Wonder Women: The Importance of Strong Female Characters, Everyday Heroes, and Making Connections to Children’s Books
About the Course
Children’s books have always included spunky, feisty female characters like Ramona and Beezus Quimby, Matilda, and Harriet the Spy. But is spunky and feisty enough? The blockbuster success of the 2017 Wonder Woman movie and 2018’s Black Panther indicates there is room for much more - in movie theaters and children’s books. Female characters that overcome obstacles, solve problems, break stereotypes, and empower others have great appeal to both boys and girls.
This class focuses on choosing books for our classrooms and libraries that affirm positive roles for girls and boys. Ms. Bissonette discuss the assumptions we make when we think in terms of “girl books” and “boy books”; the effect gender stereotypes have on young readers (and the publishing industry’s puzzling role in perpetuating those stereotypes); and the role children’s books have in developing empathy among young readers (which can lead to reduced bullying among other things). Partiticpants explore the evolving theory about children’s books as "mirrors, windows, and sliding doors" and how reading the right books helps students rehearse for and succeed in real life situations. Finally, children's author Aimee Bissonette talks about the reactions and responses she's gotten from girls and boys with whom she has shared her own “strong women” books
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