Favorite Female Protagonists

My favorite fictional female protagonists! Who are yours?


My friend Anna has a great new section on her blog, which she cheekily dubbed a “lady list” in the great unveiling post earlier this week.   It’s a huge list of books, fiction and nonfiction, that she calls her “feminist reading list.”

This is not a list of my own feminist reading list, although, it would be dang fun to make one, and I could.  A lot of my exploration of feminism started as a way to wrap my mind around body image: both my own and the way the media and culture portray female body image.  I wrote about that a while ago here.   Instead, her list inspired me to make a list of female protagonists who I have loved, and who have influenced my life in big ways and small.

My favorite female protagonists


  • Laura Ingalls Wilder in the Little House on the Prairie Series.
  • Stargirl in Stargirl by J. Spinelli
  • Jo Alcott, particularly in Little Men by Louisa May Alcott
  • Frankie in The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks by E. Lockhart.
  • Kit Tyler in The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
  • Dicey Tillerman in Cynthia Voight’s Tillerman Homecoming Cycle
  • Meg Murray in A Wrinkle in Time by Madelene L’Engle
  • Anne Shirley in Anne of Green Gables by L.M.Montgomery

Here’s what I realized while making this list

1. Categorizing books on goodreads is too much fun.  Like 45 minutes of mindless fun.

2.  Female protagonists were way more important to me as a tween and teen than they are now.  When I look at the books I’ve loved and the female characters of adult fiction, they don’t resonate with me as deeply as the “girls” I grew up with listed above.  I suppose the notable exception is Kristin Lavransdatter, from the epic trilogy I read last winter.

3. Should I be ashamed (upset?) that my heroines in fiction are so predictable?  I mean, Anne Shirley and Laura Ingalls Wilder top quite a few “best of” lists.  However, that is also why those lists are also “best” lists, because the characters are loveable.

How about you – Who are your favorite female protagonists?


Author: Beth M

I love new ideas & information, connecting people, and discovering New England adventures.

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