Tupelo Hassman’s brilliant debut novel Girlchild hit stands this week, and we couldn’t be more excited. The book is an inventive, electric story of youth and survival, as smart, Girl Scout-obsessed Rory, refusing to accept her fate as one of the “third-generation bastards surely on the road to whoredom,” navigates her world. We asked Hassman to tell us about her favorite girl survivors in literature, and she did us one better, inviting us (and you!) to earn our proficiency badges in literary girl survivalism by reading our way through her list. Hassman writes: “With the Girl Scout Handbook being girlchild Rory Dawn’s BFF and this year being the 100 year anniversary of the Girl Scouts, I curated this list in the fashion of one of the proficiency badge activity sections in Rory Dawn’s copy of the Handbook. Proficiency Badge: GIRL SURVIVOR. Symbol: a book turned to a dog-eared page. To earn this badge, do eight of these activities. The three starred are required.” Good luck!
1. Chin Up
Mary Poppins! Practically perfect in every way? You don’t have to tell me. I’m still waiting for her to show up, call my parents to attention, and order my life. A dear friend has suggested that what I love most about Mary is her dominatrix attitude, perhaps! But I also love what she teaches about how the wind changes and how these changes should be respected. Poppins’ travels in and out of the Banks’ home in the P.L. Travers eight-book Mary Poppins series proves that survivors do not stagnate and they never, ever overstay their welcome.