishers summary:

When suburban Claudia Kincaid decides to run away, she knows she doesn’t just want to run from somewhere, she wants to run to somewhere — to a place that is comfortable, beautiful, and, preferably, elegant. She chooses the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Knowing her younger brother Jamie has money and thus can help her with a serious cash-flow problem, she invites him along.
Once settled into the museum, Claudia and Jamie find themselves caught up in the mystery of an angel statue that the museum purchased at auction for a bargain price of $225. The statue is possibly an early work of the Renaissance master, Michelangelo, and therefore worth millions. Is it? Or isn’t it? 
Claudia is determined to find out. Her quest leads her to Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, the remarkable old woman who sold the statue, and to some equally remarkable discoveries about herself

As a child reading this book, I felt like I was Claudia, a suburban NY girl who loved the museums in NYC. Then, as I got older, my best friend and I would make numerous visits into NYC and the Met was always on our to-do list....every time we visited.  Not only was it free for students, but we loved looking at all of the beautiful art.  We never tired of it.  Then as an adult, my own daughter read this book and was also captivated by Claudia. Claudia and her coming of age quest have followed me throughout my life.

So that's my pick. What about yours?

For today's Monday discussion share your favorite classic youngaAdult heroine.

For past Monday Discussions, click here.


John BPL RA said...


Christi said...

I LOVE Claudia. That was one of my favorite books too.

Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables was always my favorite YA heroine. I was particularly captivated by her imagination. I always tried to emulate it and I think it kept its hold into my adulthood. Those are novels that I definitely continue to revisit.