International Day of the Girl Child: Empower Girls: Emergency Response and Resilience Planning / My 7 Favourite Girl Child Narrators/Characters

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Every 11th of October from the year 2011, United Nations celebrates the International Day of the Girl Child. Maybe in your neck of the woods girls receive the same treatment as boys, however it is important to point out that for many countries around the globe it differs. Many girls do not get to enjoy the same privileges as boys such as the right to a classroom education, the right to not go through gender mutilation or the right to not forcefully enter marriage. We can all make a change in the way we treat our girls both on a small-scale or a large-scale. If you are able to travel to volunteer at women/girl shelters it is fantastic or if you can give a care pack for thousands of girls homeless and displaced because of wars and natural disasters. In addition, speak up when you see that someone is discriminating against our girl children. Teach them self-love, that beauty comes in all shapes, sizes and heart. The girl you see today helps transform  the woman you will come across tomorrow.

To commemorate  today, I will share with you a few books featuring my favourite girl child narrator or major character.

1.Scout Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

My Review: Oh I just adored that girl Scout, one of the best narrators ever. I enjoyed it this time around even more. I appreciated the sarcasm, the irony and the small talk, I felt like I read this novel in a different light. It has been years since I went on this journey with Scout and I still read it with the first time fresh approach. I love how the writer issues such as racism, poverty, class separation, family relationship etc, fused in the story according to the eyes of a child. Whilst I chuckled at the Scout’s smart mouth, these serious issues were never far from my attention. Harper Lee did a fantastic job in presenting the way of the South. Using Jem and Scout was a smart move, imagine viewing society in the eyes of a child. It makes you more receptive to the issues at hand and it shows how brilliant the two were (notice the explanations they gave and received and their willingness to learn).

2.Anne in Anne from Gables by L.M. Montgomery

My review: Oh Anne (pronounce it with an “e” *smiles*) has a smart mouth that keeps getting her into trouble after trouble. However, her mouth is part of her selling point which seems to work faster than her heart and mind. I really do like this girl and certainly because no child is without mishaps growing into adulthood, her journey makes for a humorous read. I do appreciate how she learns a moral after every incident. I realize that even with the hardness she places around her heart for some people there is forgiveness just within reach but it’s takes a process to get there. Adults would appreciate ‘Anne of Green Gables’ because it may remind you of all the tongue in cheek responses you would like to give on an adult but maturity with wisdom makes you think before you speak. You do see this transformation with Anne. Although she does not lose her voice in its entirety, she learns to think deeper of her thoughts and sometimes to keep them because she is aware of how others around her perceives her voice and she wants to keep up a level of privacy.

Anne of Green Gables to me feel like a  rite of passage for a classic childhood stories. Although I am reading the abridged version as an adult I feel the same curiosity, adventure and pleasant spirit I felt as a child when read books such as Heidi and The Boxcar Children. So differently, I do recommend this story for children. If not only for the adventurous determined mouth of a girl but for the lessons she learns from these adventures. A fitting moral lesson story.

Margaret “Harriet” Cruickshank in Harriet’s Daughter by M. Nourbese Philip

My girl represented as a second generation West Indian in Canada. She is a teenager trying to find her place in society. I admire her courage and her need to assert herself in a family where the father is the dominating figure. She takes on the name of Harriet after Harriet Tubman who commandeer many enslaved to freedom via the underground railroad. Whilst Margaret struggles with identity and questioning her true self as a black teenager, she draws closer to her friend Zulma proud Tobagian who is trying to come to terms with missing her granny in Tobago. I love that Margaret is proud of her black inheritance and is open to show off her roots and culture in a positive light. In addition, the girls shed some light on biologically becoming a woman. I remember when I first read Harriet’s Daughter, I found that aspect comforting because I felt like I had someone to talk to about periods.

4.Vada in My Girl by Patricia Hermes

It was very easy to catch a soft spot for eleven year old Vada who lost a mother and basically came to see dead bodies as dead bodies because her dad is an undertaker. She acquires one friend in Thomas J and spend probably the best summer of her life. She is girl who had to grow up fast emotionally with losing people she love and learning to cope with puberty. I appreciate how the author details her journey through having a crush, her first kiss and how she just takes on living.

