Post by -dsr- Post by Lynn McGuire
"If anyone has a suggestion for a book pushing the virtues of grit but
with a female lead, please let me know. I could write one myself, but it
takes me so long to write fiction that my daughter would have kids of
her own by the time I finished it."
"EDIT: A female or animal lead. A story about a cat who succeeded
through grit, ability, and âcan doâ would be read three times
back-to-back, Iâm sure."
James Alan Gardner's Expendable.
It's been a long time, but that may be too adult for some ten-year-olds.
Post by -dsr-
Gail Carriger's Finishing School series -- steampunk/magic/espionage for young ladies
Post by -dsr-
Patricia Wrede's Frontier trilogy. Possibly the Enchanted Forest quad, too.
This not-quite-juxtaposition reminded me of Wrede's other books,
including her collaborations.
She and Caroline Stevermer wrote a book that became famously rare,
but was then reprinted and sequeled, <Sorcery and Cecelia>. The
(inevitably inferior, but not bad) sequels are <The Grand Tour> and
<The Mislaid Magician>.
Each of them has written books evidently set in the same milieu.
Wrede's I've read - <Mairelon the Magician> and <Magician's Ward>.
Stevermer's - <Magic below Stairs> - I haven't.
All these are Regency-set, though finishing schools aren't prominent.
Note that in keeping with the regency setting all resolve their
heroines' stories with romance/marriage; one worthwhile aspect to the
collaborative sequels is that these carry that story *beyond* a
wedding. I'm not sure "grit" is what I'd ascribe to the heroines,
but to the extent that "determination" or "steadfastness" will
substitute, they have those.
Finishing schools *are* prominent in:
Stevermer's solo <A College of Magics>. Inferior sequel: <A
Scholar of Magics>. Prequel some think superior to the original:
<When the King Comes Home>. All have female POVs, IIRC, but again,
I'm not sure "grit" is the word I'd use.
An entire trilogy by Libba Bray: <A Great and Terrible Beauty>,
<Rebel Angels> and <The Sweet Far Thing>. Sooner or later I'll
figure out how to rave effectively enough about this superb fantasy
work. The narrator is a teenaged girl, and here "grit" does seem
Wrede's other books include a series set in a geography known as
"Lyra"; of these, I think (again, it's been a while) <Daughter of
Witches> and <The Raven Ring> have female leads, and am quite sure
<Caught in Crystal> does, though that one might fly somewhat over a
ten-year-old's head (our POV is a mother entering middle age).
Nancy Kress's first three books, now kinda rare I think, all have
women as POVs. The link is that the third, <The White Pipes>, has
the other mother-as-heroine I've encountered. The first, <The Prince
of Morning Bells>, may be the best, is certainly likeliest to appeal
to a child, and its heroine pretty much defines "grit". (It was
apparently reprinted awhile back, revised, so is also likely to be
least rare.) The second, <The Golden Grove>, is darkest, and least
recommended by me.
Again back to Wrede: Of the "Enchanted Forest" series, note that
<Talking to Dragons> has a male POV.
Continuing this focus on mostly older works, it looks like all Pamela
Dean's books have female protagonists. I would suggest the non-
series books, <Tam Lin> ("grit") and <Juniper, Gentian, and Rosemary>.
Emma Bull's <War for the Oaks> is somewhere near "grit".
Joe Bernstein <***@gmail.com>