Monday, September 14, 2015

The I Survived Book Series

I Survived...
The Bombing of Pearl Harbor, 1941
Hurricane Katrina, 2005
The Japanese Tsunami, 2011
The Battle of Gettysburg, 1863
Lauren Tarshis
Source: Library
Audience: Children

These books are a genius idea - historical fiction that reads like an action movie. Most book series for kids are fairly formulaic. Kids know what they like and that way, authors keep them hooked. In the I Survived series, it starts out with an action packed scene and then flashes back to how it began, a boy gets separated from people important to him, reconnects with them after a traumatic event, and at the end everyone is happy. Unfortunately, sometimes it means adults get bored - even librarians. They feature a diverse group of kids and world events, but... Every single book features a boy as the main character.

Every.

Single.

One.

I’m a girl. I like to read about girls. Girls are historically significant, too. Why why why is a woman author only writing about boys??? Aren’t we, as girls, told enough in history class that women weren’t important? Even if we aren’t directly told, we’re indirectly told, because most of the important people we learned about were old white guys. And some of these historical events are recent. Why couldn’t a girl save her family during the Japanese Tsunami, September 11 attacks, or Hurricane Katrina?

I understand wanting to focus on one particular audience and getting boys to read more, but boys will read about girls if they’re written well. The Hunger Games proved that. The I Survived books are written well. So mix it up and give us some girl main characters!

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