This is a fun one, I chose to do "characters who learn something about themselves" for this week's Top Ten Tuesday because it's such an easy prompt I can take the time to do it properly. Here are my top ten. These are all wonderful books, and I highly recommend all of them!
1. The Shadow Children books by Margaret Peterson Haddix
The kids in this series are illegal. They are third children in a society that only allows two children per family, and they will lose their lives if the population police ever find them. The series revolves around a couple of different "shadow children" as they assume fake identities in order to join the outside world and fight the oppressive government that bans their existence. Several characters learn a lot about themselves as they discover not only how to function in the world outside their sheltered existences, but how to dig deep down and find the bravery needed to win the day.
2. Double Identity by Margaret Peterson Haddix
I love this book so much, which you may have noticed by how often I use it in these lists! I really can't say anything about what sort of identity crisis Bethany comes to, but it's really a doozy and it's one of my absolutely favorites.
3. The Missing books by Margaret Peterson Haddix
I'm not really sure how much I can say about the Missing books, because the first book would be completely spoiled if I explained the overarching premise of the series. All I'll tell you is that it's not a metaphor when I say that the characters "discover their identities."
4. The Candymakers by Wendy Mass
This is a book about many things, including candy and friendship, but it also deals with the stresses of fulfilling expectations versus pursuing your own dream. One character in particular learns to value his/her own abilities because they are what give him/her joy.
5. Tree Girl by T.A. Barron
This is a little book I read when I was younger, and absolutely adored. Looking back it's a little weird, but it's definitely got that aspect of identity crisis as the main character makes her way through the forest, and winds up discovering her own identity.
6. The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen
This is a book about completely losing your own identity, and immersing yourself in another's. Sage doesn't learn anything about his "identity," per se - after all, a false name doesn't erase the past - but he does learn about his own strengths as he slowly comes to accept the fact that he is much better at being royal than he had originally believed.
7. The Sisters Grimm books by Michael Buckley
Poor Sabrina Grimm hates her fairytale detective family, and just wants to go back to her normal life. But as the series progresses Sabrina learns to value the work that her family does, and to appreciate her own power as a Grimm and as a detective.
8. The Girl Who Could Fly by Victoria Forester
All of the main characters in The Girl Who Could Fly have talents that tie in with their personalities, but for the first half of the book they don't really respect themselves or their talent. Over the course of the story they learn not only to trust one another, but to trust themselves and their abilities. They learn that they are strong, especially when they work together.
9. Things Not Seen by Andrew Clements
Yeah, this is one of my favorites. Bobby wakes up one morning invisible, and spends the next few weeks trying to figure out how to reverse it, and how to convince DFS that his parents didn't kill him and take his body. He becomes friends with a blind girl named Angela, who helps him to discover things not only about himself, but about the rest of the world as well.
10. The Two Princesses of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine
Addie is the shy, clingy sister. It's Meryl who is the fierce one. But when Meryl gets sick with an untreatable and fatal disease known as the Gray Death, Addie sets out on a quest to find the cure. She braves all sorts of dangers and discovers that there are no limits to what she could do, if she was doing it for her sister.
There we go! Have you read any of these, and do you agree that they fit on this list?