1. Jamie Fraser from the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. Jamie is a romantic hero in every sense of the word. I have a complete and total crush on him.
2. Frodo Baggins from The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien. Frodo represents the courage that can be found in the little guy. Heroes don’t always come in hunky packages.
3. The Beast, from Beauty and the Beast. The Beast takes us into our darkest regions of self and shows that through love we can still find our way to the light.
4. The Artful Dodger (Jack Dawkins) from Oliver Twist, by Charles Dickens. He’s a thief, he’s a scamp, and in the end he hangs for it. But I still can’t help but love him.
5. Trixie Belden, from the Trixie Belden series by Julie Campbell (the original author.) As a girl, when I wasn’t reading about archeology, I was reading about Trixie’s adventures. My mom still calls me Trixie-Trace.
6. Percy Jackson, from the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan. Percy shows kids that dyslexia doesn’t necessarily mean handicap. As he discovers his potential through the mythologies that formed us, so do young readers.
7. Harry Potter, from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. The magic of Harry Potter isn’t his wizarding skills, it’s his ability to draw non-readers into the world of books.
8. The Cheysuli, from The Chronicles of the Cheysuli, by Jennifer Roberson. Not one character, but an entire race of them, the Cheysulies are an example of fantasy world-building that in my opinion is one of the best.
9. Lindsay from Downsiders, by Neal Shusterman. Even when Lindsay loses her teenage heart to a boy, she has the courage to say goodbye to him with grace.
10. All the characters from The Souls of Aredyrah series, by Tracy A. Akers. (They are my characters, after all!)
Series: Souls of Aredyrah, Book #1
In the world of Aredyrah, things are not what they seem. An ancient Purge has plunged the island into darkness, isolating its cultures by superstition and fear. Dayn lives in the northernmost region of Kirador and knows nothing of the great city-state of Tearia far to the south. All he knows is the Kiradyns are the only survivors of a god’s fiery wrath, and he looks nothing like them. Meanwhile Ruairi, a prince destined for greatness, resents his Tearian obligations, longing for a life he can never hope to have. But when tragedy takes his beauty as well as his name, he finds himself exiled by the very beliefs he once held dear. Both boys long for acceptance in societies that cling to religious ideals, but when fate throws them together, Dayn and Ruairi discover some unwelcome truths: not only are they bound by blood and prophecy, but the teachings they have been raised on are nothing more than lies. Will they reveal what they have learned, risking their lives and the security of those they love? Or will they keep silent, denying their destinies and the future enlightenment of their world?
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Tracy A. Akers is a former language arts teacher and an award-winning author. She grew up in Arlington, Texas, but currently lives in Florida with her husband, three naughty pugs, and a feisty chihuahua. She graduated with honors from the University of South Florida with a degree in Education, and has taught in both public and private schools. She currently divides her time between writing, lecturing, spending time with her family, and costuming at fantasy and science fiction conventions.
Ms. Akers has won numerous awards for her Souls of Aredyrah fantasy series for young adults. As a Florida Book Awards winner, she was acknowledged for her contribution to YA literature by the Governor of Florida during the 2008 Florida Heritage Month Awards Ceremony. Books One and Two of the Aredyrah Series are included in the Florida Department of Education’s 2008 Just Read Families Recommended Summer Reading List. In addition, Ms. Akers has been an invited guest author at major book events and writers’ conferences, a panelist at fantasy and science fiction conventions, and was on the steering committee for Celebration of the Story, a literary event held at Saint Leo University.
The Souls of Aredyrah Series is Ms. Akers’ first series of novels for young adults.
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