Sometimes literacy feels a bit like the toy ailse at Toys'r'us: girl's books to the right, guy's books to the left and never shall the two meet in the middle. This gender divide is prevalent and it definitely makes me uncomfortable. And for some baffling reason, this great divide seems to have heightened in the last few years instead of receding. That's not to say there aren't worthy and sometimes even great books written specifically with a female or male audience in mind. But, but, but... I do get frustrated sometimes. I digress. It's just that yesterday's post along with today's has put this issue at the front of my mind.
In the last decade, three excellent historical fiction series have emerged in Canada: Our Canadian Girl (Penguin), Dear Canada (Scholastic) and I am Canada (Scholastic). Penguin and Scholastic were smart in that they recruited some of the nation's best writers for children to pen these books which means the final product is definitely worth it. The websites for each, chock full of recipies, crafts and other activities, aren't too shabby either. Check them out and then promise me you'll encourage cross-gender reading as much as you can.