Pam Webb

a writer's journey as a reader

Archive for the tag “Katniss”

Trio of Tomboys

Is it just me or do the more popular female lit protagonists share this particular trait in common: they tend to step outside of the expected norms of behavior. Here is a quick lit list:

Katniss Everdeen: hunter
Elizabeth Bennett: outspoken
Antonia: ran the farm
Hattie Inez: homesteader; journalist
Pippi Longstocking: indefatigable personality
Thursday Next: amazing skills
Jo March: independent spirit (psst–a writer when it wasn’t in vogue)

Hmm, most of these ladies might be under the broad category of tomboy (I rather liked than unintentional pun, thank you)



Tomboy. Is it a label of distinction or derision? What is a tomboy? According to one source (, it’s a derivative of tomcat, which is odd because a tomcat is all out male. I’m trying to catch on to the logic here–cats usually associated with female and by designating a girl as tomboy it’s saying she’s a boy cat instead of a girl cat? I’ll put a pause on that line of thought and jump right in the learned fact that there are different categories of tomboy. lists over a dozen types of tomboys. I had no idea.

My favorite reads usually involve spunky heroines and among my childhood reads are a trio of tomboys. I think I appreciated them so much because we shared so many characteristics:

Scout: overalls are indeed comfortable, I have two sets in my closet
Laura Ingalls: playing ball at recess beats the snot out of gossiping with the girls at lunch
Caddie Woodlawn: running around outside having adventures is a much better way of growing up

I have settled down somewhat, although I would still be playing church softball league if I hadn’t messed up my shoulder, and I have a difficult time passing up a playground, let alone skipping rocks. and climbing trees. And yeah, I would prefer watching Red Dawn II instead of Legally Blonde II. The male progeny are realizing theirs is not a normal, or at least expected mum. Is that a problem? I can make brownies or meat loaf when needed, but I’d rather be up to bat.

Maybe that’s why my character, Rebecca, in my historical novel is a tomboy–often a little of “me” goes into the “who” I create on the pages in my stories.

What are your thoughts on tomboys? Who can I add to my lit list of fave tomboys in the annals of literary girls who just can conform to the expected norm?

Revisits and Rereads

Cover of "To Kill a Mockingbird: 50th Ann...

Cover via Amazon

It’s 5:45 a.m. and I’ve just finished re-reading Mockingjay. I checked it out a couple of days ago partly because I was surprised to see not one, but two copies on the shelf. I cancelled my hold request for Catching Fire as I reached the last chapter of the last book in this series.. How could I return to the middle after witnessing the end of Katniss’s journey?
I usually don’t reread books unless a long interval takes place–at least five years or more. To Kill a Mockingbird is the exception–then again, I teach that one and is less of a re-read than a re-visit at this point.

But let us turn from Mockingbirds back to Mockingjays:

As I eased the last page over and closed the book and suffer from that post traumatic feeling of “book done” I’m glad I’ve reread Mockingjay. The first time through was a done in a frenzy of page turning, and I missed so much. This time I have faces for the characters having watched the movies and the tangled relationships of Katniss take on a deeper meaning now.

It’s much the same when I revisit Scout —Mary Badham‘s freckled pageboy face is superimposed upon Harper Lee’s Scout, as she bildungsromans her way through childhood and racial injustice, let alone Southern discomforts of the 193os.

Someday I will return once again and reread the third and final adventure of Katniss. Although I definitely appreciated the Hunger Games trilogy, I doubt I will actually become as familiar with it as I have with To Kill a Mockingbird. Hmmm, I wonder if there is a connection between my fondness for these two lit ladies, one a Mockingbird and the other a Mockingjay.

Yes, there is: it’s called A Good Story.

So, Book Boosters–while you are dialed in–any novels or books you reread? Or perhaps revisit?

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