I skimmed through an article this week in the NYT that was an interview with adult author Stacy Schiff, and she said something that I really loved,

For a long time there it seemed that spirited women existed only in young adult novels. Did they lose their moxie once they graduated to grown-up literature?

This got me thinking about all of my favorite heroines in YA novels: Hermione (Harry Potter), Georgia Nicholson (Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging), Dicey Tillerman (Dicey’s Song), Melinda Sordino (Speak)…I mean…I could go on and on. To me, there is no literary heroine more inspiriting than the young adult girl who takes the world by storm or who stands up to societal norms. I mean, lets face it, teenage girls are almost never taken seriously. So when I read a book like The Hunger Games and get to experience the kick-butt-ness of someone like Katniss Everdeen who takes on a corrupt government, or like Harry Potter and I get to smirk every time Hermione proves herself to be the smartest and most clever person around, I beam with happiness because they are shining examples of the capabilities of the ultimate underdog- a young girl.

Obviously, we do not live in a grim dystopian future or in the magical world of Hogwarts – but you get the picture. Most recently, though, I read a book with a non-conventional heroine. In the graphic memoir Tomboy by Liz Prince, Prince writes about her childhood growing up as a Tomboy and what that meant for her image and how other people treated her. Its a wonderfully humorous and uplifting story about challenging gender stereotypes. It has a strong message of staying true to yourself, even if what you are goes against the grain or ruffles a few conformist feathers. There are going to be people out there who want to make you feel bad about yourself, but you know what? You’re pretty awesome. Rock that baseball cap, wear that glitter nail polish. Do what makes you happy: it is okay to just be you. I think that’s a pretty terrific message to put into the world, and it’s one that I think we all need to remind ourselves of at one time or another.

41Et-2VD4oL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_So here is to Liz Prince who reminded me what a true YA heroine should look like :)!

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