Recommending books

Kathryn Andersen kat_lists at
Sat Jun 22 19:48:46 EDT 2002

On Sat, Jun 22, 2002 at 01:06:36AM -0600, rohina at wrote:
> > Well, one could argue that it would depend on the boy or the girl...
> > General rule might be, again, that the ones with girl protagonists 
> > mightnot be good to reccommend to a boy, but that's only a rule of 
> > thumb.Probably the ones that are more relationshippy wouldn't be 
> > good for boys.
> > 
> > "The Ordinary Princess" doesn't have enough adventure in it for a 
> > boy, I don't think.  Neither would something like "Charlotte
> > Sometimes".  Wheras "The Blue Sword" is very adventuresome, even
> > though the protagonist is female. 
> Look, not to get too flamey, but goodness this idea offends me. It is so
> sexist. Boys don't like reading about character, they prefer action,
> girls like reading about lerve. And you might argue that it is *true* at
> some level, but why reinforce stereotypes like this?

First: I did *not* mean "relationshippy" in the sense of lerve, but in
the sense of *emphasis on relationships*, whether that be love or
friendship; the interrelations of the characters.

Second: You might as well get offended by the original question, since
anything which distinguishes boys from girls could be interpreted as
sexist.  (Humph!)

Look.  All generalizations are false, including this one.  But there is
no way that I could agree that boys and girls are exactly the same.
Picture two bell curves, one for boys, and one for girls.  These bell
curves overlap, but the peak for boys is at a different spot than the
one for girls.  Boys *on average* are more interested in action, and
girls *on average* are more interested in character relationships.
Note: *more* interested in, not *only* interested in.
And I'm not just spouting received wisdom here, this is what I've
noticed from my own observations.

> My much younger
> brother loved relationshippy books (he read Sweet Valley high with my
> sister and I). Look at what they watch on tv: lots of boys watch shows
> like Dawson's Creek and Felicity, and girls watch Angel.

Well, of course girls watch Angel, why shouldn't they, he's a hunk!
(evil grin).  Since I don't know anybody personally, who ever read Sweet
Valley High, I cannot comment on its appeal for anybody, boy or girl.

Kathryn Andersen
If you draw a giraffe, you must draw him with a long neck. If, in your
bold creative way, you hold yourself free to draw a giraffe with a
short neck, you will really find that you are not free to draw a
	-- G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy
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