When I first read Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, I identified strongly with Alice… her wide-eyed innocence, her curiosity, her struggle to make sense of a world that had suddenly turned upside-down. I admired Alice because she never gave up… she kept on trying to make sense of things, to find the ‘wonder’ in life.
As I moved through my teens, I tried to do the same, even though it was sometimes a challenge. I often wished I could fall down the rabbit hole and find a whole different world, or push through the looking glass to find a life less tiresome, less dull, than the one I was stuck with. Alice, both the fictional version and the Victorian child who inspired her, was strong, determined, spirited… but one hundred and fifty years ago, when Lewis Carroll’s book was first published, not every girl could be a heroine. For most girls back then, there were few opportunities to push the boundaries. These days, we have a whole lot more freedom – and every girl can be her own hero.
Whether you are loud and confident or whether you’re quiet and shy, remember that you have a whole lot of courage and potential. You can do whatever you set your mind to. Brave, strong, feisty girls… we need them now more than ever; girls who will stand up, speak up, change the world for the better, girls who can look around and see the beauty and wonder in a world that can seem more than a little crazy. Whatever your style, stick to your beliefs and don’t be afraid to dream big and speak out when you need to. Be your own hero… there’s no limit to what you can achieve.
Looking Glass Girl by Cathy Cassidy is available from all good bookshops from 2 April 2015.
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