Category: Recommended Links

child-315049_1280Children’s book author Jonathan Emmett says that “boys are being deterred from reading because the ‘gatekeepers’ to children’s literature are mostly women.”  The gatekeepers are editors, publishers, librarians, judges and reviewers of children’s books. 

According to an article in The Times of London that is summarized on a more accessible page at Publishing Perspectives, he believes that there isn’t enough boy-friendly elements in children’s books.  I’m honestly not sure what books he’s been looking at because he then goes on to name some pretty big themes in children’s titles:  “battling pirate ships” and “technical details about spaceships.” 

He does have some support from a couple of female authors who incongruously to the very claim of the author write very boy-friendly titles.  And he has done his research.  Out of 400 reviews in five British newspapers, less than 20% of the picture book reviews were written by men and less than a third of the fiction reviews.  That compares to 47% of the picture books being written by men and 41% of the children’s books.

Now wait.  So the claim is that the powerful cadre of women who control publishing, like LIBRARIANS as an example, are using the reviews that they write to weed out the boy friendly titles?  Or is the claim that the female publishers are controlling the writing of the male authors and making sure that they are not filled with swords, battles, dragons, pirates, etc. 

As a children’s librarian, I worked hard to get titles children love into the right hands.  If a boy or girl, because this is even more of that gender-focus that doesn’t help anything in our culture, comes in and asks for pirate books, I merrily get them those books.  Books into hands.  That’s all I want to manage. 

But perhaps the most disgusting part of logical extension of the author’s claim is that we as women are out to emasculate male children by withholding books they would prefer to read.  Producing books that reflect a softened, feminized version of our world, no battling pirates, no technical information, no baddies smoking, few if any baddies at all.  What misogynistic crap!

Gregor the Overlander (Underland Chronicles, #1) The Real Boy Salt: A Story of Friendship in a Time of War

Women are writing some of the most captivating and violent books for children and teens. 

Women are the ones in the low-paying jobs of teacher and librarian who get books into the hands of children. 

Women are the ones who take the time to listen to the small voices of children and pick those marvelous Captain Underpants books off the shelves for them among many others.

Women are worried about the gender gap in reading and are having conversations about how best to collect books in our libraries that boys (and non-reading girls) will enjoy.

Women, professionally and as moms and grandmothers, are powerful, I agree with Mr. Emmett about that.  It is our power that will help solve this issue, not perpetuate it.

Here are the links I shared on my Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr accounts this week that I think are pretty cool:

11 Children’s Books About Nature


Heather Tomlinson – Blog – Continuing the "diversity" conversation #kidlit

Hogwarts Is Here is like a MOOC for Harry Potter fans, and you can enroll online for free. #kidlit

Katherine Rundell: ‘wouldn’t it be fantastic if people actually did live up here on rooftops and nobody knows?’s

We Need Bigger Megaphones for Diversity in Kid Lit | BOOK RIOT #kidlit


It’s an Ebook World for Young Readers 13 and Under Says PlayCollective Report | SLJ #ebooks




8 Young Adult Books That Should Be Movies (And Who Should Star in Them) #yalit

Are Teen Girls Seeing Themselves Reflected in What They Read? #kidlit

James Patterson wins the 2014 Chicago Tribune Young Adult Literary Award. #kidlit

Read This, Then That: TALKER 25 and Other Fantastic YA Dragon Tales | BOOK RIOT #yalit

Stacked: Revisiting YA Verse Novels: A 2014 Guide to the Format #yalit

Veronica Roth: YA Novels Aren’t Frivolous Teen Fiction | Neon Tommy #yalit


The Guardian has shared a video celebrating the 25th anniversary of the beloved We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury.  In the video, the two sit down and discuss the origins of the story and the impact of the art work.

It’s National Library Week this week and ALA has released their annual list of the most challenged books of last year.  As always, the list is filled with books for children and teens, though And Tango Makes Three is not on the list this year!

