Booth opens ‘kick-ass heroine’ voting contest

Madelyn Kidd, Editor-in-Chief

Booth Library is providing students the opportunity to choose and “crown” their pick for the 2023 Kick-Ass Heroine Champion throughout March and beginning of April.

Eastern students are able to vote in a bracket format throughout March starting with Booth’s staff picks for the top 16 fictional heroines.

The initial first 16 heroines listed are:

  • Okoye from “Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet v. 3”
  • Storm from “Essential X-Men v. 1”
  • Offred from “The Handmaid’s Tale”
  • Dana Franklin from “Kindred”
  • America Chavez from “Marvel Verse: America Chavez”
  • Vixen from “Justice League of America v. 1: The Extremists”
  • Miss Marple from “The Murder at the Vicarage”
  • Nancy Drew from The Secret of the Old Clock”
  • Katniss Everdeen from “The Hunger Games”
  • Arya Stark from “A Game of Thrones”
  • Elizabeth Bennet from “Pride and Prejudice”
  • Jo March from “Little Women”
  • Anne Shirley from “Anne of Green Gables”
  • Scout Finch from “To Kill a Mockingbird”
  • Clarice Starling from “The Silence of the Lambs”
  • Lisbeth Salander from “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”

Beth Heldebrandt, Booth’s public relations director, said the voting event is in similar style to the NCAA March Madness, but with fictional heroines from various literary genres.

There will be three voting rounds in total to narrow down the 16 heroines to eight to four and then the final two.

Voting predictions on the heroines was first done by visiting the bracket display in Booth and filling out a heroine voting bracket where various characters will be voted against one another.

Starting Monday, the first round of online voting will occur until Sunday.

Round two will be from March 27 to April 2, and round three from April 3 and April 4.

The final round with two heroines left will occur April 5 and April 6.

Heldebrandt said “everyone is encouraged to vote in each round.”

For the students who participate in turning in a bracket prior to March 19, an opportunity to enter a raffle for a copy of the book featuring the 2023 Kick-Ass Heroine champion.

For the brackets with the most accurate predictions of who will win the voting rounds will be entered into the raffle.

Kirstin Duffin, science and math librarian at Booth, said this is the first year Booth has held a March Book Madness after it was initially created in Ohio in 2015.

“This is the first time we’ve offered March Book Madness at Booth Library,” Duffin said. “The concept for March Book Madness was developed by two Ohio school teachers in 2015. University libraries began picking up the idea shortly thereafter, but it only came to our attention this year. We love finding new ways to connect the EIU community with Booth Library. Since the NCAA March Madness brackets are so renowned, we thought March Book Madness would be a fun way for folks to engage at this time of year, whether or not they tune into the basketball competition. It’s a way to spotlight great books and foster dialog in our community about the books and their characters.”

Janice Derr, head of acquisitions services, said Booth’s staff selected their 16 heroines for the brackets by making sure the bracket had as much variety of types of heroines as possible.

“We asked library staff members to suggest heroines, and we received a lot of suggestions,” Derr said. “I’m sure some favorites got left off the list, but choosing only 16 was very hard. Defining what makes a kick-ass heroine means something different to everyone. Is she smart, strong, compassionate, courageous, loyal, or just plain awesome? We wanted to have a mix of all of those qualities, along with characters in classic and contemporary novels representing various genres.”

Information on how to vote online in the 2023 March Book Madness Kick-Ass Heroine Championship is available on Booth’s website and social media accounts.


Madelyn Kidd can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].