I wrote a post a while ago about inspiring females from the world of literature - Matilda, Anne Shirley, Mildred Hubble, Sophie and Laura.
I have a very important one to add.
The heroine of the Magdalen Nabb series that I read and reread as a child and was still rereading as a young teen because they're so relatable and warm. Like Sophie, I saw parts of Josie's life as my life. She lived in a town so I didn't necessarily see her house as my house and she had a front step not a back garden. But she also had a mum and grandma making her wonderful costumes, a bit of a spoilt best friend and a talent for writing. Most importantly she had a no-nonsense outlook and she was such a real little girl. She was scared in all the situations that little me was scared in - older kids, rooms full of strangers, unknown houses. She wasn't some precocious wunderkind just a normal little girl who loved her wellies and her panda, new dresses and new books. If she got herself into a shaky situation she generally did the right thing and got out of there for a while or held her nerve until things improved, like someone who has been paying attention all her life to how one deals with obstacles. This I appreciate because there seems to be a growing trend of assuming kids are too young to learn how to handle themselves. Well Josie Smith, a very realistic child, handled herself just fine and she was only seven. Thanks Josie and Magdalen Nabb.