Majority of Favorite Childrens Book Heroes are Female

In celebration of World Book Day, British company National Book Tokens conducted a poll among bookworms to decide which children’s book characters mean the most to readers. Of the ten that made the list, six of readers’ favorite heroes are female, with Matilda Wormwood (of Matilda fame, of course) coming in second, behind the one and only Harry Potter.

Seven of the readers’ top ten favorite villains are also women, according to the poll. There, Dolores Umbridge takes the 2nd place spot under her, let’s say ‘colleague,’ Lord Voldemort.

While the voters of the poll did show that they more often voted for characters that shared their gender, there was still plenty of love for heroes and villains of the opposite sex. Broken down by gender, four out of the top ten heroes for male readers are female, and vice-versa for female readers with four of their top choices being male. This demonstrates that readers of all ages are open-minded when it comes to the gender of their heroes, because it is truly – pun intended – their character that matters.

Here’s the list, courtesy of

Top 10 Favorite Heroes Top 10 Most Evil Villains
Harry Potter (Harry Potter series) Lord Voldemort (Harry Potter series)
Matilda Wormwood (Matilda) Dolores Umbridge (Harry Potter series)
Hermione Granger (Harry Potter series) Cruella de Vil (The Hundred and One Dalmatians)
Bilbo Baggins (The Hobbit) The White Witch (The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe)
Lyra Belacqua (His Dark Materials series) Miss Trunchbull (Matilda)
Jo March (Little Women) Bellatrix Lestrange (Harry Potter series)
Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games series) Bill Sikes (Oliver Twist)
Winnie-the-Pooh (Winnie-the-Pooh) The Grand High Witch (The Witches)
Anne Shirley (Anne of Green Gables) Count Olaf (A Series of Unfortunate Events)
Paddington Bear (A Bear Called Paddington) Mrs Coulter (His Dark Materials series)


What do you think of the results? Who would you have voted for, and who got snubbed? Let us know in the comments!