Twitter tells me this is “Stories for All” week, so I thought it appropriate to share something that I’ve been thinking about since last December.
For the holidays, I always buy the kids in my life books. I go to my local independent book store (usually Children’s Book World or Book Soup – both have a fantastic staff and great selection) and pick my favorites selections. I have a running list so I don’t buy anyone the same book twice, and I have read every single book I gift. It is one of my favorite parts of the season.
Last December, I was standing in the YA section wondering what to get an eighteen year old boy. I was stumped. In the past year I had read lots of books that girls would enjoy, but not many that I knew a heterosexual eighteen year old male might find interesting. There was one novel he’d probably love. Historical fiction involving spies and pilots during World War II, full of narrative tension and action. But, I sighed, both main characters were females, so he probably wouldn’t like Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein.
I was standing in the book store about to make a mistake. I was going to walk away from an excellent selection based on the gender of the main characters. I thought about my own book, Learning Not to Drown. I wondered Read more…