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>News Flash: Girls are smart

>“It’s time we got teenage girls reading comics,” said Karen Berger, a senior vice president at DC Comics. Why? I mean, why not, but why?

Berger goes on to say that teenage girls are “about more than going out with the cute guy. This line of books gives them something to read that honors that intelligence and assertiveness and that individuality.” Well, it’s about time.

Roger Sutton About Roger Sutton

Roger Sutton has been the editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a B.A. from Pitzer College in 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.

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  1. rindawriter says:

    >Hmmm….going back to long ago…I found girl heroes in the Chronicles of Narnia who were ALL about intelligence, assertiveness, and individuality…and who didn’t think much of girls who were ALL about “going out with the cute guy….” Maybe C. S. Lewis got it right after all…girls really ARE more than lipstick, nylons, parties, and dating…oh to be Aravis…or Jill…or the Star’s daughter…or, most of all, Lucy!

    I once told a nine-year-old girl, when discussing whether she wanted to be girlie-girle or tomboy: “You’re lucky to be a woman. You can do it all, have it all…!”

  2. >Which is not what C.S. Lewis would say at all, of course; he was happy to let girls be smart and assertive and opinionated, but certainly they were not permitted to be “girlie-girl” or (not to put too fine a point on it) womanly; recall that nylons and lipstick were the reason Susan didn’t make it to Heaven with the rest of the family.

  3. >Why? Well, so that when they’re in their 30s they’ll have something to talk about with their husbands, for one. 😉

    I don’t find the form instinctively easy to understand, and if I’d started reading comics fifteen years ago I might be able to enjoy Frank Miller and Alan Moore without having to repeatedly consult UNDERSTANDING COMICS.

  4. literaticat says:

    >I’m thrilled that the first book is by Cecil Castellucci. Her books are perfectly charming and peopled with quirky, intelligent teenage girls. At least the first MINX title is sure to be both fun and thoughtful!

  5. >Since I have sold my 2nd graphic novel to Karen, I will ask her what she means.

    Jane

  6. rindawriter says:

    >Tcha, tcha…somebody needs to reread their C.S. Lewis……remember Polly in the hall of images? And why she wanted to look more closely at them? And poor Susan? If ALL she thought about and wanted were lipstick, nylons, parties, boyfriends…don’t you think that makes for a selfish, shallow woman who decided to grow up to be a selfish and shallow woman? And likely, in my book, a deeply disturbed and unhappy adult woman. Don’t you think growing up and becoming a whole and healthy sexual being as a woman involves quite a bit more than just doing the party thing? Who said C.S. Lewis said the nylons and lipstick were wrong? He only said that was All Susan wanted. Rather unhealthy, don’t you think, psychologically? For a woman? And don’t you think Susan was allowed to make her own decisions about whether or not SHE wanted to live in Narnia? Rather than being some sort of programmed machine created by an author?
    Not everyone, clearly, chooses to “live: in Narnia…not even today. Why not let Susan be free to make her choices? As a character, I mean.

    As I said to my nine-year-old friend already facing bras and menstruation, “woman can have it all.”

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