Hello hello! Sorry I haven’t posted much this week- it’s been rather hectic! Since getting my new house (I now have a move in date!!) I’ve been packing, picking out furniture, meeting landlords and all sorts of other fun things 😀
Anyway, today’s Top Ten Tuesday was a freebie to do with school or learning so I decided to do a topic on inspiring female characters in YA fiction who are engineers! This is a topic very close to my heart as I’m a female computer scientist and appear to be a bit of a minority in my field. I always get a little over-excited when I read a book and there’s a girl interested in machines, or computers or maths or anything because yay for girls in STEM!
1. Violet Baudelaire from A Series of Unfortunate Events
Violet had to be top of the list because she was one of my favourite characters growing up. I remember trying to tie my bob-shaped hair up with a piece of ribbon once (to no avail- it didn’t help I couldn’t even tie shoelaces at the time) like she does every time she’s required to invent or fix something for her constantly in peril brothers. I didn’t even realise being a girl interested in computers was unique when I was a kid thanks to characters like Violet!
2. Leyla from Traitor to the Throne
I don’t want to write any massive spoilers in this post but lets just say Leyla doesn’t exactly use her machines to help Amani’s rebellion. Which is a shame because when we first met this character- a girl in the Harem who liked to fix mechanic toys for the littler kids– I was super excited, even if she was perceived as weird.
3. Hermione from Harry Potter
Hermione isn’t a female engineer, and I’m not sure whether charms or potion making count as STEM subjects or not, but one of the reasons she really inspired me as a kid was because she was hard working. Whereas Harry was clearly a natural Hermione puts the effort in, reading the text books before the term starts and studying really hard, even when fighting Voldemort she’s done her research! As a kid who wasn’t a natural in class, I have been known to bring text books on holiday many times, it was really inspiring to read about Hermione putting the effort in.
4. Maddy from Code Named Verity
I read this novel last year and absolutely treasured Maddy. A girl who loves engines and machines, who learns to fly planes and won’t take any stick from anyone for being a female in a man’s world. Yes. Totally perfect. This also led me to research the ATA and I read a few of their stories and the genuine Maddy’s out there were very cool.
5. Liz from Ghallagher Girls
Liz, in Cammie’s little group of three at school, is the computer genius. She can hack into anything, loves prime numbers and is constantly discussing technology. She a little shoved behind a screen while Cammie and Becks do the spying but at least she’s in the novels!
6. Nyssa from Heroes of Olympus
What are the odds you recognise this daughter of Hephaestus? She shows Leo around camp when he first arrives and works at the forge as an Engineer. I vaguely remember her being somewhat responsible for the three-legged race that is a little deadly as it’s through the Labyrinth, but we’ll gloss over that.
7. Liesel from The Book Thief
Like Hermione, Liesel isn’t an engineer but for want of tenth addition to my list I thought I’d include her. She might not have been interested in machines but she has a healthy appreciation of words and learning so is still pretty inspiring.
8. Laura from HIVE
Laura is a computer genius from Scotland, admitted to HIVE for using her hacking talents to way-lay FBI satellites and spy on some girls gossiping about her at school. She’s my favourite character from these novels, and one of the few female engineer protagonists on this list that doesn’t just sit behind a computer screen and miss out on all the action!
9. Dimple from When Dimple Met Rishi
Ok slight confession, I’ve never read the book and have no idea if Dimple actually can code. But I’ve read the Goodreads synopsis and had heard this novel was about a computer scientist? I’m scraping the bottom of the barrel here (come on authors, write more female engineers!) so correct me if I’m wrong.
10. Opal Kaboi from Artemis Fowl
Opal is sadly the bad guy (or I should say girl) in these novels, having some strange vengeance against Artemis’s engineering centaur friend who beat her in a science contest at school, but she is crucially still an engineer owning her own tech company. It’s just a shame she comes across so bitter on the page while the boys in the novel interested in tech (crucially Artemis) are the heroes.
So there you have it! Ten fictional girls in STEM! Admittedly that list was quite hard to make but one of my favourite Top Ten Tuesdays to write yet. If you know of any characters I’ve missed or haven’t read then please comment! I will almost definitely enjoy a book with a female engineer in 😛 And if you did this topic I’d love to hear your take on the topic or read your post if you link it 😀