Top Ten Tuesday: Secondary/Minor Characters Who Deserve Their Own Book

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Surreal photo of dozens of people wearing suits and the same bowl-shaped hats standing in a neat row on a sidewalk under a stormy sky and next to such a thick layer of fog you can’t tell if they’re many miles up into the air on this surface or if there’s a calm little sea just below the fog. This has been a month filled with me having better luck finding fun stock photos for Top Ten Tuesday prompts than it has been with me actually coming up with ten answers each week due to how tricky I found most of the prompts. 

Sometimes things work out that way. But, hey, at least I’m having a good time in the process and I have the chance to feature some much older books this week that I usually wouldn’t include! 

Here’s the thing about secondary characters. In most cases, I understand why the author wrote them that way and don’t actually feel the need to dive more deeply into their lives.

There are a few exceptions to that guideline, though. I’d love to know more about the following characters for reasons I’ll share below.

Book cover for Anne of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery. Image on cover is a drawing of Anne as a young woman whose hair is tied up into a bow. She’s standing outdoors and gathering yellow flowers on a spring day.

1) Dora from Anne of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery 

Why: While her twin brother, Davy, gets into all sort of mischief at Green Gables, Dora just sits there and doesn’t influence the plot much at all. I know she’s a quiet, good child like I was at her age. Even quiet, good kids who follow all of the rules have hopes and dreams, though, so I would have loved to know more about who she grew up to be in the later books in this series.


Book cover for The Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis. Image on cover shows a drawing of a lion whose mane has been stylized to look like fire.

2) Susan Pevensie from The Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis

Why: Yes, she was a major character in a few of the books, but she was quickly dropped from the storyline after that. I think she deserved better, especially when it came to her fate in the final instalment of this series that still irritates me.


Book cover for Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. Image on cover shows a closeup of a white woman’s face as she looks off to the right with a little suspicion and fear in her expression. She’s concerned about whatever it is she’s seeing.

3) Miss Lucy (or any of the other Hailsham teachers) from Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro 

Why: This is going to be difficult to explain without giving away spoilers, but I’ve always wondered why the teachers at Hailsham weren’t horrified by the fates of the students they looked after for so many years. It’s one thing to be fed propaganda but quite another to spend so much time with children you have been taught are disposable without having second thoughts about your line of work. Why didn’t any of the teachers stir up a fuss? Or did they and were their attempts to change the system futile?


Book cover for To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Image on cover is a drawing of a maple tree whose leaves have begun to turn colours in the autumn. The tree is growing on a hill and the sky behind it is orange.

4) Arthur ‘Boo’ Radley from To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Why: He was described as someone who terrified the local children, ate raw animal flesh to survive, and had a long, jagged scar on his face. (I suspect many of the stories about him were exaggerated by scared kids, if not made up entirely). When I read this book, I was sure those details were going to be explained and his backstory revealed, but it never happened. He deserves to have his tale told, though. I think it would be a fascinating one.


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32 Responses to Top Ten Tuesday: Secondary/Minor Characters Who Deserve Their Own Book

  1. I haven’t read the entire Narnia series but I did so enjoy those I read. So many good elements and characters. 🙂

  2. I don’t even remember Dora (or Davy!). I really need to go back and reread this series and see if I enjoy it as much now as I did when I was younger. I think coming up with any answers to this prompt is a success. Have a great day!

  3. Regarding Susan, didn’t everyone you-know-what? (Not sure if html spoiler text works in these fields or not.)


  4. These are some interesting choices and I love your explanations for them. I’d definitely be curious to read about Boo Radley! And you’ve got me wanting to go back to read Narnia now because I read that book when I was a kid and haven’t picked it up since. Great post!

  5. “Even quiet, good kids who follow all of the rules have hopes and dreams, though…” This is so true! And I was that good, quiet kid, myself. It occurs to me now, though it didn’t when I was young, that Dora is good because she’s afraid. She and Davy already lost their parents; she’s got to be afraid of losing Marilla and Anne and her home at Green Gables. Being good is the one way she can make sure she doesn’t. So yes, you are right; it would be interesting to see what happens to Dora later on, and whether she blossoms into a more confident young woman eventually.

    As for Susan Pevensie, I’ve never entirely forgiven Lewis for his treatment of her, and what it says about his attitudes toward women. He was fine with his girl characters as long as they remained little girls, unaware of their sexual attractiveness, but at the time he was writing the Narnia books, he doesn’t seem to have liked or admired grown women much, particularly of the attractive variety. I can’t actually think of a single one he writes about with liking and respect.

  6. A book with Boo from To Kill A Mocking Bird would be interesting.

  7. I agree about Susan. The third book too has caught my eye before and your comment has me SUPER curious!

  8. I also agree about Susan. Though I’ve seen some various takes on her story afterward that I guess I will have to be content with.

    I went rogue this week, I couldn’t come up with a good list for this week’s official prompt:

  9. Boo is one of those characters that seems to have a massive backstory but is not the focus of the story. I would love to know more about him. Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier.

    Pam @ Read! Bake! Create!

  10. Arthur ‘Boo’ Radley – It would be wonderful to hear from him.

  11. Susan definitely deserved better.

  12. Someday I want to read the entire Anne of Green Gables series. I can’t remember where I stopped when I was younger. Never Let Me Go is waiting on my bookshelf! And I agree about Boo Radley. I always wanted to know more about him, too! Great job this week!

  13. What a great list. I’ve read a few of these and yet, having books with those characters as the focus would be great. Susan Pevensie certainly deserves a bit more attention.

  14. Hm yes if I would ever return to Narnia, a story about Susan would certainly do it.

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