Writing

Let’s Skip the Post-Holiday Fat Talk

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‘Tis the season to bash our bodies in front of our daughters, talking obsessively about how many pounds we’ve gained over the holidays and the urgent need to shed them.

Weight loss is a common New Year’s resolution, and one that receives much public discussion. Here’s an idea: Let’s not do that. If we decide to diet and ramp up our exercise regime, we can just do it, but not talk about it around the house. Read more…

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…