Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Let children read what they want!

       



            Gender stereotypes aside, it should be down to a child's choice with what to read


Being a children's author, I naturally want to create stories which children will enjoy. I am not aiming my book specifically at a certain gender, yet so many books are currently out there that do. "Let Books be Books" is a campaign which is currently trying to petition against gender specific books being labelled in our book shops.

The campaign website states:
"Children are listening, and take seriously the messages they receive from books, from toys, from marketing and the adults around them. Do we really want them to believe that certain things are off-limits for them because of their gender? They’re not ‘getting it wrong’ if a girl likes robots, or if a boy wants to doodle flowers. These artificial boundaries turn children away from their true preferences, and provide a fertile ground for bullying.
Just like labelling toys for girls or boys, we think these book titles are limiting and restrictive. It’s time that publishers Let Books Be Books and leave children free to choose their interests for themselves. "




I  had never really thought about this, to be truthfully honest. I do notice that my daughter does have a particular interest in books with fairies and princesses in, but she also enjoys un gender specific titles such as The Gruffalo and The Gingerbread Man. In fact, our story tonight at bed time was a book which probably would be more aimed towards boys, with weeing aliens and space rockets, but my little one loves Space, so this sort of story reflects one of her interests.

I think that it is important that parents help their child with the books they read to them from an early age. Rather than choosing princess books constantly for girls or dinosaur stories for boys, try mixing it up a bit! I see my daughters book collection as a library which she can access whenever she wishes. There are a mixture of books which appeal to boys, girls and both genders.

What this campaign is trying to achieve is a very good idea. The whole point of getting children to read is that they choose their books with confidence. We do not want children to be put off of a book because it is " A girls book" or "A boy's book", we should be allowing them to access a whole range of fiction which can build and shape their imaginations.

After all, reading is fun!

You can read more on this subject on the following links :

http://www.lettoysbetoys.org.uk/letbooksbebooks/


I

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/children_sbookreviews/10703542/Let-children-read-what-they-want.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/genderspecific-books-demean-all-our-children-so-the-independent-on-sunday-will-no-longer-review-anything-marketed-to-exclude-either-sex-9194694.html

http://www.kettlemag.co.uk/article/let-books-be-books-campaign-will-it-work



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