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Celebrating the Tomboys of Children’s Literature

A lifelong fan of spunky heroines, author Megan Mayhew-Bergman imagines the rough-and-tumble tomboy as a figure of empowerment, standing in contrast with the conventionally “likeable” and feminine teen protagonist:
The tomboy protagonist is often a projection of the author herself, a semi-autobiographical stand-in as in the case of Harper Lee and Scout, and Alcott and Jo. I have found myself doing the same, hoping and dreaming with my pen, trying to live on the page in a way I can’t quite live in the world, and aspiring to close that gap. What I have learned as a reader and a writer: the so-called tomboy—scuffing her shoes down a dirt road, the wind in her pixie-cut—shapes a girl’s sense of possibility. (Book Riot)
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