5.Helena Vibius in Jars of Clay (Jars of Clay #1) by Lee Strauss

My Review: With excitement, I turn to this novel because I just read a story on clays and I liked it, however this novel is a completely different aspect as clay writing goes. A Roman setting is intriguing because I am always curious about the life of people during the Roman Empire. I love that the author tried to show a view of both the title and servant life. Through Helena, the reader followed a rich compassionate girl free to roam {to the point of safety} but could not decide her fate. Through Felicity, {Helen’s servant} we glimpse the duties of  a servant affected by mobility – women were not their own. The character names ring a Roman bell making the story a more true empire one,  one brother  dominating over another and the uncertainty in being a girl even in a rich home, reflects the times of the empire. The author skillfully showed the patriarchal rule both in public and private sphere, how Brutus word is law and his wife, a mere overseer of household duties. Cassius roam freely, creeping closer to the girl he loved, money allowed him. However, for Lucius although a free young man, he was a servant commoner and interaction with Helena could mean death for him and dismay for his family. When the author shows a love interest between Helena and Lucius, it exposes the difficulty of a bond between a rich girl and a commoner. I like that the author made the meetings between the two charming but full of danger. It is a lovely story, clean romance that offers some details of life in Roman city, to know how the love story between Helena and Lucius really ends; I need to read the second part of the novel. The first was intriguing enough for a dive into volume 2.

6.Ingrid in Ingrid by Lynnette Kraft

My review: What a heart-warming and engaging way to begin a novel: the descriptive birth of two babies entrusted with a mission at that early age. With the use of fantasy and the help of illustration at the beginning of each chapter, the author did a terrific work in showing the novel’s aim at forgiving, loving and togetherness both at the family and community level. I am not a fantasy reader, so I was hesitant about the role of the mystic lights of the Kumbion creatures; however they played a salient part in showing the outstanding people of Scot, although I am still a bit questioning about their appearances. If you are looking for a novel about community togetherness, this is the novel. It is a good story for nay age, the bad repents and the good heals. It is  a feel good story. It is believable [except the Kumbion creature], the time each scene took, reflected on a period of real horsepower, where everyone knew each other in the settlement. I felt that when the author allowed the eventual railway construction into Scot, it was a way of spreading Scot love to everyone instead of trapping it within the city. Scot was on the verge of its modernization. I  felt disappointed that Ingrid did not receive that extra blessing but since she was ok with the situation, then I should leave it alone. Most times people are heroes not for what they could gain in the end but simply to help the ones in need. The character transformations were so magnificent and touching, it made me wish that I lived in a village like Scot.

 

7.Mary Lennox in the Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

My review: Heart-warming, soul turning, emotional healing blended in the midst of an alluring Moor and a beautiful garden. I felt like my heart went through a healing process reading about Mary and Collin’ s journey to peace and happiness. It is so important to point out how the author showed that the children could not glow on the outside without changing their insides. Mary and Collin first had to change negative thoughts to positive and learn to act kindly and pleasantly to others. The transformation was so beautiful that I had my hand on my heart with a smile on my face reading the last few chapters. Collins call it magic, I call it inner peace but whatever name anyone calls it, everyone felt the change. At first I felt I had to keep my eyes on Dr. Craven but even he too got caught in the miracle of good change. It was combined goodwill brought with Mary, Dickson and Martha.

It was never dull to read of Collin and Mary’s change because I wanted to know what happened next, if someone would discover the Secret Garden and Collin’ s secret before he was ready to show. Even when I had to read over the Yorkshire dialogue, the language did not make the story difficult to follow.

The setting was a miracle in the making in the Secret Garden. Ranging from the deaths in India, the long journey across to Yorkshire to the Moors each carried a transition in the making. The journey was rough and bleak for Mary but the rain signifies a change to come for no one can have inner peace without a turmoil on the inside from before. The cold, dark Moor with its strange accent people came to life with the Spring. The birds chirping foretold good tidings, the winds ushered in comfort along with the warmth of the Sun and the earth pushed forth life. I feel good after reading this story. I want only positive thoughts and people around me. I am walking around smiling more because the Secret Garden has spoken. Listen you too will hear.

 

 

Who are some of your favourite girl child narrator or character? Join, come celebrate International Day of the Girl Child.

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