10 Beloved Coming of Age Stories (For Girls)
November 7, 2016
Guest blogger Nicole Hunt shares her favorite coming of age stories centered around female characters:
Growing up, I read The Outsiders, and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in school. At home, I watched Boy Meets World, Growing Pains, and other fantastic shows that portrayed the growing up experience to nearly painful perfection. I’ve always been fond of the coming of age stories of my adolescents. The love, heartbreak, loss, death, and other emotional traumas of youth so often continue into adulthood. These stories remind us that we’re not so different. We all navigate the world in our own ways, but we still have to get from A to Z.
But so many of the books, movies, and TV shows I’ve loved over the years have focused on boys becoming men. In the spirit of The Oregon Trail at The Armory – a coming of age tale of two young women living in different time periods – here are my top ten picks for coming of age stories that center around girls.
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Little Women has earned its place on any list about coming of age stories. The beloved novel follows Jo, Amy, Beth and Meg as they grow up and find their own individual paths to happiness and adulthood. Little Women sees the March girls through poverty, loss and broken hearts.
|My So Called Life
Though it only lasted one short season, My So Called Life captured the coming of age experience to near perfection. Claire Danes' Angela Chase starts out desperately in love with Jared Leto’s Jordan Catalano, the quiet, emotional boy of every young girl’s dreams. Though he doesn’t even know who she is at first, the two eventually date (and break up). The final episode saw the two making up after Jordan professed his love through a letter written by another boy (who had loved Angela from the start). Angela realizes Jordan didn’t write it, and drives off with him anyway. Since the series never had a second season, it accidentally created the perfect ending: Angela’s realization that young love is not and cannot be perfect.
|The Facts of Life
“When the world never seems to be living up to your dreams / And suddenly you’re finding out the facts of life are all about you.”
I remember sneaking The Facts of Life at 11 p.m. when I was a kid. I’d turn off my bedroom light and turn the TV way down so my mom wouldn’t hear it. I made myself some popcorn (or whatever else I wanted) and settled in for a few episodes. Watching these four young women navigate life gave me hope that I would also be able to make it. No matter what happened, they always loved and supported one another. What more could you ask for in a coming of age story for girls?
For another timeless coming of age story, come see The Oregon Trail at Portland Center Stage!