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On Julie Luecke’s “Reading Along the Gender Continuum” (from 2012)

“The reality, however, is that many children are gender variant (with interests and behaviors persistently outside of typical cultural gender norms) and at different points in their lives might be living or exploring at various places along the gender identity continuum.” If there had been a Horn Book blog focused on books and families in […]

Listen to kidlitwomen*

“We should be starting [to talk with kids about sexual harassment] before we think it’s going to happen rather than after.”  —Corey Ann Haydu, from the kidlitwomen* podcast, episode #25 I love the kidlitwomen* podcast, and this week’s episodes (#24 On Writing, Sexual Harassment and Being an Example and #25 Conversation with Corey Ann Haydu) […]

On Madelyn Travis’s “Thank Heavens for Hugo, or When Size Matters” (from 2011)

In “Thank Heavens for Hugo, or When Size Matters,” children’s literature scholar Madelyn Travis wrote about her efforts to encourage her then-seven-year-old son to “love reading” and her worry that “if he doesn’t, he will miss out on one of life’s great joys.” Lordy, do I get it. Though my kids were toddlers when I […]

A Preponderance of Pink: A Conversation with Kathleen T. Horning

Kathleen T. Horning is director of the Cooperative Children’s Book Center (a research library of the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Education), which has been documenting publishing statistics concerning children’s books by and about people of color since 1985. The newly expanded CCBC database allows for a deeper examination of picture books through a variety […]

Home run!

Over at SLJ, Kiera Parrott makes a thorough case against reading levels. I wish I’d had her on hand when we were visiting the children last month. The grandpas had sent eight-year-old Miles some books a few weeks before, mainly Magic Treehouse. When I said something about them he mumbled that they weren’t on his Fountas […]

Oh boy

I call bullshit on Daniel Handler’s Sunday New York Times essay about the need of teenaged boys for dirty books. Of course, yes, kids read for the dirty parts, girls as well as boys. And you could make an argument, and I don’t understand why Handler didn’t, that the prurient interests of girls are better […]

Confessions of a (Failed) Battle of the Books Coach

Dear Reader, I have a confession to make: I am a failed Battle of the Books coach. And I am in need of your help. It started out with good intentions, as many things do. In the empty days that follow the end of the school year, when our minds and sleeping schedules were still […]

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

“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’ […]

Raising Boy Readers

My college boy is home for a long weekend. This makes for a glorious mixture of happiness, nostalgia, and awkwardness that many parents of first years have lived through before me. As I marvel at the adult he has already become, managing just fine without us for six weeks (well, not always fine, but mostly), […]

HBook Podcast 1.5 – “Boy Books”

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 […]