Showing posts from April, 2008

Children and Gender in Libraries, 1876-1900

So way back when, in the late 1870s and early 1880, Caroline Hewins made lists. She made lists of books for boys and girls in her library in Hartford, Connecticut. She even marked them with special symbols for whether they would appeal to boys, girls, or both. Others in librarianship also talked about reading and gender, including Lutie Stearns, who was concerned with girls' reading of romance stories, a position that fit with her own activism and feminism. There were a smattering of others too, some of whom did not come from such progressive perspectives. If I were going to write the paper I've had in my mind for some time on what gender means in these book recommendations, what it says about the children and about the books, then I would use these books to launch that project: Women's Education in the United States, 1780-1840, by Margaret A. Nash (2005) This book would be a great way to get a feel for at least some women's lived gender context, and it's suppos

Two Delicious YA Novels and a Fairy-Tale Fantasy

Good Enough by Paula Yoo Is it ever good enough for Patti's parents? She and the other Korean American kids in her church youth group have it bad, with parents who crave to send them to HarvardYalePrinceton. Patti loves music, and she begins to take control of her life when it occurs to her that her viola-playing days are over as soon as she hits college. But her music teacher thinks she could make it in to Julliard. It's a tough and also touching novel, as Patti struggles under the breakneck pace of her school work and extra-curricular obligations while also trying to get to know Ben, the attractive new boy from youth orchestra. This one is a sure hit for anyone burdened with high-pressure parents, now or in the past. Funny aside: this made me remember 1991 or so, when I had a boyfriend pierce a second hole in my ear. When my father saw the little black rose stud I had in that new hole, he was furious, and yelled at me that I'd "never be a dean at Harvard"