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On “On the Rights of Reading and Girls and Boys” (from March 2012)

garth-williams-little-house

“Laura and Mary may be the heroines, but if you want to stick to stereotypes, has anyone noticed how much of this book is about the technical construction of homes and barns and icehouses or how many pages are devoted to guns and hunting and defending oneself?” Hilary Rappaport writes passionately about not limiting kids’ […]

Auggie and Her, Jess’s Dad and Me

auggieandme

Katherine Paterson’s Bridge to Terabithia was one of the first books to make me cry. I was in fourth grade when I read it, and Leslie’s death wrecked me. I wept at its suddenness, at the shock of a child’s death, and at the plain wrongness of it all while my heart ached for Leslie’s […]

On Raising a Scientist (Who Happens to Be a Girl)

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It started when my daughter was around three: people letting us know that the things she’s most interested in aren’t meant for girls. At the time, these remarks were directed at my husband and me and revolved around her love of trains. She really, really loved trains. From Thomas the Tank Engine to the real […]

Of Fantasy and Daughters

Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

I read my daughter’s first fantasy book to her when she was one week old. Every evening I swaddled her up and rocked her to sleep while reading aloud another chapter of Diana Wynne Jones’s Howl’s Moving Castle. What else was I supposed to do with a tiny speechless creature with big eyes who only wanted […]

Because I am not. One of your. FANS.

Kirk:Spock

In this week’s Horn Book Podcast, Siân talks with Mackenzi Lee (This Monstrous Thing) about how they found kindred spirithood via The Raven Boys; and about fandom, fan fiction, and ‘shipping (there totally should be an apostrophe so shut up). I admire the impulse and envy the enthusiasm but so not my thing. I’m reminded of a […]

HBook Podcast 1.8 – Guest Author Mackenzi Lee

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Podcast the eighth in which Siân and guest author Mackenzi Lee talk about her book, This Monstrous Thing, being a fan girl, and whether the author is dead. Siân also gets yet another Harry Potter fact wrong (first book came out in 1998). Books we talk about Mackenzi Lee, This Monstrous Thing (and her upcoming The Gentleman’s Guide […]

HBook Podcast 1.5 – “Boy Books”

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Podcast the fifth, in which Siân and Roger talk about “boy books,” physical therapy, and Tibetan Eye Charts (and Siân misremembers The Case of the Sad Puppies) Books we talk about Jesse Andrews, The Haters Lindsay Ribar, Rocks Fall Everyone Dies J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter series R. L. Stine, Goosebumps series Sonali Dev, The […]

Down, girl, down!

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Even in my day having been one of Betsy Bird‘s Hot Men of Children’s Literature (BB: are those archived anywhere?) I was more than a little skeeved out by Meaghan O’Connell’s “The Children’s-Book Guy: An Ideal Crush Object,” published yesterday in New York Magazine but reading like something written by Carrie Bradshaw in 1999: “If you think […]

Gender by the numbers

girlsmovies

A poster in our office lobby for the upcoming Simmons International Women’s Film Forum alerted me to the interestingly low–29%–number of female protagonists in films for children.* I guess it ain’t all Disney Princesses after all. How does this compare with the numbers in books for children? I asked myself. The gender disparity had been on my […]

YA by the numbers

Boys&Girls

Pursuant to our discussion of who YA is for, I asked Horn Book intern Jill to take a look at the most recent issue of the Horn Book Guide and see what she saw. The spring 2014 issue of the Guide contains reviews of virtually every trade hardcover book published for young people during the […]