Archives: Bridgette Booth

Why I Like Pink and Blue Books

thelittlegirlstory As a child, my sister and I fought for ownership of a pink Hallmark book called The Little Girl Story by Dean Walley.

The illustrations by Arlene Armacost and Gloria Nixon show a wispy girl, tiny, as befitting the title, who was forced to stand on a stool to wash dishes, yet could crawl inside her doll house and fish pickles out of jars too small for bigger hands. photo 3

I can’t speak for my sister, but I longed to be like this petite girl who wore pink.

I’ve been thinking about that book, and how much we adored it, as I’ve read about the UK based campaign, Let Books Be Books, which wishes to reduce the number of gender-specific books.

This movement created an online petition asking publishers “to take the label off books and let children choose freely which types of stories and activity books interest them.”

usbornecookingforgirlsusborneillustratedclassicsforboys

Some UK publishers quickly acquiesced.

Usborne, with titles like Cookbooks for Girls or Illustrated Classics for Boys, have agreed to re-title and re-market their books so they are gender neutral.

While other publishers have balked.

Michael O’Mara, chairman of the family owned Buster Books, told The Independent, “It’s a fact of life how a very large percentage of people shop when buying for kids, do it by sex. We know for a fact that when they are shopping on Amazon, they quite often type in ‘books for boys’ and ‘books for girls’.”

Colouring books for girls and boys

 

What Mr. O’Mara says is true in the U.S. also. It’s a buying habit I’ve seen often with parents who are literate, but don’t read.

In my experience, these parents value reading, seeing it as the cornerstone for their child’s education, yet they don’t read themselves.

As in 5, 10, 15 or 25 years of not picking up a book.bookfacts

That doesn’t mean they don’t want books for their children and grandchildren. They do, but when they shop for books they navigate towards what is comfortable: the pink and blue books.

You see, I’m not against using less pink or blue to identify books, nor am I against fewer stereotypes on book covers.

And, c’mon on. It’d be hard not to notice the “pinkification” going on in the children’s department over the last two decades.

But I also work with or live among people who make purchases based on these criteria, and my heart is soft toward them.

I don’t want them to feel more confused when selecting a book. I don’t want them to feel more awkward when pulling their son or daughter, granddaughter or grandson into their lap to read a story. And, I definitely don’t want them to feel ashamed for selecting a pink or blue book.

Picking a book is easy for me, and others who read frequently, because books are friendly and lovely, full of opportunities and adventure.

That’s not the experience many families have though.

So, while I do believe de-emphasizing the “pinkness” and “blueness” from the shelves is a reasonable request, I hesitate to throw my full support into the idea because I don’t want all the pink and blue books to disappear or for there to be a public consensus that buying these books is wrong.

Because if those pink and blue books disappear or the parents and grandparents are shamed away from purchasing them, then I worry those children and grandchildren won’t receive a book at all.

And, that, truly, would be a terrible ending to the story.

P.S. And, if my sister happens to be reading this, then remember possession is nine-tenths of the law. The Little Girl Story is mine. All mine.

Free and .99 Books for Read an E-book Week

Free and .99 Books for Read an E-book Week

This week I’m celebrating reading and the 10th anniversary of Read an E-Book week by sharing free and 0.99 titles.

First, is the author who first told me about Read an E-Book Week, Suzanne Lily, and her newest YA book, GOLD RUSH GIRL.  

gold-rush-girl-small-e1391433764864Lucinda Martin York and George Arnold may be at odds about how to make money during the California Gold Rush, but they have one thing in common, and it is the desire to survive and thrive at any cost. In this historical novel, two strangers join forces to fight against thieves, fire, and the elements, but the hardest fight is for the survival of their relationship.

Suzanne is offering GOLD RUSH GIRL for free on Smashwords if you use the COUPON CODE RW100 at checkout. After this week, the price goes back to $1.99.

You can visit her bog for more recommendations on free e-books.

Another sweet deal is this 12 book box set for $0.99. Yep, twelve books, twelve mysteries/thrillers! It’s called the Deadly Dozen and here’s a list of the books you’ll receive:

And, my own short story for readers 9 and up, THE LITERATURE CLUB PROJECT which is available on Amazon.

TheLitClubProject 3X3

Catherine Mason has a problem. She hates reading, but her book-loving parents stuck her in Literature Club. And she wants out. 

But wiggling away from meetings hasn’t been simple until she discovered Archimedes and his death ray.

Maybe, just maybe, Archimedes is her ticket out of Literature Club.

 

Do you have a favorite e-book to recommend? Leave me a comment and let me know.