Writing on Education

Grownups: You Can Read YA, and Why Not Read It With Your Kids?

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Ever since Ruth Graham wrote “Against YA” for the Slate Book Review last month — the article that launched a thousand blog posts — I’ve been reading the scathing responses as they roll in one by one. The Barnes and Noble Book Blog calls it the best debate on the internet. Indeed. Read more…

The Story of Ferdinand: Talking With Kids About the First Children’s Book on Gender Nonconformity

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The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf was published in 1936, just before the Spanish Civil War. Because it was widely viewed as pacifist propaganda, it was banned in many countries. Despite its rough start, it became popular around the world, has been translated into over sixty languages, and won several awards. This book has been beloved by three generations in my family — my father, myself and my brothers, and my daughter. I related strongly to Ferdinand as a child and still do. He is more than just a symbol of peace to me; he is also an outsider, bullied for his gentle ways. Read more…

5 must-see movies for tween girls

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The recent success of Brave and Frozen demonstrates that movies starring girls can not only succeed, but can also dominate at the box office. For much too long, the common belief among producers has been that female protagonists dooms a movie to commercial failure because boys won’t go see it. But, good news! This idea is fast becoming urban legend! After watching many children’s movies to curate recommendations for mother-daughter book clubs, I discovered that many great movies starring girls have been there all along. Here are five of the best: Read more…

The Amazing Impact of Mother-Daughter Book Clubs

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One of the most fulfilling and most memorable undertakings of my parenting journey was the formation of a mother-daughter book club, a collaboration with my then-eight-year-old daughter and four other mother-daughter pairs that would last for six years. We all discussed the need to counteract stereotyped and sexualized girl culture with positive messages about who girls and women really are and what they can do. Read more…

Eight Favorite Books Starring Interesting, Exciting, Daring, Adventurous Girls!

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Google is full of girl-empowering book lists. Favorite female protagonists from the classics, like Pippi Longstocking, to more recent heroines, like Katniss Everdeen, abound on these lists, but I wanted to make my own after reading so many children and YA books to curate for recommendations to mother-daughter book clubs. Here are eight of my favorites, and there’s no better way to raise interesting, exciting, daring and adventurous daughters! Read more…