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Gender issues

Strong words, strong women

There have always been strong women although we haven't always known a lot about them.

The availability of Information about women and their impact has come a long way since the first celebration of Women’s History Week. In 1987, that week was changed permanently into a month-long celebration.

Books for children and youth are catching up, too, with more and more publications about women and their achievements.

Giving boys a love of reading

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know that one blog in my RSS feed is written by Lisa Belkin. Belkin's blog, Parentlode, can be found in the Huffington Post. Many of Belkin's posts speak to me on a personal level, and some circle into my professional life as well.

Boys and books

A friend of mine (the assistant director of a premier early childhood program) and I were talking about the key role of books in the schools and the way literature stimulates not only a child's interest in reading but also the family's interest. Books are used to connect children, parents, and the school.

Food for thought

Several articles caught my eye this week and made me think. I thought I'd share a few in case you missed them.

What do boys read?

I read a recent article in the New York Times that surprised me a bit. A team of researchers, anthropologists no less, went searching for what 6 to 14 year old boys might find most appealing to watch.

Interesting to note that boys and their interests are the focus of a study sponsored by Disney, a leader in the production of programs that spawned a princess frenzy that reaches girls of all ages — literally into adulthood.

Why now? Why boys? To tap another market? Or because a market is being lost? Or just too much pink?

Girls unlimited

When I started to write a response to an inquiry from Louise, I began listing a few specific books that I might suggest. (Louise works with 4 and 5 year old boys who have some strong notions about what girls do, like, and are capable of.)

Boys — and even girls — sometimes develop strange ideas about what can or cannot be done because of gender. And you're so wise, Louise, to use books to address this issue. Books offer a way to look at and talk about behavior without getting too specific.

Books about strong women

As the mother of two girls, I'm interested in books that feature strong girls or women in central roles.

There are lots of booklists that feature strong women. One my favorite lists is below. Sadly, I can't relocate the source! I was just sure it was from Choice Literacy, a site I love so much, but I couldn't find it there today. If you recognize the list and know the source, please let me know! I certainly want to credit the correct author. It's a wonderful list, although abbreviated from its original source.

I have a boy! As a teacher! And he’s tall!

Those were the first sentences out of Anna's mouth when she read her teacher assignment for this year. Out of 20 classroom teachers at our school, there's exactly one male teacher. He teaches first grade, and Anna got him!

She's thrilled, of course. All the kids know Mr. B. All the parents love him. "Gentle giant," they say. "A real calm presence." Sounds good to me. I'll let you know as the year goes along.

"There is no frigate like a book, to take us lands away" — Emily Dickinson