Ha, nearly caught up! Maybe I’ll fill in the 15th at some point.
Alanna of Trebond was one of less than a handful of female heroines of mine when I grew up. (There just weren’t many in the books I grew up with.) I must have been around twelve when I read the “Song of the Lioness” series by Tamora Pierce. Like Alanna, I was a tiny, skinny kid with short hair (and glasses), who was bullied badly because I tried to fit in with the boys (because I knew I didn’t fit in with the girls, but the boys looked as if they might be worth a shot). Unlike Alanna, I never broke anyone’s nose in order to be left alone, but I certainly wished I did. I don’t think I realised at the time how much I owed to the Alanna books, but the message of perseverance and staying true to who you were, even when everybody else felt you ought to be something different, was a powerful one. It sounds a little cheesy, as well it should for an adult person, but for a skinny little girl trying to find out who she was, it was existential. I have to say, my daughter has had it much easier to find role models for her quirky little self. And still, one of hers definitely is Alanna.
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