• Hannah Moorcroft Jones

Celebrating Inspirational Female Characters in Children's Books

We recently celebrated International Women’s Day which got me thinking about the role that female characters play in children’s books.

Whilst they are hugely important for young girls to aspire to, I believe that they are equally important for young boys. Seeing strong, adventurous and independent female characters being portrayed in books it crucial for ensuring that all children grow up with the belief that women can be strong, independent and capable.

If children are being exposed to this message from early on, then it makes sense that girls will grow up with a can-do attitude towards life and boys will grow up seeing them as equals.

Books play such an important part in forming young people’s perception of themselves, other people and the world around them. When I started writing my book, I knew from the outset that I wanted my ‘heroine’ Stinkabell to be a determined, head strong and passionate character that children could be inspired by. Whilst she may be a ‘fairy’ she breaks the traditional stereotypes and preconceptions of what a fairy is. To quote Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream: 'Though she be little she is fierce’!

Whilst Stinkabell is the brave and bold 'heroine' in my story, the other character who is important for female representation in a less obvious way, is Mabel (Dr McAvity's dental assistant). At the beginning of the story, Mabel is a shy, down-trodden character lacking in confidence, but by the end of the book we see a complete transformation in her character when she stands up for what she believes to be right, even though it puts her at risk. This message of being empowered and growing in confidence is equally as important for demonstrating that people can grow and change, even if they are not naturally a confident person.

I’ve been delighted by the feedback that I’ve received from children of both sexes about the story and the characters. The fact that the most glowing reviews I have received have been from boys is really encouraging as it shows that they can relate to female leading characters in the same way as they would male characters.

There are some fantastic strong female characters in books for this age group that are challenging stereotypes and giving children a great start when it comes to understanding and respecting women for all their skills and individual strengths.

Here are my top 5 inspirational female characters in children’s chapter books:

  • Matilda Wormwood in Matilda by Roald Dahl

  • Lyra Belacqua in His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

  • Zita in Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke

  • Lucy Pevensie from The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

  • Ramona Quimby from Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary

Purchase a copy of Stinkabell and the Bogsnufflers: https://olympiapublishers.com/books/stinkabell-and-the-bogsnufflers



7 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All