I'm currently reading How to Be a Heroine: Or, What I've Learned From Reading Too Much, by Samantha Ellis. The author takes us on a literary tour through her life on the books she read during different times, how the various heroines influenced her, and how well they stand up to rereads and analysis. Although I haven't read all the books she discusses, it's still interesting to read.
Ellis used different literary heroines as her role models at different stages in her life. For me, I don't think I've ever done that to the conscious extent she did. Heidi was probably the closest I came to a literary role model in middle school and early high school. At this point, I'm not sure what drew me to her; perhaps it was her innocence and simple happiness. She may have helped influence my interest in religion at that point in my life. Other heroines I read about fairly extensively include Dorothy from the Oz series and Nancy Drew. There have been other books and series I've enjoyed a lot, such as Lackey's Heralds of Valdemar series, but perhaps I've read so many different books that each one has a small effect on me. It might be more accurate to say that like Walt Whitman, "I am large, I contain multitudes." It's a rare book that can stand out above that crowd.
Are there any heroes or heroines who were role models for you? If so, who are they, and what drew you to them?