The Feminization of Children’s Literature

The type of children’s books available has bothered me a long time. Witnessing librarians and classroom teachers read to children while going through Olympic-like gyrations to make the stories interesting, especially for boys, made me aware there was something terribly wrong. Not only were the children’s stories not of the best quality, they lacked strength and character.

Being a children’s writer, I’ve gone through libraries and bookstores perusing through hundreds of children’s stories by reputable publishers to help me become a better writer. I’ve become totally disenchanted. Thank God there are the obvious exceptions! The children’s publishing world is in deep trouble and it’s not because of our present economy, the problem had already existed.

After reading the Sunday comics in the AV Press (the delight of the day), I looked at “The Mini Page,” as I always do, and my blood pressure went up a notch. This Sunday’s edition featured children’s books where the topic was “The Power of Hope.”There were the usual save the environment books; others to help the world and it’s inhabitants; stories that gave children comfort, and another about being true to one’s self. I was sure every rugged boy was clamoring to read that one. To be fair there were others that looked good but they were in the minority. I’m not going into the politics of this whole issue, but women editors in the publishing world who have a special agenda, are in control of the books children read.

What happened to good old stories about American patriots, like George Washington, Abe Lincoln, Andrew Jackson and others? There should be stories about the heroes of our wars and the heroic exploits of soldiers, airmen, and sailors, both men and women, who fought and died for our country in great battles, such as Felluga in Iraq.

Not only did I love stories like Ivanhoe, and Paul Revere, but I also read every Nancy Drew mystery during summer vacation when I was nine. There was excitement and mystery in each story, where that series attracted both boys and girls for her rugged individualism, the type that built America, as we knew it. Are the books presently being read by our children building character and love of country, as it did for us when we were their age? I don’t think so

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