My daughters get inspired by Harry Potter

When my nine year old daughter was reading the Harry Potter series for the third time this year, she drew this picture: harrylucy

This scene didn’t happen in the book but she was inspired by the book.

Lucy’s drawing shows a typical gender matrix you see all over children’s media: 2 boys, 1 girl; boy in front, girl behind; text supports male competition and victory.

Last year, when she was asked to write a story during school, Lucy used a male protagonist. When I asked her why she chose a male, she said, “Because everybody did.”

Can you imagine if in a class of third graders, every kid wrote about about female protagonists? Do you think the teacher would notice?

I just blogged about how my six year old daughter has started reading Harry Potter. Last night, we took turns reading to each other. We are at the part in the book where Harry is with Hagrid, shopping for his first broom in Daigon Alley. Alice, like Lucy, was inspired to create her own scene.


She made up this character, a witch and her cat soaring through the sky on a broom surrounded by many crescent moons. I was pretty psyched about this witch, but then again, we’re only on Book 1. Do you think it’s possible to get through this wonderful series, not to mention her childhood, with her still drawing magical, powerful females, and putting them front and center in her stories?


4 thoughts on “My daughters get inspired by Harry Potter

  1. That reminds me that I need more great female characters in the stories I write. Next up is a mystery story in a fantasy setting about a female detective, her twitchy assistant and so on. Still, that story needs more great women.

    • Hi Kara,

      Are you and MG or YA author? Please tell us your about your books if they feature strong, female protaginists.


      • I’m not really sure, Margot. Since I don’t publish anything, online or otherwise I don’t really know which genre I fit in.
        I’m really working on actually creating more strong female characters since I’m still trying to get away from having too many male characters. (Balancing them out would be great.)
        The main character of my last story was a 15-year old girl. Since the story takes place in a fantasy world and my main character and many other characters were mages in a society in which mages are a little bit separated from ‘normal’ people, the pecking order was not defined by gender but actually by skill and power.
        That story was actually a follow-up novel to a story I wrote before, which unfortunately only had two great female characters. One who was there for only some chapters (about 3 or 4, I guess – then again, some of my chapters are really long!), the other for about most of the story (I gave her an androgynous sounding name too, so one of the guys actually thinks she’s a man before she becomse part of the ‘team’. They were actually afraid of her for most part which pretty much transformed into respect in the course of the story).

        I still have to work a lot at writing good female characters. As you pointed out in many of your posts the media mostly shows complexly developed male characters but not female characters. They are just there, even in books.
        The thing with me is, I can hardly ever imagine what my characters look like, but actually things about their personality. I guess I only need to shift my focus a little. It shouldn’t be too hard to create a good character and then decide that this character is a woman. Men don’t have the ‘good character’ privilege.

        You really made me think about this a little more. 🙂 Thank you!

  2. Nice to see her inspired! I, myself, was inspired by the kind of cartoons I watched as a kid.

    Witches are fun. I’m trying to develop a cartoon about a witch (well, a sorceress), and the character’s fun to work with.

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