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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 […]

Gaston

I hate missing the Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards Ceremony and next-day Symposium for a lot of reasons. Besides getting to see everyone I already know, I love hearing the speeches by people I don’t know (but would like to). One new person whom I would have loved hearing is Christian Robinson, illustrator of Josephine and The Smallest Girl […]