‘I’m Tracy Beaker. I’m not going to be dependent on any guy. I’m going to make my own way in the world – and be a stonking great success too!’

Tracy Beaker, My Mum Tracy Beaker by Jacqueline Wilson

‘I seemed to grow smaller and smaller as I lay there. I clutched myself in fear that I was actually shrinking. I did not seem myself any more. I gripped my elbows tightly and gritted my teeth. I had to hang onto myself. I was not going to become just another foundling girl in hideous apparel. I might have to wear the dress, cap, apron and tippet, I might have to obey all their dreadful rules, but inside my head I still had to stay Hetty Feather’

Hetty Feather, Hetty Feather by Jacqueline Wilson

‘One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world.’

Malala Yousafzai, Malala’s Magic Pencil by Malala Yousafzai

‘You've always had the power my dear, you just had to learn it for yourself.’

Glinda the Good Witch, The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

‘I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship.’

Amy March, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

‘“Whatever comes," she said, "cannot alter one thing. If I am a princess in rags and tatters, I can be a princess inside. It would be easy to be a princess if I were dressed in cloth of gold, but it is a great deal more of a triumph to be one all the time when no one knows it.”’

Sara Crewe, A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

‘She decided long ago that life was a long journey. She would be strong, and she would be weak, and both would be okay.’

Tahereh Mafi, Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi

‘Never do anything by halves if you want to get away with it. Be outrageous. Go the whole hog. Make sure everything you do is so completely crazy it's unbelievable...’

Matilda Wormwood, Matilda by Roald Dahl

‘Oh, it's delightful to have ambitions. I'm so glad I have such a lot. And there never seems to be any end to them – that's the best of it. Just as soon as you attain to one ambition you see another one glittering higher up still. It does make life so interesting.’

Anne Shirley, Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery

‘I don’t like to see girls wasting their talents. You are both clever, that I can see. And if you have brains, you ought to use them. It isn’t good for women to be ignored and sidelined.’

Aunt Eustacia, Mistletoe and Murder by Robin Stevens

‘“The secret is not to dream," she whispered. "The secret is to wake up. Waking up is harder. I have woken up and I am real. I know where I come from and I know where I'm going. You cannot fool me anymore. Or touch me. Or anything that is mine.”’ 

Tiffany Aching, The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett

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