What do Neville Longbottom, Hiccup and Stewart from Molecules all have in common?

We love an underdog here at MP! and can’t help but root for them. We’re always cheering them on and hoping their wit and charm will get them to the top.


Stewart from ‘We Are All Made of Molecules’ is a bit of an underdog. He’s polite, clever, kind and tells a killer joke – but he doesn’t quite have the whole social interaction thing down just yet.

You’d think he’d be drowned out by Queen Bee Ashley, but his charm, compassion and loyalty meant that he ended up swooping in and saving the day, though what he was saving and from who we’re not telling…

Here are a few more of our favourite underdogs in YA.

Neville Longbottom


Oh, Neville. Who’d have thought that Neville would end up being so important in the final Battle of Hogwarts and in continuing Dumbledore’s Army while the Golden Trio were off hunting horcruxes? In fact, without shy, bumbling Neville, Voldemort may not have been defeated at all.


Skellig Tim Roth as Skellig ©Laurie Sparham For Sky1
Skellig Tim Roth as Skellig ©Laurie Sparham For Sky1

David Almond’s gorgeous children’s novel is one that most of us read at school if you’re from the UK, and one that we still think about now. When Michael moves to a new house he finds something unexpected in the garage. Skellig is a man in a rumpled, dirty suit. And he has wings. The way this mysterious man helps Michael through a tough time is so very beautiful.

Ponyboy and the gang

the outsiders

‘The Outsiders’ by SE Hinton was written when she was only 17 (yeah, it makes us feel like we’ve achieved nothing, too) and it’s now a modern classic. Ponyboy, Darry, Johnny, Dallas and Soda Pop are on the down and out. They have nothing but each other. Their story is tragic and beautiful and so very perfect and you can’t help but root for them.



Hiccup wasn’t always the greatest Viking Hero that ever lived. He used to be too quiet to speak up at the dinner table, unable to conquer his biggest rival and he would NEVER go face to face with a dragon. Until he does. So much fun!

Grab your copy of ‘We Are All Made of Molecules’ right here.

Read it already? Tell us what you thought at @maximumpopbooks

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Written by Sophie Waters

Sophie is the Head of Commercial at Maximum Pop! Having studied English Lit and Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, she came to MP! to satisfy her passion for books. Sophie is a diehard Hufflepuff and feminist. She's also a huge cat lover, and can often be found rocking her socks off at a gig.

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