Book to in­spire girls

Kapiti News - - What’s On -

Ka¯ piti chil­dren’s author Linda Hansen took months re­search­ing the 25 women from 25 coun­tries whose brief bi­ogra­phies ap­pear at the back of her lat­est young adult book The Fire Keeper’s Girls.

In the story two trou­bled teenagers en­counter a mys­te­ri­ous game in­volv­ing real-life women.

Linda de­picts a com­mu­nity able to em­brace the gifts that every girl brings with her at birth, cre­at­ing a real com­mu­nity, not fan­tasy, where girls aren’t fam­ily prop­erty to trade or blank pages to be etched with cul­tural de­mands.

In this com­mu­nity, strong, un­re­stricted women al­ready en­joy the best of them­selves so girls can eas­ily recog­nise where they be­long.

The book has been en­dorsed by women lead­ers in both sci­ence and the arts and was called, “the book every woman wishes she had read as a teenager” by Gir­lBoss NZ founder and 2018 Young Woman of In­flu­ence win­ner Alexia Hil­ber­tidou. As a mem­ber of the Ka¯ piti Chil­dren’s Writ­ing Group, Linda’s writ­ing ca­reer has made her aware that to sur­vive in the cur­rent work­place many women are un­con­sciously so­cialised to please and to de­fer to men.

“Ca­reers in sci­ence, tech­nol­ogy, en­gi­neer­ing and maths (STEM fields), stereo­typ­i­cally as­sumed to be mas­cu­line, are ex­tra daunt­ing for young women who rarely see them­selves re­flected in these ar­eas.

“Women who ex­cel in such work are still writ­ten out of his­tory yet fe­male men­tors of­fer an im­por­tant per­spec­tive that girls can’t get from male col­leagues.

“The game in The Fire Keeper’s Girls ex­plores some mis­chievous reme­dies for this predica­ment.”

The Fire Keeper’s Girls is avail­able at Pa­per Plus out­lets, the Na­tional Li­brary book­store, through Onepoto Press and Copy Press, Nel­son.

Linda Hansen with her new book The Fire Keeper’s Girls.

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