From fairy tales and comic books, to classic and contemporary novels, the orphan's journey is a compelling and recurring theme in literature. Why are we drawn to them? What do they have to teach us? And what does our endless fascination with them reveal about us?
Here's a list of my very favorite childhood leading ladies. They offer lessons in perspective. They encourage curiosity and scrappiness in equal measure. And they remind us that even the biggest challenges can be overcome with gumption.