Musings on children's and YA literature, the academy, and the relationship between them, from an English professor and mother.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Boy Books and Girl Books

This month I remember my past, and look at my son's future...

When I was in the tenth grade our English class took on "coming of age" novels. We read The Catcher in the Rye, A Separate Peace, and (one of my favorite, though still under-read, boarding school novels) Good Times/Bad Times. All three are set in single-sex boys' boarding schools, and there are few women or girls in them. My (male) teacher, I remember, told us we should be able to "identify" with these characters because they were teenagers like us.

Did I mention that this was an all-girl class? Did I even notice, at the time, that we had read not one novel about a girl?

This column may not actually go in the direction you expect it...let me know what you think!

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