Damsels not in distress

Books to read with strong female characters

Story by Emilee Slayton, staff writer

While some books have a protagonist who fights the villain and gets the girl, it’s way too overdone. Most books almost never have the girl saving the guy, or even have a female character who is the main lead and fights crimes. While these are just two examples, some female authors have written spectacular and inspiring books that have a female protagonist and strong female characters.  

“The Complete Persepolis” by Marjane Satrapi tells of the author’s unforgettable life from her childhood to her coming-of-age. The book includes her relationship with God and the society in Tehran, the capital of Iran, with her family during the Islamic Revolution. The story is unique because it is a graphic novel in black and white, using words and pictures to depict the story. The book shows issues that women had to face during the Islamic Revolution which included the strict dress code and the limitations of women’s rights. Throughout the story, Satrapi always stands up for what she believes in, even in the darkest times of oppression, which is truly empowering.

“Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott is a two-volume novel following the four March sisters through their adolescence and young adulthood. Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy are all struggling to maintain their household in New England with their mother while their father is away serving as a captain in the Civil War. The characters are faced with a society that defines women by how they act toward one another and how they support and improve one another. Jo March is the most empowering of all the sisters because she challenged the belief of women being prim and proper in the 1800s, a time period where that’s all women were considered good for.

While some books have a protagonist who fights the villain and gets the girl, it’s way too overdone.

— Slayton

“Coraline” by Neil Gaiman is a terrifying book that we can all agree on. Coraline goes through the most horrifying obstacles to rescue her loved ones to maintain peace. The book contains the theme of different versions of reality which is important because it gives Coraline the courage to get through her trials. What Coraline goes through can be scary for some readers. However, the idea that Coraline never gave up and was brave was very inspiring for me. The book has the potential to give many little girls an inspirational figure who always has courage and never gives up.

While these three books are all completely different, they all have one thing in common: a determined female character who will fight for what she believes in. Even though I only gave three suggestions, the list of female-empowering novels goes on and on, with classics such as, “The Scarlet Letter,”Jane Eyre” and “Matilda.” If you ever want to sit down with a cup of coffee or tea and read, consider one of these books. You can truly be inspired to speak out, be different and have courage in the darkest of times.