Friday, October 22, 2010

Books with girls

This week the kid is reading (with no guidance or recommendation from me) Anne of Green Gables and When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit. I am extremely pleased to see, at nearly nine, that he is refuting that old and hoary chestnut that boys won't read books where the main character is a girl. Both of the covers are extremely pink and coded 'girl' in terms of the design. He has read When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit before, but he decided he would like to buy it for keeps today.

Of course, his other favourite literature presently is Dilbertcomics, so he may not represent a 'typical' sample. On the other hand, very few children are typical and it annoys me when people make generalisations and then speak about them as if they are the truth and then they get annoyed when someone doesn't fit into their narrow little regime. Not as much as it annoys me when people tell a bookseller that their kid is a 'bad reader' in front of the kid, but nearly as much.

Junior's other purchase for the week, with his very own savings, was a new cricket bat because the old one fell to pieces. He has bashed a lot of cricket and tennis balls in the past two years, more than a stick of willow can stand, apparently.


Roger Parkinson said...

The stereotype thing reminds me of a recent experience in Thailand where one of the people helping us sell stuff there kept telling us about 'how Asians think' (he's Canadian/Aussie). It was mildly offensive in itself, but made much worse because he said it in front of the people he was supposedly describing.

But good on your kid for doing his own thing and ignoring the stereotypes. Shows originality of thought etc.

Penni said...

Freddy got really angry about a book being clearly marked for boys in her scholastic catalogue - it was right up her alley too, weird facts, jokes, comics etc. (It was called Amazing Facts Book for Boys or something).

I LOVE when Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit and was thrilled as an adult when I found out there were sequels. I never knew how to get books out of Flinders Uni but they had a 24 hour library, so I sat in there and read them all. The sequels get quite sad though, the parents end up quite flawed which was a bit of a fall from grace.

Ampersand Duck said...

Having just revisited the *entire* Anne series on ebook, I'm delighted thst I have a kindred spirit.

Sorry about the silence; I've been reading you from afar, but I might as well say here that the Paris thing sounded vaguely useful and heartening if there can be something of that sort, and that your grandfather sounds ace.

Arevanye said...

Yes, exactly this. My youngest daughter loves loves loves any book that is marketed to boys. Adventure, dystopia, blood and guts, you name it. It is laughable how they assume and put pictures of boys on the covers and colors like black and neon green. I suppose they have to aim them somehow, but a little cross-gender marketing wouldn't kill them.