Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger.
Illustration by Mary GrandPre.
Since the Harry Potter phenomenon began in 1997 the series has sold over 450 million copies.  Many readers from my generation grew up with the series, and for girls, Hermione Granger has been a role model.  I began reading the series at age 8.  Harry, Ron, and Hermione were just a bit older than me, but I still felt that I could relate to these three characters.  Especially Hermione.
In the beginning of the series, Hermione comes off as a know-it-all.  But soon, she learns how to use her brains for good as she repeatedly helps to save her friends, her school, and the whole wizarding world.  Hermione’s character shows girls that it is good to be smart and ambitious in school.  I have always looked up to her for this.  But there is so much more to Hermione’s character than her incredible brain power.
In addition to her intelligence, Hermione is a loyal friend and daughter.  This is another great message for young girls.  Friends should stick by one another, even in the darkest times.  Hermione had no obligation to leave school (her passion) to help her friends fight evil, but her dedication to their friendship was very important.  She cared so much about her parents that she even erased their memories and moved them out of harm’s way, even though it might mean that they would never remember their daughter.  She is also passionate about helping those outside her friends and family—she worked hard to free enslaved house elves when she felt they were treated unfairly.
Throughout the seven books in the Harry Potter series Hermione‚Äôs actions teach countless lessons in bravery, loyalty, and intelligence. ¬†Though she is a fictional character, Hermione is a great role model for young girls. ¬†I think that author JK Rowling developed Hermione‚Äôs character the way she did for the purpose of inspiring girls to rise to their full potential. ¬†I know that the books positively impacted my life as a little girl as I strove¬†to be clever and passionate like Miss Granger. ¬†Hermione says it best herself (in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone): “Books! And cleverness! There are more important things¬†‚Äfriendship and bravery and¬†‚Äoh Harry¬†‚Äbe careful!”
-Hillary Hanel
Junior Girl
Girl Museum Inc.

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