Despite being purely fictional, there have always been amazing child characters that left their mark on the world. They tugged on our heart strings, taught us how to be courageous in the face of fear and that life is to be lived fully. These characters are loved dearly by both children and adults alike, proving that a good character is one that can reach any demographic. Below are five of the most beloved child characters in literature that we all have a soft spot for.
1. Harry Potter
First on this list is the boy-who-lived, Harry Potter, the child prodigy prophesied to defeat to put an end to the dark lord, Voldemort. Beginning with the 1997 “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” J. K. Rowling takes her readers on a magical journey where the bi-spectacled boy wizard attends the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry which, let’s be honest, we’re still waiting for an invitation from. There, he befriends fellow students Ron Weasley and Hermoine Granger whose adventures are chronicled in an additional six novels, all of which have been adapted for the big screen.
2. Dorothy Gale
If it wasn’t author L. Frank Baum’s “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” then there wouldn’t be any Dorothy Gale or her magical friends. After being carried away in a cyclonic storm, Dorothy exits her home to find that she is no longer in Kansas but instead in the whimsical Land of Oz. In order to return home, Dorothy sets out on a strange yet exciting adventure where she learns valuable lessons that have stuck with all of us. Her efforts were thwarted by the Wicked Witch of the West but luckily, to no avail.
3. Peter Pan
Growing up can be scary, and Peter Pan knew this better than anyone. Originally a minor character, Peter Pan was first introduced in the 1902 book “The Little White Bird” by Scottish writer J. M. Barrie. Two years later, and Peter Pan was now the most popular lad among many young children following the play “The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up.” His homeland was the wondrous Neverland, where he led the Lost Boys, fighting the villainous pirate Captain Hooks, and flew around using nothing but faith, trust and a little bit of pixie dust.
4. Oliver Twist
Oliver Twist is a lonely but good-natured orphan whose heartbreaking story is one of courage, hope and honesty. The titular hero was the creation of Charles Dickens who published his novel in 1838. As a reader, one can’t help but sympathize with Oliver’s predicaments as he slaves away for mere pennies at a workhouse, only to escape but get caught in the criminal activities of a gang of thieves and pickpockets led by Fagin. Against all odds, Oliver managed to find his happy ending when he was adopted by the caring Mr. Brownlow.
5. Matilda Wormwood
Thanks to British writer Roald Dahl, we have the genius young girl named Matilda Wormwood who had us all attempting to move objects with our mind. Born to a negligent family, Matilda managed to teach herself to read at only three and by six, she was a regular visitor at the local library. Between her abusive parents and tyrannical principal named Miss Trunchbull, Matilda’s growing frustration was released in the form of telekinesis, allowing her to get back at them as she saw fit. Her only saving grace was her fellow classmates and her loving teacher, Ms. Honey.
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