Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Female Book Characters in STEM

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 πŸ˜€

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!

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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.

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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 πŸ˜› And if you did this topic I’d love to hear your take on the topic or read your post if you link it πŸ˜€

72 thoughts on “Top Ten Female Book Characters in STEM”

  1. I LOVE your spin on this week’s topic! I’m not scientifically minded at all, though I wish I was, but I love books (especially historical fiction) about women in science. Code Name Verity is one I desperately need to cross off my TBR.
    I highly recommend Marie Brennan’s Memoirs of Lady Trent series if you haven’t read them, which is set in a Victorian era-inspired world where a woman recounts her adventures as a dragon naturalist at a time when women weren’t welcome in scientific circles (or any circles, really, that didn’t include husbands and children). Tracy Chevalier’s Remarkable Creatures might also be of interest, as it’s a novel about the wonderful Mary Anning who discovered dinosaur fossils in the 19th century. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! You so should read Code Named Verity, I really loved it- it’s so heart warming.

      Ooh I haven’t heard of that series, what’s a dragon naturalist? I’ve read a few Victorian set books and enjoyed them all. Is Mary Anning fictional? I vaguely remember a famous woman paleontologist finding dinosaurs on a beach around that time but that might be someone else…

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  2. Hermione sounds awesome (I’ve only read the first book) and Laura from HIVE sounds great too!

    I liked the hacker girl protagonist (drawing a blank on her name) from Warcross as well.

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      1. The only one I’ve read on the list is Harry potter.

        Id love to do my own list at some point as I’m sure there are loads that i can think of at the moment. The ones i can think of at the moment though are Kizzy from The long way to a small angry planet, and Ellie Sattler from Jurassic Park!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ooh you should do your own list- I’d love to read it! I haven’t read The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet, what it about? Sounds like a good start! I found it quite challenging to write this list actually so would be interested to see how you get on πŸ˜‚

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  3. I love everything about this list! Will definitely check out all of those books because yAS WE DO NEED MORE STEM GIRLS IN BOOKS!

    I would highly recommend adding Elise Kova’s The Alchemists of Loom on that list. The main character is an engineer-turned-thief. It’s an amazing steampunk novel with excellent world-building!

    * TTT: 10 spreadsheet hacks to step up your blogging game

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    1. Aww thanks! We so do although I’m a bit biased πŸ˜‚
      Ooh engineer turned thief, that does sound like a good character, I’ll look out for that novel!
      I actually checked out your TTT earlier! It was really useful, although I’m not nearly organised enough to properly use the tips 😣 but it was a great post!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yay, I’m happy to hear it! I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did, if you do decide to pick it up.

        Haha, it’s fine! Organizing isn’t for everyone. But it’s a learned skill so maybe someday, you’ll get there!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Honestly, I’m a very disorganized and messy blogger! My posts are terribly inconsistent, and blogging is personally not much of a priority because of university.

        I’ve always been a bit of a perfectionist, and I’m a research major so I sort of have to live and breathe being organized. HAHA. It took me a while to realize that I could apply these skills in blogging, too! I’m still learning how to become a more organized blogger, tbh, but I’m very happy to share whatever I’ve learned.

        If you have any questions or need any help, let me know!

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      3. It’s pretty draining, isn’t it? Honestly, I can’t wait to finally graduate! Best of luck to both of us, really!

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  4. I love your take on this week’s prompt! There definitely needs to be a bigger appreciation and representation of female characters interested in STEM. I’m currently reading Truly Devious and the character Janelle is very into engineering and building machinery so she would fit the list πŸ˜€

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  5. Yesss love this list!!! The only one I’ve read is Hermione, so I definitely need to check these other girls out!! As a girl looking to go into science, this list made me so happyyyyy ❀ ❀

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  6. As a female scientist, I absolutely love this list! ❀ Violet Baudelaire and Hermione were two of my literary heroes when I was younger (to the point where my middle school nickname was Hermione and I 10000% took it as a compliment).

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  7. Aaah, I love this topic that you did for TTT! I have a mathematics minor and I’m always on the hunt for STEM female protagonists (tho I still have yet to find a good one that loves mathematics). I’ll definitely have to look into some of these books. Who is HIVE by?

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    1. I can’t think of any mathematicians in any of my books weirdly enough 😳 but I guess engineering and computer science is applied maths so you could lay claim to all these characters πŸ˜‚
      HIVE is a kids book series about a school called HIVE (Higher Institute for Villainous Education). It’s where young evil genius go to home their skills, it’s quite silly and funny. I liked them when I was a kid

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  8. I love Dimple!! She’s so awesome!! And now you’ve made me want to read Code Name Verity even more–I have it on my shelf but haven’t read it yet. You need to check out the Brave New Girls anthology, which features short stories with girls in STEM as the protagonists! And all the profits go to supporting scholarships for the Society for Women Engineers!

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  9. Great list! Important recognition too! I’d also add Stevie from Truly, Devious (interested in criminology) and Alia from Wonder Woman: Warbringer. ^_^

    Liked by 1 person

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