All Together Now

03.18.14

Gender-Specific Books, Be Gone!

The Independent refuses to review any childrens’ book explicitly aimed at just boys or just girls. No more boring princesses or boys’ only snot fests.

The English newspaper The Independent announced on Sunday that they would no longer review gender-specific books for children. The paper’s literary editor could not have been more explicit: “I promise now that the newspaper and this website will not be reviewing any book which is explicitly aimed at just girls, or just boys. Nor will The Independent’s books section. And nor will the children’s books blog at Independent.co.uk. Any Girls’ Book of Boring Princesses that crosses my desk will go straight into the recycling pile along with every Great Big Book of Snot for Boys.” Guest warned children's publishers that any book landing on her desk with a pink cover and "princess" in the title would go straight to the trash. Nodding to the #LetBooksBeBooks campaign, which calls for publishers to quit limiting children to their gender category, Guest noted that the books most beloved by children—from The Hunger Games to Harry Potter—appeal to no specific gender and include dynamic characters both male and female.