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl Bless Me, Ultima

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl by Tanya Lee Stone

Bless Me Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya

The Bluest Eye Bone Complete Set, Volumes 1 9: Out From Boneville, The Great Cow Race, Eyes Of The Storm, The Dragonslayer, Rock Jaw, Old Man's Cave, Ghost Circles, Treasure Hunters, And Crown Of Horns The Adventures of Captain Underpants (Captain Underpants, #1)

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

Bone (series) by Jeff Smith

Captain Underpants (series) by Dav Pilkey

Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, #1) The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)

Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James

The Hunger Games by  Suzanne Collins

Looking for Alaska The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Looking for Alaska by John Green

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Here are the links I shared on my Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr accounts this week that I think are pretty cool:

List of 1960s children's book.  Have you read these classics? Click through for the entire list.


HarperCollins to publish new Paddington Bear book | The Bookseller #kidlit

Illustrator Becomes First Latin American to Win Highest Children’s Lit Honor | Vocativ #kidlit

Should celebrities stop writing children’s books? | Comment is free | The Observer #kidlit


Tom Weldon: ‘Some say publishing is in trouble. They are completely wrong’ | The Observer #books #publishing


Serious reading takes a hit from online scanning and skimming, researchers say – The Washington Post #reading


Science says using social media makes you depressed | Science (Yes, I’m sharing it on social media. Enjoy the irony!)

Search Engine DuckDuckGo Is Taking On Google By Doing The One Thing They Won’t Do – Business Insider


8 Great YA Novels Featuring South Asian Protagonists :: Paste #yalit

15 years of SPEAK: An Interview with Laurie Halse Anderson | BOOK RIOT #yalit

Ann Brashares talks dystopia and her new YA novel ‘The Here and Now’ #yalit

Hunger Games to Divergent: Get ready for the next teen revolution | Mail Online #yalit

Idaho school district bans award-winning book for being racy, racist and anti-Jesus #censorship #yalit

Here are the links I shared on my TwitterPinterest, and Tumblr accounts this week that I hope you find interesting:


The 9 Most Mischievous Literary Pranksters, Ranked| BookBub |

10 diary books | Children’s books

Are We Rushing Kids Out of Picture Books? | ShelfTalker

Classic Childhood Books That Grow With You| Zola Books |

Does Winnie-the-Pooh hinder a child’s ability to learn science? | Toronto Star

Hear what ‘wordless author’ David Wiesner has to say about books

How Jean Craighead George’s ‘Ice Whale’ Got Finished Thanks to Her Surviving Children | SLJ

Marilyn Nelson: ‘Many performance poets seem to believe that yelling a poem makes it comprehensible’ – GalleyCat

Top 10 Mothers – and mother figures – in children’s books | Children’s books


How I learned to stop worrying and love the Kindle | The Daily Dot


Amazing Reading Nooks: Create Cozy, Inventive Reading Havens in Your Library | School Library Journal

Libraries are branching out into digital – Fortune Tech


11 Things You Learn When Your Book Is Turned Into A TV Show| Kass Morgan |

Beyond the Bestsellers: So You’ve Read SPEAK by Laurie Halse Anderson | BOOK RIOT

‘The Perks Of Being A Wallflower’ Should Be Banned: Kamloops Dad

See the cover of Scott Westerfeld’s new novel ‘Afterworlds’ | Shelf Life

The well-read teenager: brilliant classics for young adult readers | Children’s books

Here are the links I shared on my Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr accounts this week that I hope you find interesting:

Read books to your little one that reflect a diverse world.


