Tuesday, July 21, 2009

boys and books, revisited

The debate on what it takes to get boys to read (with the assumption they aren't reading enough) goes on. A school librarian in School Library Journal recently made the statement that we need more books with boy protagonists, and that "lots of books with female characters aren't really about being female. In fact, in many cases, the main characters could just as easily have been males—and that would make my job a lot easier". She sights Siberia as an example.

Over on MSN's Mom and Pop Culture page (a cleverly titled blog for parents about pop culture), Martha Brockenbrough argues that "
But the problem isn't the books, it's the way we're raising our boys. If they aren't willing to read about girls, and if we're indulging that sort of nonsense, then we are raising boys who will have a hard time functioning in a world where girls play serious roles. In other words, the real world."

What do you think? Should authors be writing fewer books staring girls? Or should we stop just accepting that boys are less inclined to read about girls, and start actively encouraging them to get over themselves?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Dawson Place - help for violated teens

I recently went to a meeting where there was a speaker from Dawson Place, which is a child advocacy center in Everett, WA. It is a partnership between the Division of Children and Family Services, Providence Intervention Center for Assault and Abuse, Compass Health, law enforcement agencies of Snohomish County and the Snohomish County Prosecuting Attorney's Office. These partners work together to provide all the services a child or teen who has suffered from abuse or an assault, to make the care and reporting experience as trauma free as possible. Most importantly, they provide a 24-hour crisis line that can help connect kids to the care they need. If you know any teens who mention current (or anything from the past few years) abuse or assults, please encourage them to contact Dawson Place. These folks know what they are doing, and are a vital resource for our community you should know about. Plus, they have an adorable service dogs on staff (Stilston, seen above) to help relax and distract distressed kids. Tours of the facility can be arranged for adults who work with youth who want to see where they will be refering them.