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Every book needs a hero. We’ve named our top 20 heroes and heroines from literature. From the sleuthing Nancy Drew to the unlikely hero in The Little Prince, there’s a long list of both well-known and atypical heroes and heroines. Who made your list? Tell us in the comments below!
1) Matilda Wormwood from Matilda by Roald Dahl
Matilda is one of our favorite heroines because she embodies all of us with her passion for books. Plus—she has powers that are pretty awesome.
2) Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
The smartest witch around, Hermione Granger is constantly saving the day and is a wonderful female role model.
3) Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Elizabeth chooses her heart over societal norms and can always be caught enjoying a good book—giving her a spot on our heroine list.
4) Celie from The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Celie becomes a strong woman after being abused and oppressed throughout The Color Purple. Her new independence inspires us.
5) Jane Eyre from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Another resilient young woman, Jane Eyre values her freedom and independence and has an extremely strong conscious.
6) Nancy Drew from the Nancy Drew Mystery Stories by Carolyn Keene
Nancy Drew is a young, fearless detective who is always smartly solving crimes and is the hero of her town.
7) Lisbeth Salander from The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
This fierce heroine is a computer hacker who defies gender norms and is truly unique.
8) Alice from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Alice is an adventurer and explorer that reminds us all what it’s like to have such an imagination.
9) Jo March from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
The strong-willed main character of Little Women follows her dream of being a writer and defies stereotypes—often being described as an “early feminist”.
10) Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Katniss is a strong young woman who is truly a “hero” when she wins The Hunger Games. Her strength and endurance after all she’s been through makes her quite exceptional.