Home » PFL Spotlight » PFL’s Top 5 Literary Heroes for Young Children
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We all love to see a child immersed in a good book. Reading is a chance for children to discover another world, a place away from reality where characters come alive and ignite a youthful spirit of adventure.
From Jane Austen’s Emma to George Remi’s Adventures of Tintin, everyone has a book from their childhood they hold close to their hearts. With such a legacy of extraordinary literary creations, it would be impossible to mention them all. Nevertheless, here are five of our favourites:
Household pest? Certainly not! This common barn spider is one of the most loving, smart and quick-witted arachnids around. Charlotte guides Wilbur through life’s trials and tribulations: from planning against his impending slaughter to preparing him for his first performance at the fair!
Now, whilst being a spider may make her an unlikely hero, it is her gutsy, yet sympathetic attitude that set her apart. As we follow their magical journey, children will learn to cherish their friendships and value loyalty.
Our next literary hero is a kind, yet cheeky nine-year-old named Pippi Longstocking. Known for her long auburn pigtails and kick-ass attitude, this young Swedish protagonist has a rebellious attitude. Her boisterous antics are numerous and varied: one day she is saving Tommy from a charging bull, the next she is donning a full-length evening gown to the market. Her refusal to limit herself to a traditional female role is a true inspiration to young girls. Never one to shy away from controversy, she overcomes any obstacles that hurtle her way- be it a charging bull or a local bully!
With a personality as fiery as her bright red locks, this orphaned youngster has an unrivalled sense of adventure. Quick-tempered and stubborn to begin with, Anne soon adapts to fit in to her new environment at the Green Gables farm.
For any child who feels they just don’t fit in – be it at school or at home – Anne is a beacon of hope. Ultimately her eagerness to help out at the farm – together with her enchanting personality – wins over the hearts of her guardians, and everyone else whom she encounters. Even the notoriously cynical Mark Twain commented that Anne “is the dearest and most lovable child in fiction since the immortal Alice (in Wonderland)“!
Now this young protagonist is a little bit different from the rest. Born with a debilitating facial deformity, we follow his journey to fit into life in a mainstream school. Whilst it’s certainly not all plain sailing, August eventually comes to terms with his appearance, and accepts he will always be that bit different. Auggie not only reinforces the age old message ‘not to judge a book by its cover’, but will also teach your child that perseverance is key – no matter how great the obstacle. His resilience in the face of adversity shows us the importance of compassion, empathy and acceptance.
Our final hero is the plucky Scout Finch. More likely to be found half-way up a tree than baking or sewing, Scout is remembered for her refusal to accept social norms in her backward hometown Maycomb, Alabama. With a burning concern for the injustices she’s see around her, Scout stubbornly challenges racial prejudice. She may not always do this is in the most appropriate way – like when she plants her knuckle right in Francis’ front teeth – but by the end of the novel she comes to the conclusion that yes, there is evil in the world, but that humanity on the whole is good.
So, these are the 5 characters that stick in our minds as inspiring, but of course, this list could be evermore exhaustive! What are your most inspiring book characters? And which of your favourites would you love to see children continue to discover? Are the classics truly the best, or is contemporary fiction rivalling the creative genius of the past?
If you’ve enjoyed reading our list, why not join in with PFL’s monthly book club! Each month, we choose a book and run a fun-filled event for children of all ages! Get involved today and continue to discover the beauty of children’s literature, and what’s more it’s free to all readers of the Dailies by quoting #FEEDMEBOOKS. To get in touch, contact Passion For Language at +852 9231 5537 or firstname.lastname@example.org.