Aaron Starmer and Laurel Snyder Interview Each Other About Loneliness, Magic, and The Outsiders | Nerdy Book Club

Can books unite children across the world? | Children’s books #kidlit

Jean Craighead George’s Children Complete Her Final Novel #kidlit

A Picture-Book Like No Other | Brain Pickings #kidlit

‘Pippi Longstocking’ Author Astrid Lindgren Gets a Spot on Sweden’s 20 Krona Note – GalleyCat #kidlit

Rush Limbaugh selection in children’s book competition causes a stir – CNN #kidlit

(via Fascinating Illustrations Blend People, Animals, and Objects Together - My Modern Metropolis)


E-book Settlement Refunds Released to Consumers #ebooks


Fisking How “Libraries Are Failing America” | Agnostic, Maybe

How US libraries are becoming community problem solvers | Local Leaders Network | Guardian Professional #libraries

I hang out at libraries, even when I’m not looking for a book | Halifax, Nova Scotia | THE COAST #libraries

Joint statement from the presidents of AILA, APALA, BCALA, CALA, REFORMA and ALA #libraries

New Top 10 Reasons Why Libraries are still Important – Stephen’s Lighthouse New #libraries

St. Paul Public Library: Sharing More Than Books – YouTube #libraries

Central Library San Diego: Art Gallery


MetaPhone: The Sensitivity of Telephone Metadata « Web Policy #privacy

People Battle to Regain Online Privacy #privacy


American Libraries Learn To Read Teenagers : The Protojournalist : NPR #libraries

Another Reason The Hunger Games Is Awesome: Katniss Is Taller Than Peeta – … AMEN says the tall girl

A Censored History of Ladies in YA Fiction | BOOK RIOT #yalit

Is Divergent Sci-Fi’s First Successful Bisexual Allegory? #yalit #glbtq

A message from Holly Black and Cassandra Clare | Children’s books #yalit

Must Every YA Action Heroine Be Petite? – Julianne Ross – The Atlantic #yalit

Stacked: Challenging the Expectation of YA Characters as "Role Models" for Girls #yalit

Tanya Byrne’s top 10 black characters in children’s books | Children’s books #kidlit #yalit

This Spring’s Hottest Teen Books #yalit

YA Outer Space Adventures to Read While Waiting for the Next Tin Star | BOOK RIOT #yalit

Here are the links I shared on my Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr accounts this week that I hope you find interesting:


Board Book Roundup: Spring 2014 Edition – The Horn Book #kidlit

Newbery / Caldecott 2015: Spring Prediction Edition — @fuseeight A Fuse #8 Production #kidlit

Stacked: Girls Kicking Ass With Their Brains: Guest Post by Sarah Stevenson #kidlit

Your Kids Love ‘Cosmos.’ Keep Them Interested in Science With These Books. – Tablet Magazine #kidlit


Judge Rules for HarperCollins in Open Road E-Book Dispute #ebooks

People Who Use E-Readers Dive Far Deeper Into Books | Underwire #ebooks

Makerspaces in Libraries | Education | Learnist - Scroll through for some interesting articles on makerspaces


Libraries designed without old-fashioned books, for new-fashioned readers #libraries

Who Says Libraries Are Going Extinct? – Pacific Standard: The Science of Society #libraries


Darren Shan: "I wanted to write about racism in the UK – zombies seemed like a good way to do that." #yalit

DIVERGENT: Early Reviews Not Promising » EarlyWord – #yalit

Is The "Young Adult" Boom Dwindling In Books As Well As Movies? #yalit

LGBTQ-Friendly YA Novels Get Award Nods, But Are They Getting a Crossover Audience? | Bustle #yalit

The Maze Runner unveils first teaser poster – Movies News – Digital Spy #yalit

Nancy Pearl Interviews: Laurie Halse Anderson » EarlyWord #yalit

‘Rango’ Scribe To Pen Paramount’s Miley Cyrus Project ‘Wake’ #yalit

Toxic Relationships in Teen TV and YA Novels – Flavorwire #yalit

‘Uglies’ Author Westerfeld Shines a Light on the Publishing Industry for Next YA Novel #yalit

The very talented father and son, Walter Dean Myers and Christopher Myers have both written separate pieces in the New York Times on the need for more children’s books to be written featuring children and people of color.  Both pieces are powerful and vital.

