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31 Times People Shouted, “YAAS, QUEEN!” While Reading

22. Dana Franklin, Kindred by Octavia E. Butler

Dana is the narrator’s protagonist of the book and is extremely dynamic. She’s smart, bold, brave, and kind but also extremely vulnerable and compassionate — especially to those who who treat her poorly (i.e. the slave master who she encounters in her time travel). Butler also wrote a complex black female character in a sci-fi novel during the 1970s. How cool is that?! —cedricp3

23. Lisbeth Salander, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

Lisbeth is so ruthless. There are no female characters as uncompromising and unstoppable as she is. She is a badass who can hack anyone she wants and ruin them without losing a second of sleep. She isn’t this conventional beauty either — she has tattoos, dresses androgynously, and in all black. Plus, she was the first openly bisexual character I read who couldn’t care less what anyone thought of her. —whatadickens

24. Leslie Burke, Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

Leslie was definitely a feminist. She wanted to race with the boys? She raced with the boys and won. She wanted to wear jeans and cut her hair short? She did. She wanted to wear a dress and be feminine? She did that too. She stood up to bullies like Janice Avery, but was also willing to listen and understand when Janice was going through a hard time. Leslie didn’t feel the need to be anyone but herself and she didn’t care what anyone else thought. —cdehon

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