Girls, girls, girls.
Let's focus on some of my favorite girls in literature. Who do we have?
The Baby-Sitters Club
Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
Jessie and Violet Alden
The March Sisters
Before I continue, you're probably wondering where Sunday's post was. We get Sundays off for good behavior. Actually, there are only 26 letters of the alphabet so we get Sundays off to make everything fit, which is fine, since Sundays are supposed to be our days of rest. Also, I am sorry for making everyone wait so long for this entry! I really thought I was going to have this done before I went out of town on Friday, but unfortunately I did not.
OK, back to the Girls in Literature post. Let's focus on some of my favorite girls.
The Girls of the Baby-Sitters Club:
The awesome thing about these girls, besides the fact that they can do anything, is that there is a girl for almost everyone. Readers can usually find someone to relate to in this group and I do believe that's really good for the age group target (middle readers). I always had a hard time picking my favorite. In different times of my life I related to Mary-Anne and Mallory. I'm really shy, cry easily, and my best subject is English. That's Mary-Anne. I love to write and plan on being an author one day. That's Mallory. Plus, I did have braces for a few years.
Each girl is an individual. No two BSC members are the same. We've got the bossy Kristy, the artistic Claudia, fashionista Stacey, the sensitive Mary-Anne, California Girl Dawn, Dancer Jessi, Writer Mallory, Studious Shannon, and sporty twin with allergies Abby.
Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants:
These four girls are vastly different from the girls of the BSC. While the BSC is always together, the Sisterhood is rarely seen together. They seem to get closer by being separated and sharing the Traveling Pants between them. Each story is set in the summer when they are out of school and off on some adventure. They don't take their trips together except at the end of book four when they go to Greece to search for the pants and in the reunion book when they travel at the request of Tibby.
Also different from the BSC is there is not one girl for everyone. We have four girls. They are different from each other, but not so that everyone can find a quality of themselves in a girl. We have Carmen, Tibby, Lena, and Bridgett. Carmen is the intense, half-Puerto Rican of the group who lives only with her mom until (spoiler alert) she gets remarried and has a baby! Tibby grew up with hippie parents and thus is like a leftover from that life. Lena is the shy artist of Greek heritage. Bridgett is the athletic, independent, extrovert of the group.
Jessie and Violet Alden:
These are the sisters of the Boxcar Children. While they have their differences I really feel there is not much that makes them two separate characters. Jessie is the older sister being the second of the four siblings and Violet comes in right behind her as the third of the siblings. Jessie is the mother of the siblings and Violet is the artsy one with a knack for sewing and playing the violin. Jessie's favorite color is blue and Violet's is, shockingly, violet!
The two girls are sweet, loving sisters who, along with their brothers, Henry and Benny, solve mysteries and live with their grandfather with their boxcar residing in his backyard.
With Katniss we take a step in a different direction with the girls. Katniss lives in a dystopian society where every year a special game is played, killing off 23 adolescents, and declaring one a victor. Katniss's father died in a mining accident and with no boys in the family, she took on the fatherly role left open. She does the hunting and other food aspects as well as keeping her mother in order. Her mother really lost it when her husband died and it was all Katniss to keep the family of three (she has a younger sister) together.
The Hunger Games allows us to see Katniss in some feminine roles, dressing up, looking pretty, and all that, but other than that she has, in my opinion, an undefined femininity. She's a girl, obviously, but she partakes in a man's role and does it better than others that we see. She's strong and independent because someone had to be. She fell into the role because no one else was going to. She's protective of her family and friends. She's a great person. If you lived in her society, I think she'd be an awesome person to know.
Tris follows in the same vein as Katniss. She is from a dystopian society separated by the quality admired most. She leaves her family's faction for that of Dauntless. Dauntless are to be brave to the extreme of extremes, which includes such things as jumping in and out of trains! Tris shows that she belongs. She is strong and independent, but I don't think she's as much the qualities as Katniss is. There's more softness to her. Instead of simply being herself, she wants to show she belongs and that she chose the right faction. Tris's dystopian society is seen in the Divergent series.
