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Strong Female Characters in Young Adult Literature

J. Tanny
The list author says: "All of these books have quirky, spunky, intelligent, fun female main characters. And they are all good reads. So if you've read one on this list you might enjoy one of the others."
The Golden Compass: His Dark Materials
The Golden Compass: His Dark Materials
"FANTASY: There is no better character than Lyra. All three of the His Dark Materials books are wonderful, but this one takes the prize. They are making a movie of this book that should be released sometime in 2007... I wonder how well they will translate the book?"
Ella Enchanted (Trophy Newbery)
Ella Enchanted (Trophy Newbery)
"FANTASY: I love this retelling of the Cinderella story. Gail Carson Levine did such an amazing job breathing life into a two-dimensional fairy tale. I can't tell you all how much I cringed when I saw how the movie butchered this story. I could cry just thinking about it right now..."
A Great and Terrible Beauty (The Gemma Doyle Trilogy)
A Great and Terrible Beauty (The Gemma Doyle Trilogy)
"FANTASY: This book is Victorian Gothic dripping with dark fantasy. Kind of Picnic at Hanging Rock meets Dead Poets Society... The sequel is "Rebel Angels" also worth reading."
Trickster's Choice (Daughter of the Lioness Book 1)
Trickster's Choice (Daughter of the Lioness Book 1)
"FANTASY: The main character, Aly, is the daughter of Alanna the Lioness from Tamora Pierce's series, The Lioness. I didn't read those before I read this book and I don't think it mattered. I still fell in love with Aly's intelligence and resourcefulness. The sequel is Tricksters Queen."
The Enchanted Forest Chronicles: Dealing with Dragons / Searching for Dragons / Calling on Dragons / Talking to Dragons
The Enchanted Forest Chronicles: Dealing with Dragons / Searching for Dragons / Calling on Dragons / Talking to Dragons
"FANTASY: These four books starring Princess Cimorine are very clever and funny. Excellent writing, great characters -- what more could you ask for?"
Twilight (The Twilight Saga, Book 1)
Twilight (The Twilight Saga, Book 1)
"FANTASY: Bella is a great romantic character who knows exactly what she wants..."
Poison Study (Study, Book 1)
Poison Study (Study, Book 1)
"FANTASY: This book has a strong romantic plot to it that pairs up two very intelligent, quick-witted and strong-willed people. But its Yelena's story of her own survival that makes this a great read. The second in the series, Magic Study is very intense and lot more violent than Poison Study, but you get so invested in the characters its worth reading."
Cry Of The Icemark (Icemark Chronicles)
Cry Of The Icemark (Icemark Chronicles)
"FANTASY: I really loved the main character, Thirrin. I thought she was intelligent, resourceful and admirable. Her character had all the attributes of a traditional male hero without sacrificing many of the qualities that make her female. A very fast-paced and well-written book."
Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, Book 1)
Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, Book 1)
"FANTASY: Rose Hathaway is a half human/half vampire Guardian who is being trained to protect mortal vampires. She is a very smart and quick-witted character who still sometimes acts like the teenager she is."
Uglies (Uglies Trilogy, Book 1)
Uglies (Uglies Trilogy, Book 1)
"SCI/FI: Wow... Scott Westerfeld is one of my favorite authors. Uglies is about Tally who goes on this great journey of self discovery in a futuristic world where individualism is illegal. This the first book in a trilogy. The second, Pretties and the third, Specials are also great."
The Moon Riders
The Moon Riders
"HISTORIC FICTION: This is a brilliant novel of 13 year old Myrina who is the youngest in a line of Moon Riders -- a band of warrior priestesses known as Amazons. Tomlinson writes about the Trojan War using real characters from Homer and other ancient Greek historic writings."
Witch Child
Witch Child
"HISTORIC FICTION: An interesting look at a young girl who is accused of being a witch back in Puritan New England. The sequel is Sorceress which is not as good, but worth reading if you like this one."
Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging: Confessions of Georgia Nicolson (Confessions of Georgia Nicolson, Book 1)
Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging: Confessions of Georgia Nicolson (Confessions of Georgia Nicolson, Book 1)
"CONTEMPORARY: Georgia Nicolson might not be the smartest female character in history, but she certainly ranks as one of the funniest. I love her breezy, crazy manner -- she's great! If you like this first one -- then you will have to read the rest -- can't say which one is my favorite."
Feeling Sorry for Celia: A Novel (Ashbury/Brookfield Books)
Feeling Sorry for Celia: A Novel (Ashbury/Brookfield Books)
"CONTEMPORARY: I liked seeing the world through Elizabeth Clarry, and all of the quirky characters around her. Its written in letters from Elizabeth's private school English class to a girl in the local public school. Very clever and witty book."
Walk Two Moons
Walk Two Moons
"CONTEMPORARY: Its been quite some time since I've read this book, but I remember when that I was so moved -- I couldn't put it down."
Speak
Speak
"CONTEMPORARY: Melinda's story told after something terrible has happened to her that she cannot remember. As she picks up the pieces she learns to give herself a voice she didn't know she had. Brilliant writing."
The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things (Teen's Top 10 (Awards))
The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things (Teen's Top 10 (Awards))
"CONTEMPORARY: A very empowering voice from a young girl who is average in her super-skinny super-smart family. Its great to read how she gets comfortable in her own skin."
Flipped
Flipped
"CONTEMPORARY: This story is told from both Bryce and Julianna's point of views. Its a fast-paced and entertaining read... with a great ending. Plus Julianna is a fun and spirited character."
The Paper Bag Princess (Classic Munsch)
The Paper Bag Princess (Classic Munsch)
"Ok... not a young adult novel, but one of the strongest and funniest female characters written. All little girls should want to read this book."