Monday, February 01, 2021

12th Annual Boys Read Pink Celebration!

It's the 12th annual Boys Read Pink Celebration! I haven't mentioned it on my blog because the trend has been toward "All books for all kids", and people on Twitter are... unkind. It's been a huge deal at my school every year since 2010, and since the celebration is now as old as my average student, I think it needs to be celebrated!

If you are being ornery and obstreperous, go read my School Library Article before you attack me on social media. And yes, I realize that this celebration revolves around gender as a binary construct, but in middle school, that's still the way most students perceive their identity.

Boys Read Pink addresses the fact that despite the best efforts of librarians and teachers to get all students to read all books, there are still societal expectations at work. Hand your average 6th grade boy Hamster Princess, and many will physically recoil from the book. 

If I make this a socially acceptable activity, include all the boys, get older students to talk it up, and it becomes an event that students eagerly anticipate. Boys realize that even pink and sparkly books can offer valuable entertainment and information, and this activity makes them more likely to be open minded about all the books on offer. And yes, girls are welcome to read books about boys if they would like. 

It does help to recommend books with girls as the main characters that align with the boys' general interests. Flake's Pinned is great for wrestlers. Carter's Gallagher Girl books are perfect for Stormbreaker fans, and as one boy pointed out "Katniss Everdeen is a girl."

The real fun comes when the boys read typically "girly" books. Suzanne Nelson's Wish series. The Scholastic Candy Apple books. For more serious books, hand out books like Brubaker Bradley's Fighting Words, Young's The Prettiest or Firestone's Dress Coded.  This fall, a class was assigned to read a book about someone who was unlike them in some way, and one boy was open minded enough to check out Harrington's Revenge of the Red Club. When asked how he liked the book, he replied, wide-eyed, "I learned A LOT."

That's really what it's all about. Learning things. Understanding a different perspective. Walking a mile, as it were, in someone's skirt and heels. Not that anyone else except me still wears those!

Stay tuned for more info as well as our CELEBRITY SPOKESPERSON!

No comments:

Post a Comment