Subscribe to The Horn Book

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 […]

Hither and Yon

There’s a world outside of Yonkers, Barnaby, and I’ve recently visited kidlitwomen* and Calling Caldecott, talking, coincidentally (I think), about gender. I hope I did so with more understanding than the White House seems to have, although, let’s be real, that’s quite a low bar. Also elsewhere was our Elissa, attending a story hour hosted […]

What would RBG, Sonia Sotomayor, and Laurie Halse Anderson do?

The following books focus on women Supreme Court justices and — to borrow the name of a new series, below — some pitfalls of “Being Female in America.” Reviews are from the Horn Book Guide Online from the time of the books’ publications. Picture Books Hannigan, Kate A Lady Has the Floor: Belva Lockwood Speaks […]

Gendered reading and audiobooks

My daughter became a bookworm this year, reading middle grade novels by Carl Hiaasen, Kate Beasley, Robert Beatty, and Erin Entrada Kelly. She read before bed, and while eating breakfast and brushing her teeth. When she finished a book, she’d pass it along to me, and we’d discuss it. I felt excited about this new […]

Five Questions for Mayim Bialik

You may know Mayim Bialik as one of the stars of The Big Bang Theory. Or as Blossom. Or as young Bette Midler in Beaches (*sob!*). Or as a real-life neuroscientist. Or a blogger. Or a mother. Or a *Jewish* mother! Or, now, as a YA nonfiction author of Girling Up!: How to Be Strong, […]

Raising a feminist

I had a feminist awakening in my early twenties, and since then I’ve become passionate about analyzing female characters in books and films with a critical eye. I search for strong female leads whose identities are not defined by the men in their lives. Now, as a parent of a seven-year-old boy, I wonder about […]

Diversifying Barbie & Mortal Kombat: 20 Years Later Celebration at MIT

On April 6, the Women’s & Gender Studies and Comparative Media Studies departments at MIT sponsored the daylong conference “Diversifying Barbie & Mortal Kombat: 20 Years Later Celebration” — spearheaded by the amazing and indefatigable Dr. Kishonna L. Gray and with “opening reflections” by Dr. T.L. Taylor — to explore race, gender, sexuality, representation, and […]

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’ […]

Women can be president, too!

With the 2016 presidential election just a few months away, news from the campaign trail continues to dominate the headlines. Our students are thus very likely hearing names of candidates and snippets of information about politics and elections. While discussing politics in school is often viewed as taboo, the campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Carly […]

In Defense of Gentle Men

Although I found much to celebrate in the aftermath of the 2015 ALA Youth Media Awards announcements, I admit that I sat licking my wounds over one favorite picture book that didn’t make the Caldecott cut: Marla Frazee’s The Farmer and the Clown. I’d given a copy to my eight-year-old daughter Caroline, and my liking […]