Children’s literature has always been a treasured genre. I’m sure we can all look back over our childhood and pick out some of our favourite characters and books – the ones that stuck with us throughout the years and the ones and we continue to read to our own children
I’ve compiled a list of the top most inspirational children’s book characters, so let me know if you agree. See below:
Just the name Matilda brings back memories of an amazingly gifted little girl, making items dance around her living room with only her mind. This Roald Dahl classic follows five-year-old Matilda, who is mistreated by her parents and tyrannical headmistress Miss Trunchbull. Matilda is extremely courageous and, with the help of her friend and teacher Miss Honey, she learns to control and develop her telekinetic gift in a way that benefits the whole school. It’s a tale of good vs. evil that has inspired both a blockbuster film and an award-winning stage show.
Katniss is the newest character on this list, but she makes up for it in strength and self-sacrifice. Living in a dystopian universe where every year children must compete to the death in a fully televised ‘Hunger Games’, Katniss volunteers to take her sister’s place and enter the arena herself. If she isn’t an inspirational children’s figure, who is?
Alice in Wonderland is one of the most beloved characters in literary history. She’s clever and sensible, yet her world is turned upside down in a tale of fantasy where flowers talk and the Queen of Hearts plays croquet with live flamingos. Through her journey to try and get home she meets a fascinating array of characters, from The Mad Hatter to the Cheshire Cat. Alice inspires us to dream and to keep hold of silliness and childish wonder, while her adventures have even been short-listed as one of the greatest children’s books of all time.
We couldn’t have a list of inspirational children’s characters without mentioning Harry Potter. The chosen one is on a mission to vanquish Lord Voldemort for good, all while going to class, learning how to play Quidditch and navigating his own adolescence. It’s a magical story that has captured a multitude of generations, with die-hard fans able to visit Diagon Alley and the Great Hall for themselves on the Harry Potter Studio Tour Experience.
From The Chronicles of Narnia, Lucy is a lovable character who shows tremendous courage in standing up to her family when they don’t believe there’s a hidden world inside the wardrobe. Lucy is a sensitive and faithful little girl, believing in Narnia and Aslan when no one else does. She gets teased mercilessly by her siblings until they also discover that Narnia is real, and teaches us to be true to ourselves and not to back down in the face of adversity.
LAURA INGALLS WILDER
For those who aren’t knowledgeable on Laura Ingalls Wilder, she is the main protagonist in the Little House on The Prairie series. These books follow her and her family of seven as they grow up in the Midwest region of the United States in the 19th century. Laura documents her hard but enjoyable life as the family works on a farm, lives in a small cabin in the woods and moves around the United States in only a covered wagon. Laura’s journey was made into a popular TV series that still airs today, and her positive attitude is truly inspirational.
While Paddington isn’t a child himself, he’s definitely inspirational and beloved by both children and adults alike. A bear with impeccable manners, Paddington comes from the deepest darkest Peru armed with only a hat and a jar of marmalade, inspiring us to step outside of our comfort zones and try new experiences.
Do you agree with this inspirational children’s book character list? Will you add any more? Let me know in the comments below.
*Disclosure: Collaborative Post
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Carol Boffey says
Carly Belsey says
I do agree with this list, especially Matilda as I really love her character and how she ends up in a really happily life.
Laura Findlay says
Great list of characters. I especially like Matilda x
Tee Simpson says
My eldest loves Matilda-defo a great inspiration
Fiona Cambouropoulos says
Some great ones, I love the character of Katniss in Hunger Games. #KCACOLS
Lydia C. Lee says
Def Alice. THerte’s a whole philosophuy on ‘What woudl Alice do?” #KCACOLS
Veronica Lee says
Great roundup you have here. I loved Paddington Bear as a kid. Still do!
Me too! 😉 x
Jessica Powell says
Matilda was one of my absolute favourites as a kid – she never gave up on her dreams and the things she liked to do, even when she was mocked constantly for it. <3 #KCACOLS
Love Matilda too! It is my daughter’s favourite at the moment! 🙂 x
Madeline (This Glorious Life) says
One of my favourite books when I was younger was ‘Back Home’ and the main character in that was amazing in how she adapted to coming back to England after being evacuated to America during the war. x #KCACOLS
Sounds super interesting! I would get it for Bella! Love the conexion to America too! Thanks for the recommendation! 🙂 c
Cassie - Gorgeous george's mama says
Ah I love this list. I love that it shows children that other children of all walks of life can be empowering.
I have to say that the most inspirational children’s book character for me personally is Sam Ganjees out of Lord of the Rings. What a guy! Loved this, there are so many that just stand out! #KCACOLS
Carol Cameleon says
Great list. I would totally go with Ginny or Hermione from Harry Potter too. Our 8yo is certainly inspired by Ginny Weasley. Thanks for hosting #kcacols
I was a big Hardy Boys fan when i was a kid and can’t wait until my daughter is a year or two older and I can introduce her to the old Nancy Drew books #KCACOLS
PEACHY and MOMMY says
As a child I liked Nancy Drew and Ramona Quimby. As an adult one of my favourite books to read with Peachy is Peter Rabbit. But that may be just because it’s one of the first books I ever read to her. #KCACOLS
Sarah | Digital Motherhood says
All amazing characters. We’re reading Matilda at the moment so this is one of my daughter’s current faves! #KCACOLS
Alice V says
Great list! We haven’t moved on to some of these yet because my girls are still learning to read but I think I need to get that collection going for future bedtimes. #KCACOLS
Mummy and the Mexicans (Ruth) says
These are all really inspirational characters, but I think there are lots more to add! How about Sophie from Howl’s Moving Castle? She’s a very down-to-earth character caught up in a world of magic who always seems to think of practical solutions to the problems in the story. #kcacols
Sarah | Mummykind says
I love this so much! As a child I always wanted to be Matilda. Then it switched to Hermione once I got into Harry Potter! I haven’t read the little house on the prairie so maybe I should! #KCACOLS
Lisa Pomerantz says
Love the characters on this list, and must investigate Katniss. She is new to me and I am intrigued! #KCACOLS xoxo
Matilda yes. Harry Potter no. His friends did all the work lol! #kcacols
Acorn Books says
This is a great list. I would add Neville Longbottom from Harry Potter as he’s one of those characters who doesn’t have any particular strengths to make him stand out but he is loyal and a good person which definitely makes him an inspiration in my book. #KCACOLS
Crummy Mummy says
Agree with all this list! I would also add Mildred Hubble aka The Worst Witch! #KCACOLS