I read a lot of Fantasy novels, and I write fantasy books. Some recent conversations have had me thinking why I enjoy these books so much and why I so often recommend them for female readers.
I have always enjoyed the fact that when creating fantasy worlds many authors deal with problems we face in the real world and are able to give them a different spin because they can make the rules in their own world. A suspension of belief means that in a fantasy world magic is real, there are non-human creatures and girls can be kick-ass!
Don’t get me wrong, I have read real world books where the female characters are great role models for girls. Max Remy manages to save the day in In Search for the Time and Space Machine, and Tori Brennan leads her team if Virals to solve crimes in Exposure, and I loved Qil in The Shop at Hoopers Bend. But in many of the books I read, especially the funny books aimed at reluctant readers, the smart girl is at best annoying, and the sport girl is often seen as bossy or an over-achiever and the boy still wants to be with the prettiest girl.
In The Throne of Glass Series Celaena is a kick-ass assassin, and in The Wizards of Once Sam liked Wish the warrior because she was bad-ass. The Della Mortika Sisters are scientists as is Fever Crumb in the Mortal Engines prequel. Grace is a Vampire Hunter in Fall for Me and Tess is an integral part of the team that solves the riddle in York. Even the lesser characters in fantasy series are great role models. Where would Harry be without Hermione in the Harry Potter Series? And in the Impossible Quest Series even the lords daughter, the beautiful Eleanor, is a strong character who proves herself on the Quest. In the Percy Jackson series Annabeth can more than take care of herself, and even Percy at times.
I can hear some of you saying my girls love reading stories about princesses and animals and fairies, and I have to say a good love story is hard to pass up for me even. But just sometimes it’s nice to know that there are some stories out that that show strong women taking care of themselves and others in non-traditional roles, just to let our girls know there are options.
I would love to hear of books with positive role models for girls you get your sons and daughters to read.