Middlemarch Madness

Middlemarch: YA Fiction Elimination

This is our smallest group, so only one of these badasses of YA fiction will have to be sent packing before the fun begins.  Yet, I think this may end up being one of our toughest races.  I know I am personally attached to many of these young women, and I know many of our bookish friends feel the same.   Grab a comforting treat, whether it’s your favorite Snuggie or a cup of hot cocoa (or in Selena world, both!) and get ready to make some hard decisions.

First up, after a heart clutching moment of panic around 1 AM when Google temporarily ate the entire poll (but kept the data, so, um, go Google?), the results (from most votes to least) of the adult Sci-fi/Fantasy poll from yesterday:

Anathema Device


Esmerelda Weatherwax


Susan Sto Helit

Karin Murphy

Grytha Ogg






Adora Belle Dearheart

Charity Carpenter

Tarma and Kethry


And now for tonight’s contenders:

Harriet the Spy, title character by Louise Fitzhugh

Blair Waldorf from the Gossip Girl series by Cecily von Ziegesar

Scout Finch from To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Nancy Drew, title character of a series of books by Carolyn Keene

Margaret Simon from Are You There God, it’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume

Ramona Quimby from the Ramona series by Beverly Cleary

Lesley from Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

Karana from Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell

Emily Byrd Starr from the Emily novels by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Anne Shirley, from Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Claudia Kincaid from The Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg

Laura Ingalls from the Little House on the Prairie books by Laura Ingalls Wilder (or possibly Rose Wilder Lane)

Turtle Wexler from The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

Remy from Sarah Dessen’s This Lullaby.

Jessica “Not So” Darling from Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty

Melinda from Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Frankie Landau-Banks from the Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by Emily Lockhart

Because Google Docs is testing my patience, we’re going to do this vote a little differently.  I’m about to go all caps on you, I’m not shouting, I just want to make sure you read the new instructions before you vote.


The badass with the most votes will pack her bookmarks and go.

By [E] Selena MacIntosh*

Selena MacIntosh is the owner and editor of Persephone Magazine. She also fixes it when it breaks. She is fueled by Diet Coke, coffee with a lot of cream in it, and cat hair.

49 replies on “Middlemarch: YA Fiction Elimination”

Here’s the thing about Blair Waldorf: original, book version Blair is a wench, and not a very interesting one at that. However, this isn’t so much her own fault as it is Cecily Ziegesar’s, because she is a TERRIBLE writer. Just…awful.

And yes, I’ve read the books. Nearly all of them. And I was horrified when I read a piece in The New Yorker that seemed to indicate that a TV show based on said books could possibly be worth my time. And then I watched the first two seasons of the show, and though it’s fluff, it’s worthwhile fluff, and Blair is made out to be an interesting, ultimately complex character — with an amazing wardrobe and assortment of headbands.

Anyway, all of this is to say that though it looks like Blair is the one getting axed this round, I hope y’all decide to give her a chance.

And I vote against Laura Inglass, because as much as I love the Little House books, Laura never struck me as a character who cared very much about asserting herself as a woman, and against all votes against Remy, whom I plan to defend to the death. (God help me if she ends up going against Jessica Darling — not sure how that would play out.)

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