For a long time, the main protagonist in a book was a male. As reflected in the patriarchal values of times long gone, women were relegated to either secondary background roles or as love interest or a role relative to the male lead. Gradually, as the times began to change, more and more authors started giving female characters the spotlight too, until literature finally breached the gender divide with the inclusion of women protagonists. Particularly, books with young female leads and their experiences became popular.
Here are 5 classic stories with a young female protagonist you must read:
The Anne of Green Gables series
Ever since its first published book (Anne of Green Gables), the Anne of Green Gables series has been considered a popular classic, with the titular character Anne Shirley becoming one of the most popular female protagonists in literary history. The Anne of Green Gables series is written by the Canadian author Lucy Mond Montgomery (published as L.M. Montgomery). The series follows the story of Anne Shirley, an orphan taken in by middle-aged siblings Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert. The series follows her life and experiences with others as she grows up.
A Little Princess
A Little Princess is another popular classic, and has a high-ranking book in a number of surveys. It is written by Frances Hodgson Burnett, a popular children’s writer A Little Princess follows the story of young Sara Crewe, a kind young girl sent to a lavish boarding school. The death of her father sees her fall into poverty and being treated horribly by the headmistress and her peers. Yet, Sara does not lose her kind and generous personality. A Little Princess is, at its heart, a story about staying strong in the face of adversity.
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, commonly known as the Wizard of Oz is one of the most iconic literature pieces to come from the United States of America. The Wizard of Oz is written by Frank L. Baum, who went on to become one of the United States’ prolific children’s book writers with his Wizard of Oz series. The story follows Dorothy, who along with her dog Toto get caught up in a cyclone which transports them to a mysterious and magical land called Oz. Dorothy and Toto, along with their new allies, a Scarecrow, a Tin Woodman and a Cowardly Lion embark on a journey to find the powerful Wizard of Oz, the only one who can solve their problems.
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm
Rebecca of Sunnybrook farm is written by Kate Douglas Wiggins, an American author for children. The story follows Rebecca Randall, who is sent to live with her mother’s sisters at their farm. The story follows her experiences with them and her journey from a child to a young lady, gaining knowledge and wisdom along the way.
Alice in Wonderland
Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland requires no introduction. Though primarily made for children, its story appeals to adults to, even in this age. It is one of the world’s most popular stories and has been adapted multiple times in different formats. It follows the story of Alice, a young girl who follows a mysterious rabbit down a rabbit-hole to a magical fantasy world and follows her adventures there.