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November 10, 2009

National Young Reader's Week

Yesterday marked the start of National Young Reader's Week (November 9-13). Hundreds of schools across the country celebrate reading by participating in this annual event each year. The event that was co-founded in 1989 by Pizza Hut® and the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. Set aside as a special day to recognize the joys and benefits of reading, schools recruited local “celebrities” to read aloud a favorite children’s book to their classrooms. Local reading role model “celebrities” included local officials, sports figures, public safety officers, parents, and other guests from the public and private sector.

[Attention teachers: Enrollment for the BOOK IT! 2009 is already completed - Program Enrollment will begin on March 1, 2010. You can set a reminder for next year's program by clicking here.]

So we decided to compile a list of some of our favorite children's books. (Yes, we know about children's books! Don't forget, there are mini-ESC members too, like our favorite little feminist guest blogger.)

We've already written about how much we love And Tango Makes Three... The more people protest it and try to get it banned, the more we love it. What's not to love about the TRUE STORY of two male penguins who fell in love and raised a baby together in the NYC Central Park Zoo.

The Princess Knight is a sweet little book about a princess named Violetta who rides and jousts and fights with swords... But then one day her father, the king, plans a jousting tournament for the "bravest knights in the land" in which the winner will win her hand in marriage. Obviously Violetta isn't down with that, so she finds a way to come to her own rescue.

The Tough Princess tells the story of a king and queen who kept losing wars and kingdoms and hope that their new baby will help restore their fortunes. When the baby turns out to be a girl, they get a little worried and so they team up with a bad fairy who casts a spell on the princess so she will be rescued by a handsome and rich prince. Of course, the princess won't stand for that, so she defeats the fairy and goes on to rescue several rich princes.

Who's in a Family? is a great book for any child, but especially those not living in a typical "nuclear family" (which means it's a great book for lots and lots of children). The families in the book range from the traditional nuclear family to single parents, same-sex parents, grandparents, an array of multicultural families and mixed-race couples and even some animal examples.

Amazing Grace is the story of a girl named Grace who wants to play the part of Peter Pan in her school play. Her classmates tell her that the role has to be played by a white boy, but with the help of her mother and grandmother (who takes her to see a famous black ballerina from Trinidad to inspire her) Grace learns that if you believe in yourself and work hard, you can achieve greatness and win the role of your dreams.

For more great children's book recommendations with a non-sexist or feminist slant, you can also check out the Amelia Bloomer Project list or the book Gender Positive! Leave the names of your recommendations for great children's books in the comments...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

'The Paper Bag Princess' is another great book. The princess uses her cunning and skills with a sword to defeat a great dragon but in the process her clothes are burned up. She uses a paper bag as clothing in a pinch and the prince has terrible things to say to her about her appearance even as she has just saved him. She tells him in so many words that she decides not to marry him after all. The End.