I’ve been thinking so much about Cassie lately, and how important she was to the animorphs and how formative it was for me to read the kinds of philosophical and ethical debates that she made possible within the pages of those wonderful, wonderful books Ruthlessness and pragmatism is something that we see celebrated all the time in everything from war sagas to wall street biopics, but optimism? pacifism? forgiveness? hope? totally stupid insane hope? Those are things that I mostly see mocked and belittled in much of the media I consume–especially anything related to battles and wars. Cassie-the moralizing, optimistic, tree hugger-wasn’t always right, but she wasn’t always wrong either. Her desire to adhere to her virtues was sometimes selfish and infuriatingly naive, but I’m so grateful to Animorphs for showing me a hero and a soldier like her. Cassie taught me that compromising for peace can be just as courageous as fighting for victory, and that’s a lesson that informs my personal life as well as my politics. The world needs Rachels and Marcos but at the end of the day, it needs Cassies too.