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EDITOR’S NOTE — This is a part of a series featuring Salina Public Library staff’s favorite literary heroes. We hope these lists will help you find your next book!

By Amy Pihl Ι June 11, 2015

My list of five literary heroes feature characters I love, relate to, admire, want to emulate, and/or envy just a little bit.

  1. Harry Potter (“Harry Potter” series): He’s down to earth (except when he’s on a broom), he’s a great friend to his two best buds (usually, save for his moodiness in book five and the Horcrux wearing moments in book 7), and he has a strong desire to see good triumph over evil (always). As an avid and devoted lover of J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series, Harry tops my list on principle, and the fact that I love the books SOOOOO MUCH has slightly influenced my pick of Harry as my numero uno. If this guy were real, Ginny Weasley would have a run for her money. (Don’t tell my husband I said that, okay?)
  2. Anne Shirley (“Anne of Green Gables”): Anne is a fellow redhead who is well-intentioned and has a heart of gold, yet always brings herself trouble with her quick temper and accident-prone ways. Verdict? She’s my kindred spirit and the closest thing I’ve found to seeing myself in literary form.
  3. Atticus Finch (“To Kill a Mockingbird”): Atticus Finch is larger than life. A) He sees injustice that others don’t and wants to make changes. B) His conscience dictates his choices. C) He has a virtuous heart. Scout’s dad deserves all the Father’s Day cards in the universe.
  4. Elizabeth Bennett (“Pride and Prejudice”): She’s smart, independent-minded, and totally wins me over. Bonus: Jennifer Ehle brilliantly brings her to life in the five hour A&E miniseries (which I must watch at least once a year because COLIN FIRTH).
  5. Hermione Granger (“Harry Potter” series): Sorry to have two characters from the same books in my top five, but Hermione is a seriously awesome gal. If you think about it, an alternate title to the “Harry Potter” series could be “Super Awesome Hermione, and the Two Boys Who Screw Up Way Too Often”. She’s smart, tough, and there’s no way Harry and Ron would have survived book #7 without her.

Runners Up

  • Albus Dumbledore (“Harry Potter” series): Dumbledore is the man who believes in the ultimate power of love. He’s also the reason I blubber like a baby every time I read book 6 in the Harry Potter series. Not kidding… Body heaving sobs.
  • The Little Blue Engine (“The Little Engine That Could”): No, I’m not joking. The Little Blue Engine in this children’s classic isn’t afraid to try things that seem impossible. As a perfectionist, I’m often intimidated by difficult tasks because I’m afraid of them not being “perfect” when I’m done. Lesson? Try, and remember, “I think I can, I think I can…”
  • Aibileen, Minny, and Skeeter (“The Help”): These three remind me a bit of Atticus Finch’s courage, plus a whole lot of comic relief (think chocolate pie). I recently listened to the audiobook of this novel by Kathryn Stockett, and I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to these three heroines.
  • Caroline Ingalls (The “Little House” series): Ma is strong, level-headed, and full of courage. She’s supermom without the perks of electricity and indoor plumbing! I couldn’t do that, man.
  • Brian (“Hatchet”): Brian survives alone IN THE WILDERNESS for FIFTY FOUR DAYS with nothing but a hatchet! Homeboy is hardcore.