What are ‘Girl Books’ or ‘Boy Books’?

Depressing thing to find in a primary school library today…

girlsbks boysbks

I am not a fan of gender stereotyping at the best of times. I certainly resented it being applied to me growing up and I have seen with my own children how such stereotyping usually has a negative impact.

Even if there are some rough characteristic generalisations that we can make about groups such as boys vs girls then surely they should merely subtly inform us as teachers or parents and should not be used to define the children themselves? Primary children are often very worried about conforming to social norms and once such gender labeling takes hold it is very difficult to eradicate.

And as a mother of daughters I am simply appalled at the books labeled as  “Girl Books”. Are they really the best they could come up with? And what if one of the boys desperately wanted to read one of the fairy books? I’m quite sure many girls would prefer the Morpurgo.

I googled to see if anyone else had come across this. Some have taken up the issue in terms of demanding that publishers should cease labeling or marketing books as being gender specific:

From the Independent “Gender-specific books demean all our children. So the Independent on Sunday will no longer review anything marketed to exclude either sex”


This is a petition to ask publishers to stop labeling their books for boys/girls

But is this happening in the school where you teach or where your children go to school?