My 10 year old brought home a Scholastic Book Club order form today. She was excited about a Star Wars Journal and the Guinness Book of World Records. As she was flipping through, she saw a book called “Secret Stuff for Boys Only.” She looked at it for a while and said, “Ugh! Why do they have to do that? That just makes me feel mad.”
On the next page she saw the same book but for girls. She looked at the descriptions of each of them and then said, “Why do they think just because I’m a girl I wouldn’t be interested in making a skateboard and that all I’m interested in is fashion?”
We talked about this for a while, about how she’s allowed to like skateboards and fashion. I told her that I was disappointed in Scholastic for publishing these books. We decided that they should have made them by interest (Secret Stuff for Sports Lovers or Secret Stuff for Fashion Lovers) instead of gender. I said, “Do you want me to help you write them a letter?”
She sighed, looked at me, and said, “Mommy. We’ve got a lot of letters to write.”
I agreed, “It’s a lot of work to change the world.”
Hi! I’m E____, a fifth grader at _____School in ____, California. I love that you have a book order where students can buy books, read them, and enjoy them. My mom ordered Honey for me earlier in the year and it’s one of the best books I’ve ever read.
My teacher sent home a book order for January and I was looking through it. I noticed that you have two journals, one for boys and one for girls: Secret Stuff for Boys Only and Secret Stuff for Girls Only. I don’t think it’s a good idea to have separate books for separate genders. What if a girl wants to learn how to design a skateboard? The boy one seems to be about doing things and the girl one seems to be about feelings. So I think it would be a better idea to have a book about doing things and a book about feelings without limiting the books to one gender.
Thanks for reading my letter.
Your Loyal Customer,