They’re a special breed in kids books.
Brave as a bear.
Fearsome in a fight.
But the loyalist of friends.
With their own special – some might call it quirky – style.
And laugh out loud wit.
Rebel girls say boo to the face of fate.
And bop it on the nose.
But learn from their mistakes.
And stick with the sternist trials.
When the chips are down.
Until leading from the front.
They win the day!!!
And they are so important for our daughters, these rebel girls in books.
Not perhaps as straight forward role models.
But as glorious celebrations of how much fun it can be to be a girl.
Rebel girls in books let our daughters know it’s good to be different.
That they don’t have to “fit in”.
They encourage them to be themselves.
Independent of what anyone else thinks.
And enjoy life’s adventure.
So who are they, these great heroines?
The rebel girls of literature.
Well, an ever expanding gang it has to be said!
But these particular rebel girls are our absolute faves …
… hunt them down and say hello …
Rebel Girls in Books
1. Pippi Longstocking
Pippi needs no introduction.
With her pigtails. Stripey stockings. AND ginormous shoes!
She’s funny as they come playing tag with the policemen.
Strong as an ox, she can lift her own horse.
But brave as can be. And a heroine for the whole town.
When she rescues small children from a fire.
2. Nancy Blackett
Next up in our list of rebel girls in books is Nancy Blackett.
It’s her crazy imagination that drives all the adventures.
And her skill and strength that usually pulls them off.
Gloriously, gloriously funny.
We want to be in her gang! Amazons forever!
3. Cat Royal
Our third rebel girl, Cat Royal is similarly strong.
But her adventures are on the streets of 18th Century London.
An orphan being raised in the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.
She can fend for herself – and more – as she solves the most dastardly of crimes.
They take her all over London and even to the streets of Paris for the French revolution.
4. Dido & Is
Our next two rebel girls, Dido and Is are also Londoners.
Sisters, they are two central characters in Joan Aitken’s Wolves books.
Untroubled by anyone else’s opinion of them.
Or their appearance.
Dido and Is travel the world taking on every baddy fate throws their way.
From their own father. To a cannibalist Queen Guinevere.
Who has somehow survived for a thousand years by eating small children!
And in perhaps the greatest rebel girl triumph of all, it is in the end, Dido, not King Arthur who comes to save the day!
5. Brine Seaborne
Brine Seaborne is our most recently discovered rebel girl.
Discovered lost at sea.
Brine escapes her job as servant to a very hapless magician.
Only to fall in with the most fearsome pirate of them all, Cassie O’Pea.
With whom she must take on dragons, invisible polar bears.
And unbelievably evil penguins!
In an alternative world, quite unlike our own.
Time after time, it is Brine’s think-on-her-feet leadership that triumphs.
6. Lyra Belacqua
Our final rebel girl, Lyra Belacqua, also triumphs in an alternative world.
Where she is busy climbing over roofs.
And doing everything other than what is expected of her.
Whilst generally looking like she’s been pulled through a hedge backwards!
But her initial mischief is transformed into brave rebellion.
When her friends are snatched by the Gobblers.
And she must free them before the terrifying Mrs Coulter can destroy them forever.
Lyra triumphs. Of course she does.
And like all the rebel girls in the books in this list, she does it in style.
Her own very personal style.
With wit, bravery, independence, loyalty, imagination.
And enormous panache.
If any of these rebel girls are new to you, do check them out …
We love ’em!
And do share your own faves.