As a child, my heroine was always Alice from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. Back then, I looked up to Alice because she was an intrepid adventurer — only seven years old yet intelligent, daring, and self-assured. Reading about Alice helped me escape from my own difficult childhood and enter one in which a young woman could do anything she wanted with a little imagination. Now, at 30, I realize I also was drawn to Alice because she was one of the few strong female characters written for girls. Alice was not a delicate princess whose mission in life was to meet a prince, be saved by said prince, and live happily ever after. Instead, Alice was a regular little girl who wasn’t afraid to be herself and who figured out on her own how to solve her problems. I know now that this kind of female character was an anomaly when Alice in Wonderland was written in the 1860s. This is why I still re-read the book as an adult, and why tales about Alice have endured for more than a century.

-Jacquelyn Lewis

For more information, visit the Alice in Wonderland website, or you can read the book online.

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