Heroines and female villains outnumber heroes and male baddies in a literary poll of memorable children’s novel characters, to mark World Book Day.
Six of the top 10 heroes/heroines voted for were female, including Harry Potter’s Hermione Granger and Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games series.
Seven out of 10 villains were female, including Matilda’s Miss Trunchbull.
However, the top hero and villain were both male – Harry Potter and his nemesis Lord Voldemort.
More than 7,000 book lovers took part in the poll, organised by National Book Tokens ahead of World Book Day on 3 March.
Literary villain Bill Sikes was the oldest fictional character to appear on either list, first appearing in Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist 180 years ago.
Kirsten Grant, director of World Book Day said: “These polls show that classic characters and stories stay with us, no matter how long ago we read them.
“They also show that readers are refreshingly open to reading about characters of the opposite sex – though is it worrying so many of the greatest fictional villains are female?”
Top 10 favourite heroes/heroines
Harry Potter (Harry Potter series by JK Rowling)
Matilda Wormwood (Matilda by Roald Dahl)
Hermione Granger (Harry Potter series)
Bilbo Baggins (The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien)
Lyra Belacqua (His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman)
Jo March (Little Women by Louisa May Alcott)
Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins)
Winnie-the-Pooh (Winnie-the-Pooh by AA Milne)
Anne Shirley (Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery)
Paddington Bear (A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond)
Top 10 most evil villains
Lord Voldemort (Harry Potter series)
Dolores Umbridge (Harry Potter series)
Cruella de Vil (The Hundred and One Dalmatians by Dodie Smith)
The White Witch (The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by CS Lewis)
Miss Trunchbull (Matilda)
Bellatrix Lestrange (Harry Potter series)
Bill Sikes (Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens)
The Grand High Witch (The Witches by Roald Dahl)
Count Olaf (A Series of Unfortunate …read more
Source:: BBC Entertainment