Girls! Girls! Girls!

It is a terribly common thing to publish a book with the word girl in the title.  Many of these books are actually adult books about women, in which case the word girl grates a bit. But around these parts, namely young adult, middle grades and kidlit, girl is generally very literal.

This month, I’ll be exploring some of these titles that feature girls.  You will be shocked, SHOCKED to learn that most of them also have female main characters.  I know, it’s earth-shattering.  This is also probably the time to remind you (just in case you’d forgotten), that books with girl in the title, books about girls and their interests and activities and lives, are not just for girls.  They are for anyone and everyone.  It is a fallacy that boys are not interested in stories about girls and the perpetuation of this myth by parents, teachers, librarians and yes, also peers, is doing a great disservice, to our young men, who are learning their way in this world, and to our young women who need allies for equality.

So check out these titles, think widely and broadly when recommending them and ENJOY!

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4 Responses to Girls! Girls! Girls!

  1. Sharon says:

    My son LOVES Zita the Space Girl!

  2. ms. yingling says:

    I have found that while boys will read books with girls as the main character, there is often a lot of reluctance on the part of boys who are new to my library, and there is some gentle persuading necessary. Some boys DO refuse, so I don’t think it’s that librarians perpetuate this; we just chronicle what we observe.

  3. Mrs.N says:

    Ms. Yingling,

    Definitely there are MANY librarians on what I perceive as the right side of this fight. Just as there are many parents and teachers who believe boys can and will be interested in good books with any gender main character. But as of right now, society as a whole tips in the direction of pointing boys toward books with boy mains and away from those featuring females. I think the tough thing is that if any one of the groups I mentioned has a strong enough voice against boys reading books about girls it can outweigh the voices of the others.

    As a middle school librarian, I also suspect that you are getting more male readers who have already had their minds made up, than I saw teaching third grade. Which is why it’s important to advocate for reading equality starting at a young age. I like to think that those boys who began reading books starring girls early on would be more open to continuing that practice and less susceptible to any peer pressure in the opposite direction they might face as they get older.

  4. I am SOOO glad to hear you say this publicly!! I have written a series about a girls fastpitch softball team (the Lady Tigers). I’m frustrated when parents ask if there is anything for boys in these books. Yes! The lessons are the same. I grew up reading Matt Christopher. I loved his books–and they were all about boys’ sports. I happen to be a female. Both my daughters play fastpitch and are avid readers. I wanted to offer some middle grade stories about girls and sports. I applaud parents and kids that break down that stereotype that boys don’t read stories when a girl is the main character. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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