A librarian in Seattle (also a blogger) received a couple of new books from Scholastic, and immediately noticed a huge difference in them, which she posted.
The books were How to Survive Anything, one for boys, one for girls. The boys’ book included things like how to survive a plane crash, a snakebite, a tornado. Good things for anyone to know, right?
Well, the girls’s book had things like how to survive a BFF fight, how to have the perfect school photo, and how to survive a fashion disaster. WTF, Scholastic? How exactly does this make sense? Personally, as a kid, and I’m sure my daughters would agree, I would have rather read the “Just for boys” version. (see original post on Interactive Reader)
Well, the post went viral pretty quickly, and Scholastic has pulled the books. Honestly, if they hadn’t been divided by gender, I don’t think it would have been that big a deal. Maybe the girls’ version could be marketed as school survival, for everyone. The big objection is the odd division between the genders in terms of content. Interactive Reader posted a follow-up, in the wake of Scholastic’s decision.
I applaud her, both in her decision to bring these books to our attention, and in her questioning of whether she just participated in censorship.