Walter Dean Myers writes of his own complex relationship with books and then his own role as a writer:

When I was doing research for my book “Monster,” I approached a white lawyer doing pro bono work in the courts defending poor clients. I said that it must be difficult to get witnesses to court to testify on behalf of an inner-city client, and he replied that getting witnesses was not as difficult as it sometimes appeared on television. “The trouble,” he said, “is to humanize my clients in the eyes of a jury. To make them think of this defendant as a human being and not just one of ‘them.’ ”

I realized that this was exactly what I wanted to do when I wrote about poor inner-city children — to make them human in the eyes of readers and, especially, in their own eyes. I need to make them feel as if they are part of America’s dream, that all the rhetoric is meant for them, and that they are wanted in this country.

Christopher Myers writes so poetically of the children we are not supporting and instead are abandoning:

We adults — parents, authors, illustrators and publishers — give them in each book a world of supposedly boundless imagination that can delineate the most ornate geographies, and yet too often today’s books remain blind to the everyday reality of thousands of children. Children of color remain outside the boundaries of imagination. The cartography we create with this literature is flawed.

My hope is that their voices are heard, that we move beyond platitudes to true inclusion of people and children of all sorts of diversity.  In the meantime, I will do my small part of selecting books for my community that show the rainbow of diversity that we serve and also blogging here and featuring books about diverse people.  We can make a change!

Here are the links I shared on my Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr accounts this week that I hope you find interesting:


Battle Over Purim Children’s Book With Two Dads – Forward Thinking #glbtq #kidlit

Children’s author reaps rewards for two books #kidlit

David Walliams first book, The Boy in the Dress, to be made into BBC film for Christmas! #kidlit #glbtq

Fighting Gender Stereotypes in Kids’ Publishing #kidlit

Five questions for Lois Ehlert – The Horn Book #kidlit

An Interview with Neal Porter – The Horn Book #kidlit

Lives lived large – The Horn Book #kidlit

New Judith Kerr picture book to HCCB | The Bookseller #kidlit

Piet Grobler’s top 10 multicultural books | Children’s books #kidlit

Read E.B. White’s poignant explanation for writing Charlotte’s Web #kidlit

Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast » Seven Questions Over Breakfast with Wendell Minor #kidlit

Things that stop and go – The Horn Book #kidlit

What Makes a Good Book Cover? – The Horn Book #kidlit


The Future of Books Looks a Lot Like Netflix | Wired Business #ebooks


Library’s ‘shelfies’ put witty twist on social media photos – News – Ohio #libraries

Malorie Blackman: Why are libraries mandatory in prisons but not schools? – Telegraph #libraries

Movers & Shakers 2014 #libraries

Nutter apologizes for ‘worst decision’: Cutting library funds #libraries

S.F. library proposes new code of conduct with penalties – SFGate #libraries

Think We No Longer Need Libraries? Think Again. | LinkedIn #libraries

What Matters to Academic-Library Directors? Information Literacy – Chronicle of Higher Education #libraries


35 Things You Should Never Say to a Book Lover

Levels of key brain chemicals predict children’s reading ability #reading


The 25 Best Tumblr Accounts for Book Nerds

Inventor of the Web Is Right: We Need an Internet Bill of Rights | Wired Enterprise #internet

Web firms face a strict new set of privacy rules in Europe — here’s what to expect — Tech News and Analysis #privacy

The end of Mockingjay.


Dystopian Thrillers: The Rare Hollywood Genre Where Women Rule | Underwire #yalit

Quickfire interview: Sally Green | Children’s books #yalit

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers to Release Two Transgender Teen Memoirs – GalleyCat #glbtq #yalit

Using the wisdom of crowds to pick the next teen romance bestseller #yalit

Young-adult author Kirstin Cronn-Mills homes in on transgender experience #glbtq #trans #yalit


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