The March Sisters:
Introduced in Little Women, there are three books featuring these lovely sisters of Louisa May Alcott's imagination. The four sisters are very similar, but each one contains one quality, one aspect, that makes her unique. Meg is the oldest. She is the mother of the sisters and runs the house when their mother is out. In Little Women, before she gets married and starts her own family, her job is that of governess. She's sweet, gentle, and friendly. Her family is poor, but she's invited to balls and parties. Next comes Jo. Jo is the boy of the siblings. With their father away at war, she claims herself to take over his role. She befriends the boy next door, Laurie. Jo takes care of her aunt and then becomes a writer before she marries and opens up a school for boys. Beth comes along third. She is the shy, quiet one of the group befriending Laurie's grandfather and his piano. She is the musical one. SPOILER ALERT! Sadly, she does not make it out of Little Women. Her health becomes compromised by a bout of scarlet fever and later on in the Good Wives section, she ends up passing away. Last but not least is Amy. Her special talent is art. She loves to draw. Her job is to go to school. What I remember the most about her is the limes. They are really popular with her classmates so much that they cause trouble and Amy does get in trouble for getting caught with them. Another SPOILER ALERT! She takes a long trip to Europe, meets up with Laurie, and because he was dismissed by Jo, she marries him!
Jamie Sullivan was inspired by Nicholas Sparks's sister, Danielle, who died of cancer. Like Jamie, she was unpopular in school and wore the ugly sweater. Her relationship with her husband was just like that of Jamie and Landon. No one ever thought Jamie'd get a boyfriend and during her illness, Landon proposes to her.
Jamie is a sweet, sensitive, innocent soul. She carries her Bible with her wherever she goes. It is her most prized possession. It shows what she values most. Her father is a preacher and has instilled in her Christianity. Jamie knows what people think of her, but she never lets it bother her. She stays true to herself. The sad part is she has leukemia. Why does such a sweet girl get such a disease? Life isn't fair. Jamie shows us that we don't have wallow in the unfairness. The book she is featured in, for those who don't know, is A Walk to Remember.
How can I write a post about girls in literature and not speak about the smartest witch of her age who just also happens to be Muggle-Born? From the Harry Potter series, Hermione is the brains of the Golden Trio. Without her, Harry would have no success. She is what keeps them alive. She cares the most about education, wanting the top marks and to take every class possible. She loves to read, reading huge tomes for pleasure. Her third year, she finds the limits to her love of knowledge, by taking so many classes she needs a Time-Turner, and thus wearing herself out. She is a strong-willed girl who will not back down from what she believes in, like house-elf rights. It isn't until the sixth book, Half-Blood Prince, that she admits to her crush on her best friend Ron Weasley, but it isn't until book seven, The Deathly Hallows, that she lets him know. She is absolutely one of the best role models for girls, especially when coupled along side such "literary" characters as Bella Swan and Ana Steele.
Every girl and boy should read Beverly Cleary's Ramona books. Ramona is a spunky younger sister who often finds herself in trouble or creating a mess. She doesn't do it on purpose. She isn't a troublemaker. She just can't sit still. Her older sister, Beezus, finds her annoying as most older sisters do of their younger siblings, but she does show love for her as well.
Favorite Ramona memories of mine: Her first day in kindergarten, her teacher tells her to sit at a certain desk for the present. Ramona is afraid to leave the desk. If she does she may not get the present she's been promised. Unfortunately, there is no present. It was a misunderstanding. Her teacher just wanted her to sit at the desk for the time being.
When her father takes up smoking she wants to quit so she makes a sign to say "No Smoking" but not being careful of the space taken up by her letters it ends up saying "Nosmo King." And her dad asks, "Who is Nosmo King?"
Beezus and Ramona share a bedroom until Ramona's eighth year when an addition is added onto the house. The girls will share both bedrooms as one girl will spend a few months in the new room and then switch. Ramona gets to use the new room first. Ramona is excited until she has to go to sleep. Laying in bed she thinks about the gorilla in her animal book squeezing himself through the cracks in the room. She is scared and makes her father take the book out of the room.