18 Books That Tran­scend Gen­der Stereo­types

Parents (USA) - - Contents - —Emily Elveru

We’ve cheered the in­flux of sto­ries about strong girls spring­ing up on book­store shelves. (Lookin’ at you, Chelsea Clin­ton’s She Per­sisted!) Now we’re also see­ing more books that fea­ture sen­si­tive boys—no mon­sters or su­per­heroes in sight. Just boys ex­press­ing them­selves in which­ever way they want. Of course, both boys and girls can en­joy any of th­ese fa­vorite reads. Julián loves mer­maids. So when he spots ladies on the train decked out in dreamy dresses with fish­tail hems, he can’t wait to get home to mimic them—a cur­tain be­comes his tail, flower stems trans­form into an elab­o­rate head­piece, and lip­stick com­pletes the look. And sud­denly, Julián Is a Mermaid. But then his abuela catches him. Is she an­gry? Nope! She knows just the place to take him: the mermaid pa­rade! Ages 4+, $17 Did you know that Bill Gates was once told no one would want a home com­puter? Or that Steven Spiel­berg was bul­lied be­cause of his re­li­gion? Or that Daniel Rad­cliffe, the star of the Harry Pot­ter films, has a dis­or­der that makes it hard for him to tie his shoes? Each of the 75 peo­ple in Sto­ries for Boys Who Dare to Be Dif­fer­ent were once con­sid­ered “weird” by oth­ers but grew up to ac­com­plish big, amaz­ing things. Ages 9+, $17 Ri­ley be­lieves in The Whis­pers, mag­i­cal wish-grant­ing fairies in the deep Carolina woods that he thinks can bring back his miss­ing mom. But he also wor­ries that his “con­di­tion”—the fact that he would rather kiss boys than girls—is why she’s gone. When he bravely pur­sues the winged be­ings, he dis­cov­ers more than just the truth. We’re pre­dict­ing this emo­tional story will be an award win­ner. Ages 10+, $17 Al­most every morn­ing, Jack and Alex meet in the sand­box at the park. Jack prefers trucks and loud sirens and likes to wreck things. Alex is into dolls and the color pink and sparkly dresses. And just when you think Alex will an­swer no to Jack’s ques­tion of Want to Play Trucks?, he sug­gests the best game ever: dolls that drive trucks! (Ah, tod­dler ingenuity.) Ages 3+, $16

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