It takes a special kind of strong-willed person to survive and hold on to hope in the dystopian society depicted in Margaret Atwood’s acclaimed novel. Forced to bear children for a higher-up in the Republic of Gilead, Offred refuses to let her situation lock her down. She continues to fight for her freedom, and that’s an important lesson.
As is said in the series, “ofttimes a very small man can cast a very large shadow.” Tyrion epitomizes not letting the hand dealt to you in life drag you down. A dwarf born to the Lannister family, he relies on his wits and has built a reputation while staying true to himself. As he so brilliantly puts it, “Never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor, and it can never be used to hurt you.”
When we are first introduced to this pint-sized genius, Matilda is living with her sleazy, self-absorbed parents who barely pay any attention to her. Still, she finds her inner courage through her love of books and uses her knowledge and telekinetic abilities to help people. Her selflessness and hope for a better life make her easy to root for.
Wonder tells the story of Auggie Pullman, a ten-year-old boy living with a facial difference. Attending school, he faces bullies and further adversities, but he never allows what happens dampen his optimism. As a result, Auggie is a perfect role model for young children.
Lyra is a strong-willed young girl who finds herself traveling north to solve the mysterious disappearances of children from her hometown of Oxford. Lyra inspires a sense of adventure and wonder in readers, and is someone all children can look up to.
In Dear Martin, which boldly tackles American race relations, Justyce grapples with identity and belonging, and forces readers to really think about how we view and treat each other. He stands up for the people he cares about, and is definitely fit to be looked up to by readers.