Often in fiction we find ourselves preferring the supporting cast to the protagonist, whether that be because a support character is surrounded in mystery and it alights a rabid interest, or simply because the support is much more likable. It’s very easy to think of example’s here, many readers idolize Hermione Granger over Harry Potter, anyone who has read Howl’s Moving Castle will always name Calcifer as a stand out and if someone tries to tell me that Frodo Baggins is a better character than Samwise then you’re wrong.
I know it’s your opinion but it’s wrong.
So as the New Year approaches I find myself becoming nostalgic, and reading some of my favorite books from my childhood, and in some of these books I found some fantastic supports that seem to have been forgotten, or don’t get spoken about much. I just wanted to write a little about them here – because they’re all brilliant and deserve to be remembered.
Becky – A Little Princess – Francis Hodgson Burnette:
Now I love Becky. I remember reading her when I was a kid, and thinking that she was truly the strongest girl ever. That’s because she’s not like Sarah, she’s always been a scullery maid, unlucky, she has no hopes that her circumstances might ever change and she has no mysterious benefactor. Despite that, she lets the magic into her heart, fully embracing it, in my opinion she is one of the most courageous characters in literature.
Auntie Barbara – Lol Rose – Jacqueline Wilson
I’m not private about the fact that I am an embarrassingly avid fan of Wilson, and Auntie Barbara is a bit of a cheat in this list because I didn’t actually forget her, however I think she belongs here, because she’s truly undervalued and a wonderfully written role model. One of the great things about Auntie B is she’s flawed, for example her size is the stuff of jokes for much of the book, and she’s openly greedy. But there is so much more to any woman than that, and I think Lola Rose captures how little size matters in Auntie B; Most of her her money goes on travel, she makes her own clothes, she’s always vibrant and compassionate. Auntie B’s crowning moment is when she stands up for her family and scares away Lola’s abusive father with self-defense techniques, chopping him on the shoulder. She kicks so much butt I always cheer her on when I read Lola Rose.
I get very invested in these things.
Angie Mint – The Jiggy McCue Series – Michael Lawrence
This is a series I well and truly forgot until I searched the loft and found the first four books. The second I opened them though, it all came flooding back to me. I gave them a little read and two things struck me: First, Jiggy and Co still make me laugh, because apparently a decade has done nothing for my emotional maturation. Second, Angie is by far the best character, not just because she’s the funniest with all her ball-busting and fierce I-don’t-give-a-rat’s attitude, she actually steers pretty much everything, all the ideas that work are hers and quite frankly I am in no doubt that if it weren’t for her Jiggy would still be haunted, stuck in awful underpants and a girl.