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Children's books

Gender categories

5 replies

BrookesBooks15 · 22/05/2015 13:33

I'm wondering how parents and carers go about choosing books for children - do you find gender categories in bookshops and supermarkets, or even on the books themselves, useful or limiting for choosing books?

Also, does it make any difference depending on what age bracket the reader is? Any insights would be hugely helpful! Thanks,

OP posts:
YDdraigGoch · 22/05/2015 13:41

Some books that might we technically within the ability of a child of a certain age to read might include content that's too old (or too young) for them. We had this problem a lot with DD1 at school, who was an avid and very good reader, and who got very fed up with the school books quite quickly. There was no provision in school for her to read books that were technically more difficult to read, but that had storyline and content suitable for her age. Not many on sale in bookshelves either.

Rightly or wrongly, I imagine there's quite a lot of peer pressure for girls to read "girls' books" and boys to read "boys' books), but I remember, for example, when growing up I loved Jennings books and Just William, which were really aimed at boys.

Linds53 · 22/05/2015 23:38

I loathe gender categories. Age categories are more useful, but it's completely inappropriate for a book shop/supermarket/publisher to tell a girl that the book she wants to read is for boys only, or vice versa.

KatharineClifton · 22/05/2015 23:42

I don't know if Just William was originally aimed for boys was it? We bought all our books from jumble sales and they hadn't got into gendering covers really then so didn't have to suffer the gender split.

OP, there is no such thing as books for girls and books for boys - there are books for children. Ditto everything else really.

Age wise, the only one I used to watch was Jacqueline Wilson after one really upset my DC - there are ages for her books on her website but not on the actual books.

JasperDamerel · 22/05/2015 23:53

I find gender categories make it much harder to pick out a good book, as do covers clearly aimed at one particular gender. when DD was 6 or so she went through a phase of mostly reading stuff that was pink and to do with rainbowfairyprincessponyunicornicedancers, and she's enjoyed a few classic books that are mostly aimed at girls (Noel Streatfield etc) but mostly the girls and boys enjoy the same books and authors (Harry Potter, David Walliams, George and the Scientific Stuff by Lucy Hawkins, Roald Dahl...

Spydra · 23/05/2015 09:16

look at the Let Books be Books campaign

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