Hermione Granger and the Deathly Hallows?

Girlw/Pen‘s Natalie Wilson asks: why are strong female protagonists missing from so many YA books? She wishes Harry’s series belonged to Hermione, or at least there were more series centered around Hermione-like characters. Wilson posts a link to my gallery of girls-gone-missing posters for kids’ movies and writes the ‘Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows’ film could’ve been included in the list. She’s right. Here’s my comment on her blog:

Thanks for this piece and posting the link to my depressing gallery. Kudos for dealing with Harry Potter. I didn’t include the poster even though, as you write, it would completely fit because it breaks my heart.

The Harry Potter series got my seven year old daughter to read 700 page books. And its by a single mom! But why not a girl wizard as the main character? And why does the writer call herself the gender ambiguous J.K.? Maybe she figured, given the total sexism in kidworld, a male hero is the best way to sell books. Maybe she figured she might not get published at all if she wrote ‘Hermonie Granger and the Sorcerer’s Stone.’ If so, given the climate in Hollywood and publishing, maybe she made the right choice for herself as a writer, deciding the world was only ready for the girl to be a sidekick– but she’d give her a really good part, make her really smart, and not the love interest of the main character.

S.E. Hinton wrote ‘The Outsiders’ about a boy gang to much acclaim. Maybe in 2011, women writers still exist in the world of George Eliot more than anyone admits.