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Sunday, January 14, 2007

A Sunday List of Some Strong Girl Role Models

Last Sunday, I started my weekly list of Strong Girl Role Models in Children's Literature. As promised, I'm back today with a new list of Strong Girl Role Models from the books I finished this week.

1. Miri from Princess Academy by Shannon Hale -- I expected a bit more from this book, being a Newbury Honor book and all. However, with that said, I found this to be an interesting, enjoyable tale of families, community, intelligence, competition, ambition, education, bullying, cliques, finding your strengths to help others, friendship and bravery. Miri is quite the role model. She utilizes her knowledge of Commerce to help her village, discovers "quarry speak", urges the girls in the Academy to show a united front, and shows empathy and bravery to protect her friends.

2. Becky and Abby from Fault Line by Janet Tashjian -- This book covers violence in teenage dating with empathy for both sides. Who would have figured there could be a tiny flicker of understanding for a boy with anger management issues? 17 year old Becky Martin falls in love with Kip Costello, who turns out to have trouble keeping his fists to himself. Becky finally shares her troubles with her best friend Abby. Best friend Abby is there when Becky most needs support and caring. Abby lets Becky know that dating violence is not acceptable at all. Dating violence is a tough subject matter. Tashjian offers hope in this book when Becky is able to ask for help, grows from this experience and in turn is able to give back to others. It takes a strong girlfriend to try to help out a friend in danger. It takes an incredibly strong girl to realize that she deserves more than an abusing boyfriend--even if he is cute, charming, and pays alot of attention to her. A girl who can realize her own worth is truly amazing.

3. Cousins Lily, Tess, Rosie and Aunt Lucy from The Cobble Street Cousins: In Aunt Lucy's Kitchen by Cynthia Rylant -- My 8 year old's book club chose this book for next week's meeting. This is such a sweet book. Cousins Lily, Tess and Rosie live with their Aunt Lucy. They are helpful, considerate, industrious, enthusiastic, fun and creative. Very creative. Aunt Lucy takes her nieces in and is well loved by her customers and friends.

4. Olivia from Olivia Kidney and Olivia Kidney and the Exit Academy by Ellen Potter -- I found these books very enjoyable and touching. Olivia shows her strength, sweetness, imagination, intelligence and loneliness, as you watch her cope and heal from the loss of her brother, Christopher. She has many interesting adventures, which shift from the real to the imaginary. These books touch on death, communication with spirits, loneliness and healing with such compassion and imagination that it is comforting.

5. Aunt Celeste, Madame Vera and Lila from Lila Bloom by Alexander Stadler -- This sweet picture book shows how moods can change from bad to good with just a little change in attitude. Poor Lila has had a bad day and doesn't want to go to ballet class. Her Aunt Celeste shows a little staged indifference. Her teacher, Madame Vera, fuels the fire in Lila by "taking away" what Lila loves. Lila finds joy as she rediscovers her passion for dancing. Ah... Manipulation to prove a point.

6. Princess and Queen from The Princess and the Pea by Lauren Childs -- This is such a beautiful picture book with a witty, humorous version of the fairy tale. The princess turns out to be quite independent, curious, and adventurous with a mesmerizing certain something. And the queen is protective and loving of her son since she has her servants place a pea under all those mattresses just to make sure her son marries a true princess. Who doesn't love a good fairy tale?


Jen Robinson said...

Excellent work keeping up your list! I'm going to have to read Fault Line, I think. Actually, I have yet to read Princess Academy, though I have given it as a gift.

liz said...

Thanks so much for this great list. Everything by Cynthia Rylant is perfection in my book...