When we think of the most important characters in (recent) children’s literature, one fictitious girl soars above the rest: Hermione Granger. Quick-witted and exceptionally clever, Hermione is the strong and outspoken female we know and love from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series (Emma Watson portrays her in all eight wildly popular Harry Potter films). Hermione is not just great for her smarts, but for her compassion, how she uses her intelligence to help others, and her loyalty to her best friends Harry Potter and Ron Weasley.
A top student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Hermione has an incredible knowledge of the wizarding world that often helps her ‘save the day’ throughout all of the Harry Potter books and movies. She is proof that information is power, and her friends rely on her to use her smarts heroically in times of need.
What we should also remember about Hermione is how quick she is to help those around her - not just how quick she is in the classroom or in a crisis! She is the daughter of two muggles (non-wizards), so she feels responsible for the well-being of other people who are excluded in the wizarding world. We see Hermione’s compassionate side when she stands up for characters like Neville Longbottom (who is often bullied) and House-Elves (she even founds the Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire).
Hermione taught me so many valuable lessons while I read the Harry Potter books growing up. As a girl with an insatiable thirst for knowledge, Hermione inspired me to explore my own infinite intellectual curiosities. Her heroism in J.K. Rowling’s novels proved that it was not just okay but beneficial to everyone when girls excel; we should raise our hands in school, ask questions, soak up information, and participate in whatever activities we enjoy. Hermione also refused to be a bystander to problems like bullying and exclusion, and led others by example to encourage them to be proud of who they are as well. Hermione Granger made it cool to be smart. She made it cool to be compassionate. She made it cool to stand up for what you believe in. She is brilliant, beautiful, and brave.
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